Sculpting open eyes is the most difficult task in life casting. But learning the skill is essential if you want to create a ‘true to life’ appearance. You can source prosthetic eyes from EnvironMolds.
The most challenging part in making a full body casting is definitely the eyes. It is virtually impossible to make a head mold with open eyes. The model is asked to close the eyes and the alginate is carefully applied over the lids and into the eye cavities. Therefore, the mold depicts the eyes as closed which will then be replicated in the life casting. And the closed eyes obviously make the face cast look dull and lifeless.
Professional life casters keep experimenting with different techniques to ‘open’ the eyes in a head portrait. This usually involves cutting out a part of the eyelid and reconstructing the eyes. Sculpting skills come in handy here as you carefully carve the shape of the eye and use additional plaster to shape the eyelids back on the eyes. You can sculpt the open eyes in plaster or even better, fit in a prosthetic eye from the behind.
The EnvironMolds website www.artmolds.com offers a range of natural-looking glass and acrylic eyes for this purpose. There are varied color options in the irises to suit varied requirements. The flat backed and half round acrylic eyes are easier on the pocket but the blown glass eyes with veining look the most realistic and captivating.
On the other hand, you can skip inserting prosthetic eyes and opt to make a cold casting of the open eyed head cast. Here, you can create a faux porcelain, marble, granite, wood or metal look for the life cast. Varied cold casting powders are available on the EnvironMolds website and the technique is simple – just mix the chosen powder in a resin (or other suitable casting material) and use it to make the life cast. For bigger life casts, you can even spray, brush or dust the cast with a thin coating to get the desired effect. The look will be authentic and captivating!