I was sitting on the edge of the woods, smoking my pipe. listening to the wind in the trees and watching a couple of squirrels. I had work that I needed to do, but I decided that I also needed a break.
That became my inspiration for a new gnome. I did a few doodles and came up with a pose that I liked. I also wanted to have him on a mossy log or branch, so I adjusted the sketch until I had a final concept.
The first thing that I did in ZBrush was to rough in where the gnome would be sitting, and also match the diameter of the base with a 3″ wood base that I planned to use.
I exported my sketch from Procreate with a transparent background as a .PNG file. This allows me to load the image into Spotlight inside of ZBrush and float it above my workspace as a reference, without the background obscuring my viewport. The Stump is drawn with Zspheres to match the sketch.
After converting it into a mesh, I sculpted the wood and extracted some bark. then once that was ready, I masked and extracted the areas that I wanted to be covered with moss. To create the moss texture, I used surface noise and inflate.
I started blocking in the gnome with two spheres and a cone. I used the curve tube brush to draw the legs and arms (you can see the right arm in this screenshot is still just a tube). Those simple shapes are subdivided and dynameshed so that the details can be sculpted. the beard area is just roughed in, because I know I will be building it later.
Here is a closeup of that arm. The arm and hand are finished, holding the pipe. I’ve extracted geometry to make the sleeve. I will use the cloth move brush to shape it before sculpting the details and stitching…
The beard is made using the Alpha curve brush. Each lock of hair is drawn as a curve, with an irregular shaped black and white image defining the cross-section of the lock of hair as it is extruded along the curve. The lock is tapered at one end, and because the stroke is a curve, you can manipulate it, twist it and move it into place before you commit to it.
Here is the model, 3Dprinted in resin. I was very pleased that all of my mushrooms printed and nothing broke off! Printed with Mighty4K using 3DRS Hard Grey resin.
Using an airbrush, I primed the model in black. Then I used grey primer at a downward angle to simulate ambient lighting. The “zenithal” priming brings out the details and will enhance the painting, even though it will be covered.
I have made a step-by-step tutorial, if you are wanting to paint your own gnomes–Here is the link
Here is the finished gnome, enjoying his pipe!
I hope that you enjoyed this look at the process. If you are into 3Dprinting, you can get the STL to print your own on my Patreon. If you would like to just buy the finished figurine, I have them available (unpainted, bronze, hand-painted) on my Etsy shop.