Village Advent 2022

I should probably keep these posts private till it’s all done and dusted in the remote chance that my neighbours are subscribed to this blog.

Last year was a shot in the dark; I’d no idea what to expect, but I did what I thought would fit the bill. I’d just discovered Artivive too and I was keen on trying it out under sub-optimal conditions – in the dark, from my front garden, through glass. It did, but only after I’d realised, I needed to take the target image in situ, i.e in the dark, from the garden etc etc. It did.

This year, I have all that under my belt, warts and all, and I think I have a solution to the collapsing-easel-leaning-backwards-in-the-porch-with-a-small-crowd-in-front-of-it problem. I can hang these pieces, there will be two, from the handles above the main window using hangers you clip trousers to. I tried it with an A1 piece of card and it works so, bingo, I don’t have to sit in the dark all day with the light blocked, and I can stick LEDs round the window frames to illuminate them.

So, what’s coming? Based on two paint sketches, there will be a Santa with a bag of presents, and a dancing Christmas tree. Yep.

Here’s how it all began:

As before, the surface is primed with clear acrylic primer to give it tooth, and the image was built up using soft pastels, charcoal, and acrylics. Critically, Santa has kind eyes and whatever the rest of the image looks like, those eyes will give it life so getting them right was really important.

By then end of the third day, I had something that looked right, give or take the photographic limitations. Black is always lightened in my phone and the whole image is made brighter than it should be. But ultimately, it’s going to be lit for people to see from outside, and it’s going to be Artivive enabled so the photo image is less important than the one I need as the Artivive target.

This is where we are; a little shiny and over-bright (cheers, iOS!) but with the background dampened using black pastel blended with blue and fixed with specialist fixative. After fudging the hands, which had been resting on his famously large abdomen and then got shoved up under his beard, I gave him something to hold using last year’s wrapping paper. Other collaged materials include the gold/bronze label and the streamers. The robin is not, in reality, decapitated. All of these elements provide potential for animation, and the background also has potential to be a green screen projector of additional material.

[Daylight photo 3rd November]

Cropped image for eventual animation/video overlay.

I’m looking forward to moving on to the Christmas tree, which was something of a surprise when it stopped being a regular one with a star on top and became a whirling tree-dancer having the time of her life. There was a lot more energy in its making than for the sedentary Santa, and I’m hoping I can keep it. Both images should also make take-home cards as before.

3rd November.

All done and Artivive enabled. The videos are on my Youtube channel.

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