Sunday, March 23, 2014

Making Miniature Trees Part Two

I wanted to add a few photos of the Palm trees I've been working on. This week I started painting the trunks.

I used a pale acrylic grey as a base  coat. The tree I'm painting here is the smaller of the two.

This is the larger tree. I dry brushed some darker grey to accent the rough bark texture.

At the tops of the trees I added some cut paper to resemble old dried frond growth.

Here are the two trees drying clamped to my turntable.

For the fronds I decided on using stiff photo backdrop paper. I made templates of four sizes of palm fronds and traced them onto the paper.

Then began the fun of cutting out the 60 fronds!

Each frond was a double piece of paper stock glued together with an aluminum wire in the center.

After gluing each frond was trimmed to shape.

Each frond was painted with acrylics and dry brushed with various colors for hilites.


After painting the wire stem was wrapped with cotton twine and painted to resemble the stem of a palm leaf.

Part of my growing palm frond " jungle " drying.

Each frond leaf being further trimmed before being glued to the trunk. Due to the aluminum wire stems the fronds can be manipulated and positioned as need be.

The two trees completed with the fronds added. I was pleased with how they came out. Next I'll be starting work on two leafy type trees.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Making Miniature Trees Part One

Recently I was commissioned to create two palm trees and two leafy type trees. The trees are to be used as part of a miniature jungle set for an independent stop motion animation film.

The trees are going to be approximately 24" tall. Each tree has a birch wood base. Because the trees need to be rock steady during the animation process I added a bolt to the base to secure them to the model set.

Next I glued three 1/4" wood dowels together. Wrapping them with cotton twine will help hold the paper mache in place when it is applied.

Here I am using floral wire to anchor the dowels to the aluminum wire from the tree base.

Working Ave's Apoxie clay around the bolt head and wire will lock everything in place and create a rock hard base for the tree trunk.

Here I'm applying a mixture of taxidermy mache, Celluclay mache, and a little Plaster of Paris to accelerate the drying time. When the trunks are thoroughly dry I'll be able to move onto the next stage!