In pieces no longer
One of the masterpieces of paperartzi. There you have it, what looks like a model kit of bits that makes the leap to what you’d expect from the original drawing, to look incomprehensible. However, you’ll be rewarded for having come the full way with this exercise, for the proof will now be yours.
The first thing now is to apply colour tinting to the face and hair parts using a device I first started using in my very early days of illustrating. It’s an airbrush, and it allows me to apply the finest colour tints in extremely fine graduations. It’s probably one of the reasons my work often baffles people to believe is not done on computer. Back at the start of my professional career, I and a number of other illustrators would work with this gadget to create photo-real images for ad-agencies and publishers, that until fairly recently were not possible without computers, so the mistaken perception is totally excusable.
I only colour a little on the face including the lips, cheeks and a slight hint of warmth around the nostrils in order to make him look alive and not anaemic. As for the hair, including facial hair, there is only some yellow to add to the tips. Notice on the real Richard Branson, his facial hair is darkest and so I’ve done similarly to match. Now it’s time to assemble it all.
I pull out the original black & white sketch and work from back to front. What I mean is, that I line up the pieces that are farthest back first and progressively glue the above pieces over their tops. Like this, I work progressively forward until I finish by gluing the facial hair on last. It is extremely important to line pieces up precisely over the sketch, checking that they fit accurately. It’s not uncommon to remake parts if they didn’t form as precisely as planned. It happened on two of the eye pieces on this sculpture, and they of course are the most vital to get right. I did the hair as one component and the rest
of the head as another before gluing the hair arrangement onto the back of the completed head unit. The first image shows the head being assembled.
Lastly I put the body, or bottom half, together, starting with the shoes being added to the legs. To create the illusion of no joiner between the feet and legs, I use very thin strips of clear acetate so you don’t see how they’re held. I then assemble the hands and put the jacket together with the shirt, add the belt, buttons and neck and put it into position with the head. Done!
And to that, Richard Branson, the first of the Paperartzi family to be a real person caricature gives his two thumbs up to you for following the process through! I hope you learned a lot. Love lots by Paperartzi.
(The original artwork will now be framed for keepsakes).