In 2013 I have started a collaboration with CD PROJEKT RED. The first published project was the concept and sculpture of Geralt fighting a Moonwraith. The small sketch below has been created with the Collectors Edition in mind, but finally has been published with another project of mine that you might also know - Geralt fighting the Griffin. Months of work went into this project. From the first concept sketch to the large scale statue that has been produced in an edition of 33, which have been sent all over the globe. To this day, the first cast sits at the Lobby of CDPR at their Warsaw Headquarters.
I would like to give you some insight on the creation of this sculpture. All work, starting from the concept model through casting in polystone, handpainting of the casts to organizing the global shipment took around a year.
The first step was creating a series of concept models that explored the narration of the piece. At this stage it was essential to make decisions regarding the scene, to set the volumes, shapes, dynamic direction and proportions of the whole composition. In short: Finding the idea which would then be realized in large scale. The Witcher is entangled with the Moonwraith back to back as they were in some sort of deadly dance, waiting to deal the first strike.
The next step was to translate the small scale concept sketch into a large model made of clay. I did not want to achieve a very smooth look, but to add a lot of character and texture to the sculpture. Most attention was added to certain focal areas while others remained rough. Clay is an excellent material to convey both a strong individual character as well as fine detail.
I am usually doing this type of sculptures on a specially designed, rotary table to reach every element easily and evaluate it from every side constantly.
I have realized this commission for CD PROJEKT RED with my fellow sculptors and friends Adam Świerżewski i Artur Wochniak.
As mentioned earlier, some elements of the sculpture has been executed precisely while others have remained rough. The general tone was ment to be rather rough and I think that this is a quality and much in the spirit of this project and these characters. However, the armour had to be precise. Others like the Skin, the hair and the fabrics worked better with a rougher finish. The goal was not to create a technically perfect, smooth piece but an expressive sculpture that would convey the wild nature of it´s characters.
The next step was to create a cast made of plaster of paris. This was a physically demanding job and it took us a long time. At this stage we have also tweaked certain elements of the armour. The process of casting in gypsum is a very technical one: The statue itself is hollow and reinforced with an inner construction.
Below is the final look of the gypsum cast, the Witcher in all his glory. The Sword and the Scythe were made of wood.
In order to create 33 identical pieces we had to create a multi part silicone mold. Thanks to meticulous planning, we could stop worrying about any mishaps down the road. The whole sculpture was divided into 30 elements, resulting in as many silicone molds. Casting makes it easy to produce a large amount of copies in a relatively short period of time. The whole team has worked hard on this: Artur Wochniak, Aleksandra Jusefów, Michał Furmaniak and also me.
Once the casts were made it was time to paint the sculpture. This stage was supervised by my Friend Adam Świerżewski and executed by Iwona Górecka, who did an amazing job painting all statues.
Here you can see the paint pattern for the paintjob of the Witcher Statue. Special thanks to Mrs. Iwona, amazing job!
This is what the final look of the Witcher Statue was. 32 Statues were sent out all over the globe. There was so much work to be done that I did not have time to take proper pictures. What will be next, you might ask? We will see!
Each of the Statues received their authentic Witcher III - Wild Hunt Sign.
Our studio got crowded with Geralts really fast. The painting was executed by 6 people under supervision of Mrs. Iwona
That is her, an amazing artist!
Some selected shots of the Statue. In order to finish the commission on time, we had to come up with simple, yet effective painting techniques that would allow us to paint 33 similar versions in a comparatively short period of time. Thanks to these techniques it´s hard to tell a difference between them. If we were asked to complete a single Statue we would have utilized more sophisticated painting techniques, surely having resulted in an even more imposing final look. I am certain that those, who saw the statue in real life won´t feel underwhelmed in the slightest. All in all this whole project was one big adventure and source of valuable experience.
Looking back on this project now I feel grateful for the passion and heart that my whole team has put into this, especially: