Whew! Anachromie is finished! I’m posting the final pictures of her below and she’s up for sale in the gallery now! Don’t worry, you didn’t miss much since the last post. The only thing left to do was grooming the beard, nothing special. I’m no hairdresser, so I just followed some simple tutorials on how to reduce hair volume and that’s it. Now, taking the final pictures and fixing them took me almost two full days of work. If you’re a photographer, you will know how tough it can be to photograph something that’s shiny AND metallic. Even the best shots had to be edited and “frankensteined” together so you could appreciate all details without weird glares and burns. But anyway, it’s done! Anachromie proved to be quite an interesting experience. I experimented with quite a few things: a whole lot of air-dry clay mixes, silicon moulds, the dewlap, adding hair… I learned a lot and it was lots of fun. For those of you who follow me, I hope you’re pleased with the result too, and please spread the word! I want her to go to a good home. Thank you all, I’ll soon tell you about the other project I’m working on now.
Bitumen of Judea. Oh, how I love the stuff. It smells lovely and gives a rich brown wash to things that you can’t just compare to anything else. It’s oil-based, so normally you have a reasonable amount of time to wipe it off until it looks nice. It’s a bit trickier when it’s a large piece like these dragon heads I make though. I ran into some trouble on one of the sides and I had to redo it. Being oil-based, I had to wait for about two days for it to proceed. It normally takes less time, but it’s winter and Anachromie sits on a cold and non-ventilated room. Once it looked good enough and it was perfectly dry, I gave her some nice highlights by dry-brushing, and finally, gave it a matt coat of varnish. I really like how the black wash made it look so “antique”, almost vintage. It’s quite appropriate too, since bronze dragons are the keepers of the sands of time!
Anyway, now everything’s all dried up and ready for the ultimate beard grooming session! I’ll leave you with some pictures of our favourite bearded lady while I was applying the black wash and the finished result. Regrettably though, it took a lot of effort to take a decent picture of her now. The metallic paint reflects a lot of light, and the varnish doesn’t help. I had to tweak the contrast so you could appreciate it without any weird glares and burns, and because of this, it looks a bit flat and plain. Hopefully it won’t be too hard to take the perfect final pictures after the beard is ready.
Hair. Perfectly common in humans, not so much in dragons. Anachromie is a gorgeous bearded lady though, so today I’m showing you how I prepared her beard. I had to ask a good (and informed) old friend of mine on how to do it, since my experience with hair in general is very limited, so thank you, o Queen of the Bright Lights.
I was advised to make a “cap” to attach the hair to, and then glue the cap to the rest of the dragon. I’m not sure that’s how I will proceed, but I did it anyway. I took a piece of cloth, dipped it in PVA glue and shaped it to the dragon’s chin with a thin layer of transparent cling film in between. I let it dry in a position where it would hold the shape but not fall off.
Now, regarding the hair itself, what I did was purchase a white wig (long and wavy) with the intention of dying it myself. I turned it inside out, and cut the mesh following the lines of hair sewn into it. Then, I cut and pulled all of the mesh and thread until the stripes of hair became loose. At this point, the stripes of hair were rapidly losing hairs after removing the stitches that kept them sort of restrained though, so following my friend’s advise, I strengthened them with PVA glue. I used a sponge to literally soak the base of the hairs on top of an acetate sheet (so it wouldn’t stick). I did this to enough strips of hair to make the beard…. and a bit extra, just in case. Now to let it dry!