I have never been a great fan of the gold idol because for me it always falls short of what it would look like if it were a real artifact.
Looking at treasures similar to this fictional item - e.g. Tutankhamen's death mask - we see that the gold finish can be worn, scuffed and
often quite dull. Unfortunately, the general trend in gold plating is to make the item look far too new and shiny
and more importantly, the covering often sits too thickly in the recesses - rendering the edges blunt and softly defined.
The idol I selected came from an unknown source because it had been passed down from collector to collector over a number of years and through
the passage of time it lost its pedigree. Since I am a total novice in the world of idols, I chose one that looked similar to the one in the Propstore
photographs and this meant one that had a decent "sit" as well as the slightly less down-turned mouth so often seen in other idol versions.
Since my finished Idol was posted on-line there have been a number of suggestions as to its pedigree and going by the opinions of far more
learned collectors than myself, I feel its safe to say that my Idol started life as a Gobler idol replica.
The casting of my idol was generally quite clean - especially around the face. Under the chin however, there were numerous holes as well as
very thin spots in the chest area where it seemed as if air bubbles had created thin skinned cavities. Before painting, I filled all of the holes and
reworked the thin areas and sanded them first with rough paper, finishing in the end with extremely fine sandpaper.
The original color of my idol was ivory and that needed to change dramatically. I washed the entire prop down to get rid of oils and dust & then,
once it was properly dry, I prepped the entire surface by painting it with a gray primer - keeping the paint even and thin so it did not clog the detail.
I knew in the end I wanted a "jade" finish but, before going there, I sprayed over the primer with a flat olive green oil spray paint.
Now that I had a properly prepared surface AND had applied a neutral color that would easily sit in the recesses in case I missed a spot, I
set about trying to achieve the correct shade of jade green I had admired in the original. Although I had used oil based paint for the primer
& undercoat, I felt comfortable in making the change to Acrylic paints (in the end the prop would be varnished and sealed to prevent flaking).
Using primarily Green Oxide, I mixed in a small amount of White, Carbon Black and Cadmium Yellow Mid which I applied to
the entire surface using a broad artists paint brush.
Picture 01: The original ivory idol cast after filling and cleaning / Picture 02: Painted with Oil based flat Olive Green spray paint / Picture 02: After painting with a light Jade Green acrylic mix
After the basic painting was finished, I inspected the original photographs closely and noted with some surprise that the surface is not all green, because in some
areas of the skin the original green had peeled away revealing a baby blue undercoat primer on the original prop. Using Aqua blue acrylic paint mixed with
small amounts of Green Oxide and white (plus a tiny dab of black), I painted small areas on my figure blue - corresponding with the same areas on the original
i.e. the nose, brow, upper lip, chin, cheeks, areas of the chest, neck and hairline. Note: these were fairly roughly applied because I knew I would be returning
with fine paintbrush work later to emphasize the peeled back edges of the green painted overcoat.
Picture 03: Blue undercoat seen on the nose / Picture 04: The peeled back smile line revealing the blue undercoat / Picture 05: Blue on the upper lip
Page Three: The Eyes and skin surface