A little Brown to our White…

Now I have got a bit of energy back, have a bit less of the bone ache and have recovered from my exertions, it’s about time I got on with the two commissions I have been working on for the past couple of weeks.
The next commission  it seems, is soon to arrive, so I had better move on. Stephen and I spent a little part of the last weekend just throwing around a few ideas about    ” Downpark”, our proposed dolls house project ( see A Home at Last ) but nothing is as yet on paper. We shall probably do some work on it over Easter and if we do, you will be the first to see anything we have decided.

We have a pair of curtains to make too …mind you…. for our guest room. Stephen is a dab hand at the sewing machine. And there is a garden that needs a bit of attention. He’ll take care of that too. Oh…and just a spot of indoor decorating that needs finishing.Yes, he’s good at that as well!

No… you can’t borrow him! 🙂

So, – the little French waiter and the Dutch Lacemaker miniature dummy boards are now dry. We shall today put on the ‘detail’ of the last layer of paint.This is where I shall work exclusively under two magnifiers.

If we want to remind ourselves of how they looked when we left them last week, we can go to A Bit of a Mixture if we like and scroll down to the bottom to have a look?

There should now be quite a good dry base of oil on the bass wood, for adding detail in fairly thin paint and with a very small brush. This is going to be important when we come to the features of the waiter, René and the bobbins, lace and embroidered cap of the Lacemaker.

When painting a dummy board from an illustration, one that isn’t an existing figure, it’s necessary to be economical with the features that make up the design, particularly if you are painting in 1/24th. It’s not possible to dot every tiny i and cross every minute t. The features have to be distilled. They have to be pared down to the minimum and the artist needs to work out what is practical to make the figure work. With our French waiter we have actually got very little to go on as the illustration is so small in itself and is not very detailed anyway.

Certain features can be exaggerated to make him a bit more realistic.For example we cannot see his right arm – it’s just a black blob and even though the left arm is shown it isn’t much better delineated. The artist has to make it up as he or she goes along. With our French Waiter, we have added a little brown to our white, in places, to show how his clothes sit. These would otherwise just be plain..black.

The Lacemaker is a little different. We have quite a lot of detail in the original and when we blow it up on the computer  screen, we can see quite well what is required. Below we are looking at the detail of the sleeve with the chair and part of the arm.

Quite daunting isn’t it? However, here too we have to decide what we can leave out and what we must retain to preserve the integrity of the image.

The other important thing about dummy boards is that they are painted on wood.

I have been asked quite a few times why I don’t paint on another easier and less temperamental medium…. like Ivorine ( a very smooth ivory substitute), or vellum        ( calfskin). Simply – the original dummy boards are wood and I want to be true to the history of my form. So when I paint a figure on wood, I want it to look like wood still…underneath the paint. The full sized dummy boards do… when you get up close. And so must mine.

To that end, I have worked uninterrupted this afternoon. Delphi Dog has gone with Stephen to work and so I don’t need to take her for her customary walks.

She will be tearing around a very large garden, wading in the pond/ cum lake after frogs, helping to dig holes for tree planting and rolling in the muck heap! The earth, as you can see in the area where they were working last week, was a nice soft brown.

She is usually, as you know, a white dog with a few black and brown patches. She has added – like our French Waiter- a little brown to her white! 🙂

This is how she looked last Friday after only half a day with Daddy….

A brown dog with a few white patches!

Now I know why they call it Dog Tired!

And she was falling asleep on her paws

So – after working on the French waiter dummy board figure for not quite two hours, this is how he  looks now. I shall send this picture to the client and keep my fingers crossed.

The two inch waiter.

We shall add just a few more touches before it must dry thoroughly. We can PVA him then – you remember that really useful stuff? If not, click here Coming-a-Cropper

and then you will see what it is we use PVA for and why. This evening I shall do a little more to the Lacemaker and you shall see what she looks like tomorrow.

But not before we have given DD a

B -A -T -H ! ( see Dog Digression ) More like an under – carriage swill actually.

I wonder if PVA ( Pet Varnish Additive – perhaps ) might work on DD? Mmm, there’s a thought!


2 Responses to “A little Brown to our White…”

  1. Mags Cassidy Says:

    Love that Waiter, Sue.

  2. pastmastery Says:

    Thanks Mags

    1/24ths are such difficult ones to do but when they turn out alright- it’s great!


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