Steampunk Myths and Legends Entry: Nathan Stromwasser


Nathan Stromwasser is entered in the “Steampunk Myths and Legends” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Work In Progress: Final gather and some WIP shots


The Tower of Babel is a strong candidate for myth I will consider. I think its relevant to modern times too. The Evil eye, Jonah or Samson could be fun too.


Its looking like the Golem might be it. Jonah and the fish, would require rendering water, and wet hair. Jacob wrestling the angel (woudl have to be a seraphim, 6 winged angel), may be insulting to orthodox Jews. I really do like that idea, so I may eventually just model a seraphim the way I see it someday. Tower of Babel is way to complex for 8 weeks. I’d have to model at least 10 characters, and a huge semi built tower.

If I do go with golem. The rabbi, will be a hassidic mechanic working on a hulking robot’s head on some sort of work table. In the background will be the headless, steam powered, robot. I really want to mess around with exagerated forearms, and maybe 5-6 head height models. The robot will probably be 10 heads high.


I'm just trying out different styles of head bases to design. I'm a bit partial to the mid one, but it doesn't have a great silhouette. I'm not quite sure yet on how to tackle the side profile. The idea is a steam punk version of the Golem hopefully in 3d if time permits. 

This will take place in some sort of steampunkish Jewish ghetto flat. He is also going to have more tattered clothes.


I look forward to seeing this in 3D. Good luck!


The idea of this image is to figure out the basic layout and camera angle of illstration. The big yellow box is the golem looming overhead. The dark grey box is the Rabbi. And the Yellow box on the table is the Golem’s head, which the rabbi will be working on. He may have a zohar book in his hand as well.

Which of these 6 do you prefer? I will set up another composition with an even taller height to width ratio.


Thanks for the support!
I hope I have time to complete it on time. Its going to be tricky to convert to 3d, because of the angular nature I was thinking it would be.


I like your approach of setting up the scene only with the boundary boxes. If you are doing an even taller ratio i would opt for something between version 2 and 3 with an even larger wideangle lens to dramatize the image. Will you play with shadows like in the 1920’s silent movies Golem or Cabinet of Dr. CaligarI? I look forward to the result.



I just tried an angle like that. I will have to add some sort of lighting device to the table so create a stronger composistion, forming a triangle and post that today. I haven’t had a chance to see the Golem film. I have seen caligari, which has really cool shadow design. I may be ablle to get great shadows by making the characters very stylized. I have the basics of what the man will wear down. I will post some new images soon. Its heavily inspired by Herschel and the Hannukah Goblins, illustrated by [b][b]Trina Schart Hyman

[/b][/b]. His clothing I think will easily translate to steampunk, yet retain the shtetl look. The character is going to be very lanky, at about 9 heads tall or 8 heads tall.

If I can figure out how to combine clay and steam parts, I think that will make a great golem. THe biggest challenge has been finding time with work and personal life.


Just a quick sketch to get a sense of how the rabbi is built. I do like the eyeless glasses. But that may make him look sinister. Also I want to push the angular nature of the character. But I play with some curves for interest.


This is just a test sculpt of the rabbi’s head. Not finished, but enough of its there to get the idea. I was thinking of faceting the face, once its done.


This is some of my reference images for Rabbi Loew. I could not find larger images of Herchel and the Hannukah Goblins, but I have the book as a source. I have also ordered 1920 golem for its stylized architecture, and the Dybbuk for atmosphere. What makes him steampunk will be his goggles, hat decals, and tools.

One of the hardest aspects in making Rabbi Loew stylized, I think, is going too far out there or too stereotypical. I DO NOT want his nose to not be a main feature of his face. Although it will have to be vertically long do to the shape of the head. He’s going to be quite a tall character too, although that will be negated by the size of the Golem.


Just to show how tall and skinny the rabbi is. Kind of a UVA cartoon style too. I’m not sure how I will transfer it to 3d easily. Also he needs more accesories that will steampunkify him. The bars behind him are his head length for reference. comments and crits are welcome. Just to keepp in mind, this Rabbi Loew is assembling the steam powered golem. The golem will protect his village from blood libel programs.


Here’s some various golem and ape like robots which may be helpful in designing the golem. I really like Keith Thompson idea of having the Golem resemble a high priest of the Temple.Not wild about how organic the piece is though. The other golems like characters came from google and yahoo searches. I may look to Bioshock for further inspiration. The golem does need to resemble the Rabbi in my version, to keep a theme of creation in it. And I was thinking a clay mask for the face, to etch in “Amet” in Hebrew.


Some more compositions. The more choices I think the better. I’m leaning toward 9, but there might be a better way. I do want to draw over these, using their perspective as a guide. I still don’t think these have much of an impact composition wise.


Very nice concept. I like that RABBI guy type of concept you are going with. Very unique:thumbsup:


Some loose golem designs from the computer. The rightmost bottom one is based on a Giacommetti sculpture. The other ones are just various ideas. The bottom left one I was thinking of trying abnormally short arms, to give it an odd proportion. The upper left one has a giant camera eye embedded in its torso. I could refine these further, into more details. I also have sketches in pen which I will upload on Monday, at work.

I see the robot as either a helper bot, ape like or in the image of the rabbi. A rabbi golem might be cool looking!


The rough proportions of the rabbi in a complete zsphere structure. No beard so he looks a bit odd with just a top hat. The arm proportions are off though. Too long.

@madshooter- thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the compliment. I wasn’t sure if he was a likeable character, yet.


I’m not sure if he’s likable - the long arms and hands make him very creepy, and any time you hide someone’s eyes it has a distancing effect - but he certainly is unique and interesting. And the model is looking really nice so far.

I like some of your ideas for the golem, especially the wider, thicker ones, maybe with the shorter limbs you discussed - they could be a nice contrast to the rabbi. Good luck!


lol!! sorry buddy. i was thinking about “wormtail” when i was typing.

I will do about 3 -4 shaders for him then ps them and mask each layers for my needs. but I definitely love the feeling of that suit, maybe not the best for kong, but i love it.