line after line

another useful day.  if i could spend more time with my neck kinked up, raising my arm and standing on tiptoes, it would go quicker.  as it is, the work has been five minutes here and five minutes there.  i’ve been in the studio for ten hours, and have done maybe six hours of work in that time.  i’ll be tired tonight.  (and so i am.  but that’s how it’s supposed to work.)

today i did more line work.  i diluted the india ink a little and put in the lines on the individual marble blocks.  these straight lines do funny things as they go around the oblong form. i stuck in the curlicues inside the scroll capitals, and who knew? discovered that the upper windows continue up onto the hat.

i had been holding off on the lettering.  it’s got to be good or it really looks bad.  so i went around the hat three times with chalk, and twice with pencil, writing ‘dedicated to the advancement of learning’.  it took forever to get all the words in the space, and then to stretch them out to fill the space.  the whole frieze on the top of the building originally said ‘erected in the year of ovr lord nineteen hvndred and dedicated to the advancement of learning.’  but i couldn’t fit it all, and didn’t think i should just start at the middle and cut off both ends.  weren’t all the carnegie libraries dedicated to the advancement of learning, anyway?

i had to wipe my lines out with a damp finger and redo them numerous times.  i didn’t bother doing it neatly, either.  i just let the black streaks and blobs be texture for the marbling.  and when i was done with all my lines, i went around and smeared white paint on the columns and over the lettering, to bring the marbling back up.  i even went back in with a brush and put individual smears of white on.  tomorrow i’ll continue this with the other marbling colors.  and then i’ll restate the lines a bit.  and then a bunch of washes to shadow everything.

i’m not really sure about the white, after putting it on.  i liked the marbling the way i had it.  except it was getting too dark.  i’ll get to where i like it again, i’m sure i will.

i went around with white paint and painted a collar on his jacket.  i ended up carving him a new collar line, because i had room in front on his neck, and room in back on his jacket.  but it looks fine now.  i’m not sure how to achieve it, but i’ve got to marblize the trim on the jacket to match the duvet covers in the hotel bedrooms.  this may turn out to be a photographic solution, as well.

i spent some time looking around the studio for something i could make buttons with.  after looking at a bunch of round small things, i came across a screw with a large head, and dipped that in my gray paint a bunch of times, making screw head impressions where i’d marked out the buttons earlier.  it was time to do that, because i had so many coats of alizarin crimson that it was becoming hard to see the pencil lines.

then to make sure the pencil lines went away, i got out the cadmium red light and sponged on a layer of that over the jacket.  cadmium is opaque, so the one coat actually covered, where the alizarin crimson had just deepened the glaze.  i’ll be working with this color for at least another coat.

what you can’t see is the compromise i made of the top of the beak.  the lines all go to hell on the front of the dolphin.  around the side of the jaw, the column is five or six inches wide, where normally it’s about an inch and a half.

oooh, and i just now got up, grabbed the brush and the gray paint, and turned the top of the very front, over the snout, into windows just like the ones i discovered rising up in to the hat this morning.  the previous compromise was to put in extra capitals and make the columns to either side of the front door meet in the middle without windows.  i think the black makes a good regular feature to the hat, and now that it’s in place i’m much happier with it.

but that’s just one thing.  there are similar calls all over this dolphin.  like putting in the large library letters in down the back.  those letters belong to the refit library from 1950, from when they took the awnings and box shapes off the windows and built on an extension.  so it’s a real mishmash to include them when i’ve decided to go with the original library design.  but there was that whole triangular space on both sides at the back that didn’t have anything happening and looked stupid just sitting there.  so i’ll put it in.

i have to remember to print out photos of the library as it looked thru the ages, including the way it looks now – brutalist architecture (i love that phrase).  i’ll put them on the base with the other photos when i build the page collage.

the last thing i did before going back to bed was to spray a little acrylic varnish over the drawing of the building.  it won’t make it permanent permanent, i can still scrub it probably, or paint over it and start again.  i’m thinking i need to make the lettering in the frieze (if that’s the term) smaller.  it’s too large and intrusive.  not much smaller, either.  but the white paint i smeared on it earlier was enough to seal the lines, so i’m going to have to repaint and start over.  but that’s tomorrow.

and tomorrow is another day.  we have a studio visit happening early, and the grandbaby is on my hands and will need tending, so it’s likely i’ll be doing fabric work tomorrow for much of the day.  but i may get to print out some books in various sizes…i talked to my contact at the aquarium, and they’ll start to get antsy if i’m not done by the end of next week.  i should be able to do that handily.

i hope someone does dragons next.


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