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Posts Tagged ‘clothing’

I’ve finished a new painting! in an effort to hold onto the summer sun for as long as possible, I decided to paint, just for fun, a picture of this beach beauty. It’s not often that I paint a picture for no reason other than my own entertainment, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to paint a pretty lady in bright colors.

This is a mixed-media piece of watercolors and colored pencil. It was not easy to mix that perfectly tanned skin tone without making her look sunburned or too toasty brown. Tanned skin is a very complicated mix of reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and blues–kind of like normal skin I suppose but with a lot more saturation! I tackled the skin by laying yellow washes first. Then I marked my shadows with some light blue and purple washes, and then really built up the color with thick layers of reds and orange. In some places I’m really laying the red on much thicker than you would expect, and even then I still needed the colored pencil to give it that extra blast of color. The skin was easily the most difficult part.

The easiest part of the painting? The Hair. I love to paint masses of linear things and there are few organic structures more linear than hair. Hair is easy not to overwork, and easy to stylize while still meshing with other very detailed and realistic elements of the painting.

One of my personal goals with this painting was not to overwork the surface. It’s easy to belabor a work, scouring every inch to make sure every single little detail is flushed out. Sure, that creates a really crisp image, but it takes an absurd amount of time and is not always necessary.  This painting was an exorcise in simplifying my process without sacrificing detail.

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For those of you who like to do things yourself, I’ve got some new paint-you-own-leather-mask listings up on Etsy. Leather masks are surprisingly simple to make from vegetable tanned leather. However, if you only need one mask, its hardly worth the large investment of your time and money to track down a good piece of leather, draft a pattern, cut it out, punch holes, and wet form it, just so you can have a custom mask that may or may not turn out the way you like.

Instead, I’ve done the hard part for you with these masks by purchasing the leather in bulk, and completing all of the special tooling and prep-work which requires specialty equipment. All that’s left for you to do is design and decorate the mask of your dreams!

I have two styles of do-it-yourself masks available right now; the ever popular Super Villain Mask, and the stunning Sprite Mask. Both patterns were hand-drafted myself and are not available elsewhere. These masks are ready to paint! They readily accept acrylics, oil-paints, glue, glitter, varnishes, matte and gloss mediums, and just about anything else you can think of thanks to their smooth yet porous surface.

So what are you waiting for? Any design you can imagine is possible!

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Alrighty, I will start with the Queen City Kamikaze Con business so we can get that out of the way and start looking at some pretty masks. February 16th, Manchester, NH, I will be vending at a one-day anime convention called Queen City Kamikaze Con. Admission is only $10! My table will be named under the collaborative fair project, “Faire Trimmings,” which is also the new title of my Etsy store, though the URL and username remains the same. Basically, Faire Trimmings is the name of any project that me and Kelley Griffin work on together, so that we can keep our individual art careers as separate endeavors.

In the Etsy store today we’ve got some new masks up! Including this super mischievous leaf sprite mask for only $20. All of my masks are hand-cut, carved, and painted with a waterproof acrylic ink, then sealed with a waterproof acrylic varnish. All of my masks are one-of-a-kind, so if you see one you like, you’d better get it before its gone forever. Just click on any image in this post to be taken directly to the listing.

I have also recently added two new super hero masks. The above is the slimmer of the two, designed to fit the petite face of a woman or teenage girl without covering all of her beauty. That’s one thing that I always found annoying about wearing a mask with a costume–if the mask is too big, it would cover my entire face. I like my face, and I would like for people to still be able to see it. These slim masks are my solution. They cover only what’s necessary to hiding your identity (essentially your eyebrows) and nothing more.

Another new listing in the shop is for the option to add a length of cord or ribbon to your mask purchase. All of my masks come with pre-punched holes designed to allow this particular suede and ribbon to pass through them snugly, but without snagging. At this time I offer black suede cord and black organza ribbon. The cord is barely noticeable once the mask is on your face, especially if you wear it under your hair while the organza is a dressier more decorative accessory.

The second of the new slim masks up for sale is this standard black mask made to fit any adult face. It is not slim, it is not over-sized. It is simply an average black mask. This makes it a costuming staple, really. It’s like owning a white camisole–you gotta have at least one!

Remember I also make custom masks. So if you have a specific costume for which you need a mask, send me a message and I would be happy to help!

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This weekend I will be having a crafting marathon with friend and future business partner Kelley, as we prepare an inventory for the 2013 fair and convention scene. Our goal this year is to nab booths at up to eight conventions, craft fairs, or renaissance fairs selling our leather works, jewelry, and fantasy artwork.

Kelley and I are both working artists who also have a passion for crafting. As my frequent readers know, last year I taught myself how to work with leather as a medium to make jewelry, armor, and other costume accessories. This year, I plan to make enough pieces to rent tables at venues where my unique pastime accessories would e appreciated. For years, I have seen the same style wares and costume accessories sold at fair after fair after fair, and I want to bring the fantasy community some new options at prices that won’t break their costuming budgets.

My personal focus will be on finding ties between costume wear and everyday street fashion, and crafting a set of leather costume wear which can also be disguised as a statement accessory when paired with your everyday look. What Kelley will focus on is completely up to her whims but she is a whizz with beaded pieces and has expressed interest in a line of nifty bags.

We are already signed up to participate in Connecticon this July as well as a small convention called Queen City Kamikaze Con at the Manchester New Hampshire high school on February 16th. This small convention will be an opportunity for us to judge what items sell to what demographic, as well as provide an opportunity to practice booth design, set up and take down, and display rhythm. I have sold at many conventions in the past, but it has been a few years and I’m not used to setting up displays with a partner. So I think a refresher con is a good idea.

We are looking at several other fairs and conventions in New England right now in which we qualify to participate in, and I will announce them all here when we are signed up and confirmed. Thanks for reading!

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