Lately, I have so much that I want to get done and it seems like I have little time to do things. I have a list of ideas a mile long and during the time it takes to check off one thing, there are probably two or three more that I have added to the bottom of it.
Yesterday I worked on the third set of stand-up ghost word pieces. I had hopes of finishing them up yesterday. But in the process of getting things done, I went ahead too quickly and ruined the paint on one of them and had to remove it and start over. I wasn’t very happy with myself.
I suppose during these types of projects, it would be a good thing to work on more than one thing at a time. Especially when I am painting things and need to leave things alone for a period of time to dry properly before the next step.
What had happened was I used the same crackle finish that I had used on the snowmen. This time it was for the ghosts and pumpkins. While this may be considered a ‘no-brainer’ as to which colors to choose, I did put a bit of thought into them. I wanted the pieces to be similar enough to look like a ‘set’ but I also wanted to differentiate the pumpkin pieces from the ghosts to give them a bit of interest. I needed to think ahead and consider which colors I would be using for shading, etc. so that they would look nice when finished.
The ghosts were the easier of the two to figure out. I knew I wanted an off-white color instead of a stark white. A rule of thumb for anything I paint is that I try my best not to use pure black or pure white for base coats, as it leaves no room for shading or highlighting. By this I mean if I used pure white for the ghosts, there would be no brighter color that I could choose to show highlights on the piece if I wished. By base coating the pieces a couple of shades darker, I would be able to give it much more depth and dimension. I chose a nice soft color called Buttermilk and for the undercoating, instead of using pure black (which I was going to use for the pumpkins) I used a dark grey called Graphite.
Below are the results:
I thought that it looked pretty good. A little ‘old’ from the yellowish tint in the paint, as ghosts should be.
The pumpkins were much more work and figuring. Since I have the full set of Decoart Americana acrylic paints, there were many oranges to choose from. There were yellow-oranges, red-oranges, and orange-oranges. The transparency on each of them varied too, which was quite important with what I was doing. Because I was using the crackle finish, the undercoating was pure black, as I wanted as much contrast between the undercoating and the orange as possible. In applying the top coat (the orange) over the crackle layer, I only had one shot for full coverage. Otherwise the black would show through and look muddy and dull. As a result, I experimented with no less than six different oranges before I tried one that I really liked. It was a bit on the reddish-orange side, but very attractive nonetheless and I liked the full coverage over the black base. Below is the results for that:
So now I was excited. I base coated and crackled all the pieces that I needed to, and I was ready to proceed with detail. That is when I goofed up.
I thought that it would be nice to apply a pearlescent finish on the ghosts again. You know me and my sparkle. So I took the Metallic Pearl Glaze and began brushing it over one of the ghosts.
But you know what happened?
It covered all the beautiful cracks up! Boy was I sad!
I immediately went to the sink and tried to use a damp paper towel to wipe off the glaze, and I began pulling the crackle paint off in the process. Since I had only completed that layer under an hour ago, and it was fairly thick, there was no way that it was cured enough to withstand the wiping. It resulted in quite a mess, with the crackle layer rolling off in chunks.
I knew that I had no choice but to remove it all and try again. After much wiping and allowing the piece to dry, I was able to sand it down to the base and start over.
Surprisingly, things came out OK the second time around. I wasn’t sure if I would need to re-cut the piece or if I would be able to salvage it. But with some time (_and patience!) I had it looking like the other two and things were back on track.
By now it was dinner time.
I planned to finish up after dinner, but I was getting tired and I didn’t really want to risk moving ahead until the pieces were thoroughly dry. So I did the most difficult thing of all – I left them alone.
By the time I got settled, it was already nearly 8pm anyway. Not really the time to do finishing work on a project when I still need to think.
We put on a movie and I began to play on the computer and do some drawing. The last thing I needed was to start another project, but I had an idea and I just wanted to get started on it so I wouldn’t forget it. Before the movie was over, I was pretty much finished with my drawing. The design is simple, but I think it will be cute. It felt good to salvage something out of the day. Here is a peek at some of the line work:
My Halloween and fall obsession is really getting to me. There are so many wonderful decorating ideas that I have for these seasons that I probably could spend all year doing nothing but. I have promised myself to stop here until the next site update is finished, which will probably be sometime around the weekend. I have several pattern packet instructions to write prior to that, including these three (now four) new designs that I have been working on these past couple of days.
I had better get busy . . .
I am happy to be in such a good place with these. I also need to do some other things for the new wholesaler which will have a good possibility of opening a new direction for our designs. I know once I get started in that direction, that things will start rolling there. So many good things!
With that said, I am off now. I want to get an early start and hopefully accomplish a great deal today (without going backwards first!)
I wish you all a wonderful day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"