Is it Spring in your neighborhood? I'm happy to report that the daffodils are officially blooming. As are my allergies! :)
I wanted to share a couple of things with you. One is called Art Abandonment. I found out about this group by following Michael DeMeng on Facebook (if you don't know his work, skip over and take at look at his fabulous-and-crazy stuff). The idea behind the group is that you make a piece of art, and then you abandon it for someone else to find. Hopefully bringing a smile and some mystery to the world.
I am going to abandon these guys just as soon as I figure out where (and get up the nerve).
Four little monster babies in their sleeping bags.
It's oddly satisfying to make something and know that you're just going to put it out there and walk away. I hope whoever finds them doesn't mind them crying all night long and eating them out of house and home.
Several people have asked me how I go about getting the crackle finish on my dolls and monsters. I use this stuff (Deco Art One Step Crackle):
Which, by the by, I used to be able to get at Michael's and now order on-line.
Here's my process:
I make the doll out of either sculpey or paper clay (you can use either, it makes no difference in how the crackle works).
I prime the doll with gesso. Then I give each doll multiple coats of paint.
Priming and painting the piece actually does make a difference in how the crackle works. It seems to need a sealed surface to stick to and crack properly, otherwise the effect is more like fine peeling paint. Which may or maybe not be what you want.
Sorry about the pics, I was upstairs in the laboratory with my cell phone.
If you're generous when applying the crackle, you'll get deeper cracks. An even coat will give you an overall fine crackle. Don't apply it so thickly that it runs. Also try not to rework the crackle too much, because it starts to crackle right away, as it is drying.
Hopefully you can see how the crackle finish looks before you apply the last coat of paint that will accent the cracks. It's shiny and you can see the cracks as you hold it under a light. You can also see where you missed painting the crackle (it will look duller/matte). I just dab on some crackle in those places and let it dry. For the baby monsters, I didn't put the crackle on their faces. I did seal the faces with a coat of gel medium.
The last step is the trickiest. First, make sure that the crackle is very dry (I leave them overnight). Then get two paper towels, one moistened (not soggy, squeeze the water out), and one dry. Pour yourself a little black paint (or any color that is darker than the one you've painted your doll with, so it will show the crackle). Get a brush you don't care about (I have one I use for this).
(You can also pour yourself a glass of wine, but I would wait until I was completely done.)
Next paint an area of the doll with the black paint, completely covering it. The cracks should 'disappear' in this area you've painted. I use a brush that has already been destroyed by my loving care, and run it back and forth in different directions, forcing the paint into the cracks.
As soon as you've done that in one area, take your paper towel and wipe off the black paint. Use your moisten towel to feather the edges (so you won't get a black seam), or wipe off any areas you've mistakenly painted black. (This happens to me a lot! :) If an area is too dark, use your moisten paper towel to lighten it.
You'll have to work fast, so that the black paint doesn't dry on the surface (which is why I don't have pics). Work your way around the area that you've painted with crackle. You can go back and re-paint (and re-wipe) any areas where the crackle isn't dark enough.
That's how I do it. I'm sure there are other products/techniques, but this works for me.
Here are two Halloween guys I made where I used the crackle on their bodies and the base, but not their faces:
That's it for crackling. As soon as I get my courage up, I'm going to abandon those monsters!
Happy Spring all!