Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today's progress (or lack of)

I spent some time today working on this tiny picture again. It's beginning to get frustrating because I seem to be fighting the piece of leather I'm working with. I really like this stuff for some of the embossing work I do because it has a lot of stretch, but for this project, that's something I don't need. I tried "slicking" the leather before I started working with it to reduce the stretch. This is the first time I've ever tried that and I am not sure if I like the results. It seems to hold water really well at first, but later on when I try to add more moisture, it seems to dry out more quickly. I also can't seem to put in tiny details with the modeling tool like I want too. So, I think this is going to end up being a practice piece and I'm going to start over. I cut a piece of 9-10 ounce leather that I got in Sheridan a few years ago from Harry Boutin and Son's. It's supposed to be tanned in Germany and really looks and feels nice. Not sure if it will work better or not, but once I get frustrated with a project, I know that I need to move on. Fighting it just isn't worth the time and effort.

I'll show some of what I did on the piece today, even if it ends up just being practice. Even the tiniest bevelers I had wouldn't fit in some of the places I needed them to go. For the nostril on the horse, a dental pick did the job.

I tried to use my Peter Main modeling tool on the eyes of the small animals but it was also too big (as you can see in the picture). The dental pick was too pointy and didn't work here either. So, what to do? I took a sewing needle and filed one side down flat and rounded the end and I think that I can turn that into a really small modeling tool. I practiced with it a little and it looks like it just might work.

The small bevelers are going to work for doing the outline of the chickens body, but I'll need a modeling tool to get any details into the heads. Here you can see that I just couldn't get the leather to take the tiny detail that I wanted to get into it. I'm wondering if I can see good enough to make actual feathers on the chickens with a scalpel.

Here I started to bevel the little people in the background. Again, the small tools are going to work for basic shapes, but it's going to take a lot of work with the modeling tool to make it look good.

And finally, I wanted to see how putting the wood effects onto the sidewalk, the fence and the walls of the buildings was going to look. I tried to draw these into the leather with the modeling tool. That's what it looks like, lines scratched into the leather. I couldn't get the leather to take any kind of shape. If I have any time tomorrow, I'll try tracing the pattern onto a new piece of leather and start again. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

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