Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Stone Owl - Part 1

The lady I work with is getting ready to deploy and I wanted to do something special for her. We have worked off and on together for many years and her husband helped me out tremendously when I first got in to photography several years ago. In the past I did quite a few owls but life became incredibly busy and something had to give. Last week I went to my favorite stone store and looked through finding an appropriate "owl shaped" rock.

I begin by washing the rock and letting it dry well. The next step is to start filling in the base to create a standing platfrom. This is a trial and error process. It usually takes a couple of days because I have found it is better to build a little at a time versus a lot of thickness at once. I use a pre-mixed concrete patch. After much experimenting with various brands, Ace hardware brand is what I prefer.

Once you have a well balanced rock, I then take very rough grit sandpaper and sand down the cement and entire rock including any imperfections I may have filled in. I don't try for a perfectly smooth surface. It is after all, a rock. Once sanded, I give a base coat of black paint, let dry and do a rough outline of the design. I start with the base colors which will take a couple of coats. I am not too worried about perfection at this time. On the next coat I will start tightening up the lines before I start laying in details.

Before you begin detailing, you have to decide what style you will paint. I prefer what I call a detailed folk art style versus and accurate depiction however I have done both. This is where you have to know the taste of the person who will be receiving.

At this point, I figure there is at least 8-10 hours of work left on this piece. Stay tuned.


Woodduck said...

I like this, and will stay tuned...thanks.

Paula said...

Please do. It is not much to look at now however I think you may be pleasantly surprised at the finished result.