SBS: The Pinocchio

by Daniele "Found" Trovato

The Pinocchio

Hi everyone,

I introduce here is my personal process to sculpt my last "weird" bust. :-)

Actually I sculpted it  bust many months ago, but nobody had ever seen it.

I worked a lot on it , not continuously because some commissions stopped me (luckily).
I had a lot of fun, and who follow me well know how important is the fun  while I'm creating something.

Why the process is so important?

The process is all.
Obviously, The goal is important too, but is behind the process.

You should take care about to have fun while you're doing something.
It's very important.

I never started to sculpt something with the goal of having a job. 
I started to sculpt to have a personal  hobby, to relax myself, to have fun, to learn something new, because I love sculpting and painting.

Firstly, my goal is to share my art all over the world: the idea that some of my sculptures are exposed in someone else's home, encourages me to always do more, to study, to do my best.

The process is all you need to check.

If you were not interested in the process, you would buy already painted miniatures :-)

Who buy painted minis is primarily a collector. Who paint and sculpt minis is mainly a painter, then a collector.

Discover Dani's Method : IFAM (Idea, Fun, Attempts, Mistakes)

While I'm sculpting I always follow this personal rule. 
It isn't  an absolute rule, but just a direction.
It is my humble creation to well explain what I'm doing in my mind while I'm sculpting something.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". So remember what's your main idea. Why do you want to sculpt that? What do you want to tell through it? What push yourself to starting sculpting?

Remember to have fun. Fun is the key. Fun is the most important answer to "Why?".
And don't forget: the most challenging is the task, the more satisfaction you'll get from it.

Sculpting isn't a linear process, but instead is the sum of a lot of failures. So, trying is the most effective way to learn and to do better every time. If it doesn't like it,  simple sculpt it again, and please don't bother yourself for that.

The mistakes are necessary. Through mistakes you'll learn something new.
The learning process born through the unfamiliarity. The more you push yourself to do something new, the more you experiment the unfamiliar feel: this is good.
The unfamiliarity means that you're getting something new! So don't be scared of that. Mistakes are absolutely important,

Last but not least: don't judge yourself. Don't take the habit to compare your work to other ones: every person is different, and every piece of art is different. 
Often what you see in other peoples works is the result of thousand hours of experience and attemps! Don't forget this!

The Pinocchio idea

I recently sculpted my last cartoon bust "The Cappuccetto" with more appreciations.
So I wanted to sculpt something similar, with the same characteristic cartoon shape.

Very often  I take inspiration from what I see around me.
So my little daughter was watching "Pinocchio", then i decided to sculpt Pinocchio with his father, Geppetto.
Not exactly the same characters of the original movie, but taking inspiration from it.

First time I focused on Geppetto, then I added Pinocchio later.

The Sculpting process

If I can, I sculpt all my busts only from my imagination, just starting from an simple idea.

I create the basic armature with solid iron wire (about 1,5mm), fixed in a cork base.

This a  nautical compass. Often I use it to measure the body parts parts like arms, legs, and hands. 

I use it to check correct proportions and symmetrical issues.

Applying first coat of clay. I'm using Super sculpey original here:  very cool to work with this clay because is more soft and perfect to sketching and the composition.

After first layer, I bake all to have a solid base to working on (after to bake I  can change the arm pose (even head) if necessary.

Applying FIMO soft+Super Sculpey firm, attached with FIMO liquid and sometimes come ciano-glue.

Starting a little sketch just for joke.

joke, fun, sketching

Big head :-) :-)

There's no rule here, just unleash your imagination and creativity.

Just a Joke: Einstein here?? :-) :-) 

Joke apart, I start to sculpt seriously from now:

This time I try to mantain well fit proportions

First masses of face things

I create orbits and the nose with a fast sketch for the moustache

Creating the smile and facial expression

this is not complete obviously. Probably I'll add a beard and other things.
Sometimes I use a mirror to look the sculpture throught another prospective (as you can see on left picture in background). This immediately give you a "new" vision for eventual mistakes (like proportions and anatomy)

I create the torso and head for Pinocchio in Super Sculpey Original, then linked with 1mm metal wire.

Posing Pinocchio together with Geppetto. All clay is fresh until now except the Pinocchio armature.

I trying to better fit Pinocchio pose over Geppetto back.

Create better volumes for drapery and recover some shirt mistakes

To create the books on his left hand, I created two little book in Super Sculpey Original, then baked it, linked with a little ciano-glue

I attach the books on his left hand with a drop of glue

Sometimes I take a picture of myself, to have a "live" reference for sculpting.
In this stage I take a picture of my head in the same pose I should want.

Creating first masses and planes for the hand

Creating first part of left hand, and experimenting the bear. I put also some clay on shoulders to create the jacket.

When I should bake my sculpture?

I prefer to bake the sculpture as long I can, obviously.
But it could give you some problems while you're sculpting.
It could happen sometimes while you're working on a specific part, you accidently destroy another one.  :-(

The more clay you mantain unbaked, the more carefully you need to working with.

Test the ultimate position of  Pinocchio

the Pinocchio's head is sculpted separately, just to focus myself on it exclusively. Then i bake it and put it on torso ( previously baked)

To sculpt the hand I often use the Sheperd Paine method, for bust mostly.
5 metal wire pieces with the last one crossed (thumb).

I recommend you to create the right lenght of every finger

I add some clay to create first layer of putty. I suggest you to use some ciano-glue to better stick to the armature. Alternatively you can add some Baby Oil to your polymer clay, in order to make it more sticky.

Eighty Percent complete sculpture

At this time the bust is almost complete (80%).
I attached the Pinocchio's head on his torso, and sculpted the clothes.
For the hands, I sculpted it with some magic sculpt separately then attached to the arms.
Then, I sculpted a tiny Talking Cricket on the palm of Geppetto right hand.

Time Break before Bake

As I said, I prefer to mantain the sculpture fresh as long as I can.
Usually, after the sculpture is 80% complete, I take apart it, without work on it.
This need me to see the sculpture after a little break period, to understand immediately something wrong on composition and other stuff.

Before baking, I clean all the surface accurately with some Turpentine and Isopropyl Alcohol.
This process could take several hours to complete.
You need to check every millimeter of the sculpture, seeing all the surfaces from any angle.

The Little Cat

At this stage, I noticed that the composition is too much static.
I would change the Pinocchio's pose, to make it more dynamic, But this need to sculpt again all, and I didn't want to do that.
So I thought to add another character, just to add variation on the scene.
I supposed to add a little cat, just over the Pinocchio right foot, while it is seeing the cricket with some cusiosity.
This probably is the best solution for me that avoid to sculpt again Pinocchio.

To sculpt the Cat, I create two Magic Sculpt ball, linked with little metal wire and I tried the pose.

The tail is sculpted separately, and baked separately.

Than I applied a little layer of putty, using some ciano-glue.
Sculpting a Cat is almost simple. Just follow some references, and use your imagination.

Baking time. Need to be careful at this stage.

The Pinocchio - Limited Edition bust

designed and sculpted by Daniele "Found" Trovato
52mm at Geppetto's Face
Super Sculpey + FIMO Soft + Mix Quick

this bust will be available only in Limited Edition only through

If you'd want it, please 

Link and resources:
-Found Miniatures
-My Fb Page


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