Where to now?

I’m finally done and dusted with the Choi Sik Guan Gong lion (rainbow lion). So where to now?

I’ve decided to use this blog to document all my other little projects that I do relating to lion dancing and lion heads and to the lion dancing scene in Sydney (from my miniscule perspective). Just check the My Other Projects tab in the menu for updates.

I’ve got a couple of projects lined up already.
– There’s two more lion heads from the Dragon Style School that have taken a heck of a beating. Outwardly they still look good, but I’ve had a good inspection of them both and they’ll need a fair bit of work. One’s a Liu Bei and the other is a Zhang Fei. They’ll be a good start.
– I’m keen on making a golden/bronze/ orange coloured lion head, not too dissimilar to the Golden lion that Yun Fook Tong used in that 1986 lion king competition.
– I also have another rainbow lion tail sitting around which needs a head to attach itself to so maybe a fresh faced Liu Bei lion head at some point.
My kung fu Senior in Hong Kong has also been kind enough to save me another battered lion head from a charcoal ending so I can see it out to its former glory. (I don’t know how I’m going to actually fix him especially with the lion being an 8 hour flight away. Maybe I’ll carry him home on my next visit that way).

To kick things off. I’m going to take you back in time to the the old black and white Zhang Fei head that I restored a few years back.
Zoe’s had a look at it and isn’t too impressed with my shaky paint job so she’s decided that she’ll give him a one over to sharpen him up. She’s still in the process of doing so. I’ve also ordered a black and white tail for him and it’s arrived so here is the complete lion minus a second coat of painted love from Zoe.

Front on view of lion. sitting on its new tail

Front on view of lion. sitting on its new tail

The tail in all its glory

The tail in all its glory

The original neck piece

The original neck piece

Neck piece reunited with its head and new tail

Neck piece reunited with its head and new tail


Painting finally completed!!!

It’s done!!! I wish I could say I painted it all on my own but alas, it’s was all Zoe’s brilliance and hard work which has gotten us to this point!!!! What a relief to finally get the painting done and I must admit, I’m a very happy man.
To start off with, here is a picture of my lounge room which I doubled as my workshop. One corner ceiling was converted to display my completed items. Just a little bit of motivation to keep me going every time I sat down to watch TV….. ……..I would plonk myself on the couch and call out “Zoe, you haven’t finished painting the lion” before proceeding to relax and watch TV while supervising Zoe =D Here is Zoe hard at work putting on the final touches
You can just make out the bottom of my little TV above her head. I took this picture, sitting on the couch. BEST Thanks to the guys on liondancing.org/forum for advising me on the use of varnish. I ended up with a Josonja’s Polyurethane water based gloss varnish and applied 3 coats to give the lion a heck of a glossy look.

And without further adieu, here are some of the photos

This is what the eyes ended up looking like. A combination of the previous two eyes we had earlier. 

And …………………………. here he is!!!

And the lovely Zoe with our painted lion head.
Picasso in the making.

Hope you like the look of it so far

Step 20 part 2- sketching the design

Ok, so managing to get screenshots of lion head is one thing, translating that into clean lines and a design with definite colours is another.
I managed to work out a fair bit of the design but I had to make up certain bits.
I’m glad that this lion had bristle fur so that I could appreciate the painting.

My sketches on paper
Sketches on the lion

Progress report .. from then til now 18 months later. Here’s a snapshot

Before I start posting up pictures of the painting process, I thought I’d post a couple of pictures from whence I started to where I am now. So far, it has probably taken me about 18 months of slow, tedious, painstakingly boring work, with many breaks in between followed by very short periods of inspiration and a bit of an ass kicking by my girlfriend to get the job done.

Step 21 the pom poms

So I wasn’t sure if there was any way I could get out of paying for pom poms because they are quite expensive items. Making them was probably not an option because I didn’t have silk and the woollen pompoms I have seen were generally quite cheap looking.
My hope was that I could get them cheaply from China through my kung fu senior but that was put on hold as I couldn’t get there during my last trip to Hong Kong
But its amazing what you can find on the internet and all the helpful tips that people offer. I had found a guy on the internet who had made his own pom poms using woollen yarn and actually turned them into nice fluffy spheres that are most worthy of being adorned on a lion. The colours were vibrant and they looked full.
So I decided that the worst that could happen if I tried it myself is that I lose a couple of dollars.

Check them out for yourself, I’m quite pleased with the result. The trick is to get a very fine dog fur brush. I had used a much coarser one earlier which didn’t do much by way of fluffing.

Wrapping the wool around your cardboard circles. Google it up or youtube this process

Snip between the edges and you end up with a “pom pom”. I wrapped the wool about 12 layers deep for the big pom poms. The more layers there are the thicker and fuller your pom poms. For the smaller ones, I did about 8-10 layers.
They don’t look like the beautiful silk ones yet but you’re on the right track.

He’s the next important bit. Invest yourself in one of these puppies!! These dog fluffers are amazing. Just start brushing away. Remember to seperate the colours as you’re frizzing it up so you can keep the nice layers of colour.

What the pompoms look like after you’ve fluffed them. They should be quite fuzzy and probably a bit pear shaped. You can see a huge different between this and the one in the background which has not been fluffed yet. 

When you’re done fluffing, get yourself a pair of scissors and start trimming it into shape until it looks spherical. 

I made a whole bunch of smaller ones to boot
My semi final collection. I need to make another 10 more but I’m a bit over wrapping wool around pieces of cardboard. Onto painting!