Merry Dragon pub sign – part four

This little pub sign will be displayed at the Coastal Enterprises (Precision Board) booth at the ISA show in Las Vegas this coming April.

With the sign fully assembled and the carving of the Precision Board finished it was time to do a little hand sculpting. I started with the bare armature, coating that with sculpting epoxy and then bulking it out with crumpled balls of tinfoil. I built it up layer after layers until I had the basic shape down pat. At that point I could start in on the detail. I began with the tail and worked my way up to the top. In the top two photos he is complete save his face and arms.

The next day I finished off the last details. It took about ten hours to sculpt the dragon in total.

Then it was time to begin the paint. I started with the base colors, all hand brushed and water based. I was using Modern Masters Metallics which cover well and blend easily. The dragon first got a coat of gold. The second coat was a brighter gold color on top blending through down to a apple green on the bottom. The sign is a light metallic blue for the base coat.

Next week I’ll begin the glazing and build up the colors gradually, first with the dragon and then down to the woodgrains on the sign and post. I’m still a little undecided about the metal dragon bracket and the base but that will be worked out as I proceed. Stay tuned…

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Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force in the sign industry. He and his wife Janis are owners of Sawatzky’s Imagination Corporation – a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional theme signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous international awards and Dan’s articles appear frequently in the sign trade publications. Dan and his crew also host Sign Magic and Sculpting Workshops in their studio a number of times each year with attendees coming from around the world. For more information please visit www.imaginationcorporation.com

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