Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Vault: Treebeard Shadowbox


This project took me ages!  I think it was about a year in total from sketch to completion.  I had a long post about this on my previous blog, and have finally built up the initiative to post the process again.  You can click on any of the thumbnails for a more detailed version.

First Step:  The Sketches and Digital Color Test

treebeard  treebeard background  Colors

Second Step: Mapping the Pieces and Painting Watercolor Swatches

To make sure that I constructed Treebeard correctly I had to map out all of the pieces, and then paint swatches for each of the mapped pieces.

IMG_2514  Swatches

Third Step: Cutting out the Pieces and Construction

To cut out the pieces I have to trace them from my “map” onto tracing paper, and then tape the tracing paper to my colored swatches.  It’s time consuming!

IMG_3766  IMG_3774  IMG_4242

Fourth Step: Building the Box and Placing Treebeard

I built the shadowbox with some lumber I bought at the hardware store, and painted it black.  The Treebeard figure had to be attached to a wire skeleton that I glued to the frame.  After gluing in the ground and Treebeard I attached the background.  Later I had the pieces on the outside of the frame laminated (so they wouldn’t be ruined if the box was splashed with water), and I super-glued them to the front of the frame.

IMG_4264  IMG_4273  IMG_4270

IMG_4279  IMG_4280

Ta da!


  1. Buddy this will continue to be one of my favorites!

  2. No wonder this took ages its maddening! Love that you've shown the entire process. Inspired me to try my hand at cut outs too - maybe a simpler one for starters!

    1. You should definitely give it a try. Judging by all of the origami folding in your blog, you already seem to have the pull toward paper.