Sugar Skull Art

I painted some sugar skulls using acrylic paint on canvas boards and doing an ink wash over the paint. It made for a cool effect.

If you are looking for a cool way to celebrate the day of the dead, sugar skulls are the way to go.  They are available on my Etsy page.

Sugar Skull Blue

Blue Sugar Skull, Acrylic and Ink, 8×10. Painting available on my Etsy page.

 

Sugar Skull Purple

Purple Sugar Skull, Acrylic and Ink, 8×10. Painting available on my Etsy page.

 

Sugar Skull Red

Purple Sugar Skull, Acrylic and Ink, 8×10. Painting available on my Etsy page.

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Creepy Taxidermy Photography

Looking to add something extra creepy to your halloween party? Add some taxidermy to the decor. If having real dead animals around your home isn’t your thing, take some photos of creepy taxidermy and replace your family photos with the black and white prints. It’s a cheap an fun way to add some macabre to your home during All Hallows Eve.

Taxidermy Set - No frames

If you would rather buy prints, I have some available on my Etsy page. Frames not included in order.

October Drawing Series Week 2

This weeks theme was toys gone bad. Had a lot of fun doing these drawings.

Chucky, ‘Child’s Play’
I wonder if, when they made this film, they knew it would turn into half a dozen movies. I was surprised after the third one that they continued making them since number three is so bad, but adding Jennifer Tilly as Chucky’s love interest seemed to make the movies better. Don’t worry about this scary doll though. He’ll be your friend ’till the end.

Childs Play Chucky

Brahms, ‘The Boy’
‘The Boy’ is one of those movies that throws in a twist in the third act. I’m not really a fan of this particular twist. I would rather have that the doll actually had actually been possessed and when he was destroyed his spirit got released into the house. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth checking out if you have some beer on hand.

The Boy

Gremlins
‘Gremlins’ is more of a Christmas classic than a Halloween one, but the horror aspects of this movies helped it make it into this years series. Besides, who doesn’t like a movie with Corey Feldman?

Gremlins

You can purchase these paintings on my Etsy page.

October Drawing Series Week 1

Last year while working on my annual horror drawing series I had a request to include some family friendly movies. I’m more than happy to oblige.  There are plenty of movies about witches and creepy things made for both kids and adults.

Anjelica Huston The WitchesAnjelica Huston, ‘The Witches’

I discovered ‘The Witches’ while living in small-town Michigan in an era when renting movies from the local corner store was normal. The little market had an entire wall dedicated to VHS rentals. I remember seeing BETA tapes on clearance on the counter next to the register.  ‘The Witches’ remains one of my favorite childhood movies. It was my introduction to Anjelica Huston. If you watch it, keep an eye out for Jim Carter who played Carson on ‘Downton Abbey’.

 

Wednesday AddamsChristina Ricci, ‘The Addams Family’

‘The Addams Family’, both the movie and the original series, are near and dear to me. I often felt like the oddball in my own family so it was nice to see an entire collection of them on one family. While ‘The Addams Family’ also stars Anjelica Huston, I chose to paint Christina Ricci. Her other ghoulish duties include ‘Casper’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’, ‘Cursed’, and ‘the Lizzie Bordon Chronicles’.

 
Edward ScissorhandsJohnny Depp, ‘Edward Scissorhands’

Johnny Depp’s personal life aside, there will always have a special place in my heart for ‘Edward Scissorhands’. It started Depp’s long standing relationship with Tim Burton. It’s a sad representation on mob mentality that seems surprisingly poignant in our current times. I always thought Depp deserved an Oscar nomination for his portrayal in this film.

 

 

BeetlejuiceBeetlejuice

“Beetlejuice’ is one of those movies that my parents recorded on VHS off of network TV. It wasn’t until I say the film in its unedited form in college that I realized that Michael Keaton’s title character drops the f-bomb and grabs his crotch. I laughed so hard the first time I saw that part that I shot milk out of my nose. It’s one of those movies that you pick up on all the things you missed as a child when you watch it as an adult.

 

All of these paintings on my Etsy page.

Pumpkin Patch

I spent last weekend painting pumpkins. What can I say, except that they inspire me. I’m still experimenting with doing black Indian ink over acrylic paintings. I think I’ve mostly mastered the technique but it doesn’t always work out the way I hope. Last weekend was the prime example.

Usually, when I leave the canvas blank the ink will soak in and not come off when I rinse the ink off. It’s a great way to get grainy looking outlines. This painting, however, did not work out that way. When I did the rinse, the ink came off completely forcing me to paint in the outline afterward. It’s all good though. I still achieved the look I was going for.

Pumpkin

Sometimes, if I’m not using a full-bodied acrylic paint, the ink was will stick too much and not rinse off the way I want. The sap green colored paint for the green pumpkin was pretty runny and transparent, and I had to repaint pumpkin over the top of the ink wash because it wouldn’t come off. I left the background with the wash though, because I liked the contrast.

Pumpkin green

Pumpkins can sometimes retain their green coloring if they don’t fully ripen to orange. I came across this pumpkin at a pumpkin patch last year and it stuck in my memory. I used the runny sap green paint on this one too and had to repaint over the ink was to bring the details back out in this pumpkin.

Pumpkin green and orange

The square 12×12 canvas boards I bought in bulk off of Amazon really don’t like to release the ink wash when I try to rinse it. I have to add an extra layer of gesso before I paint so the ink will do what is supposed to. I learned this the hard way after this painting.

Pumpkin orange

All of these paintings make for great autumn, Halloween, or Thanksgiving decorating if that is something you are into. They are all available for purchase on my Etsy page along with many other fun finds.

Coasting Along

When I stumbled across square wooden coasters on Amazon.com, I knew that I wanted to do something fun with them. Not a party per say, but I wanted to make something fun.

I used acrylic paint and detailing brushes to paint the wood. Because the wood is porous the paint dries quickly meaning I could move quickly from one layer to the next. The Trick or Treat coasters were the first ones I made. Two of the coasters say TRICK on onside and TRICK backward on the other. The other two coasters say TREAT on one side and have candy corn on the other.

Trick Coasters

I also made four coasters that say BOO on one side and have a ghost on the other. Each ghost is different.

Boo Coasters

The last set of four I made say EEK on one side and have various spiderweb and spider designs on the other.

eek coasters

These are inexpensive to make and they don’t take a lot of time. If you are feeling lazy, you can always buy them off of my Etsy page.

A Sign of Halloween Times

These Halloween signs are easy and inexpensive to make. I purchased some 5×7 canvas boards from Amazon. You can get them in bulk, a dozen at a time if you need a lot of them.

I painted two layers of orange acrylic paint to the canvas boards to get a nice, even coating. I planned out each sign in advance so I needed nine signs and a glass of wine. Once the orange paint was dry I grabbed a ruler and a colored pencil to draw the outlines of the letters and words to get even spacing.

boo sign

For the BOO signage, I thought it would be cute to use a ghost as one of the “o”s. Perhaps it would have been cuter to do two ghosts in place of both “o”s, but I had only finished one glass of wine by then.

I used black acrylic paint for the letters and the outline of the ghost. The ghost took a few coats of white paint before you couldn’t see the orange underneath. The back of the signs will be painted black.

 

Eek Sign

The EEK sign took a little more detailing. After I drew out an painted the lettering, I used a detailing brush to paint spider webs and spider onto the sign. I added some pointy edges to the lettering to give it a creepier feel.

The detailing was time consuming but it was worth it. The white really stands out against the orange background and black lettering. I liked it so much that I helped myself to more wine.

 

trick or treat sign 2

The last sign I made was more… tricky. I didn’t want to do a standard Trick or Treat sign so I intentionally painted “TRICK” backward. It added some much-needed fun to the sign Since everyone is familiar with Trick or Treat as a Halloween saying, I left out the “or” and replaced it with candy corn. You can use other candy if you wish, but candy corn seems to be the most obvious Halloween choice.  I’m not much of a fan of candy corn myself, but the wine is delicious.

 

I painted the backs of the signs black, that way when I glued the black twine to each one it wouldn’t stand out. Grabbing my ruler again, I measured half an inch in on both the left and right sides of the signs and marked it with a graphite pencil. I used the graphite lines as a guide for the hot glue gun and twine, keeping half an inch between the top and bottom edges.

Once the glue has cooled, I hung each of them. They look great on the wall or hanging from a suction cup on your window. These are for indoor use only, but if you wanted an outdoor sign you could use pieces of wood instead of canvas boards. If you aren’t feeling up to making your own signs, you buy the ones I made on my Etsy page.

Pumpkin and Circumstance

Usually, I hold off on my pumpkin obsession until after Labor Day, but this year it hit me early. Maybe the excessive heat made me long for crisp fall days. Maybe it was the cemetery tours I did in New Orleans back in May. Whatever the reason, I was in the mood to make these fun pumpkin ornaments.

I started with some Sculpey (clay that becomes hard when baked and feels like ceramic). I used some new cookie cutters I stumbled across on Amazon to make the standard shape of the pumpkins. The cookie cutters also came with super convenient plastic stamps to make the faces.

DSC_0954

After I baked the Sculpey, I painted them with orange acrylic paint. For the face, I used a permanent black Indian Ink which gives a smoother surface than the acrylic paint.  Luckily I had some gold paint lying around from a previous project so I used that to give the pumpkins a thin golden shine.  Last I put two coats of glaze to make them shiny. Sculpey makes a glaze that works specifically with their clay and it comes in both a satin and a glossier sheen.

Pumpkin Set

Once they were dry (it takes about 24 hours for the glaze to fully dry), I used some green silk ribbon for hanging. These look great on a Halloween tree (I have two), hanging from suction cups on your windows, or hanging from the lights over your bathroom mirror if you have vanity lighting. They make a great addition to any Halloween decor while you wait for the Great Pumpkin.

If you are feeling lazy or aren’t creatively inclined, you can buy the ornaments on my Etsy page.

If you would like to make your own pumpkin ornaments, you can purchase the items on Amazon.com.

Hot Days, Cool Paintings

Many moons ago when I was seventeen and I spent four glorious hours a day of my senior year of high school in the art room, my art teacher and friend, Ms. Prince, taught me a technique that stuck with me for 21 years. I haven’t used it in about ten years but when I realized that I had a substantial stack of tubes of acrylic paint that were slowly hardening into tubes of brightly colored plastic, I decided I should use it before its too late.

Twilight Drawing

I started with painting acrylic on bristol board and using oil pastel to add texture. Having cleaned out two art supply stores out of Indian ink meant that I had a large enough supply to paint a layer over the drawings. I let the solid layer of ink dry overnight. When I woke up the next morning, I held the drawings under the faucet of my kitchen sink and set the ink chip off with mixed results.

Heart Painting

Not liking the way that getting the bristol board that wet was doing to it (it was seriously wavy) I ventured back to the art supply store for watercolor paper which would hold up better to the moisture. I stumbled across canvas mounted on board and knew this was the way to go. I cleaned the store out of this too. The millennial behind the counter had to work some magic with their computers inventory before it would let me purchase it all.

Rainbow Daisy

With better materials, I could now go back to my ink resist technique without worrying about destroying the paper. I added thick layers of acrylic, reacquainting myself with a medium I rarely used over the last decade. Then, I would paint a thick black layer of Indian ink over it. A scary move when I just spent three hours painting something without knowing if the ink would resist enough to chip off when put under the faucet.

 

Rose

There were a couple paintings that I couldn’t bring myself to paint over because I liked them the way they were. The goldfish was my realization that I could still paint even though I have been using colored pencil and graphite and my main mediums over the last few years.

Goldfish

Since I cleaned out the art supply store of canvas boards, I had to order from Amazon (something I rarely do as a small business owner). I now have 40 canvas boards in a variety of sizes to do more paintings. Should last me until August first. Just in time for the temps to cool off a little so it isn’t so hot while I paint.

These paintings and others are available on my Etsy page.