Sean Kenney: Art with LEGO bricks
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Zach     ‹ Back to artwork
Photo of Zach
21" x 12" x 10"        2,500 LEGO elements.        Completed December 25, 2010
Life-size LEGO portrait by artist Sean Kenney.  LEGO portraits

Imagine opening a box and seeing a LEGO sculpture of yourself! This life-size bust sculpture of LEGO-maniac Zach (and his brother Burk) was commissioned by their mother and given to him as a Christmas present. It was a great honor to have created something so special for these boys.

The sculpture is about 20 inches tall and contains about 2,500 LEGO pieces.

Life-size LEGO portrait by artist Sean Kenney.  LEGO portraits

Creating curved shapes with LEGO bricks is quite challenging. Creating human faces is even more challenging. And creating the face of someone you've never met is definitely the toughest challenge any artist can face! It was also a great experience and a lot of fun, because I was given the luxury of spending my entire summer working on these two busts (unlike lots of other projects when I must rush like crazy to complete them).

Life-size LEGO portrait by artist Sean Kenney.  LEGO portraits


Brothers

I built sculptures of these two brothers together. See more photos of the other sculpture. (After building Zach, in the blue shirt, Burk specifically requested a shirtless bust, so he would look more like a classic Roman sculpture.) Those two dark-tan 2x2 bricks are possibly the world's first LEGO nipples. :)

Life-size LEGO portrait by artist Sean Kenney.  LEGO portraits

Life-size LEGO portrait by artist Sean Kenney.  LEGO portraits

Life-size LEGO portrait by artist Sean Kenney.  LEGO portraits



How'd he do that??

Creating human faces with LEGO bricks is always very challenging. I began by getting lots of photos of Zach ... side views, front views, and anything I could get ahold of. I drew his face onto specially-designed graph paper that has a grid designed to the same proportions of LEGO bricks. Then, using the drawings as a guide and looking at all the photos, I built a test face. Then another, and another, each time making little changes until after lots and lots of test models and prototypes, the sculpture eventually started to take shape. It takes lots of time and patience!


Life-size LEGO portrait by artist Sean Kenney.  LEGO portraits

Life-size LEGO portrait by artist Sean Kenney.  LEGO portraits


The eyes are always the hardest part. Here's a sneak-peek into how I built them... (they are mini-fig frying pans!) Eyes are always really hard, because if they are even the tiniest bit off they look completely ridiculous. Since Zach's eyes are rather narrow-set, I mounted them with clips and turned them a bit so that they appear offset by a quarter-stud. In addition, the jumper plates around his eyes are offset in two directions, creating corners that are only a quarter-of-a-plate using a fair bit of fancy LEGO voodoo.

Life-size LEGO portrait by artist Sean Kenney.  LEGO portraits

 


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©1998-2014 Sean Kenney Design, Inc. LEGO®, the minifigure, and the brick configuration are property of The LEGO Group of Companies, which does not sponsor, own, or endorse this site.