I am going to keep this post short today, as I have lots that I need to accomplish. It seems (as always) that time is absolutely flying by. I can't believe it is already May. There were still some remnents of snow on the ground the other day and it is odd to think that in a few weeks, I (hopefully) will be able to sit at the beach. I noticed this morning though that the grass is a greener shade of brown. Little by little, the plants and critters are beginning to awaken. When I go to sleep at night, I can once again hear the little creatures chirping from the woods behind us. There are signs of life.
Yesterday I spent the day working on the two benches for my haunted carousel project. The benches are constructed very simply, and I think they will really add to the piece. I also base coated the pieces for the central pillar which holds on the top of the carousel. I am still thinking about the final details of how I will paint that, but the fog is lifting and has almost cleared and I should be able to move ahead with it today.
All the above mentioned pieces will be based in black. While I was doing that, I was thinking that I may do a short video on some basic base coating techniques. While it may sound simple to just block in color and base pieces, I have seen it done in ways that make me cringe. When I was finished and looked at the pile of pieces that were all neatly and completely covered in basic black, I thought they looked beautiful in themselves. (Silly, aren't I?) There were no ridges or brush marks and they made perfect 'blank canvases' for me to continue on. There are definitely right and wrong ways to do things – or at least right ways and ways that may make things more difficult as you proceed.
I hope to do more videos soon on some of the other processes I used with creating this piece. As you can imagine, there are many different techniques. Each one in itself is very easy. But by putting them all together, they make quite a nice impression. Like anything, when you break it down into baby steps, things are much simpler to absorb and implement.
For the first bench, I wanted to make a moon. I have always loved "Man in the Moon" artwork and I thought that adding one to the creepy carousel would be appropriate. I had fun making him look a little bit evil, but not scary enough to be horrible. Kind of an in-between "Naughty" look, if you will.
For each bench I would need a reflection, so I painted two.
I had toyed with the idea of painting both sides of each piece, but upon trying it out, it looked far too 'busy' and it actually took away from the bench. I do however plan to paint some type of embellishment on the BACK of each bench to dress it up. I had scroll sawn a star into each of the back pieces already, but I think I will do some pretty painting around it – perhaps some filigree stroke work.
Mr. Moon looks AWESOME in person. I used the same light paint as I used for the bones on the skeleton figures so his coloring matched. I then washed it lightly with a nice, transparent yellow and as a top layer, painted him with a wonderful "Interference Green" pearl medium. The Interference Green really makes the moon look luminous and cool, although I had to photograph the pieces at an angle so that it wouldn't reflect back to the camera.
I then added some beautiful peridot crystal rhinestones to replicate craters. I think he came out just stunning. The clouds he is sitting on match that of the carousel ceiling:
The swan bench was much more basic. I more or less matched it to the other carousel characters and it also came out pretty cool:
I can't help but think it may need 'more', but I can't figure out what just yet. I have an idea that I will try after finishing the above mentioned embellishment on the back of the seat. But first, I will move on to the rest of the painting.
So that is where I am at today. I have created a list for those who wanted to pre-order the kits from me and it is growing every day. I am absolutely thrilled that so many people are so supportive and like the project so much. I hope to finish painting this weekend and then write the pattern next week. That will be an accomplishment in itself. Then I will start production on the kits. I already needed to order extra supplies, as I have more sold than the initial supplies that I purchased. If anyone is interested in the kit, please email me at email@example.com and I will add you to the list. I am still figuring out the exact cost, but I can assure you that it will be less expensive than if you had to purchase everything separately. The kits will include the pattern (which I expect will be like a book), all the wood pieces, the magnets to hold the pieces together, the Roc-Lon fabric, the hardware and turntable, and even the beautiful rhinestones and nail head embellishments. I am not including the heat wand because many will already have one and I really don't have the money to stock them here. The heat wand can be purchased from Rhinestone Canada directly, or the stones can even be glued on. Alternatively, dip dots done in metallic paint can be done in place of the stones. So I think I have it all covered.
I hope you all have enjoyed seeing this project come to life. Of course, I will take wonderful presentation photos when I am finished. These have been just quick snapshots to give you an idea.
I need to head to Halifax tomorrow for some things, but I will be back at work on Sunday. I know many of you are anxious to receive your kits and see this finished, but I also know you understand that in order to make everything up to the level I insist on, it needs to take some time. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend! I hope you have some wonderful spring weather to help you enjoy it! :)
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"