In a process that combines elements of painting, mosaics and sculpture — and perhaps bears some relation to the image making process known as quilling (see my post on Yulia Brodskaya) — Washington, DC-based illustrator and designer Joseph Barbaccia creates his illustrations with colored strands of polymer clay.
Working from pencil sketches, Barbaccia create an initial concept image in Photoshop, prints it and places it against the back of a sheet of glass. He selects the colors of his polymer clay — familiar to many dimensional artists by the brand name “Sculpy” — and creates uniform strands by running the clay through a pasta maker. The strands are then painstakingly cut to length and trimmed to pointed ends before being placed in position. There is a bit more detail on his website page describing his process.
The result is a fascinating combination of areas that combine color, texture and direction in defining the forms, the latter often giving his images a feeling of motion.
Barbaccia’s images are most often portraits or caricatures of well-known people, though he also works with children’s illustration and other subjects.