Sunday, February 12, 2012

Roll Up

With less than a week to go till the launch I thought today you might be interested in all the stages that went into one of the most complex to paint - the Barnum's Bar Bending Ringling Clipperwhip. It all started with a quick sketch and an idea, an idea I really needed to see in 3D so out came the crafting tools and I made myself a mini set to work in.

Using modelling clay I roughly rolled and bent the body into shape adding supports to help the legs from bending. The whole scene is on a lazy Susan, a rotating base used in cake decorating which allows me to move it around without hassle.
 Next came the heads and detail. Paper stripes and spots were added, a little bit of a circus poster for a vintage feel and several fake weights on the left, a cane on the right and in the centre a podium of some sort.
To make it more realistic I added one other element to the background, a bunch of balloons, then darkened the room and lit the scene as I wanted it. The shadows looked great and quite moody, it's this photo that formed the basis for the next stage.
 Transferring the idea to a board using a grid I masked out the Impossimal so I could work on the background unhindered. As it contained stripes this is a usual procedure for me, background first building to foreground then adding in the Impossimal. It's painted on black because I wanted to use the transparency of the paint to show the black through in areas, especially the shadows, and it allows a great use of pinpointing with Titanium White.
Stripes in place so most of the tape could now be removed.
Then the rest of the elements are added along with a straw floor and the important shadows to define depth. Notice the light hitting the ball on the right and the intesity back into the straw beneath as part of the reflection.
 Now we can start on the Impossimal, working from right to left I put in the first layers of colour.
 Then I start detailing, here the teeth are starting to get the rugged look using the grain of the board to help define them.
Finally all the basics are finished, I even added an angry bird on the podium looking to the right of the picture. The idea is of a second painting that includes pigs to explain why the birds are so angry. All that was left was a week of adding colour glazes everyday to really lift the intensity of the colours.
And done! All colours intensified, pinpointing done, shadows made accurate and enriched and a protective layer of touching up varnish applied. Barnum's Bar Bending Ringling Clipperwhip completed in just under five weeks.

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