Sunday, July 08, 2007

Impasto Imposter --or-- The Case of the Bloody Stumps

In yet another total surprise to me, as I was applying plaster to the outside roots gingerly, I noticed that if I applied some to the trunk, on top of the already highly textural FlexAll cement surface, I was getting some pretty perfect bark-like appearance. But things got crazy wild when I started raking the plaster layer with my bare hand, well, my nails/claws actually. I had to work fast, laying down a trowel of plaster on various tree surfaces and then scribe through it with my fingers at first, and then my poor Sandy Claus (there were spots of slight abrasion and a couple of nails that had plaster up under the place in nails where nothing but bamboo in a torture situation should ever go), gouging out the rugged layer I wanted. As the plaster further set up, I also scraped the surface with the blades of a small cutter to create finer grooves overlapping my dig lines.

It took about six small pails of plaster to finesse the whole tree inside and out. I touched up little missed spots on branch tips with yogurt-like soft batches and actually clipped away tiny excess chunks of dried cement, not perfecting, but just finishing. And now she's ready for painting.

I really feel great about this, better than ever. Tomorrow I get to take whatever brown paints I have already here and mix them into one under-color, adding in a slosh or two of matte medium for securing the surface.

New Reader, eFriend™ Rich made me think further about cutting up the tree now, before finishing it further, because I agree, it really does make more sense. However, when I walked over to the tree to see where and how I might go about it, I was again getting a red light on doing it now. I don't even know what's under there and how much damage my dismantling might cause. I rationalized that the worst case scenario would be that I'd have to mask off the house and much of the leaves and possibly have to re-create the finish in plaster and paint. But even at that, I'd still rather do it when the time comes than slow my roll now.

(*please note; yesterday's photos have been "downdated", restored via previous technology)


  1. Yep you seem to get a lot of Texture on your Tree, Its Looking Real Good!

    And on the Previous Post my "Baby Tree" is so Small because I dont have the room to acomodate anything else, I currently have Two Desk Spaces and Two Shelves for my Entire Project!

  2. Anonymous4:32 PM

    I think following your instincts is one of the hardest things to do in film-making, there's a lot of opinions on the right way to do things, so I'm glad you followed yours.

  3. Wonderful things can be done on a small scale, Ben, rock those table tops!

    You are so right, Rich, thanks! Gotta "do", even if wrong. I'm learning.


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