Friday, May 28, 2010


Hey, all! The three Pop Sculpture stooges here, wishing you a happy Memorial Day weekend. In honor of the stooges that have come before us, we'll be taking the weekend off from updates, but please peruse the site's nooks and crannies, and check out our Facebook page for more content! We'll be back next week with more knuckleheaded updates and previews!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Thanks to Jami M. Lynn for the inspiration to create a pop poster in the style of the iconic pop artist, Andy Warhol for our book, Pop Sculpture.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


As you'll see in our Pop Sculpture book, we first had to come up with a design for the Athena statue and the Thor action figure. I not only wanted to have fun with them, but also try out many variations. When I start a design, I tap into gut feelings and do plenty of research. Of course, we all have our own style, particular preferences, inspirations and design sense that we call our own and apply that to our art work as well. I have an animation background so you'll see that influence in my work.

When I sit down and start to draw, I have an expectation that the first concept that comes out will be the "one," as I tend to see the pose in my mind's eye. Well, in some instances your first instinct is best, but you'll soon find out that you'll want to explore more. Don't fall in love with the first thing you do, and don't give up after five minutes either, thinking "I can't do this." On the contrary, push yourself and keep going. When people ask me how do you do that, I usually say "Go to the hardware store and buy a bucket of patience!" 

Allow yourself to warm up, half-hour to an hour or so. Soon, you'll find you're on a roll, like a well-oiled machine. One idea begets another, you start to have "aha" moments, and ideas will link one to another.  Design elements will start to come together. Don't stop. You'll know at a certain point, when you've reached a comfort level, and realize you've done all you can. You've left no ideas in the inkwell!

Now, look at everything you've come up with, as you'll have quite a variety. Sift through and pick the best ones, say the top five or so --- you also don't want to overwhelm your client with too many options.

Here as an example are some samples for a Zorro statue I did for Electric Tiki's Classic Heroes. An interesting little back story: At the time, Alex Toth was still alive, and we had become good friends. If you've never heard of Alex Toth, please look up his work! He's been coined the Artist's Artist, a master of design and storytelling.  He's one of the all time comic, animation and design masters! You ever seen Space Ghost?  That's Alex' design.  

Well, Alex also illustrated the classic Zorro comics back in the '50s. Who better than him to ask about Zorro? I had told him about my Zorro project and asked him if he had any ideas for a statue. One day, while I was visiting at his home he showed me some sketches he had come up with. One stood out: Zorro simply standing over a roof top, elegant, calm and very Zorro-like. I slapped my forehead and realized, that's the one! So we decided to go with that pose --- it didn't hurt to say that the pose was inspired by an Alex Toth sketch, either!  Once our Pop Sculpture book is out, we hope to share many more designs that didn't make the cut, so stay tuned and remember... "Don't leave any ideas in the ink well! " - RubĂ©n Procopio

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Okay, there is no such thing, but this new book promo video, animated by Tim Bruckner using music by Errol Bruckner, could have come straight out the Nintendo Entertainment System circa 1985. And wouldn't a Pop Sculpture video game be awesome? We don't know exactly how they'd capture the joy of sculpting in game form, but we imagine it would involve a combination of precision and repetitive motion, and Tim would be one of the level bosses. Aim for his knees! They're his weak spot.

Hear more of Errol's music at Reverb Nation.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Finally, here is everyone's favorite Cajun... all ready for his close-ups. (FIG. 20/21/22/23)

This piece was a hell of a lot of fun to finish up. I experimented with materials I don't normally use, like styrene & brass.

Both portraits were done in wax, as were the gloves, hair and boots. I carefully cut out a bunch of small rectangular shapes to add to his legs and arms. Tough to see in the images, but these little orange strips are textured. Even though the detailing of the arms will be completely obscured by his coat, I wanted to give this 100% and not cut corners. I cast a resin copy of his left hand, and added two different sets of playing cards. On the 'regular version', the hand will hold a single card. On the Sideshow Exclusive version, he will come with an extra hand, holding several splayed out cards which are being charged with his trademark kinetic energy. Both versions come with the interchangeable portraits. The little stripes on the 'classic' version's chest are also tiny strips of styrene for depth

And here's the final product. The Sideshow in-house team created this incredible trench coat for this figure. From my understanding, it has wire imbedded into the outer edges so that even the coat can be positioned ( blowing in the wind) !!!

I hope that this demo helps some of the youngins' out there. What I would not have given to have a book like this 20 years ago!!!!

Please support the efforts of Tim, Zach and Ruben on this book. I know my copy will be dog eared in no time & always within reach . This is going to be the toy industry sculpting bible, folks. Don't miss it. 2. Study it. Caress it. Don't set your coffee mug on it! Read it under your covers with a flashlight.... If it does well, maybe we can talk them into Volume 2!!!! HOOOOO HA!



Thursday, May 13, 2010


Well, its not exactly a Gilbert and George poster. But it does borrow liberally from their oeuvre. Or, in "art speak" this poster is an appropriation in homage to the artists' "Art for all" underlying message. In Pop Sculpture speak, we nicked it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I remember walking from my parent’s house to the liquor store in town, It was only a couple of miles, but for a kid, it seemed like half way across the country. But the anticipation of buying the latest Creepy or Eerie magazine made the journey feel like an Atlantic crossing. If it had a Frazetta cover, I bought it. If not, it was an awfully long way home. His stuff hit you in the gut. There was no abstracting the impact. He created a world that was both frightening and enticing. And seductive. Definitely, seductive. Many years later, when statues began showing up of Frank’s work, I felt envy, jealousy and resentment. Why? I’d made no effort whatsoever to pursue the possibility. I was like the guy writing a song in his basement and being pissed off because he wasn’t nominated for a Grammy. I know, the irrational crap of a basement dweller, minus the basement. But, as luck would have it, sometime later, my friend, Arnie Fenner, presented me with the opportunity to do a Frazetta. It was Ghoul Queen. As far as I know, its the most linear rendition of Frazetta woman out there. A pen and ink, watercolor drawing that was clearly rendered, almost like a blueprint. As with most things, I was oblivious to the risk. I began the statue with enthusiasm and confidence and within a very short time found myself sinking into regret and doubt. I mean, what the hell? I knew Frank’s work! I grew up with him! I entered his world! Stymied, after hours of being smartly dressed in my hair shirt, I saw what I hadn’t been able to see before. Frank was a great designer… or more to the point, a great re-designer. He recreated humankind to conform to his image. A Frazetta woman could not and does not exist outside the world he created. But in that world, she’s very real. And to make sense of her three-dimensionally, I had to blind myself to my world and see Frank’s. He, inadvertently, taught me how to see. I never got to meet Frank. I had the chance but, selfishly, I wanted him to be the Frank of my imagination, and so passed on the opportunity. Honestly, I’m glad did and regret that didn’t. None the less, I knew him. And I’m eternally grateful for that relationship. Rest in peace, dear friend. Rest in peace.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Wisdom and War are just two of Athena's many, many assets. Another promotional poster by the incalculable Tim Bruckner.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Silver Surfer would also come with not 2, but 3 (!) different portrait heads. (FIG. 11) One for each of the Surfer's emotions. These are the clay heads, keyed, but not yet transferred into wax for detailing. Not stopping there, Sideshow has given the collector a second set of arm options. I cast the two arms in resin to insure the keys would fit snuggly, and added cosmic dust trails to a pair. In the image of the part breakdown, (FIG 10) you can see the male-female epoxy keys. Later, a 5th, clenched fist arm would be provided

Sideshow had given me both of these projects around the same time, so it was great to be able to jump back and forth between them. It kept my eyes fresh. After a few days on one, I'd bounce onto the other piece. When I would go back to the first one, I'd see it with a fresh pair of eyeballs.

Here is Gambit, slightly farther along. ( FIG. 12 ) The Photoshop notes you see on the photos (FIG. 13 and 14) are questions or notes I have for the client. It's a great system when you work with a company on the other coast!

Ok...wrapping up the Surfer now. I gave them a 5th arm, cast the three portraits into hard toy wax, and finished up the cosmic dust trails. For the texture on the dust, (FIG.15/16) I mixed up some white Elmer's glue, and simply poured in some play sand form the kid's sandbox in the yard. Woooo!!! It dries clear and gives a nice effect. Sideshow cast the dust arms and base in clear, purplish resin so the effect is pretty cool. I also pulled up the dust trail to come off his foot. This gives added support to the key and hides the key slightly. When finishing a figure in Super Sculpey, I use a very rough grit sandpaper at first to knock down all the Dremel marks. Then progress to a finer grit. Then I use drywall sanding screen in a circular motion. Finally I use 3M brand sanding pads...and lastly, a fine steel wool with a little water. I find that Super Sculpey, when sanded properly, can give you as smooth a finish as any wax.

The portraits have been cast into a hard toy wax for better detail. (FIG.17/18/19)