as i get ever closer to the end of my work on these dolphins, i spend a lot of time doing little things that you wouldn’t notice from day to day, but which make all the difference in the end. because in the end it doesn’t really matter what i’ve built on to the sculptures, but it’s vital what i’ve done to the surface once it was built. every brushstroke is important now. before i could piddle around, and redo it if it was wrong – you know, the ten coats of paint on the pipes, and the four different tries at the color of a denim shirt.
and i agonized so over little details that it turns out don’t matter that much. like how i’d planned to do such intricate shading where the pants legs meet in the middle, only to find when everything else was painted on, that the general first indication i managed was all that was necessary. in this light. at this hour.
because i’ve got to tell you i can’t see a thing. my eyes are so bad that i can’t paint a straight line with a small brush. i try to peer at the tip of the brush to see how close i am to the surface, and i see a bunch of split hairs, as if the brush were so clogged with dry paint that the pint wouldn’t form at the tip. but it was just my eyes, focusing differently and presenting my brain with a double (or forple) image that never resolved. my vision will no doubt improve when i get some sleep. unless all these aches and pains and weaknesses that have afflicted me since i started this project are indications of a dread disease, and it’s only going to get worse. probably not, tho.
i concentrated on the pipes. i had a good look at the reference photos, and discovered that apparently all the pressure flanges are lighter than the pipes. but if they’re light, then the metal bolts don’t show up, so they’ve got to be dark. this prompted a redo of the pipes, which took me two hours, when i’d thought an hour had gone by. this goes a long way to explain why i keep working such long hours with no apparent progress. it’s because i’m experiencing ‘missing time’, which is something the fairies do to you. or the aliens, one.
the first thing was to mix up a mid gray and tone down the darkness of the pipes. the idea is to make only the large 1.5″ pipe dark gray. the other pipes will be mid gray, with light gray accents, and the small pipes will be split between white pipes (vertical) black pipes (horizontal buttresses) and silver pipes (guy lines). unless i change my mind.
i went around and put silver in various places, like on the pumps and around the valves. the flanges got a darker mid-gray then i’d been using on the pipes. the filters also got a thick couple of coats of cerulean blue. and finally started working on the cellphone, which i’d kept forgetting about – a coat of mid-gray on the body, and black on the screen area.
the home depot dolphin got a little light blue drybrushed over the shirt, which had turned an unpleasant yellow due to a wash i’d put on yesterday under different light.
i’d forgotten to start painting the brush in his mouth, so i stuck my yellow ochre mix where the paint will go, and put raw sienna on the brush above the paint line, the ferrule, and the handle.
i made the first pass at putting his name on the apron, and i do believe i decided to put a little more pink on the line running downward from the dolphins’ eyes. it depends on the light whether it shows or not.
mostly what i did was to finish scraping around the badges, getting the last of the paint and putty off. then i painted white around the white-edged badges. and i’ll do the black edges tomorrow.
still to go, the details on the phone, the id badge, the roll of plans, the badge holder, the paint can, the drill, the cap lettering, the pen, the brush, the cord, the blue tape and sanding block. the brushes and pencil, and oh yeah the pipes, and another wash on the waves.
am i done yet? will i be done by sunday night? stay tuned.