First off…to the individual who plagiarized my last post and placed it on his own website…you did a poor job but nonetheless managed to reach a new low. I’ve reported this and will be monitoring the outcome.
Now back to it…
Once I had the body roughed in, it was time to start adding some detail. I decided on denim overalls cut high on the leg to show off her black and white saddle shoes. Some work with a knife and gouge followed up with some wood burning of clothing lines, stitches and deepening of wrinkles was all that was needed to get into painting. When you’re adding wrinkles, don’t leave things to guesswork…look at photos of similar poses or just look in the mirror as you pose for yourself and make sure that you’re getting the wrinkle lines going in the right directions.
The hat and it’s placement was next in line and I approached it as I normally have in the past…brim and crown carved separately and then glued together. The only difference in this carving is that the hat would not be sitting on the head of the figure. So, a few things…I gave some thought to measuring the head of the figure so that the hat would look the right size…I made the side of the brim flatter where it would be held by the hand and I made the other side that would be high in the air have a greater curl…finally, I had to carve out the inside of the crown because you’d be able to see up into the hat when it was positioned on the girl’s outstretched hand.
I painted things up using my normal technique of washes, or thin coats, of acrylic paint followed with some darkening of recesses and wrinkles and then dry brushing for wear on clothing. The final dry brushing placed a very light “fanning” of a light beige colour to catch the peaks of the knife marks and provide another dimension of depth to the painting. Everything was topped off with a light coat of satin urethane for protection.
As I started gluing things together, I added metal pins here and there for positioning and extra strength. A good example is where the figure’s “behind” meets the rolled blanket. A couple of short pieces of copper wire ensured that I had a secure footing for the small dabs of epoxy that I placed.
The bit for the horse’s mouth was fashioned from a safety pin after taking a look at how Lynn Doughty had created the bits that he had used for larger horse caricatures. I just snipped the ends of a safety pin, gave one end a ninety degree bend and epoxied them in place. The reins are leather and were sliced from an old wallet that I had laying around. I used a latex glue used for fabrics called “Tear Mender” to fold over and glue the rougher side of the leather.
There’s nothing terribly noteworthy about the small add-ons that I carved…a baseball and glove…other than the child’s lunchbox. For the first time, I transferred an image to a piece of wood. There are all kinds of how-to Youtube videos on this subject that use a variety of methods, maybe the most popular being the use of Mod-Podge. I didn’t have any on hand, so I used white glue with pretty good results.
Basically, I printed an image of “Dudley Do-Right”, a 1960’s children’s cartoon, onto regular printer paper. Because their was text on the image, I printed it in its reverse image. After coating the wood with white glue, I squeegied the paper down. After everything was dry and a combination of peeling the paper back and adding a tiny bit of water to remove more paper, an image was left on the lunch box. A urethane finish took any cloudiness out of the transferred image.
I wanted the base to look like an old department store floor, so I went with black and light grey tiles. After marking the tiles with pencil, I burned the lines in place so that when I applied thin coats of paint, the alternating colours would not bleed into one another…the paint would only flow as far as the burned line. I then took grey and white and sprayed some droplets over the whole thing by running my finger along a flat brush just a couple of inches above the painted floor.
And after some gluing, that’s another very enjoyable project completed. I hope that you’ve enjoyed following along.