May 27, 2014

Froud Fairy. Complete!


  • Magic Sculpt - Two part epoxy clay
  • 26 Gauge Floral Wire - For wing and tail supports
  • Craft grade acrylics - Random brands. I tend to buy whatever's on sale.
  • Pearl Ex - pigment powders
  • Premo Sculpy Polymer Clay "Accents" - Pearl
  • Swarovski Crystals - Used in the flowers
  • Liquetex Brand High Gloss Varnish

More photos below. But first some yakety yak.

Very happy to have this one complete.
Unfortunately, she is the last commissioned piece.
In the years of using epoxy based clays I've developed a relentless skin allergy. Which not everyone will develope. I was just one of the unlucky one. It emerged over four years, slowly increasing in severity. The connection was made when, after a solid day of sculpting my eyelids damn near swelled shut.
But I simply couldn't find another clay that was equally strong, with no detectable shrinkage and able to adhere to anything. So, armed with Artguard barrier cream and latex gloves I kept on truckin.
Reactions would still happen of course. The clay leaves a persistent residue behind on anything it or I touched. So it was impossible to keep from coming into contact with it somehow. From anything like a pencil I'd help with gloves on to the edge of my desk where my arms rested or the tools and clay containers themselves. Residue gradually coated everything. No matter how cautious I wasn't was.
So I'd have the inevitable reaction. Would then take a break for a couple days or a couple weeks, depending how bad, to let my skin heal up.
And it would be very specific spots that would react. My eyelids (the worst!), cheeks (looked like I had rosacea), two tiny spots on the forehead, backs of my hands, webbing of my fingers (the most irritating), wrists and elbows.
Churning out a custom went from taking a couple weeks of production time to taking months. Two or three even took a solid year. I'm immensely grateful to all my commissioners for having an endless well of patience. Not a single one complained, if you believe it. But making someone wait as long as a year is just ridiculous. Therefore, I'm choosing to turn the "closed" sign on.
Will this be the end of customizing? Not likely. I want to move onto other bases. Things like Kid Robot Vinyl, Kokeshi dolls, a Negora... ect. I even have one of those 18" Pony Project blanks sitting up on my shelf

Some Detail Shots

Wings were built to be removable. Intended to be a "break point" should she ever suffer a fall.

Up next: A step-by-step walk through on the process used to paint Froud Fairys' wings.
Type ya later.

May 21, 2014

"Not a single cloud"

"Not a single cloud".
Painted on Polypropylene watercolor paper with random brand craft acrylics.
And inked with Pass Color, Sepia Gouache.
And is for sale HERE.

dig that "real medium" shine.

This is my first time using Polypropylene paper.
The TLDR of it... It's a thin but resilient, bright white sheet of velvety smooth plastic. Meant as a watercolor paper it has a feather light tooth. Allowing for a wide variety of inks, watercolors, gauche and acrylics. And I love it!

To be frank, I hardly have any experience with watercolor. I love the look of the medium and admire those who can whip it good.
On regular watercolor paper I struggle. I didn't know what to expect and had no preconceptions of how it would behave. Therefore all I could do was pinch my nostrils closed and jump right in. And boy did this paper make the water temp a nice pee warm. First off one of the biggest benefits is that it's doesn't warp, wrinkle or buckle! After all it's plastic so there's no worries of water fatigue. You don't have to stretch or mount it. No pre-prep needed you can just start back handing it with all the water you want.
Which exactly what I need. I complain at the end of every year that I hardly have any finished work to show for it. And it's due to my own "every last detail" obsessions. Everything has to be planned perfectly before I make any large moves. Sketches trudge on for weeks as they are worked and reworked. Usually leading to the project being abandoned.
I've been rightly accused of over working an idea right into the ground.
But that's my own personal problem. And I've gotten off track...

This paper was super smooth to work with. I can imagine the lack of tooth may throw some off at the start. Brush strokes just glide over the surface. Like painting on butter with oil. The color medium sits on top of the surface rather than absorbing. Which can take more time to dry for larger puddles of color. Tread lightly if your going to use a hair dryer to speed up drying time. You could very well push any soppy wet color right out of its own brush stoke. Just like blowing ink spiders with a straw when you were a kid. Or heat scorch the paper, causing ripples. As plastic tends to do in the face of a heat source.
One down side is that you have to treat this paper like it's going to be dusted for fingerprints. Any oils on the surface will handicap the medium's ability to stick and can cause it to break off into tiny flakes when passed over again by your brush.
Also the color can be scrapped off if scratched heavily enough. I don't really see that as a con, really. Cause any paper surface can be scuffed, scared or damaged. I see it as a potential plus with this paper. I can envision taking an X-acto blade to it and scratching out intricate patterns or re-revealing white negative space.

In conclusion, a quick note about the inking of this piece.
The inking was done with a Hobby brush. Initially purchased for vinyl custom painting, but the long, slenderly tapered bristles make them great inking brushes. It doesn't matter if your hands are shaky. By the time the tremor travels down the bristles it gets dispersed and you're left with a smooth line. You also get greater control and comfort thanks to the triangular handle grip. These brushes are made for painting tiny details in tiny areas. And that basically my default work setting. I suggest you give em a try!

You can expect I'll be doing more with this paper.

May 15, 2014

BIRTHDAY gluttony

Back in April I became another year older...Again.
The in-laws gifted me a toddler free day and the husband took a half day from work to take us out for a nice quiet lunch. Then to a bakery I hadn't yet set foot in. I couldn't ask for anything more!
Fat girl surrounded by cups of cake! Heaven.

This cupcake you see here! This cookies and cream monster had a solid ice cream scoop of cookies n' dream cream perched precariously on top. Like bowler hat. But when I saw it had a cream filling. On top of all that mess, well, that's when I decided "F all! It's my G D birthday! I'm already fat so I'm just going to animal out on this mutha. I'ma kill this cupcake." Make it mah digested biznoch n' what not! I only get to Legally (under Street family house laws) animal out once a year and I was going down spraying bullets.

...Enter Failure.

Midway through, the sugar buzz became too much to bear. When you can feel your own atoms vibrating and the sounds of an ant silently walking along the sidewalk, become earth quaking stomps... it's time to throw in the frosting soiled towel.

The weeks following were spent doing some birthday shopping.
Thanks to a collected stock of amazon gift cards and gifted loose cash, I amassed myself a nice little haul.
We have the following:
Golden Open-slow drying acrylics. The modern theory set.
Golden Open-slow drying acrylics. The Traditional color set
(Thanks Bro-in-law!!)
Golden acrylic medium thinner - 4oz
Color Mixing Bible - by Ian Sidaway
and a
Magic Palette Color Mixing visual guide - the larger 24" version.
Oh and a 20ml tube of Pass Color - Sepia gouache. An accidental extra from 'dick Blick.