Sculpted Artichoke Collage

By Erika Moen on September 3, 2012


After making my miniature Sculpey artichoke I wanted to try making one a bit larger and more, uh, “illustration-y”, for lack of a better word. I love the idea of a three dimensional object jutting out from its background on a wall! This was a really good experiment and helped give me a better idea of how to approach this sort of project in the future, although I’m not particularly in love with how this specific piece turned out. It’s ok! It’s not the worst! It’s a successful experiment.

Once again, I used my stockpile of Sculpey to make all the sculpted parts.




Once I’d finished sculpting the artichoke, I went about cutting up papers and gluing them to a little wooden hangable 6″ x 6″ panel.

After all the papers and sculpture were glued down, I still wasn’t satisfied with how all the colors were holding together. the deep matte green and purple of the artichoke looked cartoonish against the subtly yellow patterned background and luminescent orange and gold halos behind it.

To make the colors of the piece blend together more cohesively, I dry brushed on some gold paint to the artichoke’s scales. The act of painting was fun and it’s definitely interesting to look at, but overall still a bit too garish for my tastes.

As a general rule, artists aren’t supposed to point out the flaws of their pieces to their audience, I know, I know– it smacks of crippling insecurity and is not a great sell for the artwork. Personally, though, I’m really interested in the thought process that goes into creating artwork and in this case I was really trying something completely new to me, so I figure it’s fair enough to talk about my not-always-positive opinions on my work with you guys.

It was definitely a successful experiment in that it taught me a lot about how to approach this kind of three dimensional work in the future! My biggest lesson is to mix my clay colors while looking at the background papers I’m intending to use, to ensure a better harmony of color coordination, rather than sculpting first and then trying to match everything together afterwards.

I’ll totally try this sorta thing again in the future! Next time I’m thinking something with some… tentacles? (This is me waggling my eyebrows conspiratorially at you)


Erika Moen’s Posters, books, prints and original artwork

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