it rained all day, a wonderful thing.  the dog walks were not leisurely and the towels are now wet, dirty, and dog-smelling.  i’m getting really tired, and am ready for this to be over, but it’s not, so i am getting up and doing what i can to finish.  but my actions are reduced to the essential minimum.  watch me do a fast blog post and get to bed before 3.  hahaha.

i mixed up yet another version of dolphin gray and put it on.  it’s wet in the picture, and darkens as it dries because it’s acrylic, and when it dried, it looked like the picture below, which is now too dark.

so i’m going to have to go over it with veils of white.

but i’ve remembered / learned.  when i did the turtles five years ago, i discovered that with acrylic on a smooth surface, you get streaks and brush strokes.  so you need to put on several thin coats.  and then you get brushstroke upon brushstroke, and that gets textural.  which is fine for some things, like denim fabric.  but not for skin.

so what i have to do is to put the paint on a small area with a brush, and immediately polish it around with a damp paper towel.  this wipes it and smears it and makes it more hazy than thick.  it takes a lot of layers, but it makes a smooth application that still has some texture in it, but since there are a bunch of layers, it’s a smoother overall texture.  you can see on the mckenney’s dolphin’s pants, which start out as a bright yellow and gradually go toward khaki, below.

i put the same brown on the home depot dolphin’s hat, brush and and paint tray, but didn’t sponge it off, because i’m looking for texture here.  i added another coat of orange, and touched up the apron straps even tho i’m only going to have to do it again.  i think i did up the shoes with a yellow ochre mix this morning, but at this point i’d have to go back to yesterday’s photos.

as a special request, i’m putting a pocket protector and a rapidograph onto the mckenney’s dolphin.  i had originally wanted both items on my dolphin, because, after all, he’s an engineering kind of guy, and all geeks wear pocket protectors.  i even wanted to put a hand-held calculator on him, and even a slide rule.  except i couldn’t find a real slide rule, and the guys i asked don’t take calculators onto the site with them.  so i dropped the idea.  but then i heard that the engineers at mckenney’s really wanted a pocket protector, because they thought it was funny.  and i like that kind of attitude.

trouble is, i couldn’t find pocket protectors except online.  or so i thought, because they went out and got me a set of pocket protectors yesterday (thanks girls) and good thing there were three of them, because i destroyed the first one trying to use gorilla glue on it, which never worked.  and gorilla glue is supposed to stick to most things.  so i had to cut the back side of the pocket protector off, and tried putting it on with acrylic medium.  and that never worked either.  you can see this effort in the top pictures that show blue tape trying to hold it in place long enough to dry.

so finally i took a fresh pocket protector and cut off the bottom entirely, leaving only the parts that would stick out of a pocket.  first i mixed up some epoxy putty and stuck the rapidograph onto the dolphin.  now, i’ve had a set of rapidographs for about 20 years now, ever since my days in mechanical drawing in college.  wait, did i say 20 years?  i mean more like 30, sorry.  so when the guys asked me if i could include a pocket protector, i knew i had to put a rapidograph into it.  i unscrewed it and took out the guts first, of course.  i don’t think they make them like that anymore.

once the pen was stuck down, i mixed up more putty and stuck the pocket protector on around the pen.  then i padded it all out, and smoothed it all down with a wet finger, and then used a bit of blue tape to secure the edges until it’s dry.  i’ll prime it tomorrow.

you can’t really see it in this light, but i’ve painted in black hair on the mckenney’s dolphin.  this is because when i first put the hat on, i hadn’t quite cut down the spray foam insulation enough, and the hat actually stuck up off the top of his head a bit.  so i had to go around the hat with some putty and fill out the join between the hat and the head.  and i never managed to smooth it out enough.  so now, with paint on it, the unevenness shows, and is unsightly.  but rather than go back and sand it down and add more putty etc, i’m just going to turn it into hair, and then the bumpiness will be obscured.  i don’t think i’m keeping the hair black, tho, because it’s too stark.

you can see how much darker the pants are getting.  i’ve mixed up some black and started in on some of the pipes.  i’m going to have to pay more attention to the pipe color scheme real soon now.

but i thought i’d get to the waves first.  i’ve been putting it off.  i want the waves to be a blend of colors, all following the contours of the waves.  so i mixed up a blue green to start.  only i couldn’t really tell what color it was when it was wet.  and it went down over blue.  so it’s kind of a too dark almost hooker’s green.  and i’m going to have to adjust it.

that’s the hard part.  this stage is nothing but adjustments.  i have to define the edges where one object meets another, and have to do it with paint, which means having to choose whether to make this edge look like part of one thing, or another.  and the choice will determine a lot of the way it looks.  so i have to make a million little decisions, and paint them in, and move on.  and half the time i come back around from having gone over every inch, and find i have to go around again because somewhere in the middle i decided to paint a particular edge that i’d originally left off.

it’s the same with the colors.  i’m first putting in colors too dark, then too light.  and am constantly having to adjust on the next layer.  it’s such a waste of time, and waste of paint, but i find myself doing it this way every time, and not just because i’m stuck in old habits.

however.  it’s still raining, it’s gone 3, i still have to walk the dogs, and i’m rather awake, so i figure i’ll have that bowl of ice cream and read my two chapters.  tomorrow i have to attend an informational meeting for public art projects in my area, so my day’s going to start really late.  oh well.


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