There is something a little horrifying to me about the fact that I’m sitting here on Halloween Eve painting Christmas ornaments. I have a show this weekend, the first of the holiday season (Mayday Underground in Rochester if you are local and want to come pinch me!), and there is much painting to be done.
I sculpt mostly in polymer clay and then do all of the color in acrylic. This seems counterproductive sometimes since there are a bazillion colors of polymer clay, but I like being able to completely control the color, so I only use Super Sculpey, which is a transluscent Barbie Flesh color. Yum.
Once everything is sculpted and baked and cooled and procrastinated upon, I start with a layer of the darkest color. For these chili pepper ornaments, I like the dark to be Dioxazine Purple. I apply this in a relatively opaque layer, watering it down a little so that it gets in all the nooks and crannies.
This is probably my favorite stage because they are so freaky lookin’. Once that is dry, I go for the first base layer of the main color. I usually do about three to four layers, each progressively lighter. I start with alizarine crimson and burgundy craft paint. Everything is dry brushed (quick strokes with very little paint on the brush) to just pick up the surface, and the piece must completely dry between layers or the paint will just mix together. No fun.
I do a layer of quinocridone red…
Followed by a layer of cadmium red light hue swirled with yellow-orange craft paint:
The stem is done in the same way with Pine Green craft paint followed by a layer of Green Gold, my most favoritest color ever.
Finally, his eyes are blackened and his teeth are whitened, and he’s given a quick brush with white to pick up highlights:
And that’s that! An interesting, layered paint job that really doesn’t take that long – don’t let the layers fool you. If you’re doing several at once, the first one is pretty much dry by the time you finish the last one, so it becomes a continual process without much downtime.
… now I only have about 40 more things to paint.