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

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

How I Illustrated My Holiday Card This Year

And we’re back from break! I sent out New Year’s cards this year. Not many. Just enough to make sure all the people who sent me Christmas cards didn’t think I was a complete jerk.

But while I was making the card, I also took the opportunity to record my process and talk about it with my friend, RunRedRun. I might not be a complete jerk, but I’m also not gonna pass up the opportunity to generate some fresh content for my YouTube channel.

So we uploaded a video where I discussed not only my illustration process for this cute little hamster, but also name-dropped the many various tools and materials I used to create the card — from the sketch stage right on up to me dropping it in the mailbox.

Enjoy the video. And Happy New Year!

Inking the General Mills Monster Cereal Mascots (Franken Berry, Count Chocula, Boo Berry)

Last week we had another Halloween Leftover. The General Mills Monster Cereal Mascots!

I wanted to have a little fun with them, so I made them just slightly creepier than they appear on the cereal boxes.

We’ve done a few videos since then (subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date) but here’s Franken Berry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry getting the ink wash treatment:

The Fly: Ink and Watercolor

The Fly has always been one of my favorite horror movies since I saw it on TV as a kid. That giant fly-head freaked me out then and it still freaks me out now.

So I illustrated the monster in ink wash and watercolor, and played around a little with masking fluid too.

You can watch my process in the video below, and listen to Run Red Run and I gab about the movie.

Sam Hain (from Trick ‘R Treat): Ink & Watercolor

One of my favorite kinds of horror movie is the anthology. They used to do them all the time in the early 70s — Tales From The Crypt, From Beyond The Grave, The House The Dripped Blood, Asylum — honestly, I could go on and on because I’ve seen them all and I love ’em.

They don’t do them so often anymore. And if they do, they’re rarely as good as the classics. One exception, however, is Trick ‘R Treat. A Halloween-themed anthology horror flick that doesn’t disappoint, it’s an annual watch for me this time of year.

And since Halloween’s so close, we drew a bonus monster this week. Sam, the pint-sized ghoul from Trick ‘R Treat is as adorable as he is murderous. Run Red Run and I talk about the movie while I ink and color Sam. You can watch the video below. Happy Halloween!

Frankie Scarlatti (from Lady In White): Ink & Watercolor

Like Bradbury’s Halloween Tree, Frank LaLoggia’s Lady In White is one of those things that can reinvigorate my love for the Halloween season. So it’s an annual watch for me.

So I drew the movie’s protagonist, little Frankie Scarlatti, then inked him up and used watercolor to color him. It’s just part of my endless attempt to get better at inking and watercolor (and natural media in general).

Here’s my process video. Spoiler warning if you haven’t seen Lady In White. Run Red Run and I gab the whole time about how much we love this movie. Here’s the video:

The Bride of Frankenstein : Ink and Watercolor

Another take on a classic Universal Monster…The Bride of Frankenstein! With a respectful nod to the design worn in the original film by Elsa Lanchester.

I use ink and watercolor to illustrate the bride, while Run Red Run and I discuss Elsa Lanchester, Mary Poppins, and bawdy cockney songs.

We’re having a ton of fun in the studio drawing these monsters during October. Especially now that the cool weather is here and the ground is covered in leaves. If you want to see all of our monsters as soon as they’re uploaded, subscribe to our YouTube channel. For now, here’s video of me bringing the bride to life:

The Invisible Man : Ink and Watercolor

Another cool October day, another monster. This time It’s my version of the Invisible Man (with a respectful nod to the Universal Monsters version).

I use ink and watercolor to illustrate this transparent madman, while Run Red Run and I discuss actor Claude Rains, process, and the institution of marriage.

Here’s the video:

Creature From The Black Lagoon : Ink Wash and Watercolor

Fall is here, finally. And Halloween cannot be far behind. So it’s the perfect time to work on some monster art. We’re starting off this season with a classic — The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

I tried out watercolor over ink wash, to see how I’d like it. I’m no watercolor expert, but I had fun.

And while I inked and colored the creature, RunRedRun and I discussed Milicent Patrick, the creature’s designer, who didn’t get the proper credit for her work early on. Here’s the vid: