Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vivandiere - Started the painting

I've started painting the figure, but still have some crafting and final painting touches to go. As I need a break from the painting table, I thought I would post the work in progress.

I still have the cuff details to paint, and I am still considering whether to paint braid on the jacket, but for the most part the figure painting is done.

The crafting that remains is the cup in her out-stretched (left) hand and the spigot and measuring beaker on the alcohol barrel. Maybe I will add a strap for the barrel, made out of twine, too.

The main challenge for this figure was the right arm. If I had the barrel on the side (which is made from two flat-head plugs glued together), the arm needed to be draped over it, which means a bend in the arm. Wanting to keep with the all-wood construction as much as possible - I did not want to craft an arm out of putty - I decided to see what I could do about bending a curve into wood.

I started with the craft stick, shaping it as I would any other figure's arm (although I deliberately made it so it was not as wide as the others). Then I took a sander and sanded out a rounded space in the middle of the arm, so the bend would be easier.
 To make the draping of the arm less exaggerated I sanded an curve into the side of the figure so the barrel wound be on the hip. I took the arm and soaked it in water for about 15 minutes, then started to slowly bend the arm around a small dowel. With the bend starting to form properly (the wood did not break), I pinned and glued the upper arm to the body and let it dry a bit. I then carefully glued the inside of the arm, wet the outside, then pressed it against the barrel so the arm would wrap around it. Once the glue had hardened, I filled in the gaps with Crayola Modeling Magic Fusion and painted over everything.

All in all I am very satisfied with how this figure is turning out. I've started pinning the arms to get a better bond now. More on that in the next blog entry, which shows a Greek warrior in the Trojan War period.

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