This piece is the continuation of Deb’s design challenge for the Manchester Chapter SOS Eagle Parade and Veteran’s Count. In the coming weeks, Deb will be chronicling her artistic process from concept to finished art piece. Her goal is to highlight the effort that is put into coming up with a design and how much one artist will go through by the time the piece is completed.
The rock where the bird was perched needed to be a light to medium tone since I’d be doing a ton of lettering over it. I had to make it very simple; no rock-like textures, tones or striations. So like other areas on this Icon Poly bird the right color soon appeared like magic on my mixing tray.
It was nearing the finish line. I had to come up with a color for the eagle’s body. Again I decided there would be no painting of individual feathers and complicating things so I went with a medium brown tone that I dreamed up, well sort of dreamed up. Since I have used the Sherwin Williams paint chip block of every color they offer to find the one for the parquet floor, I used it to find the ‘right’ brown color for the bird.
It came out fine and I had mixed up enough color ‘just in case’ which is always the way to go. I let it dry and looked it over because invariably you miss key spots under, over and around. I had one last major color choice to figure out and to finish up this interesting eagle theme and that was the underside of the wings.
While pondering this last big thing and as the bird was drying I started to paint the names of key players, coaches, nicknames, etc. on the rock. I had the list and now it was a matter of sprinkling them here and there over the rock. I did a few and let it go for now. Now the eagle’s beak and eyes needed to be done and I did this pronto without too much ado. Check. This was simple enough because I didn’t overthink it. And for now the day was done.
This next step was the part that became a bit difficult. I couldn’t decide when the whole project would be finished. The hardest part of any job whatever it may be is to know when to stop, back away and be done. Still there were details to continue with such as adding more names to the rock. Did I miss a few? I also forgot to finish the white piping on the green uniform. My brushes were becoming a bit over worked and I still had the small details to finish. I try, although sometimes not always succeeding, in keeping my brushes clean. Rule of thumb; NEVER leave a brush sitting in a jar of water. All it takes is a few minutes and the fine ends will be permanently bent and it will be difficult to adjust your attempt to paint again using this flawed brush. I have many tricks to smooth the ends and one is by using those small flat plastic bag resealers on either side of the tip of the brush, then clamp it together with a clothespin and set it aside for a while. It works. Hey, I’m a Yankee and that’s how I think. : )
Back to the job…
The top of the wings were dry and now for the grand finale and the last major color needed for the underside of the wings. I decided it needed to stay neutral as the 5 sides of the base were all set with nice background colors. I didn’t want something else to compete with those and so I came up with a pretty neutral gray, just a smooth one color over all. I mixed up a medium tone, didn’t think twice and just went with it. This project was getting too long and I was feeling somewhat annoyed that it still was not completed as yet.
I let everything dry overnight. The next day it was ready for the sealant and we moved it into the garage. According to the information that came attached to the bird I assumed the best choice would be a UV car sealant. Hmm. Where to go? Well, Steve and I both thought of the same place in Derry so off we went to Sanel Auto Parts store. We left with a combination of the part A & part B combo that we needed to mix together for activation. This needed to be done with proper ventilation, with gloves and a mask, glasses and above all with the utmost care. It needed to be applied not once, not twice, but three times with a full day of dry time in between. Oh no!
Stay tuned for the next installment!
For Deb’s first entry, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – The Beginning of the Challenge
For Days 1 and 2, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – Days 1 and 2
For Days 3 and 4, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – Days 3 and 4
For Days 5, 6 and 7, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – Days 5, 6, and 7
For Days 8, 9 and 10, read The SOS Eagle Parade 2017 – Days 8, 9, and 10
The eagles for this project were manufactured by Icon Poly, a family owned company based in central Nebraska. Icon Poly started as a hobby of sculpting, sculpture point-up, and making fiberglass animals and sculptures by hand. In 1999, the company formed and began computerized sculpting, 3-D foam milling, laser digital sculpture enlargement, and a manufacturing process that accurately duplicates the likeness of sports and corporate mascots, make sophisticated trade show displays, and make multiple 3-D copies of a single design of paintable fiberglass sculptures for community art projects. With customer service and client satisfaction as top priorities, the company can bring even the simplest sketch or idea to reality using state of the art technology and the highest quality, environmentally friendly materials available. For more about Icon Poly, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information about Veterans Count, visit their website.