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

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

Inking Batman’s Scaliest Villain, Killer Croc

A few weeks ago, Run Red Run and I descended into the Gotham City sewer system to ink Batman villain, Killer Croc. And like some of the other things I’ve inked on our YouTube channel, Croc is currently (as of me typing this) available in my shop.

I used a brush for some of it, but I really relied on my tech pens for texturing his arm wraps, scaly skin, even the hatching on the slimy stones in the dank tunnel.

And for fun, Run Red Run played a round of Ink It or Stink It and inked another batman villain favorite, The Scarecrow.

How did we each do with our inking? You can watch the video and see -v

Two Hellboys for the Price of One!

And since nobody’s charging an admission fee, that price is free. Free to watch me ink this Hellboy.

I used traditional, brushed ink on watercolor paper, something I’ve been trying to get better at.

But that’s not all — I said two Hellboys and I meant it. In an episode of Ink It or Stink It, Run Red Run also took a shot at inking a Li’l Hellboy drawing I did!

How did she do? You’ll have to watch the video to find out. Hope you like it! -v

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.

Inking Daredevil

Did a quick video where I practiced my spot blacks with a Daredevil piece. (First image digitally colored)

Most of the time, when I’m doing comic-style work, I go light on the inks, leaving the image open for color.

But I know that even a heavily-inked piece with big patches of black in the right places looks great once the color is added….and has the further benefit of looking amazing as a black-and-white illustration.

So, in this video, I’m practicing dropping more ink into an image than I’m used to. And I’m having fun talking with Run Red Run about inking, commissions, and Daredevil:

Inking Grogu (Baby Yoda) Plus: Ink It or Stink It!

I know. I inked a Baby Yoda last year. But this one’s better. And it’s all done with brush, no pens (not even brush pens)!

The primary reason I drew this little cutie again is because Run Red Run and I both got Disney Plus (finally) and we’re really enjoying The Mandalorian.

In this week’s video I ink Grogu but, as a special bonus, Run Red Run also plays a round of “Ink It or Stink It” and inks her own Grogu. How’d she do? Gotta watch the video.

This is the way:

Fairy Commission (inspired by my Morels Game Art)

A few years ago I did the card/box art for a card game called Morels. It’s a 2-player game wherein you ‘forage’ for mushrooms and your score depends on the type of mushrooms you find in the forest. A fan of the game contacted me about doing a commission inspired by my game art. It a little bit “Shiitake Night Card” and “Fairy Ring Night Card” and it was a lot of fun to work on.

This was an actual ink-on-paper commission and the face of the fairy was small and delicate, so I pulled out the ol’ magnifying glass while I was inking so I wouldn’t muck it up too much.

I also used a masking fluid to mask off the full moon behind the fairy while I ink washed the night sky. I go over my whole process with my friend  RunRedRun in this week’s YouTube process video.

The link to the video is down below. And, honestly, if you’re into two-player card games of strategy that don’t take all night to play, look into Morels. It’s got a pretty strong following of supporters.

Inking A Skeleton Pirate (From the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride)

My friends and I love going to Disneyworld. But, honestly, I’ll wait until after the whole mask thing has passed…if it does.

Until then, I’ll have to settle for drawing skeleton pirates and talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride with Run Red Run.

If you miss riding the rides at Disney, or if you want to see me ink this skeleton pirate…or even if you just have 9 minutes to kill while your pizza cooks, here’s the link to the video.