Saturday, February 25, 2012

Painting 1:144 Scale Furniture

I just received an email from a customer who wanted some tips on painting the cast resin furniture I sell. I thought I'd share my answer:
You can use any of the acrylic craft paints, like Delta Ceramcoat, Folk Art, etc; that's mostly what I use. No need to primer the pieces before painting.
You are less likely to get brush marks if you
- use really good quality brushes with fine bristles
- use larger, square ended brushes for large areas
- don't try to cover surfaces with one coat; several light coats is always better.
To get wood grain effects:
- for dark woods: paint the whole piece a dark color first; then dry brush with a lighter color.
- for light woods: paint a light color first, then dry brush with a darker color
If you're going for realism, let the pieces dry overnight and then give them a very light wash with brown watercolor (I use watercolor pencils).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Medieval Furniture Site

I'd like to pass along a great site for those who might be interested in making their own miniature medieval and/or Tudor furniture:

It was recommended to me by David Hurley, who made the cabinet for the medieval baby house. It's a commercial site with an ever changing collection of interesting pieces for sale; and they give measurements! A very useful reference.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Medieval Baby House III

As I was taking pictures of the finished baby house, I realized that I hadn't yet posted a good picture of David Hurley's beautiful cabinet, so here it is:

The interior is very hard to photograph. It is almost impossible to get all four rooms in focus while still getting close enought to catch the detail.

The interior details are slightly different from my original design. I decided to make slightly more elegant brass andirons; the originals were black wrought iron. The "cloth of estate" behind the high table is a deep red instead of blue with fleurs-de-lis. I added a bit more furniture, and decided the chair near the fireplace in the hall should have a high back rather than a low one. I also added two little lap dogs on a cushion (porcelain, by Sylvia Mobley).

A tiny replica of the little pottery jug that inspired the project can be seen on the cupboard at the far left of the great hall.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Medieval Baby House II

Panelling and doorways have been installed on both floors. There is wood panelling on the right and left walls on both floors.The dooorway in the great hall has a curtain instead of a door, to make it easier for servants to enter when carrying food and drink

The next step will be to install the back wall and the fireplaces, and then add the furniture.

(Sorry the photo is a bit out of focus)

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Medieval Baby House

A few years ago, I saw a photo of a tiny medieval pottery jug. It was dollhouse size, and started me thinking about what kind of dollhouse someone in the 1400's might have had. As far as I know, there are no surviving examples, but why not a cabinet house? Luckily, I was able to conspire with my wonderfully talented friend David Hurley, who makes exquisite museum quality 14th-17th century furniture, he created a beautiful cabinet with space for a great hall, bedroom and "solar" (day room).

You can see the result, with a medieval lady by Todd Krueger, in the photograph at the lower right.

Now I'm making another medieval baby house as a special order for a client. It will have a slightly different color scheme from the original.

Here it is just as I was getting started. I'm using gesso to add a slight texture to the interior walls, which were then painted a soft white. The floors are molded "stone", painted warm grey and drybrushed with the same white I used for the walls to add texture. David left the back of the cabinet loose - it makes interior finishing much easier. It will be glued on later.