Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by garyjd, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Seeing the scratchbuilt flats of Roy Hunt has inspired me to try my hand at one just for something different. I have decided to start simple with a portrait relief of Henry Lee, the famous Revolutionary War cavalry leader. It will based on the portrait from Charles Wilson Peale. Here's the painting I'll be working from.


    After I finish the Irish figure I'll begin posting some in-progress photos. any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Any chance this might become available? Looks kinda fun (and challenging) to paint.
  3. Sambaman Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    On with the show!! I can't wait to see this one come together Gary. I like all the buzz lately here around flats, I especially like the thought of a bust. You don't see them nearly as often in flat form.

    Jay H.
    OKC
  4. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Matt, Maybe, if there is some interest. Either way I'd like to do at least a few other "Peale" portraits as he did a number of more well known American officers from the war.~Gary
  5. Roc Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I'm looking forward to this step by step, sounds very interesting


    Cheers
    Roc. :)
  6. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    It won't be that involved of an SBS, but I'll try to highlight the things that are difficult to do and those not so hard. I guess it's almost more of an experiment.~Gary
  7. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Gary,
    If it becomes available along witth the bust of Brian Pohanka you and I discussed after his death, I'll be thefirst in line.
  8. KeithP Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Well, I would certainly be interested in obtaining one for myself, if you are so inclined.

    How about a companion piece? R. E. Lee.
    A Father and Son set?

    Attached Files:

  9. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Keith, I like the way you think. ;)
  10. whdamon New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Gary..........You know how to get an old geezers heart racing....By all means have to with flats of ARW personalities....I can't wait, especially if presented with a few SBS's along the way.
    Frankly, watching the recent posts of Flat construction (looks like putty on glass over a portrait) I can see where this may be the next figure breakout (along the lines of busts nearly 10 years ago) Go for it!!!!

    Walt Damon
  11. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Keith, That is a neat idea. I espeially like a younger Lee, like the portrait you've shown if not just before the start of the Civil War.~Gary
  12. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Walt, Thanks for the interest, I know the period is one of your favorites. There probably won't be as many pics in the first sbs as this is my first flat/relief. Future flat projects will be covered in greater detail if this goes okay.~Gary
  13. Roy New Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Gary...you chose a really nice subject...the angle of the pose and especially the arrangement of the lapels should help to give that 3d effect.
    I'm off for a pre-christmas break with the kids tomorrow for a couple of weeks...I will look forward to checking back on all the flat threads when I get back.

    Really looking forward to your progress....Roy.
  14. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Roy, Thanks for the inspiration. Lee is a subject that I've always wanted to do. I hope to start posting photos by tomorrow.~Gary
  15. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    As this is my first time doing one of these it wil not be an SBS in the traditional sense. I will make note of some things I found important. As this is more of an experiment please add any/all comments, both good and bad.

    After selecting my subject I had to then decide on the size. I chose to reduce the image of Lee to where the portion of the painting I wanted to sculpt would be 2 3/4" high by 2" wide across the bottom. The image was then traced using a fine tip permanent marker and a section of clear plastic sheet that's used for page sleeves in a binder. The tracing was then flipped over showing the image reversed. It was then taped to a white piece of paper and traced again using standard tracing paper and a pencil (perferably something harder than a standard #2). The reduced image was then cut out and taped with masking tape to the backside of a piece of glass from a small picture frame.

    Attached Files:

  16. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Here is my enlarged version of the painting and the cutout applied to the working surface.

    Before moving on to the fun part I prepped the glass with a thin skin of vaseline to facilitate easy removal of the flat (Relief) from the glass once it was completed.

    Attached Files:

  17. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Aves putty was choosen as the medium for this flat as it has great carving capabilities. The first ball of putty was worked into the head area and spread out. Then using the image underneath as a guide I shaped the putty into the outline of Lee's head, being mindful to not work the putty beyond the image. I guess it's almost like staying inside the lines while coloring in a coloring book. After the majority of the head shape was worked in another was added for the shoulders and upper chest. As I worked the putty into the portrait's outline I tried to keep putty covering the main areas that should sit higher thickest. In the future I may just keep this initial outline shape a uniform thickness and go from there.

    Attached Files:

  18. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    After the putty has dried the fun part begins. There are two ways to approach replicating Peale's portrait of Lee. I could draw on top of my dried putty using the larger image as a guide hoping to get it exactly like the painting. I chose the other. The tracing I made was then placed on top of my outline and taped in place. I the traced over top of the lines of my tracing. The tracing acts almost like carbon paper, transfering whatever I trace onto the portrait's outline. After doing this I then took a .005 fine tip drawing pen and went over top of the transfered portrait.

    Attached Files:

  19. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Here is the piece after getting quite a bit done in the first sitting. I try to visualize those areas that should be closer and those further away. I begin by drawing over top of the transfered lines from the drawing with a sharp X-acto knife, putting enough pressure to break the surface of the putty. I then cut into the putty almost next to the outlined area and towards it. I only cut deep enough to where it removes the putty not much deeper than the depth of my outline. As material is removed a fairly clean line should be revealed. I try to outline and cut into the areas that will be further away first, which means removing more material. The areas that are closer will have less removed. I also use some fine files as they help to give me some shaper angles and more control over how much putty is removed determined by the amount of pressure I apply. I used to draw a lot, so approach the piece in the same way being mindful of the depth and perspective of the piece as it's worked.

    NOTE This picture was taken at an angle, so if the piece looks a bit distorted it's because of that. Doing a piece done in white putty is hard to photograph, especially one that is mostly flat.

    Attached Files:

  20. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Another picture.

    Attached Files:

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