I've finally finished prep on the cowboy. I puttied the other joint on his arm, but he didn't look different at all so I didn't get pictures for that step. Then I went in with brush on sealer and went over rough spots to smooth them out, and then primer. That was a back and forth - sealer, primer, clean up some bumps, sealer, primer, and so on.
Then, finally, I started on paint. I've decided to go Hispanic with this guy, so I'm giving him a darker, redder skin tone. I found some pictures to work off of. That was not as easy as it might seem. I looked for pictures of a couple actors, and found a lot of variation in apparent skin tone based on the lighting of the shot. In any case, it looked like the color I picked is within a reasonable range based on the pictures I was looking at, so I'm going with it. It doesn't look quite as red in person as it does in these pictures.
I ran into another problem as I was putting on the base coat for his skin. My usual method of holding the figure while painting him isn't working for this guy. He's heavy, so the poster tack that the pegs in his feet are stuck into just don't hold him. He wobbles about quite a lot, and sometimes one of the pegs will just pull out of the poster tack entirely, if I'm holding him at too much of an angle.
I think I'm going to have to build his base and attach him to it, and then go back to painting. If I put him on a wood block, then I can hold the block and since he'll be glued in place it should be stable.
That does mean I'll have to do that part before I can continue painting him. Sigh.