I’m going to detail here my process for making some of my pieces.
The Angel Martian started with a ballpoint pen sketch done on a scrap piece of paper that I took a picture of:
This sketch was then edited in photoshop to make the background white and create a grayscale version which feeds into the shapeways 2D to 3D tool (here: https://www.shapeways.com/creator/2dto3d) which takes the sketch and converts the blacker areas to higher spots and the lighter areas to lower spots on a plane. This then gives an object with a flat back and a raised relief surface that doesn’t look machine made. The resulting 3D model can be taken out of Shapeways and placed into a program called Netfabb that will convert it into a format that my modeling software (Blender) can understand. Inside Blender I duplicate the piece and mirror it to make the flat back side into a mirror image of the raised relief side. To make this in steel it needs to be about 3mm in thickness. It could be thinner if I wanted to have it in Brass or Bronze or Silver but steel is more economical and fits with the rougher feel of the piece.
The famous “Angel Martian with Power Pack” inspired by a friend encouraging me to create work closer to the hand drawn art I make. Initially I didn’t think people wanted to see rough lines like this. I was focused on creating smooth clean lines and retracing my handwork but this surprised me and turned out to be a new direction/technique that I have continued working with. The name “Angel Martian with Power Pack” comes from my wife who understands these things better than I do.