Friday, 22 June 2012

Disasters, Repairs, Paint and Hair

I suppose it was too good to be true, that I'd actually get my troll made without anything going wrong. After baking for the final time I know painting should be the next step but I was starting to have serious doubts about whether he'd ever be able to stand up so I wanted to work on the body first. That way, if it all went horribly wrong I wouldn't've wasted my time painting.

So, I wrapped all the exposed wire bits in strips of quilt wadding to start with:

Then, loosely based on a teddy bear body pattern I made a calico body that I could stuff:

And stuff it I did - to within an inch of it's life - in an attempt to make the body as firm as possible. It was rather a traumatic experience for poor troll who, as a consequence, suffered a broken finger and a broken shoulder as I was man-handling him. I'm going to have to experiment with baking sculpey at different temperatures and for different lengths of time, I think. Even though it seemed solid enough, it obviously wasn't. But to cheer him up I also made him a tail :)

So I repaired the shoulder with a bit more sculpey and vaseline. And the poor guy had to go back ino the oven. He looked so sad sitting in his baking tray:

Once that was done I finished sewing up the seams at the shoulders and it was time to paint!!
Starting with thin washes of acrylic paint, I mainly used raw umber, burnt umber and Payne's grey but kept changing my mind about how dark or light skinned I wanted him to be so there are quite a few layers on the finished head:

Finally for this post, I added his hair. I'd left the back of his head unpainted so the glue would stick better. For this I followed this tutorial, though I used needle-felting fleece rather than alpaca fur. I had tried to make needle-felted dreadlocks first but they looked a bit rubbish.

I divided the wool into strands and glued then at one end with pva:

then once that was completely dry, I trimmed the glue to tidy it up and started sticking it to the troll's head, beginning at the back of the neck:

  I am a little concerned that he's now starting to look a bit like one of these:

   This is the last 'work in progress' I'm going to be writing for now. The next stage is to make his clothes and accessories which is something I know how to do, having been making clothes for bears for many years now, and anyway, I want my big 'Ta-Dah!' moment when I can present the finished project :)  I'm also a bit distracted by other artwork at the moment so my next post might well be about something completely different...but I will get back to my troll soon, hopefully fully clothed and looking a little less like the ones above.