Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gesso is a Girl's Best Friend

So, last night we had another storm, and another interruption in internet service. The result? Lots and lots of work on the armour!
First off, I took my Mod Podge and some newspaper, and I attacked all the joins in the foam to make them have smooth connections.



Once I was satisfied that none of the seams were showing, I went over all the papier mached parts with gesso. For the record, I am now in love with gesso. It's SO WONDERFUL. It's the same gesso that's used to prime art canvases before painting. I bought an acrylic gesso since it would dry allot faster than an oil-based one, and I didn't know how oil-based gesso would react once I applied the epoxy resin.
Anyway, you apply the gesso in thin layers and build it up. It disguised the papier mache and made for a completely smooth armour body.



I also went over the ridge detailing with the gesso. There were some places where there were gaps between the body of the armour and the ridges, and the gesso did nicely to close those up and provide a smooth transition. You can see below the before and after of a gapped ridge detail.



Once I was satisfied with the smoothness of the body, I went over everything with a layer of Mod Podge to seal it. When that was dry, I started adding detailing to the front. This was a hugely time-consuming process. I used 3-D paint (whatever I had on hand, which happened to be bright gold and pearl white), and started adding the squiggly lines to the outside panels.



I did both side front pieces, and then moved on to the centre front, which had this raised diamond pattern. I first marked out a grid pattern based off what I saw in the reference pictures, and then I started drawing on diamond shapes in the 3-D paint. Lather, rinse, repeat for the other centre front piece.



Once that was finished, I added the smaller ridge detailing to the smooth over-bust panels, which I had neglected to add on earlier in the armour making process.



At this point I was pretty pleased with my progress, and I started to pack up my supplies so I could call it a night. But, I kept staring at the armour. The diamond detailing didn't seem to stick up high enough. It looked alright, sure, but what would it be like once I added the epoxy? The epoxy is rather thick, and it might just swallow the detailing and make it almost non-existent. So, I sat down and added another layer of 3-D paint, making the detailing stand out more.



Much better! I'm probably going to go back over the squigglies on the side panels to make them stand out more, too, now that I've seen how much better the centre front pieces look. Still, I'm pleased with my progress so far!

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