Well here we are at the start of a new year and for me a new challenge. I am thrilled to be back on the Powertex Design Team for a third year and this year I want to push my own boundaries further. I’ve never been comfortable with sculpting but have always admired my team mates and other artists who are and whose work leaves me in awe. We all have to start somewhere and this is my beginning and I would love you to join me on this journey.
I’m not alone in the concerns about the damage our environment is experiencing and the struggle much of our wildlife has in continually adapting. The Heron is an ancient bird that was around in fossil times, you can find more information here.
The photos follow my written steps left to right.
Step 1 – I have used a variety of materials, mainly cheap foil and masking tape to fill out the body of the Powertex bird mdf templates. These were to be mounted onto the large 2 pin metal base so I played around with both templates to get my layout. You will notice that I did make a change ending up with both birds facing forward. I removed the smaller bird so that I could work freely on the larger one.
Step 2 – I made up some Stone Art Clay starting with equal quantities of Grey Powertex and Stone Art powder. As I have quite arthritic hands, I find it easier to work in small quantities and I made a total of 5 batches of clay each starting with around 200ml of powertex liquid. I wrapped each batch in cling film to stop it drying out.
Step 3 – Once I had covered the armature including the leg I covered the wings with masking tape.
Step 4 – I pulled lilac Paperdec into strips that would be long enough to drape over both sides of the wings. I brushed Powertex over the wing area and worked Powertex into the pieces of Paperdec one strip at a time until both wings were well covered and looked reasonably symmetric. I also re-positioned the wings slightly.
Step 5 – Before starting in this bird, I pushed the leg of the stand up into the armature to ensure there was a cavity without risking squashing the clay. I then worked the clay onto the smaller bird. As with the first bird, I painted a little Powertex onto the base before I worked the Stone Art Clay started with the far side i.e. the side that would be nearest the first bird.
Step 6 – Spread a generous amount of Powertex liquid onto the base and then press dry Stone Art powder into it. Repeat in patches until you get a nicely covered base. I also added some Paperdec onto the body to give an indication of the wing area.
Step 8 – Using Secret Art Loft Clotted Cream and Secret Art Loft Liquorice Twist acrylic paint and a 1″ Powertex Flat Brush I started to give the birds character with a close nod to their true colours. I started by dry brushing the Liquorice Twist onto the lower wings on both sides. I then added some Clotted Cream into the black and continued over the top sections. Lightening several times until the wings had an ombre effect. At the same time I worked on the body of the birds. I also dry brushed some of the colour onto the base to bring out the detail.
Step 9 – Finally I added Colortricx Bronze Gold and a mix of Colortricx Silver with Powercolor dark Blue to tint the top outer edges of the wings and the legs. I also used Secret Art Loft Clotted Cream and Secret Art Loft Liquorice Twist acrylic paint and a Powertex No.4 round brush to add the eye detail.
I hope you like my interpretation of both the fabulous template and the Heron bird. If you are inspired by my blog to create your own, please acknowledge me. It’s great if we can help each other in the continuation of our craft. If you would like to learn this project with me please do get in touch.