Wednesday, February 29, 2012

God, give me patience...but I want it NOW!

I like to do a lot of tedious stuff for hobbies; resin figures are a prime example.  I mean, if you could see the amount of pieces and detail with some of the kits you can buy, your mind would be blown (two words:  motorcycle kits... ...).  I also knit, crochet (pretty poorly), draw, paint with watercolors, and make jewelry with seed beads and occasionally chain mail. All things that require A LOT of patience, which most people are rather quick to point out when they see the finished product.

 "WOW!  You have so much more patience than I would to do that!"

Or something to that effect.  And I suppose they are right.  I'm a pretty patient person...at least with most things...

Right now is probably the most trying time in my life at far as patience, at least up to this point.  My hubby had a plan on how to move forward with our lives and we were blindsided.  He lost his job around mid December.  Stupid bureaucrats with Unemployment are not wanting to do their job so we can have a little something to live on.  Finally, Shane was hired for a contract job in Cuba about a week ago.  Time to hurry up and wait some more while we get paperwork and passport crap together so he can get down there and start earning a paycheck again.

It all makes me want to draw a circle on a brick wall, and proceed with the head bashing.  I mean really, I'm not happy with everything going on.  I'm tired of living off of other people.  I want to go up to Raleigh and elbow drop someone with my metal elbow and tell them to give us our money.  And now, I want to take hubby's paperwork to the State Department and ask if I can print out his passport myself so I can cut out the bullcrap middle man.  In short, I'm running out of patience...and fast....

This is one of the areas where I suck at being a Christian:  I DON'T LIKE NOT KNOWING.  I hate it.  I want to know what's going on.  I want Jesus to come knock on my front door, smack me in the back of the head and say "Hey Stupid, you need to do this."  Or see a burning pot of parsley out in my back yard that tells me how long I'm going to have to wait.  I'll even take my bearded dragon running to the front of his tank and telling me in plain English what God has in mind over the next few years.  I don't mind the waiting, I just like to know how long it's going to be dang it...

Yes, I know that verse in Jeremiah 29:11 where it says "For I know the plans I have for you...", but it is hard to wrap my head around, or find comfort in it.  When you have an empty pantry and a  disconnect date on your power bill that's three days away staring at you with no possible way to take care of it, it's sometimes hard to connect the harsh reality with the truth.  I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one that has trouble with this connection though...

But again, I am drawn to my butterflies for yet another life lesson.  Have you ever thought about what it might be like to be a caterpillar?  Probably not, but I have, mostly because my mind is a very special creation (take that however you want given the previous question ...).  You'd get to crawl around all day stuffing your face, but chances are, when you explore enough (or run out of food), you'll discover that there's more around you than a yummy plant. You'd see the whole open world:  a beautiful blue sky that goes on forever it seems.  You want to be free in that other world.  You know though, if you try to get there on your own, you'd probably die (caterpillars have to eat almost constantly, not to mention there are tons of other creatures that would love a juicy worm for a snack.).    So you do the only thing you can do: eat, while still dreaming about exploring that big, shiny world you keep getting glimpses of.  Eventually, your dedication to the fat kid arts are rewarded, rather painfully at first, but in the end, you are something completely different:  a cute little furry bug with pretty wings, with nothing but the blue sky you dreamed of in front of you.

Basically, what I mean is if you reach for the stars, eventually you'll grow wings.  It may not be when YOU want it, but it'll happen. There's no need to settle for something that is just OK, when something phenomenal is waiting for you down the road. Doing it yourself for immediate results just isn't worth it, and almost never works out in the long run anyways; it's always better to be patient, as frustrating as it is at times.  It's something I am slowly coming to terms with, in a rather hard way but hey, I'm your typical country girl; we were born hard-headed .  

Lesson learned:  Taking matters into your own hands instead of waiting on God is like escaping a second story room through the window instead of waiting on someone to unlock the door; sure, you'll get out, but it probably won't end well...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

WIP - 1/7 Raquel Gothic *Repaint*

Yes, I've already done this figure one time thank you very much.  And now I have to do it again.  My cat was trying to be a good little minion by catching a cricket that escaped the confines of his death chamber (beardie's cage in other words...), and knocked her off the shelf, where she broke in such a way to need to be repainted (noticing a trend here ).  The wings came off her back and pulled a good amount of paint with them.  Her axe basically broke in half, and chipped up the clock face.  Her face was also scratched in the whole deal. 

Before:


After I went ahead and pulled her apart:

 
Geez, that is so depressing.  She is my favorite figure in my collection right now.  For those who don't know, I painted her to look like a Black Swallowtail.  And won a Gallery of the Day with her on the site I bought her from!  -sigh- Well, on the bright side, she will be a good way of measuring how far I've progressed in the past year of modeling.  She was only my second figure ever, and looking her over I can see A LOT of things to improve on.

So I stripped her down, and primed her for painting...again.  I also decided to make a few changes, one being to take a bit more "artistic liberty" with her Black Swallowtail color scheme:

-Instead of plain black for the overall color of her outfit, a dark charcoal gray so I have somewhere to go with shading.

-No more orangey-red for the ribbon;  looking back it did look a little weird with the rest of the colors.  I'm going with a dark pearl pink instead.

-The hair will be shaded with pastels instead of an oil wash.

-A bit more shading overall; the original Raquel only had poorly done skin shading with pastels.

-The base will be a bit more dynamic (if I do it right anyways).

-BETTER GLUE...I used super glue to put her together and I learned firsthand why this is a HUGE NO-NO. All it took for me to turn her into pieces again were my bare hands and VERY little force. A figure should not be that easy to pull apart (for the same reason as why I have to repaint her.) I have a new epoxy to use that is AWESOME though, so that won't happen again (barring my house doesn't get stampeded by a herd of hippos or something.)

Painting...right.  Started with her skin (no pics yet), then moved on to her outfit.


The shading looks a bit darker than reality because of the camera flash.  After this pic, I highlighted her outfit, then sealed it matte.

She's still going to be a blonde, so I painted her hair basically the same color, misted it with metallic gold, then shaded with pastels.  Sealed semi-gloss.


Next up:  stockings.  I painted her fleshtone on the legs first, then built up the stocking color with thin Metallic Sequin Black until it was the tone I wanted.   I shaded with pastels, then sealed the legs semi-gloss.


I went ahead and started the ribbon pieces too, in Fuchsia Pearl.


Bit overexposed but I'm sure you can get the idea. That's about it for now.  She is going pretty slow because of all the detail; I have to do a lot of hand painting.  I forgot how much the ruffles on her outfit were a nightmare to paint !  More on Raquel later.

On a side note, my art desk now comes complete with my very own Spray Bottle of Kitty Doom...so hopefully...


NO MORE REPAINTS!!!! 

WIP - 1/4 Angel -Minor Nudity-

After a few months of drooling over new equipment for my model painting, part of my dream has finally come true !

 As a thank you for taking care of my mom while she is still recovering from her broken hip, my dad bought me this shiny new Iwata Eclipse!  I've had a chance to play with it, and it works pretty well....like, too well.  I discovered I really need a new compressor to control the PSI if I plan on using it for anything more than laying down broad coats of color.  Gah, can't win ...

Now, for the figure I have been whining about the past bit:  1/4 Angel.  I must warn you, as the title says, she is naked, but covered (and will be even more so by the time I'm done with her).

 As you can see, she is flippin' big:  almost a foot in length!  The biggest figure I've worked on to date.

She was a pretty crappy cast;  none of her parts fit well (gaps, gaps, and MORE gaps), were full of seams,  and the resin was pretty dang lumpy, like she has a terrible case of cellulite or something o_O.


Only one way to solve that problem:  putty.    
I hate dealing with putty, I really do.
Half a tube later, I *think* I have most of the problem areas on the surface taken care of...


 Now for sanding and priming....and more putty.  Then sanding and priming...then more sanding and priming...more putty, then even MORE sanding and priming.  SWEET BABY JESUS MAKE IT STOP!   

*****
Welcome to ten years into the future, where cars fly, people live in the sky Jetsons style, and angels are finally acceptable in appearance (if your life isn't what you expected, perhaps you need to make a few changes...).

It's time to start painting.  I laid down the base skin tone first, which took a while.  By the time I was finished, I was sick of painting.  Let me move on to something else before I throw things.  Because her right hand is clenched in a fist, I decided to make something for her to hold on to.  I found a 12mm antique Swarovski rivoli that would be PERFECT.  I bezeled it in seed beads and viola!


I plan on bringing some of the colors up into her hair, to give the appearance of the pendant glowing.  How, I'm not sure yet.  I'll have to play with it.

But before I could get a chance to do anything more, my cat jumped on my table, and knocked her off.
And broke her...  

Luckily, she broke along the part seams.  But all that work puttying gaps that would rival the Grand Canyon in size, is...gone...  

More putty...more sanding...more primer.  I put her back in the box, I'm sick of fooling with her at the moment.  Seriously can my model luck get any worse for me?! 

It can...and did...see the post about my poor Raquel Gothic...