Artist showcase: Alejandro Lechón

In October 2023, the Shapelab team organized their yearly Halloween sculpting challenge. Members of our community were invited to submit their Halloween-themed creations of a cursed creature just being transformed, with the requirement that Shapelab was used for the sculpting. We received numerous excellent entries, but the winning submission was from Alejandro Lechón. Read the article to learn more about his work in his own words.

The Mermaid sculpted in Shapelab and rendered in Blender

The mermaid's journey

written by Alejandro Lechón

I used Shapelab for this project, which is a great tool for any artist – let me explain myself. 

Art is sometimes held back because of the medium in which it is shared. Cinema, photography, illustration, and animation are mostly consumed on flat screens or paper. Nowadays, this has changed, VR has been highly improved over the years, and tools like Gravity Sketch or Quill have taught us that we can also create and consume art from a 3D approach. And here is where Shapelab comes to mind

Screenshots from Shapelab

"Tools are made to enjoy them, not only to use them"

Being physically in front of your sculpt, adding volume, and creating wrinkles just with a stroke, is a priceless experience for an artist. This quality of work is focused on the experience and not on the technical side of digital software. This allows you to spend more time working on your art, which means better results and less frustration at the end of the day. There resides the magical aspect of VR software: tools are made to enjoy them, not only to use them. This is what Shapelab grants the artist, an enjoyable experience that you want to repeat once it is over.

Workflow of creating the mermaid's journey

Speaking of my latest work: The mermaid. There’s a strong bond between artist and artwork, forged on the way of getting there. And it is also conditioned to the medium. 

This piece took me from 6 to 8 hours. I started placing down the basic shapes (spheres, cubes, and cylinders) that would structure the model. After I got a general feeling of weight that was conceivable, I started smoothing down this structure. 

Once that was done, it was time to get into detailing. Using the Alpha masked brushes, I made those wrinkles, and muscles came to life when adding some energetic veins. The hair and wings got quite realistic as soon as I spent some time creating creases and depths. 

Hours of struggle and hard work transformed into something new that used to be an idea. 

In that process, the model changed drastically due to the sculpting but this metamorphosis was fluent and proficient due to the possibility of me coexisting with my piece. 

Alejandro Lechón is a 3D artist based in Madrid. Check out his website to learn more about his projects, and follow him on his Instagram and Tiktok channels!