Monday, March 16, 2009

Waiting for Godot: the final touches

Last night I spend quite a few hours finally putting everything together for my Waiting for Godot model.

First, I painted some foamcore white to get started on making my wall.

While I waited for that to dry, I drew out the final version of my road and began to paint it. Mixing colors was a fun throwback to kindergarten, but I wasn't very good at it. In the end the road was more yellow than I had intended, so I went over it with some brighter orange.

Sara gave me a brilliant idea for the wall- instead of cutting out a million pieces for the wall and gluing them together, why not leave them all connected and only make it look like I'd cut them all out? Genius. It took me 1/10 of the time it would have otherwise.

Then I started working on the ground. This was again tricky, due to my rustiness at paint mixing. I mixed a whole bunch of samples, found several perfect colors, and then couldn't duplicate a single one of them. I probably should have written down what I did, or labeled them, or at least paid more attention. I finally gave up on getting the color exactly right and just started painting. After several layers of all kinds of ugly browns and yellows, I had something that didn't really look like I had envisioned it, but was passable. I took a deep breath and started adding some green- I wanted to give the impression that it was a field and there was grass, even if it was dead or dying. I only had one green and it was a very lively shade. Nothing I mixed it with changed that. So I just went for it- and to my surprise, it worked. I started getting excited- this was all starting to make sense.

The problem now was that of course the bright orange road now looked absolutely ridiculous next to the dark brown and green ground, and the bright white stones stood out horribly. I coated the road in some brown and the stones in some gray, at least hoping to make them look a little dirty.

I painted a sky that was far too blue and had to tone it down with some orange. The whole experience was one long lesson in paint mixing and color wheel exercises.

I whittled some twigs down on one side to make it look as if lightning had struck them. I was able to give the impression of a much larger tree having been cut in half by just shaving off a tiny bit of the bark on one side.

Putting it all together was a bit more difficult than I had anticipated, but it finally happened.

Check out the final product:

Overall, I'm not very happy with this model. It's not objectively "bad" or "wrong," obviously, but it's not quite what I had in mind. Part of this is strictly due to the limits of my artistic abilities. For example, the impressionist style paintings came about because I'm not experienced with painting detail. The set I had envisioned was in fact much more realistic.

That said, this was the first time I ever attempted anything like this, so these types of challenges are to be expected. Overall I'm happy with the process I followed and the ideas I generated, which is really the important part. I just need a little practice bringing my ideas into the real world, so I'm looking forward to trying again in the next project.

No comments:

Post a Comment