Sunday, February 09, 2020

Kurve: Rock Outcroppings (3)

Completed rock face in the cut
I was on the right track with texture, and continued chiseling both sides of the cut this afternoon.

Texture done
When I was done with chiseling I realized that I had held the chisel at a 90 degree angle to the hill side, so that the rock strata are perpendicular to the hill. On both sides of the cut. It's not quite as noticeable on the right side in the photo above, because that side of the cut is steeper, which implies the layers would make a ~60 degree in the middle of the cut, instead of continuing consistently from one side to the other, and the railroad dug through the hill. I'm going to blissfully ignore that mishap, but now you know. There will be grass and bushes to make this less obvious.

Now that I had rock texture that looked about right, it was time to work on colors. I planned to use the common rock face approach: Paint plaster with a somewhat light rock color, add a black wash to enhance the crevices, highlight the edges. For the light rock color I made a yucky mess from acrylics I had available to arrive at a light mustard color (Anita's Sunshine Yellow, lots of Craft Smart White, a little bit of Black, a few drops of Golden Brown, thinned with water 2-3 parts color to one part water). After the base color was dry, I made a wash from Black with some Golden Brown and stippled it over the base color. For the highlights I lightened the base color with white and more Sunny Yellow, added a bit more water, and lightly (not quite) dry brushed the rock in a top-down, bottom-up motion. At this stage the rocks look like this.

Base color, dark wash, and highlights
This is way better than my first try, but still a bit bland and too homogeneous.  Multiple passes of dropping spots of dark wash in random places lead to a more uneven appearance. I made another wash this time from Craft Smart Terracotta, stippled that on in random places, followed by more dark wash in more random places. And eventually I ended up with the look in the lead photo of this post. That's good enough for tonight.

I also remembered a lesson I had learned years ago when building Steinle: The plaster sucks up all water and the appearance can change dramatically when a wash dries. Be patient. Try something, then wait for the plaster to be thirsty.

No comments: