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Kull Part 1: The Sculpting of Kull

25 Nov

Welcome to the “Sculpting of Kull” blog. I’m not sure it’s a true blog as I’m not sure what a blog truly is, but the idea here is to give some insight into the sculpting process of a statue including the licensing aspect, design problems, creative decisions and basically all the details that I hope readers will find interesting about the making of a resin statue.

By the way, resin and cold cast porcelain are the same thing in that a cold cast porcelain is polyester resin mixed liberally with porcelain in powder form. It gives the resin piece the feel of porcelain, but generally allows more detail. Also, for coloration, true porcelains are usually glazed and fired and cold cast porcelain is painted with standard paints.

The Kull piece is fairly far along, but we’ll start with the process from the beginning:

How did this Kull piece come about? Kull is the creation of Robert E. Howard, who also wrote the Conan the Barbarian stories, most of which were completed in the 1920’s. He wrote the Kull stories first, then took what he liked about Kull and incorporated those elements into a new character he created named Conan.

I had been in discussions with Paradox Entertainment, the license holders of the properties of Robert E. Howard (REH). We had been discussing a continuation of the series of sculptures of Conan as painted by the great Frank Frazetta. It would be a three-way license, which would take some time. We began discussing other REH characters and decided that a sculpture of the second most popular REH character might be a good project to do together. We determined that this was either Solomon Kane or Kull the Conqueror, aka Kull the King, aka Kull of Atlantis.

We decided on Kull for a number of reasons. I think that Solomon Kane is a terrific character with a great look, but I liked the idea of sculpting a barbarian. The deciding factor, though, was that Fred Malmberg at Paradox was very gracious in agreeing that the statue would be of my design in costume, physical appearance and facial features, pending their approval and input. This was a rare opportunity in this business to design a sculpture based solely on the written information and descriptions in the literature. There’s actually not that much information/description, which meant that there would be a lot of freedom of interpretation. This was a very exciting prospect for a sculptor like myself.

The first step was pose design. I did several quick (and very rough) thumbnails just to show the poses I had in mind. I had my favorite one or two, but all would work well. I generally approached the pose symbolically, meaning I felt the pose should represent Kull as a heroic character more than an illustration in 3D of a particular scene of Kull doing something specific. I knew one thing: I did not want to present Kull as a king as I felt that had been done enough and it had been done as a sculpture. Kull is described as a wanderer, an adventurer and a gladiator before he became a soldier, then general in the Valusian army. I wanted to sculpt him BEFORE he wandered into Valusia as Kull of Atlantis rather than Kull the King. Here are those pose ideas.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve found it interesting. Next time we’ll talk about narrowing the look down in an installment we’ve titled:

“Narrowing the Look Down!”

‘Til then-

Clay

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Posted by on November 25, 2006 in Kull of Atlantis

 

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