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Well, Jazzy primed her animals today, and I've sanded the base down all nice and smooth. This one should take off in all of its (attempted) tree/bush/grass/fairy ring/animal/sandy glory! Maybe even before the Bladesinger is done.

 

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Not a ton to report. I didn't have a lot of time yesterday to paint on either project really, but the base was sanded, prepped, and stained. It needs to be sealed (we're going to use the spray sealer, as I don't feel like messing with resin), but we're probably going to wait as it's very humid today. It's always humid in Louisiana, so the observation is moot. Of course, this is another reason that we're using a spray sealer rather than a resin kit. Anyway, here are the results...

 

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Okay! THE BOSS (a.k.a.: Jazmine) has given me a very specific set of instructions on how to paint up her "fairy." I've had a few days to decompress from the Bladesinger, so now's a good time to get started. There are a lot of greens, blues, and purples going on there, but I'm going to do my best to get it done the way she wants her done.

 

The plan is that she's requested that I paint up Liriel, and she'll do most of the work on the animals. We'll do the work on the base together. Hopefully we'll get some time to work on this tomorrow during the day as well, so we'll see some progression on the animals. I'll post pics when I get this done...

 

I am almost persuaded to just upgrade my stupid iPhone 4 instead of buying a digital camera. I'm DUE an upgrade. I've been due an upgrade for 4 or so years.... In the meantime, I'l use the 4 for WIP's and break out the Casio and the lights on occasion.... 

 

As always, critiques and suggestions are always welcome! It's the only way we'll get any better!  :blush:

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So I've modified the original color scheme a bit, so I'll have to review it with THE BOSS to make sure it's okay. I did make my first attempt at colored irises, which resulted in Liriel getting a soapy toothbrush to the face after the 6th or so time of failing to get the right eye to look right. Even after the re-prime, re-paint, and re-eye, they still look kind of funny. I'll work on it later after some sleep. I may be able to fudge her left eye to make it true. I think there's a bit of walnut below the lt. pupil that's giving the illusion of her eye being out of true... or I'm just up too late and my eyes are looking like that....  :wacko:

 

I was thinking about trying to do a harlequin patter or stripes on her pants, but then I wised up. At any rate, at least she's finally started, and that's the important part. I *may* change my mind on this...

 

Speaking of which, are there any painting wood tutorials out there? She's got that lute and we've got to get it presentable... Enjoy, and thank you for your comments/advice!

 

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I like those colors, and how you applied them. I hope the boss approves. Those eyes look good. Yep, that's a bit brown intruding on the left eye. Just a bit into the eye itself and a bit below the eye socket. A bit of clean up and I think they will be well situated.

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Jazzy's pretty cool with the work up overall. Her comments were that the pants were supposed to be purple, until I showed her the sheet we worked up. I think she's just concerned because everything is so dark. I had to assure her that the pants would be lighter  ^_^

 

She also made the comment that she looked cross eyed. I agreed, citing the above need for correcting the bit of paint. We'll see what happens. Won't be the first time she had her eyes redone. LOL!

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Happy DST people! Hope you SPRUNG ahead, or else you're going to be very early to church in the morning.... At any rate, we've been birthday partying it up all day for Jazzy (she turns 7 on the 17th... The party had to come early due to a big city event I'm tied to), and of course it's DST, so I didn't want to be up too late painting. So instead, I worked on the tree.

 

We'll be following the tutorial as laid out by Corporea and her awesome Maple Tree! We will be attempting to make a Live Oak, or at least something that resembles some sort of Oak. If it has branches and leaves on it, we'll call it a success! Please note that this may be somewhat redundant of Corporea's tutorial, but I'm cataloguing it for my own journalistic purposes... Here we go!

 

I started twisting wires together (24g, silver coated jewelry wire. There's some at Lowe's missing the fancy plating, for a lot more wire for a lot less cost. We'll buy that next time...). However, I found that I'm not that great at doing it by hand, as I don't really have any hemostats. However, I did manage to find a way to make very pretty twists using a few things I had laying around the house. This pics shows my first 2 attempts, then what I ended up with.

 

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I have a 3" Irwin clamp on vice that I originally purchased to hold basswood blanks for cutting out for wood carving. As I was having fits holding everything together with the needle nose pliers, I simply evened out the ends of the wire after folding it in half, and put them in the vice.

 

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Then I inserted the handle of a cheap paint brush into the loop, and holding it loosely in my hand. This allowed me to turn it like a crank, and create a very beautiful braid of wire like so:

 

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This pic shows my first 2 attempts compared to the next 2:

 

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I went ahead and put the ends of the first 2 and gave them the same treatment. They straightened out nicely!

 

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I then put the loops of 2 wires into the vice to begin twisting them into a tree. I did this with each pair, twisting them to approximately the same height. I made 7 strands in all.

 

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The vice let me twist the wires, placing the loops at various distances to make roots of varying length. This is what I ended up with using 7 braids of wire. 

 

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I used Liriel for scale to check the height of the branching limbs. She won't be permanently set up in the diorama, so she's just a temporary measurement. She's mounted on a stump anyway, so it wouldn't make much sense to stick her so close to a permanent tree anyway. 

 

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This is the approximate positioning of the tree on the diorama. We're also putting a fairy ring in there as well, so we're leaving plenty of room for that as well. 

 

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And our branches have branched out into two main limbs. We're going to mold and shape those as we go, as Live Oaks have enormous branching limbs, sometimes reaching down to touch the ground. We may need to add length, but we'll see what we end up with. 

 

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Okay, so we may add some more wire depending on how wild Jazzy wants to get with this scene. I'm thinking the tree could take up the entire diorama if we wanted it to. This behemoth is the Sallier (Sal-Yay) Oak in Lake Charles. It's 375 years old and literally has chains that helped hold it together. I think it was damaged in a storm, and a lot of the tree just grew around them... It's been a while since I've visited it... I really like that tree! (I actually had my first kiss under that tree!  :rolleyes: )

 

These things are massively beautiful trees. It'll likely be a while before I can capture all of that in a mini, but we'll give it a good shot.  :poke:

Edited by Kharsin
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Very Late for Church this morning!    Spring ahead 1 hour... :huh:   and at -10 celsius ( 14 fahrenheit)  it sure does not feel like spring!  Like the tree and please keep posting you WIP's as the more tutorials I can see the better chance I will actually attempt it.

 

PS for twisting wire you can also use a LOW speed drill.  Simple put the loops in the chuck, secure as you did the ends and pull the trgigger while maintaing tension.

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That is COLD! We shut down everything at 32 degrees... We'd all die in -10, or at least everyone would think so.

 

We'll definitely keep posting pics! I'm going to have to repair the tree a bit as the cat and dog did a tag team on the tree. I'm guessing it didn't taste very good as it had very little damage to it...

 

Thanks for the suggestion of the drill! Mine is somewhere... It moves between church and home with the majority of time spent at church...

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Didn't do any painting, but I did get a chance to work on the tree some. I don't want to be up incredibly late tonight so I'm not painting and will pick up the tree in a night or two... if I don't paint.  :upside:

 

At any rate, I added a few more strands of twisted wire to add length to the branches. I also attached the tree to a wooden disk in order to attach it to something to make it stand. The canopy of this tree will be quite large, and some of the branches may even stretch to the ground, as you can see on the Sallier oak above. I may or may not do this... We'll have to see what it ends up doing. 

 

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Then, I started adding Milliput, according to what I remember about Corporea's tutorial, and what it said in the instruction "manual" (paper, really) that came in the Milliput. Below is the tree I ended up with, albeit short a few branches. I'm pretty satisfied with it as it's my first go at sculpting in miniature, and working with putty of any type. 

 

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I wasn't sure what to do with the "flakies" sitting on the outside of the gouges. I figure they'll be easy enough to sand/knock off whenever the tree dries. I'm having fun with the Milliput! It's a big mess when using your wet finger to smooth it out, but still, a great experiment none the less. Stay tuned for more!

 

Incidentally, what color paints has everyone used to paint wood? I mean, this will be primed when finished then painted, and my brown pallete is somewhat limited. I say that, but then again, it's not THAT limited. Oaks around here range from a dirty black/brown to a whitish crusty look, covered in moss.... Hmmm....

Edited by Kharsin
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Incidentally, what color paints has everyone used to paint wood? I mean, this will be primed when finished then painted, and my brown pallete is somewhat limited. I say that, but then again, it's not THAT limited. Oaks around here range from a dirty black/brown to a whitish crusty look, covered in moss.... Hmmm....

 

I use mostly greys with only a hint of brown for the bark: cloudy grey, with a bit of brown mixed in, and misty grey. I also use grey liner as a shading color, though it does dry rather shiny. I usually carefully dry brush the greys on to help keep the texture rough looking. For interest, I'll add in a patch or two of a dark olive and/or yellow.

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The hint of brown is very accurate. I was looking at pics and seeing that the color pattern of live oaks around here look a lot more like the Bladesinger's rock than other trees, the main difference being the texture of the bark. There's a certain vine that grows all over them as well... More research!

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