Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's thyme to paint some SNOWman Ornaments

I have been busy painting lots of ornaments for Christmas!

Step inside my STUDIO 

It sure IS beginning

 Look a Lot Like Christmas

I see my Christmas Elf HINKLEY is waiting for us!

The Christmas MAGIC is happening 

Today I want to show you the snowman ornaments that I have been working on.
Two of my favorite designers TEAMED up to create this wonderful project!

Design is by Amy Mogish
You can find this and many of Amy's wonderful designs

Surface is by Sheila Bergner Landry

You can find it 

Let's Paint!

My Palette

Black Plum, Bright Green, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Deep Midnight Blue, Fiery Red, French Grey Blue, Light French Grey Blue, Winter Blue, Graphite, Light Buttermilk, Neutral Grey, Heritage Brick, Tomato Red, Slate Grey, Lamp Black

Speciality Products

Black Chalkboard paint
Starlite Glitter Varnish
Crystal Glamour Dust 
Silver Bling Glamour Dust Ultra Fine Glitter Paint

I began by base coating all the snowman bodies with Light Buttermilk

I'm working on the scarves. 
I base coated them French Grey Blue

I used Light French Grey Blue to highlight.

Then I used Winter Blue , then Light Buttermilk.
When you are shading and highlighting, be patient!

Don't try to get to the depth of color you desire on the first coat!
Layer your values!

When I am painting multiples of something I usually complete one first them go on to work the others all together!

I use LOTS of brushes when I paint.
A GOOD quality brush is important to achieve a GOOD outcome!

I use DecoArt Traditions brushes to base coat. 
I love their dome shaders for dry brushing.

I use several different size Lowell Cornell Ultra Rounds for most of my shading.

And I absolutely LOVE the Silver Micro Mini's for detail work!

I also never paint without a handful of Maxine Mops!

I love the vintage charm of these snowmen!

I'm working on the face and hat detail

When my snowmen were dry I painted my snowmen

I painted the centers 

I used a white chalk pencil to personalize the ornaments

You can also use the center of the ornaments to display a picture instead of adding names!

I painted the backs of the ornaments with Black Chalkboard paint .

I used a circle template and small cosmetic sponge to add the dots

I added my name, date and a saying to the backs with the white chalk pencil.

It is very important to spray the lettering that you did with the chalk pencil 
 Krylon Workable Fixative.

The spray will prevent your lettering from smudging when you varnish.

I then painted the backs with a coat of Starlite Varnish

I finished by lightly spraying the ornaments 

While my varnish was still wet I quickly sprinkled on

I added a silver snowflake to the snowman's hats.

I used red bakers twine to hang the snowmen 

DecoArt provided me with the paints to complete this project as part of their 
Helping Artist and Blogger Out Reach Programs

Thank you Rosemary Reynolds and DecoArt!!

Happy Painting !


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Nutty Toymaker is's about thyme!

The Nutty Toymaker was a Zim's piece that I painted several years ago. 
I often displayed many of my original pieces that I painted over the years in my STUDIO year around. I would then use them in seasonal displays throughout my home.

Everything I had in my STUDIO was destroyed by a FIRE in our home in 2013

I found my Nutcracker among the charred sooty remains of my STUDIO after the fire.

In order to even try to keep something after the FIRE it would have to go thru a process called "chem sponging" by the Fire Restoration Company.

Chem sponging is a costly process but necessary as it removes the toxins left by the fire and also removes the smell of smoke.

I decided to try to salvage my nutcracker as I knew that Zim's pieces were no longer available.

I have had my Nutcracker stored away for a few years because quite honestly he brought back some painful memories of a time when our entire house looked like him, sooty, burned, charred and destroyed. Much of the varnish had bubbled , he had burn marks on him from the intensity of the heat. His hair and beard had melted so I had to remove them.

I decided that this was the year that my Nutcracker was once again going to be a part of my Christmas MAGIC

Step inside the STUDIO and you can watch him come back to life again!

My Palette

Lamp Black, Dusty Rose, Shading Flesh, Victorian Blue, Burnt Umber, Rookwood Red, Graphite, Honey Brown , Country Red, Uniform Blue, Williamsburg Blue, Deep Midnight Blue, Hauser Dark Green, Hauser Light Green, Antique White, Titanium White, 

Dazzling Metallics

Silver Spark, White Frost, Splendid Gold

I began the process by taking small sanding sticks to sand the entire surface which was all bubbled. If you look closely at the picture you can see the bubbled surface on his jacket by his neck. This was an extremely tedious process given all the tiny details on the project. I then cleaned all the surface pieces using a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol.
I then base coated the main areas all over again. I decided to give my Nutcracker a "new look" I changed some of the colors but the biggest change of all was to his face. 
I decided to change his eyes.

I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see the "MAGIC" happening as my Nutcracker came back to life!

I also decided to make some changes to the "toys"

The toys as I was painting them again

I made some changes to the tiny toy train also

The train after the fire.....even the tiny tree on the right melted

Working on the train and tiny toys!

I changed some of the colors on the train cars and added some Splendid Gold details

I even added a tiny tree to one of the cars!

The finished train!

I changed the color of the base of my piece. 
I did the "stroke work" on the base with a  stencil! 
I dry brushed it on 

Working on the toymaker sign

The toymaker sign is hung back on

Toys completed. 

I re- drilled the holes in the tray so I could glue the toys back in.

Side view. Working on the base and train.

I applied several good coats of 
DecoArt spray matte sealer 
to my finished project

I have added the Nutcrackers new hair!

He now has a beard again!

Are you ready to see the MAGIC????

The Nutty Toymaker is back!!!

DecoArt provided me with the paints to complete this project as part of their 
Helping Artist and Blogger Outreach Programs.
Thank you Rosemary Reynolds and DecoArt!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my Nutty Toymaker come back to life again

I am glad to have him once again be apart 
of the 
MAGIC of Christmas!

If you would like to see pictures of the FIRST time I painted the Nutty Toymaker click 

Happy Painting!