For some reason,
all the space sites I follow can't stop talking about Apollo 11. Pictures of the moon landing, etc. that kept popping up on my facebook news feed nagged me to revisit an idea I had a few months ago. I wanted to make a small diorama of an Apollo spashdown with an astronaut exiting the hatch. So I got to work.
Except this time, it won't be small. Instead of sitting centered on a 6x6 panel, the command module will be dwarfed by a vast ocean.
I started by sanding the paint off one of my lost causes and priming the surface with a heavy gesso. I mixed in some paper towel to create a base for the waves.
While that dried, I began to tackle the problem of making a real life spacecraft out of the contents of this box.
A sane person would search eBay for an Apollo model kit, but that is not me. Luckily, I was able to find a plastic container that sort of approximated the shape of the capsule.
I greebled up the inside of the hatch with whatever I could find.
...and trimmed the door frame and windows.
Next, I sprayed some primer, which when dry will be followed by a coat of paint to make it all a uniform color.
It looks rough but it only needs to be an approximation. It'll look very small against the waterscape as if viewed from a helicopter. By the way I think I should mention that this one is meant to hang on a wall. There is no way I'm making shelf space for something this big.
I'll come back to this later, but I wanted to work on the water so the layers would have time to dry.
I experimented with paints, mediums, and metallic powder. I settled on a base mix of black gesso, phthalo blue paint, heavy white gesso, and water.
Some black and blue paint helped to accentuate the waves.
Finished base coat. Now onto the wave crests. I piled on heavy gloss gel medium, which may or may not dry clear. It doesn't matter. There will be many layers to come.
NEW - 9/27/14
Okay. So I actually finished this a long time ago but I kind of forgot to update this journal. Whoops. I'll try to remember what I did as best as I can.
After the wave crests dried I added a green layer. The paint will dry transluscent to suggest algae.
I tried to smooth out the waves with self leveling gel.
It didn't work very well.
So I used gloss heavy instead.
This is what it looked like after I added the white foam layer.
It's a little too much so I had to tone it down with some more blue and green.
See the difference in color? The small ocean scene takes place on another planet where the algae is red and black. It's a subtle difference but it matters.
This is the finished product. It looks brighter because I took the photos in a different light with a different camera.