Around this time, I had figured out my method of making paper clay, and how I liked to put it on. So, what better time to start my fishy?
I started on her eye and the side. I loved the bulging look, and just how weird they are. After all, fish eyes are really weird and why not go the extra mile? Generally angler fish eyes are a bit more set in, as the bulging is probably a bad idea, but eh.
I remember being super nervous as I smoothed out the paper clay, and realising that I had no idea if the second session would mesh, once the first was dry. I knew it would shrink; would this create ‘seams’ when trying to blend dry and wet?
The answer to “WOULD IT BLEND” was a “YES”. Not that the dry layer would moisten up again and blend that way, but you could smooth the new wet stuff over and blend it in that way. When dry, they wouldn’t pull away. So, after several batches, I finally got it mostly done, inserted her light, and sealed up her bottom.
Fun fact, tape is not strong enough to fight the pull of shrinking clay as it dries. I apparently did not take a picture of this, so I’ll try and explain it.
Over the hole that I had used to insert the light, which was about 3 inches by 3 inches, I put on red tape to give my clay a ‘bridge’ to dry on. However, the clay I had only covered like… half of the bottom? So I let it dry and when I returned to it a few days later, I found that the clay had shrunk and curled up (you’ll see this affect with my fins as well). The tape was pulled off, and I broke off several chunks of paper clay so I could make it even again.
Fun fact, breaking the clay with my bare hands was surprisingly difficult! This shit is strong as fuck, yo!
Once done the bottom, I cemented in the light bulb with very careful paper clay placement. In order for it to dry upright, I had to tie a string around the light and attach it lower down.
Up until now, I had been using entire batches of my clay at a time. Usually, that was how I signalled the end of a session – I was all out of clay. Near the end, I had actually made a double batch to allow myself a longer session.
After this, everything changed. By everything I mean I was in a different phase where I used less clay and focused on details. More on that, coming this Friday!