Thursday, July 19, 2007

Leaf-Olympics: Day 2

Spring sprung here in Halfland today as the leaves painted yesterday disappeared onto the outer tips of the tree canopy.

CONFESSION: It took some sticktoitness on my part today. Painting leaves--no problem. Attaching a few in the sweltering heat--no problem. But somewhere toward the middle of the batch I felt lost in the amount of work it will take to apply all these leaves. It isn't that many more will need painting on both sides, it's isn't the sticking them on carefully so they look natural, angles to consider, even quickly, etc. but to have to sculpt the dozens of joins into miniature branches--woomf. That's going to take a bit to do. It's ok--the results are looking so rewarding already, my loins are girded to go forward with it now.

STICK 'EM UP (left): The sticky tape table trick worked perfectly as I was able to cover the leaves quickly without getting any errant paint where I didn't want it. Nick and Rich rightly thought the strength of the masking tape might pull fresh paint right off but because I handled the tape enough to lessen the tack, it seemed to hold just right. [One could also use a more delicate adhesive tape (3M's blue extra gentle) or repositional spray adhesive on cardboard (although I find spray glues to be too toxic to use anymore, even if using a respirator, as it lands everywhere as a permanent mess.)] I used an olive green brush marker to draw veins on the finished leaves. Remember, there will also be yellowing paper leaves made for the answers too! (page in a book= folio, leaves on a tree = foliage, just thought I'd share.)

LOOSE LEAF (middle): The hardest part of today's task was re-gluing the veins and stem onto leaves that had come off. I pulled apart stem clusters and ran a bead of hot-glue on the flat reverse side of a mini branch of it. Then press it to the back of a loose leaf, taking up any excess hot glue with my thumb. (It didn't hurt, callus person I guess.) These single leaves were glued onto the tree as if they grew on the spot.

A PLACE IN THE SUN: You might notice the transparent drop of hot-glue against the light from the window behind, just to illustrate how these smallest of the sizes were placed.

I walked past a tree last night (I notice all trunk textures now!) and saw that my bark should have beautiful strips of red/burnt umber where the outer dusty grey/taupe layers have been damaged. This morning I took a water-filled squeeze-brush dipped in straight acrylic and found areas around the tree to accent this way. (Yes, I know I was "done", but that was before I saw this cool tree.) I like the touch, it shows up more of the realistic detail in the plaster texture.

And how do you paint inside your wooden ear-in-a-tree? Why, with a bent Q-Tip© attached to a chopstick of course! I was able to get paint into all the deep, hidden crevices easily this way.

A silhouette of today's swallowed-up growth. It's happening though.

Today's progress doesn't show up well in photos, the leaves are so small and the tree so large. However, I can tell already that it will look truly wonderful when all the sizes are there. I have to apply them in stages like this so that the tree appears to be growing evenly all around. I plan to glue all the foliage in place first and then go back and cover all the joins with cement in one busy fingered pass.

HALFLAND NARRATIVE NOTE: The viewer of Halfland, the audience, is the Mythical Hero of most other tales. But in this case, the film is seen from his POV. He travels to a magical land, engages and learns from magical people, and returns to the world where he started, transformed.


  1. With the first new leaves beginning to bud on the Answer Tree, I officially declare it Spring in Halfland!

    (Half-critters who have feet may now wear white shoes, if they so choose.)


  2. Hilarious, Sven! I was laughing about this all day! Thx.

  3. Anonymous10:06 PM

    Incredible details. Enjoying the spring of this project! White Socks! That is too funny.

  4. Thanks, Corey! I just spent a sec looking for my feet wearing white socks! nope, you meant Sven's joke about the fashion of spring/summer shoes being white I bet.

    Hey, be sure and let me know if you get your button, otherwise, I'll have to have a word with your French postman!


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