Just in time for the holidays!
Build "Toasty the Snowman" for a family photo to grace your holiday greetings.
Perhaps your photoshop skills are rusty or non-existent or maybe you just feel up to the challenge of building something bigger. If you have never used forms before you will find my book Sandcastle Made Simple to be of invaluable assistance.... but you can get the readers digest version of working with forms here.
Advantages: If you do this right, you will have a stunning holiday photo of your family -- no photoshop experience necessary!
Disadvantages: It is not as easy as I make it look.
What you need:
- GOOD sand*
- Buckets and buckets of water
- Forms - Radforms will work but SoBstackers work better
- Sandcarving tools
- a selection of decorative elements - natural or otherwise - for facial and clothing features
Use the forms to create a very large mass of compacted sand
Carve away everything that doesn't look like a snowman
Decorate with shells, a carrot, bits of coal, palm fronds, a scarf -- whatever is handy
Pose and photograph!
The undercut that defines the roundness of the snowball is the essential cut that will make the sculpture read "snowman." It is also the most dangerous cut you can make. If your sand is lacking in natural silt or clay; if you didn't use enough water or compact the sand into the forms with enough enthusiasm; if you cut too deeply or if gravity is especially strong that day, your snowguy can quickly devolve into a messy pile of disorganized sand.
You can minimize the risk of causing your snowman's early demise and still get the right shape by using an old sculptor trick: clothing! Check out the photo of "Toasty" the Sandman. See how my partner and I craftily disguised the fact that we were too scared to undercut all the way around by outfitting him with a scarf and vest? And see how we undercut deeply wherever the vest wasn't to suggest roundness? The vest provides support and the deep cuts behind the vest flaps put shadows in the right places.
The Easiest Way of All!
If you are anywhere in the vicinity of South Padre Island, TX on Dec. 19, you can get your family all gussied up in their holiday finery and have your photo taken with this year's version of Toasty at Boomerang Billy's Beach. We start building at noon - please come join me!
* if you are not fortunate enough to have GOOD sand to work with, there are ways to improve the sand you have. My book - Sandcastles Made Simple - goes into a lot of detail on this very subject!