Narwhal

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Underwater environments have always intrigued me. Back in the days when I worked in biology, I did a lot of snorkeling so it is not difficult to envision submersed seascapes.

Last year I began a series of sculpts that depicted a marine animal beneath a tinted resin sheet that gave the illusion of water. My first model for this series was the narwhal. I chose this creature because it is a fascinating one, often referred to as the unicorn of the sea.

I began work with my usual tinfoil armature, then a two part epoxy dough for the body. A toothpick would serve well for the tusk.

The model was simple to make, I just shaped the body, slit for mouth and little holes for eyes. The toothpick was carefully inserted into the clay and I let the piece dry before adding the fins.

I wanted the sculpt to appear underwater, so I needed something to support both the narwhal and the sheet of tinted resin that the narwhal is under. My solution to this was to sculpture an ice berg on the wooden base that supports the piece. The berg provides an interesting addition to the aesthetics of the piece, more importantly, it secured the narwhal nicely.

Next was the water effect. A sheet of clear, sturdy plastic was cut to size and fit over the berg and narwhal assembly. Holes were carefully cut on the sheet so the tip of the ice poked through, this included the body of my narwhal.

Next came the crucial step, water effect. I tinted a good amount of the resin after it was mixed thoroughly with the hardener. I made little walls of hot glue along the edges of the plastic sheet to prevent the resin from overflowing. To simulate wavelets on the water surface, I used the hot glue again. Then I poured my resin carefully, sculpting and spreading with a craft stick.

Once the resin dried on the plastic, it made a hard but light weight sheet of textured resin that simulated water nicely.

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This was my first sculpt of this type, I later perfected the technique with other models. The narwhal sold on etsy soon after it was listed.

In conclusion, I hope to continue making more of these pieces, this time trying fantasy creatures or prehistoric animals.

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