Hey all. While I was working on my dragonfly from hell, I was also making a commission. It was the project that was keeping me sane while I was struggling with the dragonfly. I guess I’m just built to make dragons. Over the last few years I can’t tell you how many requests I’ve gotten to make Smaug from The Hobbit. I resisted for a long time because I preferred making my own dragons. But after making the Taimat trophies I remembered how challenging it was to work from someone else’s renditions. That was certainly true of this project. It’s hard trying to match a Hollywood digital version. But the challenge was part of the fun. And it turns out that I got just the right request for this dragon as a commissioned piece. So here it is.
I intend to add the blog posts post-completion this time. I didn’t want to start blogging about this dragon and, like with the dragonfly, decide that I hated it and wished I hadn’t started writing about it. But I’m happy with how my version of Smaug turned out. So I’ll add some posts now. I’m also making one of my time-lapse videos of this build. It will be done today (knock on wood). I’ll add an addendum to this post with a link when I’m finished. Actually, I finished early! Here is the video, https://youtu.be/QuCyQNz9JhU
Here is the finished piece from the side.
This time I used Elmer’s glue for the initial paper mache. Not for any particular reason. Well, that’s not exactly true. I didn’t have any flour and didn’t want to go to the store.
Using white glue for the mache makes for some very nice shells. They are very hard, but also very brittle. They break if you try to bend them into a slightly different shape. This is never a problem with flour and water, which I prefer.
As always, I start with the shells for the jaws. I used a photo of the Hollywood Smaug to model the teeth and to guide in their placement.
I’ll add more later about the jaws in another post. But first, I want to focus on the tongue. I really wanted a great tongue for this project. I always begin making tongues by twisting newspaper around pieces of wire clothes hanger, and wrapping with masking tape.
The wire allows me to bend the tongue into any shape I want.
In this case I added extra paper to make it wider at the top.
Then I pinched the edges to make it flatter on the sides.
I’ll write more about the cloth mache of the tongue and mouth next time. But I wanted you to see the finished tongue before then. So here is Smaug again, from the front. Check out the tongue.
By the way, thank you all so much for the nice remarks and comments about my dragonfly project. Even though it doesn’t help me to like it any more, I really do appreciate the support. You are the best! And thank you for your patience.
Until next time…Make Art!