Ranuska gets a beach!
After months of inactivity on Ranuska, I decided to take a break from bathroom renovations and dedicate a bit of time on a rainy weekend afternoon to finishing off Ranuska. The single largest gap in Ranuska? No sea!
So wasting no time I got stuck in. I dug out my black paint and gave all the deep water areas a good coat of black, with just the tiniest hint of dark blue mixed through. Around the beach I painted the same sand colour (Resene Sandcastle) down onto the ocean area, then feathered it into light blue. Looking at photos from tropical paradises, the water is so clear that the transition from beach to sea barely even changes colour.
Around the rocks I mixed up a thin wash of brown (Resene Sambuka) and muddied up the black around the rocks, then washed the bottom inch of so of the rocks with the brown. Later I did the lower half inch or so of the rocks with a dilute black wash. Being plaster the rocks just suck up the colour and look wonderfully worn and weathered from all the years of waves splashing at them.
Now it was time to make the sea. I went out and ought some gloss Modge Podge, only to realise I already had a tube of acrylic gel gross medium sitting at home. Oops. So I mised up my acrylic gel and brushed it on to the sea. In places I mixed in dilute streaks of blue and stippled the surface to give a nicely textured sea surface. Even before it had dried it looked fantastic!
Before it dried too much though I mixed up some slightly opaque white and dabbled that around the edges, blending it in to the rest of the water. This gives a great representation of waves lapping around the rocks.
Around the beach I did much of the same. Acrylic gloss gel up to the sand, then today I went around and touched things up with a very fine brush. I used some clear acrylic varnish, blending tiny amounts of sand and blue together to make translucent washes to build up the colour around the beach front. Right where the beach touches the water, I used almost full strength sand paint and blended it into the water.
I've got a bit ahead of myself though. Before I could put down the water, I had to give the beach some sand. I hummed and harred about how to model sand. Do I just paint the plaster? No, too smooth, not the right texture I decided. So I paint it and then sprinkle over talc? No, too fine and it would change the colour. Then I remembered a nearly empty box of instant grout mix left over from our laundry renovation. Rachel's dad had helpfully tucked it in the train room pile at the end of the renovation, knowing full well that I'd find a use for it. Turns out that "white" colour flexible grout, mixed up to a thin paste in water and sand coloured paint makes excellent sand. Just brush it on and half an hour later it is dry. It dries matt with just the tiniest texture. I think it really looks the part!
I can't believe what a difference it has made to the whole scene. Now I can get started adding people and making up all sorts of scenes on the beach. Of course now I really want to go holidaying where the sun is hot, the water is blue, the ice creams cheap, and the trams are frequent. Does such a place exist?