The tree is painted and I am pretty happy with the way it is coming together. Below is a picture of the colors I was working with. (I'm not sure why I added the glue in the photo, I did not add glue to the paint, LOL) I used Hippo Grey, Burnt Umber, Toffee, Dark Chocolate and Spanish Olive. I also used some of my Doc O'Brien's Weathering Powders. (Grungy Gray, Dirty Brown, and Mildew Green). I love working with these, they add a lot to a project.
I started out by adding a very thin wash of Burnt Umber to the whole tree. I worked in small sections and wiped off the excess paint with a paper towel as I went along. The clay soaked up the wash pretty fast, so I had to work quickly. After that I went back with a thinner brush and added a second coat to the deeper cracks in the tree. The main purpose of this step was to get some color in the "bark" and highlight the details. I then let this dry for a couple of hours.
Next, in a small cup, I made a mixture of Hippo Grey, Dark Chocolate, a small bit of Toffee and an even smaller amount of Spanish Olive. I don't have an exact measurement for this, I just sort of played around with it until I got a good bark color. I added some water to the mixture to make a wash, but this time it wasn't as thin as the first coat. I also worked in larger sections this time before wiping away the excess paint.
After this was dry, I went back and did some highlighting with my aging powders, mainly around the bottom of the trunk. I also painted the base around the bottom of tree to prepare for the landscaping.
This is the view of the back of the tree. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but I added a little bit of the green weathering powder to one side of the tree to look like moss. I may go back and add more to make if show better.
I even added a broken limb. ;o) I just painted it with the Toffee and did minimal aging so it would look like it happened not too long ago.
Well, I hope you like it so far. Next is landscaping and leaves....lots and lots of leaves. Maybe when the family comes over for Christmas I will put them all to work punching leaves for me. Ha!
With bear show preparations behind me, for a little while at least, I was able to get the sculpting done on the tree. This took a lot longer than expected, but I'm happy with how its going.
In the last update, I showed you my wire armature that I started with. This proved to be really sturdy and worked out well. If I had to do it over, I probably would have bulked out the trunk a little bit more, but it wasn't a big deal.
I started sculpting at the trunk. I chose to use Paper Clay because it is light weight and it air dries. I usually prefer Pro Sculpt, but there was no way this tree was going to fit in my oven, LOL! As the paper clay dries, it does tend to crack, but I wasn't too worried about that since it would only add to the look of tree bark anyway.
Once I got the trunk sculpted, I let it dry for a couple of days to be sure it was solid before I started on all of those branches.
(Sorry about the messy table!)
Here is a close up of the bark details I tried adding. There was a lot of trial and error, but hopefully the painting process will show everything better.
Once the trunk was dry I just started adding clay to the branches. This took quite a while because I found that I could only do a couple at a time before I would have to let them dry overnight. I was just bumping them too much and then I would have to go back and fix things. A good tip is to add wood glue to the armature before you add the clay. I love Gorilla Glue and highly recommend it.
At this point I decided to add the frame to the base as well. I wouldn't have been able to get it on there once all the braches were added.
So this is where I am now. Sorry about the glare, it was late last night when I took this. All these branches took me about three weeks! That is mostly dry time though, and I didn't have time to work on it everyday unfortunately. I have pesky things like laundry and cooking to take care of, LOL!
Next up is painting. That won't take me nearly as long.
Hi! My name is Jeannette Bashore and I live in northern Indiana with my husband, my daughter and our ever growing menagerie of pets. I spend my time homeschooling my daughter, creating bears and also working on dollhouse miniatures when I have some spare time. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog for a visit! Please let me know if you have any questions, I would love to chat with you!
Big bear hugs,