May 12th, 2011
The Boris troll is now completely built and waiting to be painted this coming weekend. The assembly proceeded according to plan and there were no real surprises other than the amount of time it took to complete the texturing process.
The assembly started by attaching the body to the feet. Four 1”x3” pieces of lumber were bolted the short pieces of lumber that had been built into the feet design. The four pieces were secured to the inner structure of the papier mache body then the cardboard chambers were filled with recycled water bottles and expanding foam.
The feet were further refined by adding cardboard strips creating a natural looking connection between each foot and the body.
Next the top of the body was cut to allow a proper fit for the head. Before the head was attached the hands were mounted onto the body using a combination of screws, hot glue and wire. After the hands were in place the head was positioned then all of the connection points were covered with multiple layers of papier mache strips.
A tattered cape was added by coating pieces of distressed burlap coated in a combination of joint compound and latex paint (Monster Mud). Ignore the color of the cape in the photos because it is the result of the recycled paint used to make the Monster Mud. After the cape had dried (hardened) the hair was extended off the back, flowing over the cape.
The final step was to apply different textures to the entire sculpture. Texture is very important for this project because the painting technique that will be used is dry brushing. Early on I had decided that I wanted a lizard or elephant-like hide and this could be accomplished by pressing loose weave burlap into the partially dry clay.
Because the troll is so large I didn’t want the same small texture to be used on the entire body so I created three different sized “weaves” that could be used on different parts of his body. The smallest texture was used on the nose and eyelids, the medium size was used on the head, ears and arms and finally a large scale weave was used on his body and feet.
The hair and fingernail texture was achieved by running the tongs of a plastic fork through the wet clay. The cape retained the natural burlap texture and each fray will pop when the paint is applied.
The wrench and bolts received no special texture other than the imprint lettering, again the dry brushing technique will make the lettering stand out as the words will be black against a rust colored surface.
Before the painting begins I need to scrap and sand the base, drill some holes so that the piece can be mounted to a concrete base and do a little tough up sanding to remove any burrs or other unwanted imperfections.