Shedding A Little Light.....
Some of you, Dear Readers, might recognize this picture as it was the setting of Last Year's Christmas Card, but that is not why I am showing it here now. It is simply a way of showing you the challenges I face with Lighting my own Studio in order to get good pictures of my projects. This room I call my large studio is really meant to be the living room in my small house, but I have it set up as the dining room because it is the only room big enough for the dining table and the hutch (which is off to the right in this picture). And a "dining room" in my life has always ended up being where I work because the table begs to be used! And after a while it just becomes my studio and I no longer pretend to have a "dining" room! And because this house is an older house with limited electrical fixtures... the only "overhead" light in this room is the candelabra you see... yes, it really is only candles! I have one old table lamp on the table and one old standing lamp that can be repositioned depending on where I am working. I also have a couple of old clamp lamps which sometimes are used to add light to dark corners... but they are tricky to manage as they sometimes un-clamp themselves in dramatic ways. I have one small point of use table lamp for the cutting mat work area to ensure good light in close detail work. And that is pretty much it for the light in my studio! As you can see, it is dark in all the corners and the "pool" of light under the standing lamp is the primary available light. And at this time of year, while the days are lengthening noticeably, it is still dark in the evenings when I might want to take photos of my work progress. So I hope you will understand, many of my photos are just not well lit... but I might only have that picture to show my "progress".
And I have been making some progress!
The "stone" floor of the Sugarplum Studio got a coat of primer.
And then I painted the first coat of color....
a light gray that I use all the time.
I also started to position the rafters,
(which you can barely see overhead)
but they are not attached as they will just get in the way
while I am working on the floor and walls.
Here you can see I am testing some paneling options...
I have had these panels for years and there are just enough for this project!
I will be using a different color on them.
And you can also see that the Sugarplum kit is a Small kit!
The main room here is only 9 inches deep and 14 inches wide.
(Hmm... I just realized those dimensions
are similar to my RL studio room dimensions!)
But the first task needing to be finished is the stone floor!
I began painting the dark gray into all the cracks
and adding some "brushing" of dark texture on the stones.
Again, these are the same two grays I have used for years
to make the "stones" in my projects... the Castle in particular.
And I realized that I have a natural tendency to think stones are gray...
rather than yellow-ish or red-ish or brown-ish.....
because the rocks in New England are mostly
gray slate and gray granite.
(I wonder what color the stones are where you live?)
Next I started to dab on bits of ocher and red oxide and burnt umber
to create some variance in the "gray" of my stones.
(This picture is terrible... ! )
But you can see I was very rough and random with the dabbing.
Then I began with the next layer of gray... the lighter gray again.
This time I dry-brushed it lightly over the whole stone
and then used paper towel to smear it and remove excess paint.
I didn't want the light gray to completely cover the under colors.
I have only done the stones in the left hand corner in this shot.
I think this shot is slightly better....
You can see that the gray paint is changing the tones,
making them more uniform and lighter.
The stones on the left half have been done here.... not yet on the right.
Here the stones have all been "grayed" ...
(but the lighting is terrible!)
That's much better!
I am not going to over-work these stones Dear Readers,
because it is only a small floor which will probably have a carpet
and be hidden by the furnishings too.
But I wanted a relatively uniform look
to the stones and a over-all gray-ish tone.
And because I am planning on using grout with this floor,
next I added the first of several coats of varnish to seal the paper surface.
Of course, it makes the stones look way too glossy.
But I am fairly confident that the grout will scuff up the glossy surface
and it is better to add enough protection
for the paper "stones" before trying to grout them.
And that's as far as I got, Dear Readers,
working on the Sugarplum Studio floor.
But I feel as though I'm finally making a little progress...
And I hope I have shed enough light for you to see it!