-By Tim Bruckner
I’d thought that the statue would need to be assembled from twenty pieces. Sectioning the cape into three parts as opposed to five parts, making Catwoman’s right arm one piece instead of two and making Batman’s left arm one piece instead of his glove being a separate piece brought the total down to sixteen pieces. All primed and ready for paint.
I’m not a big fan or paint modeling. I’m not sure if that’s the right term for it, or if there is a term for it. It’s the practice of some painters to go in with an airbrush and spray a darker color into various recesses throughout the sculpt. More often, this is used to define muscle groups. I’ve seen it done well, by that I mean with restraint. The effect is subtle and can accentuate certain areas with highlights or shadows. But rarely is it done with restraint. I’m not sure where the practice started. But these days, you almost can’t find a collectible statue that hasn’t been paint modeled to one extent or another.
One of the most important things a sculptor has to consider is the play of light and shadow over a piece. Not only does it define it, but it creates mood, intent and texture. Paint modeling subverts the sculptor’s intent in favor of the painter’s prerogative. This isn’t to say that paint should be applied in flat, even applications. Painting in highlights or recesses with dry brush or creating a pointed, heightened focus in the service of the sculpt goes a long way to bringing that piece to life. I think less is more in this instance. Just my personal opinion.
With this piece, I wanted to try and mimic the night lighting in the art. DC felt strongly that the piece should be more in keeping with the paint application of the first Hush Batman statue. My hope is, should a variant be released, we’ll have the chance to explore an alternate paint scheme.
These are pix of Batman and Catwoman’s heads as stand-alones. I painted an iridescent white into Batman’s eyes to pick up any reflected light to accentuate them as much as I could. I did several tests in tinting Catwoman’s goggles. These are a very slightly tinted blue. A more concentrated blue seemed to obscure her eyes and compromise her expression. I’m not sure what the tint level will be in production. The factory will be able to use a much more transparent resin and so a fuller tint could work really well.
Tentative and tender:
The money shot:
Hush: Batman/Catwoman turns:
They say never say never. So I won’t. But for all intents and purposes, this is my last commercial piece after forty-four years as a free-lance sculptor. I hope to spend some time on my personal work and accepting commissions. What I’m most interested in is seeing if I can surprise myself. Design myself into a corner and see if I can sculpt my way out. I’ll keep you posted.