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WIP Critique "Journey's End"

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by tonydawe, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi guys,

    I've recently started painting this wonderful 120mm vignette sculpted by Omaha's own Dan Morton, which is based on a drawing by Soren Hawkes entitled "Journey's End/ Goodbye Cobber". I've base coated with Vallejo acrylics and will start shading and highlighting soon.

    The scene depicts two Australian diggers of the 32nd Battalion, 5th Div AIF during the Battle of Polygon Wood in September 1917. One soldier lies on the muddy ground, shot through the chest and mortally wounded; his journey is almost over.

    His cobber cradles him in his arms and gently strokes his forehead. Their last moments together are a tender, bittersweet farewell as brothers in arms. The battle has been won, but the price they have paid is too much for them to bear.

    Just yesterday a ceremony was held at Fromelles in France to bury the remains of hundred of soldiers, many of them from the Australian 5th Division, who were slaughtered in the Battle of Fromelles in 1916, and only recently discovered.

    In one 24 hour period at Fromelles, the Australian Imperial Force lost 5,533 men, most of them from the 5th Div. It was the worst day in Australia's military history. To put this in perspective, it was worse than all the casualties suffered by Australian forces during the Boer War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined.

    My great uncle Walter served with the 32nd Battalion of the 5th Division AIF at Fromelles, Bullecourt, Polygon Wood and Messines. He is buried in the Messines Ridge Cemetry in Belgium. This vignette is dedicated to Walter and his cobbers in the 32nd.

    Attached Files:

  2. 1969 A Fixture

    your off to a good start on this wonderfull vegnette mate, i will be following with interest.

  3. housecarl Moderator

    Great start Tony. This will be personal for you?
  4. flart1943 Active Member

    Coming on great Tony, can't wait to see it finished.
  5. mil-mart A Fixture

    Tony, glad you volunteered to paint this great vignette by Dan and I will follow this one with interest. (y)

    Cheers Ken
  6. John Bowery A Fixture

    Good start.
  7. Meehan34 A Fixture

    Fuckin A brother. This is painting at its best, paint with a personal history. I'm on this one and watching with extreme interest.
  8. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Steve, thanks mate. There's still a long way to go but I appreciate your early encouragement.

    Hi Carl, thanks mate. Yes, I'm personally motivated to do the best I can on this project.

    Thanks Peter, a long way to go yet but it's pleasing to know you like my start.

    G'day Ken, I really didn't have much choice mate. This project chose me. Dan didn't have to twist my arm too hard. Particularly after I visited Polygon Wood battlefield last year.

    Thanks John, I'm glad you like the start. The challenge now will be to bring out the drama and emotion in the faces of the two figures and tie them together.

    Hi Mike, yeah its deeply personal and that motivates me a lot. Hopefully my painting skills are up to the task, and I can do justice to the sculptor and the artist who inspired him. Thanks for your encouragement and interest. I'll post WIP pics at various stages to show you my progress.

    It's not an easy vignette to paint, as the figures are sculpted fully assembled (with the exception of the right arm of the sitting figure), so there are no sub-assemblies to paint first. The sitting figure is attached to the base, which makes the face hard to get to.

    I'm looking forward to going crazy with the mud and weathering once the painting is done.
  9. Anzac1915 Member

    Hi Tony,

    Just watching the news item on the dedication of the cemetery brought a lump to my throat. My great-great uncle was in the 3rd Batt but was lucky enough to survive the war and come home. I never met him but have found out alot since I started doing the research.

    Please keep us posted on your progress, I'm sure the project will be an emotional journey for you.

  10. sarouman A Fixture

    Hi my friend Tony,
    Awesome theme of vignettes that I am sure the paint you are fantastic result.

  11. gothicgeek A Fixture

    Following with interest Tony...

    And great start on what looks to be a challenging piece

  12. jimias A Fixture

    Beautiful stuff. Waiting to see this finished!
  13. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks for your comments mate, and for sharing some of your own family history. In my own small way this vignette is my tribute to the diggers. It's already become an emotional journey for me.

    Hi Aexandros, thanks for your comments my friend. I still have a long way to go, but I appreciate your encouragement.

    Thanks Mark, it is a challenging piece to paint and to realise. I only hope I can bring out the central themes of the sculpt and convey the emotions honestly.

    Thanks Dimitrios, I appreciate your encouragement. I'll continue to work on it over the coming weeks and will post some WIP pics in a few days.
  14. Trep Active Member

    very moving
  15. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Great start Tony! :)

    Cheers, mate!

  16. tonydawe A Fixture

    Thanks Dan, thanks for your comment.

    Hi Dan, as you can see I've barely scratched the surface, but at least I've made a start, and I'm pleased you think its a good one. I'm not sure what material you used to add the mud to the base and on the figures, but it tends to peel off when it gets wet. I found out while trying to add dilute coats of acrylics to form the base coat.
  17. Dan Morton A Fixture

    I used Vallejo Grey Pumice to simulate the grainy texture of mud. If it's not working for you, of course, remove it. I've not had that report from any other painter. It may be some problem with the bonding of the pumice paste to resin. I've usually used it on putty surfaces in the past.

    All the best,
  18. Mike S. Well-Known Member

    Coming along beautifully Tony. Very good subject depicted too.
  19. Don Well-Known Member

    Wonderful work so far Tony, I look forward to see its completion. I think you and Dan have between you created a superb vignette of the AIF in Europe.

    Watched the ceremony from Fromelles but never knew that the AIF had lost so many men on that day. Wonderful to watch the Australian bugler play the coronet which had been found at Fromelles.

  20. tonydawe A Fixture

    Hi Dan,

    I've sent you an email explaining the problems I encountered with the pumice putty. Hopefully it wont be too much of a problem once I get on to the highlighting and shading.

    Hi Mike, thanks for your comment mate.

    Hi Don, thanks mate. Dan and I share a passion for WW1 military history and its an honour for me to work with him on this project. The Fromelles ceremony has been front page news here in Australia in the middle of a federal election, which gives you some idea of how much this means to us. In just a few short weeks Fromelles has gone from a battle hardly anyone had heard about, to something everyone has now heard about.

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