“Diary of a Dummy Board”-Ride a Cock Horse…

Now is the time to put a bit more detail onto our girl, Belle, on her rocking horse.

There is quite a lot that can be done with the ‘naked eye’ but when we get down to fine detail we will be using two forms of magnification.

Belle and her horse

  • A magnifying glass on a ‘bendy stem’ which has a light attached and which stays put exactly where you align it. There is nothing worse than a magnifyier that has to be so close to the work, in order for you to see the image clearly, that you can’t get a brush underneath ( small point but one often overlooked). I have been known to cut the tops off my brush handles before now.
  • A head set magnifier which is like a pair of glasses held slightly away from your eyes and is the right magnification to magnify the magnifier…if you catch my drift? ( a word of ADVICE – Don’t answer the front door with this on your head. You ‘ll get a name for yourself!)

My work slope, the Apple Mac and Magnifying Lamp

In this way we shall be able to ‘blow up’ the image about tenfold.

Our image, as we said at the beginning of this project, isn’t all that clear so quite a bit of artistic endeavour has to go into the finished product. I will be working from the image on the computer screen. This, I suppose, is where experience comes in. The artist ( whoever they are ) has to use all their wits to conjure up an acceptable image from the blown up picture in front of them- one that is well- when all’s said and done..mostly just a few black and white dots!

See what I mean?

We shall be able to use the picture of the antique rocking horse, too, to help us with locating shadows and deciding on colours etc.

Some dummy boards are incredibly colourful, others are dowdy by comparison.

The photo ( below) is of some of the more colourful miniature figures I have painted and you can see that quite a few paint colours have been used to achieve the effects. They are standing in the ‘dolls house’ that Stephen and I made for displaying our figures.

Go to: www.pastmastery.com to see further pictures.

The 'Gainsborough' dummy boards

We shall be using just a few colours for Julie’s little girl and horse.

  • Yellow Ochre
  • Paynes Grey
  • Raw Umber
  • Cadmium Red
  • Sap Green
  • and Flake White

It won’t be colourful but it will be realistic and will allow those items placed around it in its eventual home, the Edwardian Toy shop, to stand out.

At three thirty in the afternoon, after working on the picture for a couple of hours- here is another photo with the second and thicker layer of paint applied to the board. Belle begins to look a bit more human now. We need to wait for this to dry. Then the final and most detailed layer will go on top. This is where we shall be able to paint the dappling on the horse.

The second layer of paint

It reminds me a bit of the childrens’ rhyme- “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross ” I live ten miles from Banbury and in the centre where the original Banbury Cross was situated, alas no more than a mere fragment in the Museum now, is the most amazing sculpture of that rhyme. I have never seen a more beautifully executed, realistic and amazingly exquisite -yet modern sculpture, worthy of a place in the public eye. Well Done Banbury!

Go to

Banbury Oxfordshire

to see some truly wonderful photos of Banbury’s Fine Lady by Anne Williams and Elizabeth Calvert.

Our Fine Lady will be drying for a couple of days…

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2 Responses to ““Diary of a Dummy Board”-Ride a Cock Horse…”

  1. julie Says:

    This really is wonderful, from such a grainy image you have captured a perfect little face and the angle of the horse is perfect. It is fascinating to watch as the details build up.
    julie xxx

  2. pastmastery Says:

    Thanks Julie,
    Like your dolls,( and your houses) it’s a labour of love! And it’s not finished yet.

    I have been to your blog and read the nice comments from your followers. Thank you every one.

    I just have to say, in answer to the comment from Irene from Edinburgh – she has a figure which I have also done in miniature. I’ll post about it on the entry as I can’t do anything for a while about Belle- while she dries!
    love
    Sue

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