Thursday, May 7, 2015

Egg #12- Four Seasons goose egg from "50 years all cooped up, what's an egg to do?"

     I love being a Vermonter. I love my state. I love the change of seasons, and although I do have my favorites, I don't think that I could live without all four of them. I had the honor of representing Vermont and sent an Easter egg to the White House in 2006, attended the celebration and met the First Lady, Laura Bush.  Here is a photo of one side of that egg:

     The egg had four panels, and represented a couple of Vermont's more notable seasons, such as Fall and Winter, and an outline of the state and a jug of Maple syrup. Here was my inspiration for the egg- a ride through the back woods of Vermont (Eden, I believe it was), and happened upon a little Maple Sugar shack.

     My children jumping into piles of leaves (when they still did that), was also an inspiration...

        I decided to revisit that theme, and depict all four seasons of my lovely state properly. I needed an anchor to thread through all four horizontal panels and unify the egg. I chose a deer who remained in the same position in the same landscape.  I also decided to represent the four seasons using the vertical band work that capped the top and bottom of the egg. So, it begins...

     I divided the egg into eighths, and made a wide horizontal band big enough to fit four 2" circles that touched at their widest parts. I used my paper templates to help me draw the circles. I drew a 1/8" band on top and bottom of the circles. Next, measured a 1/2" band on top and bottom of the small bands, and added one more 1/8" band on top of that. I used the "bulls eye" in each circle to draw several hills for the deer to straddle. I kept the deer in the same position, and did not change the number of hills in each circle, although some will look differently with flowers, snow drifts, streams and shrubs. On the top and bottom cap, I divided the circle into an eight arm snowflake and added little diadems at the end of them (a little nod to our friend Snowflake Bentley). On the top 1/2" band, I drew a meandering row of pine needles. On the bottom 1/2" band, I drew 8 diamonds within the band, and drew Maple, Oak, Aspen and Linden tree leaves. In the little triangles, I drew opposing acorns with caps, sitting on the "shelf" of the small 1/8" band...Whew! That's a lot to draw, but it must be planned out ahead of time, leaving nothing to chance.

     I now wax in the arms of the large snowflake on top and bottom and add a little snow fringe on each arm. I wax in the diadems. I use a brush, and paint in over the top of wax with PUSA ice blue, and then around the bottom of the rim, blend wet into wet UGS light blue. I let it dry, then wax over that section. I do the same for the bottom, and plug up my drain hole.

     I brush PUSA primary yellow into the narrow 1/8" band work after waxing in little tiny arches. I then let dry, and wax over the small bands. I brush PUSA neon green into the top 1/2" band and in the sections in between the circles. I will wax in stems for pine needle boughs, and fiddle head ferns.

     As you can see from the above photo, I have waxed in the stem for the pine boughs in the upper band, and I do a gradient wash of PUSA key lime and asparagus green from top to bottom. I then wax in the pine needles. At this point, I also wax in the arms for the ferns. I will do the same thing as in the top band, and shade from light to dark and wax in the fern fronds.

     The top band gets a brush of UGS light green over the rest of the space where the pine needles reside, and then the whole band gets waxed over. I do the same for the triangular spaces where the ferns live. I give a final brush of color over the UGS light green with PUSA forrest green to deepen the color. Did you notice that the top cap is Winter, the pine needle border represents Spring, the middle sections have Summer ferns? The bottom band will be Fall, and the bottom of the egg is another snow flake, and we are back to Winter?

     Here is the middle section with the fern fronds all waxed over. Note the "Springy" light green of the top band, and the deep green of Summer in the middle....

     Now to the Autumnal band...I brush in PUSA mushroom for the acorns and caps. I float a wash of UGS yellow, pumpkin and light green, and blend them slightly.

     I wax in the "highlights" of the acorn, and will brush in PUSA nubian brown for a little shading.

     I start to wax in the outlines of the different shaped leaves and veining in the middle of the diamonds.

     I deepen the colors within the leaves, and keep blending the colors. The same with the acorns. I use PUSA chocolate kiss to shade the very bottom. I wax over the leaves and the acorns when dry.

     I brush in PUSA asparagus over the entire fall band. Let dry. Then brush in PUSA forest green, then black. I wax over only the little triangles where the acorns reside. I am not worried about the forest green that I brushed outside the border. The next step will take care of that, and also clean pencil lines...yes, it will wash away the deer, and I will have to draw one of them again (I only drew one to start with to get a feel for the design).

     I acid etch back with vinegar, and remove color gently by scrubbing softly with a Mr. Clean magic eraser. I rinse the egg and pat dry. I then brush in PUSA peacock into the diamonds. It is a wonderful bright color that sets off the leaves nicely.

     I wax over the diamonds, and I am ready to tackle the deer who will live through all four Seasons.

     I draw out the deer and the snow banks and a little stream that runs through them. I hand paint in the water with UGS light blue and wax over. I wax the very top of the snow banks- this will be the white highlight, and shade with PUSA ice blue and shocking pink towards the bottom. I wax over that as well.

        I wax little snow flakes in the sky.  I brush a little PUSA mushroom in a blob and wax in the antlers, hand paint the deer with PUSA chocolate kiss and UGS brick and wax over that. I wipe away the brown of the antlers with a  little piece of magic eraser and vinegar and get the sky back to white. Lastly, I brush in PUSA peacock for the sky, and after dry, wax that as well.

     Next is Spring. I do the same thing that I did for the pine needle border, starting with the lightest green, waxing in fronds, and shading with a variety of greens for the hillside, keeping the lightest colors to the front, and darker colors towards the back. I do the deer the same as above and wax. Last is the sky and blue water. Onto Summer.

     It gets a little fussier here...I add some daisies, red clover, black-eyed Susan, and forget-me-not ...all of the lovely wild flowers of Vermont. I hand paint the dye and wax over all the flowers first. I then do the shading on the hillside, wax, the deer, same as above, and lastly, the water and the sky.
Onto Fall.

     I blend and shade the autumnal bushes with UGS yellow, pumpkin and scarlet and wax over those areas. I blend and shade the rolling green hills, wax those, then the deer, river and sky. I am now ready to unwax.

Here is the Winter panel:





Bottom band:

And lastly, the top/bottom of egg:

     I hope you've enjoyed the creating of this Four Seasons egg. If you have a chance to come and visit our beloved Vermont, you won't be disappointed. You may even be treated to a little home-made maple treat. There is a season here for everyone!

1 comment:

  1. fab work! really enjoyed seeing the process! bests,ildi aka cukipok