today was an emotional day.  not that anything happened; it was just my day to be emotional.  you’d normally suspect that i was ‘on the rag’, but if i had been, i would have bitten your head off.  today i would have just given you one of my looks, and burst into tears.

it’s over now, but for awhile there i felt every hurt and joy in the universe.  it’s because i’m not getting enough sleep at the right time.  last night i was up until 6 in the morning, and never even rolled over until 1:30 in the afternoon.  so it was 4 before i was at work, and it’s 1:30 now.  another short day.

i’ll tell you what takes me so long to do all this work.  it’s that time stops while i’m doing something, and then resumes many hours later when i get up off the floor for a break. so a full day passes while i blink.

for instance, today i went around the mckenney’s dolphin with beige paint, covering only the flanges that surround each pipe as it connects to its wavelet.  and this took the better part of three hours.  for 12 flanges.  that’s only 15 minutes each, which sounds about right.  a small brush, careful delineation of the edges, slow and painstaking work.

that’s where i’m at for this stage, and all the way to the end.  slow, painstaking, meticulous work, because it all shows now.  every splotch, every scrape or scratch, every bump and lumpy surface.  compared to the finishing, the rest of it was throwing things around like my ex mechanic used to do.

this picture shows the actual colors, as close as i can get to them.  your results may vary.  the blue shirt of the mckenney’s dolphin is still the first wash of ultramarine (which is why it’s so streaky), and everything else on the two dolphins has got at the very least, two coats of whatever paint is on there.  i think the yellows are too yellow, and the blues are too blue.  in real life; i mean real life as expressed in these photos.  to my eyes they look okay.  and i’m not sure, as always, whether to judge the final color under natural light, or artificial, and if artificial, incandescent or fluorescent?  of course, by the end of it i’ll be too tired to care about color matching, and will be ecstatic just to see the back of the pair of them.

the first thing that happened today was the turquoise on the base of the home depot dolphin.  i left a small patch at the front unpainted, because i want to take a picture of the incredible difference between the wet color and the dry color of this paint.  i’ll post it tomorrow.  it makes accurate color mixing impossible without doing a test swatch first, and i’ve got an inbuilt aversion to that, which makes the paint-and-rub-off method my compromise of choice.

i’m glad to get the paint onto the bases.  the coloring of the waves is an important point, and i’ve been reluctant to tackle it.  as it is, there’s not a lot of difference between the dried colors.  the darker green is only a dulled turquoise, because i put purple into the same ultramarine, thalo, and white mix.  i guess that’s the key to having color compatibility – use the same colors and only alter the mix one color at a time.  i guess that also means that if i want to make a third, whitish color at the tips of the waves, i’m going to have to take one of my colors and add a lot of white to it, and that’ll be it.

the painting rule i’m following for the waves is to make the back of the waves the darkest blue, with a mid green-blue in the middle of the wave, and greenish-white wave caps.  i’d already decided to blend the edges, rather than having strips of blue, green and white.  the trouble is that in the front, it’s all middle and top.  so on the home depot dolphin, it’s all turquoise in front, and no green.  i’ll have to see how well this works.  i’m only in the middle stages of doing the waves, anyway.

the home depot dolphin is wearing jeans, and so far i haven’t gotten the color right.  you can see where i’ve been testing paint on his legs in a couple of places.  it’s not right.  i remember having this problem with the turtles.  indigo is a great color for jeans.  it’s the color denim has been dyed for hundreds of years.  now it’s synthetic indigo, of course, but it’s still indigo colored, and ultramarine blue is not indigo.  and i didn’t have any indigo in the paintbox.  and i was too lazy to mix it up from dry pigments and acrylic medium.  so.

first the ultramarine blue wash.  then some blue and white with black in it.  then some blue with i forget, and more white in it.  and it was too dark.  did i put purple in there at some point?  probably.  anyway, it wasn’t working.  it’s too blue.  and it was too blue last time, too.  so last time jim told me to put a thin wash of raw umber and white, and buff it off immediately.  and then do it again.  ad nauseum.  and it worked, because the turtle’s jeans turned out looking like jeans yay.

so i have hope.  eventually.

here at the end of the night, i’ve put on two veils of white and raw umber, and it’s looking strange, and not jeanslike.  but it’s still early haaahahaha.

next step is to keep working with the paint and sponge-off method, and slowly slowly bring everything up to where i can leave it alone.  hat, workboots, pants on both, shirts on both, skin on both, waves on both.  that means every part of the damned things.  and then there’s the detail work… and my grandkid comes tomorrow, which’ll mean a little less time spent in the studio, and later nights.  so.  dog walk.


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