Our White Patriotic Jumper had treatment of his parts:
Treatment, Tail, Part I; Treatment, Tail, Part II, Treatment, Tail, Part III,
Treatment, Knees and Thighs, Treatment, Belly Split and Preparation for Finish Work.
The White Patriotic Jumper is a sample treatment,
so our client can see the process from start to finish!
This post is about underpainting
the Patriotic Jumper with Gesso!
Two things were completed in this cycle.
We filled small non-structural cracks with various appropriate filler:
We gesso-ed Patriotic’s entire body in preparation for the oil paint.
MPFC does not know why
so many of the gem
mortices are fragmented, peppered with non-structural cracks and losses. In some cases it appears the over the life of
Patriotic gem stones may have been replaced, and may not
have been the exact size of the hole, leaving an odd void.
MPFC chose to smooth some
of these areas — all are
non-structural — with an appropriate acrylic putty, shown right and above.
The area around the flower on the shield was degraded, cracked and missing parts. Mitchell has redefined and re-carved some areas, but you can’t add parts missing in so easily. The gem areas and the flower body itself were modified using acrylic putty.
If we knew the historic
palette we might return
to it, but that information
is gone. As part of our documentation, we mixed pigments to match the existing finish for reference. Also, Patriotic Jumper’s palette is lovely;
we are following the lead
of the previous restoration with minor deviations.
We’d like to make the
metallic paints a bit more
like real gold and silver,
for instance, and paint
real stars on his flags.
Golden’s White Gesso came in a huge tub and looked like thick cream!
It provided a stable topcoat for the oil paint to grab onto and stay put.
The gesso coat reveals any areas we missed in preparation.
Kate tends to detail with a smaller brush before painting larger areas with a wide brush. This lays on a thin coat and keeps the carved areas free from buildup.
It only looks like it takes more time, but really, a smaller brush can be very efficient,
with less sanding necessary after the base coat is completed.
Above, his nose is half done! The pink paint inside his nose and ears
persisted in coming through the gesso until the oil paint was applied.
The tail was applied at a later date for various reasons:
see the tail reparation here: Treatment, Tail, Part I;
Treatment, Tail, Part II, Treatment, Tail, Part III,
Gesso is complete; finish work can begin!
Go here for the next step: Preparation for Finish Work.
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Written by Kate Powell ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.
Beautiful work, Kate.
Thanks Dan — this was the easiest part, and what is hwoed was that most of Mitchell’s work was very good.