November 24, 2013

Please welcome Hannah (part 5)

Links to previous posts about Hannah:

 Oh dear, has it already been 14 days since I last posted something? Things have been kinda crazy around here lately, and I haven´t had time to blog!
Well, tonight I have several things to show you!
I´ve been working on Hannah, and she is coming along nicely. First I would like to share some of my experiences with baking "Magic Sculpt" in the oven. Yesterday, I was watching a dvd with my husband, and spent most of the evening sculpting Hannah´s feet in front of the tv.  I thought she needed some heavy weight on her feets to stabelize her body, so I used Magic Sculpt. It is heavy and very sturdy. My plan was to cover them both with black polymer clay after. This was the result of several hours of work:

See? They fell over in the oven, and I could not move them at all. The clay was already rock hard! 
Notice, that I am using brass tubes. This allow me to work on her feet seperatly, and attach them to her body at a later stage in the process. Don´t you just hate to repeat your work all over again? I surely do!
The next couple of feet was accually better looking so nothing is not good for nothing

I thought her armature was a bit soft, so I added a lot of wooden sticks to her arms and legs. I also put some tiny on her shoulders. Remember to seperate the sticks on the joints, or else your doll will become very stiff and not very poseable.
I used my sketch to make her proportions correct. It is not always necessary, but this particular doll is going to have the correct body. Sometimes I make dolls that don´t have correct proportions, and Hannah´s hands and feets are too big anyway. I like them like that.

It´s fun to play with her pose!

 These are my second couple of feet!
Look how I use my little helper to make them stand and not bend over. I fastened toothpicks to my little helper and put them into the brass rods. Worked amazingly!

Here Hannah is already standing nicely on her own. The Magic Sculpt gives her extra weigth.

I also used Magic Sculpt to stabilize other parts of her armature wich else could bend too easy. I don´t want her to bend funny after she has got all here clothes on. 

I also attached the hands with Magic Sculpt. This product can be used for so many things! But be carefull. It´s an epoxy material. 

Playing around with her pose a little again. 

She sit´s very well!

Okay, here is what I have for now. I made her cool witchy boots with black Kato Polyclay. They turned out just fine! I really liked them! Kato is not my favorite brand, because I find it very hard and hard to condition. 
I just wanted to use the rest of a big chunk I had lying around. 
 How did I use to survive without my pastamachine?

I wrapped Hannah with lots of strips of qulit batting. She still need more, but I have to stop for tonight. 
I just cut out strips, and attach them with a hot glue gun. Nice and easy. I used some cotton balls pompoms on her knees and elbows. 

Hannah wil have orange hair! I have this fantastic Tibetan lamb fur, and I think she´ll look stunning with it. I just can´t wait to start working on her again, but I´ll have to wait untill Tuesday evening, because tomorrow is family visit. Untill then, I can start planning on her costume. I´m thinking a large Victorian black dress! 
What are your ideas? 

November 09, 2013

Abstract portrait painting workshop!

Good evening!
Tonight I would like to share thoughts about a workshop I attended today. The theme was abstract portrait painting, and it was so much fun! I have a hard time with abstract painting. To me, it is difficult and un-natural. I much rather paint in my own style, but I am a strong believer in the fact that we must work outside our own comfort zone in order to develop our creativity, so I keep trying. My teacher says that abstract painting is the most difficult style to paint, and I agree!

Here is some "rules" from my school:

  1. What do you want with your painting?
  2. Let all your colors stay "open" (Keep painting with thin layers, so that they blend and stay transparent).
  3. Cover everything you like with new paint.
  4. Don´t isolate your favorite places on the canvas. Be prepared to change everything!
Fun eh? If there is something you like, hurry up and ruin it! Stay open in the creativ process, and let every door remaine open untill the very end. Really, really hard!

Our task was to paint abstract portraits on rather large canvases. First we was asked to paint a background fast and without thinking too much. Just choose some nice colors and have fun. 
Then we had to find a good photo. Our teacher uses mostly newspaper portraits. Why? Because they are mostly not taken by professional photographers, and therfor look´s more natural. 

Here are a few photos of my teachers own paintings:

So, that look´s really easy, right? Let me tell you a secret: IT WAS NOT! IT WAS BLOODY DIFFICULT!!!

Before I share pictures of my painting and the process, I´d like to share a good idea:
Make a portrait practice journal. My teacher had this big thick journal full of cut out photos from newspapers, and her own studíes:

I decided on the spot to do the same! A study of faces and expressions. When ever I get bored, I have several photos to work with.

Now over to my painting. I remembered to take some shots through the day, so here they are:

Background: red, yellow, orange and white colors.

I start by painting all the darker places.  Then I add the highlights.  

More work, now a little green and blue as contrast to all the red and orange. 

It is not really all that abstract, but it´s very different from what I usually paint. I think I like it. The woman look´s very much like my inner spiritual guide, a warrior-priestess called Karla. I especially like her green eyes and fierce expression. She has a lot of stenght, wisdom and courage! 

Tomorrow I´ll share more work with my doll, the witch Hannah! 

Some pictures from the other participants:

November 06, 2013

Wonderful puppet shows this weekend!

I love puppets! Whenever I can get a chance, I go see a puppet show. This weekend in a danish town called Silkeborg, they have a annual festival called: "Festival of Wonder". 4 days of fantastic puppetshows, both international and domestic. I usually see a couple of shows every year, and this weekend I´m going to se two very interesting shows.

The first one is:

Train Theatre, Israel: The Chelem Legend, Fool Moon

In Denmark we all know Molbo stories. There are many tales about a group of people we laugh at and love at the same time.
Jews have similar stories about people from the Polish town Chelem.
This is the background of the story The Chelem Legend - Fool Moon, in which Lemech and Layzer take a magical journey to find a new moon, instead of the old one which was stolen!
The story unfolds in a huge pop-up book, aided by puppets and shadows. Galia Levy-Grad performs this lively tale together with a Danish translator.
The show is accompanied by original Klezmer music.

The next show later the same evening is this:

Theatre du Rugissant, France: In the eye of Judas / Dans l’OEil du Judas

Old Giacomo is dying. His mind is already confused and he is viewing reality as if through a prism. During the night memories and images of his past invade his loneliness.
The building where he grew up is still standing, ice cold and frightening at the top of the town. The drama he experienced there is seen through his own childhood eyes and memories. His memories take us from one apartment to another. We walk the hallways and catch bits of human nature playing out in a door opening or in a stairwell.
We observe the building as if a camera is fixed in the eye of the narrator. We see everything in a new light, an optical illusion, contrast between light and shade, twisted. “In the eye of Judas” is a tale of restlessness, racism and lost love, and we see how ordinary people, influenced by group pressure and hateful opinions, can change into terrible tormentors.
Adding to the dramatic nature of the performance, the audience will experience fantastic set design, music and outstanding puppet manipulation.
Come and take a look through the key hole, if you dare.

I just can´t wait! Next Tuesday I´m going to see a third show. It´s the fantastic dutch puppeteer Neville Tranter!

Stuffed Puppet Theatre, Holland: Punch and Judy in Afghanistan

Nigel, a puppeteer, has come to Afghanistan to entertain the allied troops. His assistant Emilie goes sightseeing, riding on a camel. The flash from Nigel’s camera frightens the camel, which runs off in panic with Emilie on its back.
 Nigel tries to find his assistant, a search which brings him to Tora Bora, where he encounters Punch Bin Laden. Nigel is in extreme danger but survives to discover what has happened to Emilie.
 Besides the naive Nigel we meet the heartless TV reporter, who is only interested in sensationalism, and the nervous UN soldier, who is out of place in these harsh regions.
 Punch Bin Laden and his bloodthirsty wife, Judy, seem to be in complete control of the situation. They amuse themselves with playing cat and mouse with Nigel.
 A humorous, unique and thought provoking interpretation of the old Punch and Judy tradition.

I think I´ll get lots and lots of inspiration from these talentes artists.

Saturday I´m participating in a abstract portrait paint course. I cant wait to show you the result!

November 04, 2013

Hannah is coming along nicely, now with armature (Part 4)

I don´t have much time tonight, so this will be a short update.
Hannah´s hands are now sanded and got a thin layer of Translucent Liquid Sculpey.
Then I made a drawing of her body. Her head is 5 cm long, and her body should be 40 cm. A grown body can be divided in 8 parts, so it is very easy to figure out her height: 5 X 8 = 40 cm. (15, 75")

Then there is the armature. I am still using "Faemaker" as reference, so I use 4 mm alliminium wire. The pictures show you how I do that. 

After wrapping the alliminium in 1 mm wire to secure the whole thing, I go crazy with hot glue gun. I cover it completely! I don´t think it is necessary to use that much, but I think it´s fun, so I use a lot!

See you tomorrow!