23 February 2013
Poco a poco. . .
The bows and stringed instruments are painted, but need 18 hours or so to dry to the touch. Professor Detrius and Irwin-Amadeus II, both very nattily turned out themselves, look on. Detrius, now that I think about it, resembles the young Robert Plant onstage, ca. 1969, or '70. Can't you envision a microphone on his outstretched hand? Or maybe I'm just dazed and confused? That's what happens when the emotional levee breaks. Complete and utter communication breakdown.
As Spanish speakers say, or "Little by little." A delightful couple of hours spent at the painting desk this morning and midday while the Grand Duchess and the Young Master ran errands and visited the local Children's Museum ( a current favorite). So, the house was delightfully quiet and still. Perfect painting weather too. Cold and gray outside, not enough snow for skiing or anything else. A guy couldn't ask for a better excuse to open up a few tubes paint, squeeze a few small dabs of oil-based pigment on the palette paper, and begin mixing in the Liquin. Ah. . .
First off, the instruments played by the string quartet received a heavy wash of Grumbacher Light English Red, to approximate that lovely honey brown the old cellos and violins acquire when they have been played, loved, and maintained. I also had a go at applying oil-based gold to the shoe buckles, which, when dry, will need a careful dash of Citadel black applied in the center, so that they do, in fact, resemble buckles rather than a misplaced blob of gold. Then, it's simply a matter of trimming in a light brown onto the wood of chairs, a few touch-ups, and some select black or purple lining for added definition. Voilas! The musicians, greyhounds, and music stands will be all done.
I next turned my attention to the good Professor Detrius and the Grand Dukes, applying oil-based silver carefully to the former's buttons and the lace on his coat, using the Knoetel illustration below of Voltaie and Frederick II conversing outside Sans Souci as a guide. Very careful lining with dark green and black followed to give the green coat added definition. The same was done, using gold and dark brown, to ol' Irwin-Ami the Deuce along with touching up both of their white shirt cuffs and painting their respective neck stocks along with Detrius' gold shoe buckles. And, ladies and gentlemen, I pronounce these two figures just about done save for their two coats of glossy varnish.
I also spent about 30 minutes tinkering with those Minden military laborers and French artillery crew that I'll mix together to create a company of a dozen pioneers/sappers. These will be augmented by eight Minden civilian laborers. These figures look great in the flesh, and, spurred on by what Jim Perky and Charles Grant have done with them n their own collections, I'm eager to get to press on with them. However, I have had such a good time working on the Eureka musicians that I'll continue on the non-military thread, I think, and jump into that batch of Jackdaw aristocrats and servants before coming back to the pioneers/sappers. Sometimes, when the the will to paint returns, you simply must let throw caution and planning to the wind and see where it takes you.
The aforementioned Knoetel plate that has informed my painting of Professor Detrius as seen in the photo at the top of this post.