Well, this is a sign to behold. One of the secret squirrel projects prior to Christmas was a special request from Texas Jack Daniels.
The idea was for a pack down prop to be put up outside their RV when on ranges across the nation. Many cowboy's distinguish their spots by flags, lights, signs etc and this one is sure going to let you know that you have arrived at Texas Jack Daniels (TJD) and Shotglass' camp.
The requirements: a gambler, a saloon girl, the Texas flag, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a shot glass, their aliases and should measure around 3ft tall by 4ft wide when assembled. Okay! Let this brain get thinking a little and see what I can come up with.
After a short time of contemplation and use of a couple of actual photos of TJD and Shotglass, I sent through my thoughts for approval. Next I drew it out on timber and we were under way!
Stage 1: drawing the design on the timber, took me a long time to draw the saloon girl face, (anything else but face's is my usual thought)
Stage 2: cutting, sanding (yes, did it myself, she wouldn't have had feathers on her boa otherwise)
As TJD was keen to see it to completion with photos to give Shotglass for Christmas, I cracked on.
Stage 3: black – everything I do for props starts with a black base coat. Saloon walls, gambler hat, saloon girl feathers, background between her arms and carpet
Stage 4: saloon walls first
Stage 5: working on the saloon doors, layer by layer
Stage 6: adding a bit of Texas flair, keeping the louvre door look happening, more shading and hinges
Stage 7: aliases (hmm taking a look at the aliases now, I see a flaw that I may have to rectify. The aliases are flat and by saying that I mean if you look where some of the letters flow from flat timber to louvre – should be shadow)
Total layers: timber walls 6 layers , saloon doors 7 layers, aliases 3 layers.
As each day drew to an end I would send TJD a number of photographs of the progress.
Always starting from the background first it was onto the gambler. Depending on where it was at and if waiting on paint to dry, then I would switch over to the saloon girl or add more detail if I thought a section needed more.
Stage 9: onto the carpet for both
Stage 10: the table in the background was next. My original thought was to have the gambler holding the bottle and still hadn't quite worked out the shot glasses. The photo had a table in it and so became the perfect idea to include it for the bottle and shot glass.
Stage 11: boots and pants
Stage 12: saloon skirt, boa, gloves, hair feathers – we both decided red would be a great colour to make this pop, besides, it is one of Shotglass favourite colour's also.
Stage 13: whiskey bottle and shot glass, saloon girls legs
Stage 14: more shading to gambler boots and saloon skirt
Stage 15: black base to saloon girl boots, apron front of skirt and gambler vest
Stage 16: continue shading saloon girl skirt, boa and apron front. Stripes, buttons and chain to gambler vest with additional shading.
Moving right along into another day and I'm starting to get to finer details on some areas.
Stage 17: let's add some gimp trim and fringing to the apron front and black in the fan.
Stage 18: detail to boots, eyelets, hooks, laces and detail the fan
Stage 19: flick back to the gambler and it's time to do the cane and hands, black in the corset and bust of the saloon girl
Stage 20: skin layers take time
Stage 21: black in the gambler coat and start shading
Another new day dawns and I'm still thinking about how to give the corset more detail rather than just a colour.
Stage 22: add red shading to corset, black in hair
Stage 23: she needs jewellery – draw, black in, shade more to corset, shading to gambler coat arms, cravat and tie pin, add colour to necklace, draw in lace pattern to corset.
Stage 24: shade jewellery, paint lace and shade corset. Tie pin, collar and cuffs, hatband
Stage 25: do both their hair, shadowing to gambler hat, and face skin tone
Stage 26: moustache and eyes to gambler, fringe, earrings, facial features to saloon girl (starting to sweat now, really want to get this face right)
Stage 27: more shading to facial features to both, hat shadow to face of gambler, touch ups where required.
Stage 28: stand back and admire my own handy work. Loved working on this piece!
Stage 29: lacquer! Now the colours really pop!!
Stage 30: assembled
Stage 31: brackets and posts – thanks to Jack for working out a better solution of my half baked idea.
Total layers: Gambler – carpet 5, table 5, bottle and glasses 6, boots 4, coat 5, cane 4, vest 6, pants 3, hair 5, hat 5, tie 7, face 10.
Total layers: Saloon Girl – carpet 5, boa 5, gloves 3, skirt 7, corset 8, fan 4, boots 5, hair 6, face and skin 10.
A total of 39.5 hours later over a period of days, this is what we finally have!
The photos don't do it justice and I think they will be more than ecstatic when they finally have it in real life, come Land Run, when it will make its initial appearance on range.
That was a fun piece!
Cheers! Kat xo