Thursday, October 23, 2014

{tap} {tap} ... is this thing still on???

Blimey, it's a long time since I was last here!

I've temporarily come out of bloggy retirement after my pals over at the spookalicious Weird Scissors site asked if I had something that I could contribute to their daily Halloween countdown

As luck would have it I was just about to embark on making a lil' Halloween something, so all I had to do was take photos along the way.

So - here is a dead simple - DEAD simple, geddit? - way to make yourself a piece of skully wall art to contribute to your Halloween decor

You'll need a cheapo box canvas - I used a 12"x12" from the Range - and some old offcuts of decorative papers in dark, foreboding shades, a large background stencil, and a selection of heavy bodied acrylic paints and big chunky paintbrushes

Also useful, white transfer paper (available from Amazon), white gesso and spray paints

First step, roughly paint your canvas black, I used spray paint but standard acrylic paint or black gesso would do the job just as well.

And then audition some paper scraps until you find a few that would make a good border

Next step - not pictured - rip and glue the paper scraps around the edge of your canvas - and once the glue is dry, sand the edges of the canvas where the paper ends to give a more finished edge

Use your large background stencil next, I used spray paints but you can use anything that will show up over the dark background (spray inks won't work, but standard acrylic paints sponged or pounced through the stencil would be fine):

Now it's time to find a copyright-free photo of a skull on the internet, and print it out at a size where it will fill up your canvas pretty well.   And this is where that white transfer paper will come in handy if you have some:

In the top photo, the skull picture is on top of the transfer paper, the prepared canvas is underneath - you just need to trace over the main features of the skull with a sharp pencil, and the result is the white outline you can see in the second picture.  Very handy if you are not comfortable drawing the skull freehand.....

Next step is to roughly paint in the lighter areas of the skull with white gesso or acrylic paint:

We're aiming for plenty of texture in the finished painting, so leave lots of visible brush strokes....

And now it's time to add colour, lots of colour!

Dig out a selection of nice, bright, heavy body paints, and big chunky brushes:

Make sure that you have a good range of tones - from light colours through to dark

And now the fun part - splash that paint on with abandon!

Start with the lighter coloured paints and put those roughly where the lightest parts are in your printed skull photo, then move through the mid tones and finally to the darkest areas.  Use big brushes, paint quickly and leave plenty of visible brush strokes.  You don't have to be precise, you'll be amazed how good the end result looks with absolutely no artistic genius required!

(I couldn't resist giving him shiny chrome teeth, he's a little bit gangster ;) )

Now all that's left is for you to hang it on your wall and wait for it to be admired by all the visiting trick or treaters next week :)

I'm donating this canvas to Free Art Friday Truro for their Halloween drop on the big day - so keep your eyes peeled for it if you happen to be in the area....


Virginia said...

Oh it's lovely seeing a blog post from you Sarah - love the skull piccie too!

BEX said...

Agree with Virginia, and what a fantastic result. Love it.

ally said...

Welcome back and loving the tutorial.

Seth said...

I love everything about this!!

Carmen Wing said...

I love it! Especially his gangsta teeth :D