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Marmota Monax: Debating When a Prop is Done

on March 6, 2009 - 11:22am

Marmot prop. Paper mache, clay and fur
While my props don't usually see the light of day, I make it a point to bring them outside near the end of completion. Sunshine is an unapologetic critic; it shows all the warts (and not the good kind like you find on witches).

It's amazing how different a prop looks in the daylight.

I use this time to scrutinize him. I note elements that worked in low light but fail when spotlighted. I then decide how much I will adjust it.

I am over the moon with how the dog fur looks on him. I think it's the best idea I've ever had. Hands down. While I'm sure it's been done before, I've never seen anyone else use this technique, so there was an undercurrent of hesitation under my enthusiasm as I glued the pieces on. I promise to include more pictures that showcase his fur.

I don't want to ruin how he looks in darker environments, but I want him to hold up when there's no hiding in shadow. This is especially true for Marmota Monax because I think he'll be living a lot of his life in the light.

Painting for the dark is very different from painting for the light.

A good example of this is his front teeth. I hate how they look in the sunshine, but love how they look under interior light and in shadow. In low light, all those colours trick the eye into thinking the surface is worn away. I may adjust it slightly by softening the blend of colours.

Marmot prop. Paper mache, clay and furAs well, those soft brown highlights are muted in lower light. Barely noticeable, yet they add a subtle dimension to him.

I've decided his hind claws are flawed and definately need some further touch ups.

I'll do that this afternoon and then take some more pictures of him in low lighting. Photographs are also a great way to scrutinize a prop. It allows you to look at it in a new way, creating a much needed distance between you and the prop.

The funniest thing about the photographs is that when I take a direct shot of him, the outline of his teeth and mouth are prominent (much more than in real life) and it gives him the appearance of a cartoon smile. I won't touch up this area as it reads differently and effectively in person.

Marmot prop. Paper mache, clay and fur

Marmot prop. Paper mache, clay and fur
*added later* You can see here how the paint changes slightly just bringing him inside out of direct sunlight. The blue undertones show through a bit more.

And, as promised, a couple shots just to showcase the fur.

Marmot prop. Paper mache, clay and fur

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