Winter 2021 Update and Recap

This is the latest post for the members of the Long Lost Friend Studio Patreon, but gathering the photos and talking about what we’ve done in just the last three months was so much fun, I figured I’d share it here too. If you like the projects you see here, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and consider becoming a member of our Patreon.

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“Looks like a cold, cold winter. Plenty of ice and snow. But, we’ll keep the work-lights in the studio aglow.”

 
Now that I’m done mangling the lyrics to a Bing Crosby classic, Michelle and I will be taking a short break from YouTube videos for the next couple months. We’ve been posting to YouTube for a couple years now and it seems like, starting near Thanksgiving, folks are just too busy with the holidays to tune in. But don’t worry, loyal patrons. It’s not like we ever actually take a break from making and crafting and learning. So we’ll still do our best to keep posting updates and videos for our Patreon members.

In the meantime, take a look at all the fun stuff we made in just the few months since our last break. And this first photo is just the sculpting! 

What a giant pile of fun stuff we worked on! We’re hoping you had as much fun watching those projects come together as we had making them. And maybe, like us, you learned a little along the way. Since September, this is some of the stuff Long Lost Friend Studio accomplished:


Needle Felting and Foam Carving
Michelle showed us how to breathe new life into an old design for her owl feltie, and dropped some great needle-felting tips while she was at it.  And I took the opportunity to learn how to carve foam with hot-wire tools so I could sculpt that rock base the owl sits on. Teamwork. 

(Needle Felting A Wise Old Owl : Reworking A Past Design)

Foam Clay Mask-Making
I worked with two new types of sculpting materials for the first time. I used foam clay (Foam-Mo and Model Magic) to sculpt three creepy masks. Weird and spongy, but lightweight and perfect for the job.

(Making a Witch Mask with Model Magic)

(Making a Creepy Ventriloquist’s Dummy Mask with Foam-Mo)

(Making a Mummy Mask with Foam-Mo)

Mixed-Media Scooby Doo Diorama
And I tried Apoxie Sculpt to build that Captain Cutler diorama. It air-dries in two hours, so plan ahead or you’re stuck with a lump of junk as hard as a rock. Other parts of this diorama were made with CosClay, XPS foam, and wood. I enjoyed working with Foam-Mo and Apoxie Sculpt. They have their advantages and drawbacks, but I still think basic polymer clay (like Sculpey) is my favorite. We’ll be doing some sculpts with that in the new year.

(Sculpting the Ghost of Captain Cutler Diorama with Apoxie Sculpt)

2-D Illustrations
I continued working on my inking and watercolor skills. I’m happy with my progress and look forward to experimenting more with these mediums. 

(Inking the Tar Man Zombie from the Return of the Living Dead)

(Stumbling through Watercolor with a Pumpkinhead Scarecrow)

(Stumbling through Watercolor with Frog Thor / Throg)

(Sleepy Hollow Sketch and Patreon Stuff)

(Inking a Pop-Up Ghost from the Haunted Mansion)

(Inking Cornelius from the Planet of the Apes)

(Inking the Lizard plus Ink It or Stink It)

Fall Diorama
Of course, Michelle and I used all of our burgeoning sculpting and diorama-building skills to put this fall diorama together. There were a few exciting firsts with this project — Pumpkinhead is my first art doll, those crows were the first figures I sculpted with foam clay, and those leafy vines were a successful experiment crafted with EVA foam. 

(Creating a Fall Diorama from an Illustration)

Along with all of that, we’re proud to have also done ten Patreon-exclusive blog posts and eight Patreon-exclusive videos in that timespan. And that was our ‘fall season’ in a nutshell. September through November. Looking back over these photos, it seems like a lot of stuff to learn and make and do in just three months, but I can’t remember a minute of it when we weren’t having fun. Hope you did too. And if we inspired you to try some new things yourself, that makes it even better! Now it’s back into the studio to figure out more stuff and create some exclusive Patreon content. We both thank you very much for your continued support and enthusiasm. -v

It’s the Return of the Ghost of Captain Cutler!

Last time Michelle (Run Red Run) and I encountered this classic Scooby Doo villain, we experimented with neon markers and captured him on paper.

But the ghost returned! And this time we experimented with Apoxie Sculpt Modelling Compound, sculpted an entire Rocky Point Beach diorama out of foam, Cosclay, and Apoxie Sculpt, and captured him in three ghoulish dimensions! Zoinks, right?

Apoxie Sculpt is a modelling compound where you mix parts A and B, and then have about 2 to 3 hours before the stuff hardens like a rock. It was a little dicey working on something like this with a time limit. But, by the same token, it was really nice to make it whatever size I wanted, not having to worry if it’d fit in my oven. I think Captain Cutler turned out pretty good for a first-time experiment with this modelling compound. You can follow our process in the video below. -v

Our Fall Diorama Process: From Watercolor to 3D Build

If you’ve been following our videos on YouTube, you know we’ve been low-key obsessed with this Pumpkinhead Scarecrow project as it grew from a watercolor exercise, to sculpting an art doll and some crows, and finally to this full-blown 3D diorama build.

If you haven’t followed along, I’ve posted the whole series of 4 videos down below. This was some of the most fun we’ve had in the studio since The Witchening diorama build last year. I hope you enjoy this new series as much as we did. -v

Sculpting a Ventriloquist’s Dummy Mask

Halloween is less than two weeks away! A few weeks ago, I showed you how I sculpted a Witch Mask using Crayola Model Magic Foam Clay.

This week, I followed that up by sculpting a creepy Ventriloquist’s Dummy Mask with Foam-Mo Foam Clay.

These are mostly intended for decorative use (there’s a lot of dicey chemicals that go into the sealants) but of course I’ll put one on if it means having some spooky fun on Halloween night.

Did Foam-Mo perform as well as Model Magic? Is a creepy dummy as terrifying as a scary witch? Watch the video to find out. -v

Wellity well

Zombies and Witches. Halloween is Coming.

Hey, we are back from hiatus on our YouTube channel and celebrating fall, the upcoming Halloween season, and monsters of every stripe. So here’s the latest process videos we dropped.

First, Inking The Tarman Zombie from Return of the Living Dead. A favorite zombie movie of mine, and a great opportunity to practice my inking.

But we also work in 3D at the studio. We wanted to experiment with foam clay, so I made this witch’s mask. Didn’t turn out too bad, and now I wanna make more.

Hope you enjoy the videos. We have lots more fall/Halloween/monster related projects we’re trying to squeeze in before the end of the year. If you’re into that stuff, come on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel, Long Lost Friend Studio. It’s spooky fun. -v

The Witchening! Diorama/Terrain Build

We’ve finally reached the finale to our month of First Time Craft videos. It’s with a healthy sense of accomplishment that Run Red Run and I present….The Witchening!

All four videos from April connect back to that Witch House we built last year. That was our first “build” of any kind, and we always wanted to add onto that build as we learned more skills. So, we’re finally getting around to it.

In our finale, we put all of the items we built in the previous videos (the stump & axe, the well, the creepy tree) together into a diorama. But before we could do that, we had to build the witch’s territory. And that involved some more First Time Crafts: making plaster terrain, creating foam flocked bushes by hand, static grass application, and plenty more.

In the end, it all came together in a pretty nice (and pretty creepy) diorama fit for a wicked little witch. And if you watch the video, you’ll see her too!

Enjoy the video, and thanks for sticking around to watch us try out new things all month. -v

First Time Craft: Sculpting With Spackle?

This month Run Red Run and I are doing a series of four videos where we’re working with a new craft or technique or material in each one. For week three, She and I made a creepy witch’s tree out of — well, out of a lot of stuff. Wire, foil, paper, glue… And as a surprise, last-ditch shot in the dark, spackle, of all things.

All four of the videos connect back to that Witch House we built last year. That was our first “build” of any kind, and we always wanted to add onto that build as we learned more skills. So, we’re finally getting around to it.

The tree is about a foot-and-a-half tall, and we started the process by twisting three different sizes of armature wire into a basic tree shape. This part was a very loose, free-form wire sculpt that, for a couple of first-timers, came out pretty good. After that we wrapped it in foil, just like bulking out the armature of any clay sculpture.

Then, for the bark, we tried a tissue-and-glue method we’d seen people use on trees like this, but it didn’t give us the control we needed to sculpt the bark. Clay would work, but might make the tree super heavy. So we settled on spackle (or joint compound) and gave it a shot. Turns out, it’s not just for patching holes. You can actually sculpt with the stuff!

You can watch us build the tree from start to finish in the quick video below. Don’t forget, all of these First Time Craft videos lead to a final video next week where we put all the items we made together into one project— Witch House Part 2: The Witchening. See you next week for the finale.

First Time Craft: Hot Wire Foam Cutting

This month Run Red Run and I are doing a series of four videos where we’re working with a new craft or technique or material in each one. For week two, She and I sculpted a witch’s well out of insulation foam using various hot wire foam cutting tools, and carved the axe handle (for the first time ever) with a Dremel rotary tool.

All four of the videos connect back to that Witch House we built last year. That was our first “build” of any kind, and we always wanted to add onto that build as we learned more skills. So, we’re finally getting around to it.

One of the tools I tried out was a hot wire foam engraver. It’s basically a hot piece of metal that melts grooves into XPS foam. I thought it’d be an interesting way to carve stonework into this well.

Run Red Run and I also used a foam cutting table — kind of a hot wire, strung vertically over a flat surface that you drag the foam over while the wire cuts/melts into it. We used that to cut out the main structure of the well, and the flat ‘boards’ of the well cap. It was out first time working with tools like these, and we had a lot of fun.

Don’t forget that all four of these videos, aside from being linked to each other, and to that Witch House build, are building to a final video where we put all the crafts and items we made together into one project. We’re having fun calling that project Witch House Part 2: The Witchening. Now here’s the video of us working on the well.

First Time Craft: Carving with a Dremel

This month Run Red Run and I are doing a series of four videos where we’re working with a new craft or technique or material in each one. This first week, I sculpted a tree stump and axe, and carved the axe handle (for the first time ever) with a Dremel rotary tool.

All four of the videos connect back to that Witch House we built last year. That was our first “build” of any kind, and we always wanted to add onto that build as we learned more skills. So, we’re finally getting around to it.

So the first craft I decided to learn was carving wood with a rotary tool. Of course I don’t know all the ins and outs of carving with a rotary tool yet. It’s always going to be a process where, hopefully, I’ll get better as I go along. I’m just happy to have not injured myself with this first attempt.

I should mention that all four of these videos, aside from being linked to each other, and to that Witch House build, are building to a final video where we put all the crafts and items we made together into one project. We’re having fun calling that project Witch House Part 2: The Witchening.

Anyway, it’s just some fun we had learning new ways to make things. If you think you’d enjoy that, check out the first video below.

Inking The Addams Family: Traditional vs Digital

If you watch my YouTube channel at all, you know I’ve been working on improving my traditional inking skills. This week I tried a little test with my favorite family of kooks, The Addams Family.

I did a sketch of the Addams clan and tried inking it traditionally — with pens, brush pens, and brushes. I thought the results weren’t too bad. Definitely better than they would’ve been had I not been practicing inking for the last year or so.

But I also wanted to pull the sketch into the computer and ink it digitally. I’m more comfortable with that process, and I figured I could compare and contrast afterward, to see what I needed to work on.

Both the traditional and digital versions are in this video. As well as some pics from a LIFE Magazine photospread featuring actors who DIDN’T get roles in the Addams Family after auditioning for them.