As it turned out, I spent the bulk of yesterday finishing up and refining the 12 Days ornament set(s). What I thought would only take an hour or two, wound up taking until nearly 10pm in the evening. I say that without dismay or disappointment. Things just take time.
While the main parts of the pieces were completed, I still needed to do refinements on them as well as finish them. The edges of the ornaments weren’t painted, and while the edges of the laser cut pieces that were provided by Artist’s Club were dark, as laser pieces are, they still needed to be cleaned up and painted in the darker, shading colors of that I used on the faces of the ornaments. Doing this neatly took a bit of time.
I also needed to do something to highlight the metallic gold numerals on each piece. While the metallic gold showed up nicely on the deeper colors, it did not on some of the lighter colors such as the lighter gold and red. I decided to line around the numbers with a tiny brush and some of the shading color to make them stand out more. I was pleased with the result.
There also came the question of whether or not to add faces to the pieces. I really didn’t want to add them because I wanted them to have a folk art charm to them. The actual faces were tiny (less than 1/4” in diameter) and while they looked quite large in the photograph that I showed yesterday, in actuality they were not. Even though the wood surfaces that I painted on were smooth, trying to fit eyes, nose and a mouth into such a tiny space would not only be a challenge for even the more experienced painter, but would be extremely difficult to do so with keeping the features in proportion to the rest of the piece.
I did play a bit and painted some simple features on my own set (NOT the one that goes to Artist’s Club), but I am not sure that I like the result. However, I decided to leave it there so that those who really want faces can add them in. But both Keith and I agreed that they did look better without. (It was one of the rare times that we agreed on something artistic – mark your calendars! ;) )
Here is the result of the soldier with the face added on:
(Just a note – these pictures aren’t the greatest. I need to do better ‘presentation pictures’ today)
It is OK, but not wonderful and it was very difficult for me to make look good. I used a tiny brush (18/0) which has about three hairs in it but I still felt awkward doing it. But at least the option is there if people want them to have faces. However, I don’t recommend that for those who are newer to painting. Perhaps it was just me, but it was very hard.
Overall though, the set came out nice. Here is a pic of the full set on the Artist’s Club surface:
And here is the second version done on my own ornaments:
Again, the pictures aren’t really awesome, but for this morning’s blog they will do. I was too tired to take good ones last night and I just took quick snapshots this morning. At least you will get the idea.
Today will be spent creating the pattern packet for this set. I hope to have it done in a day or two and up on the site soon. There seems to be a good amount of interest in them and I want to make them available as soon as I can.
I really did enjoy doing this set. It has taken me nearly 2 weeks to do it, with a wholesale order thrown in between, but it has been something that I am proud of and I hope the pattern packet appeals to many.
I realize that I can’t take nearly two weeks on every pattern that I create, but once in a while it is nice to make something that I feel is really special. The nice thing is that while I was working on these, I was thinking up many other new designs (AND writing down the ideas) for bot scrollsawing and painting. It seems that I will be busy for a while.
Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement along the way. It is good to have a cheering section when working on a project like this that takes so long. I realize that some of you who have commented aren’t painters, but gave encouragement anyway. It means a lot.
The weekend is upon us once again and as I write, it is pouring down rain. It has been rainy all week but for one day, and it looks like our weekend will be the same. Not great beach weather.
I hope you have a good day today, and if you have plans for the holiday weekend here in North America, I hope your weather accommodates you. Most important – have fun and do something enjoyable. Life is short and you need to take ever opportunity to do something you love.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"