"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mini Murals

I finished another little painting in Joey's room.  This one is from Lu and the Swamp Ghost, written by, strangely enough, James Carville.


I've done quite a few of these over the years.  Luckily, Joey's still excited to come home from school and see that I've finished another one. 



All of the mini murals I've done come from her favorite storybooks.


I scanned the pictures, played with them in photoshop to show as much of the basic outline as possible (I think I used the stamp effect), and then printed them up on overhead projector sheets.  You can cram quite a few of them on each one.


Then I projected them onto the wall and traced them in pencil.


You can barely see the penciled versions unless you're right up close.  That way, I can finish them when I have time. Though this technique may have given me way too much time, since I've been working on this project for like ever.  And there are still more pencil drawings than finished paintings.

Our favorite part is deciding where to put everybody.


Like this little guy who is in the corner, behind the door.


And this bunch who are all hanging from a long rope I painted in.

I use plain ol' acrylic craft paints, thinned with water, letting it dry between coats (sometimes speeding things with a blow dryer).  This allows me to more easily do shading on the sort of difficult pieces.  I traced quite a few of them at the end with a super thin, black marker.


The Wild Things' hair and scales were done mostly with the marker.  It gives you a lot more control that way.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

People Eggs

It's almost Easter.  Which, around here, means it's time to add to our collection of blown eggs.

So how about some cute little people eggs?


I did the first version of this 13 years ago, when Joey was just a baby.


As you can see, I've improved on my technique somewhat.  Having the Pysanky supplies instead of the crap-tastic wax crayon in the kit helps, but so does having Photoshop and my own printer.  (The original was done before I had a digital camera or any type of processing software.  I snapped several pictures, dropped off the film at Walgreens and used whatever came back in that envelope.)

No real tutorial on this, just some tips.

-Print out the pictures of the faces before you start drawing on the body.  It really helps to get the sizing right.
-I printed one page with lots of cropped faces on it, doing several of each person because I expected to screw most of them up.  Surprisingly, I didn't.
-Before I cut anything out, I lightly sprayed the entire paper with a matte fixative spray.  This does two things: it sort of protects the ink and gives the paper a little more body so it stands out from the egg.  You could alternately print the pictures on paper that's a bit stiffer.
-Dye the egg with little bodies and no heads. 
(If this looks uber impressive to you, you have got to get yourself some Ukrainian egg dyeing supplies. It isn't difficult at all.)

-You can also put names on the back of each egg, like so. 
-When they are completely and totally dry, attach the heads using hot glue or Museum Wax.  You really don't want to use water based glue because it tends to warp the paper or make the dye on the egg run.

Good luck.  And as usual, send me a picture if you make these yourself.


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