It seems we are always keeping an eye on the time. Busy schedules and ever-growing “To-Do” lists often prevent us from stopping to review our accomplishments. Let us take a few minutes to look back at the highest ranked posts, as voted by you, the readers. Below is a list of the Top Six posts of 2022, in ascending order:
Number 6: Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice
In Autumn, as the leaves begin to turn, pumpkin flavored items begin popping up everywhere, from coffee shops to fast food restaurants and even the local pub. To read more, please click here.
Collages can be created by two different methods: 1) “Old School” Traditional, or 2) High Tech. To read more, please click here.
Number 3: Inspiration: Lost & Found – Part 1
Sometimes it feels like inspiration is impossible to find. It hides in plain sight, masquerading as mundane items in our daily lives. To read more, please click here.
Number 2: Halloween: Naughty or Nice?
There are all sorts of Halloween themes and characters to help us celebrate this imaginative holiday. To read more, please click here.
Number 1: Blogging Vacation
Throughout the summer, I usually take a break, by posting every other week. This year there were so many inspirations to share I simply kept going. To read more, please click here.
And there we have it – the top 6 posts of 2022. We have a new year to explore the world of creativity. There are always new ideas and I’ll be sure to include more of your favorites. Your opinions are greatly appreciated, and I look forward to so much more this year. If you have any suggestions for future posts, please let me know.
When you think of Halloween, what images come to mind? Most likely there’s a black cat and a few pumpkins in the mix, and rightly so since these mascots of Halloween have been honored for centuries.
In this vintage illustration, a cuddly kitten saunters through a pumpkin patch.
Ceramic Cat & Pumpkin – Front
Our project this week is an adorable kitten sitting inside a jack-o-lantern.
Ceramic Cat & Pumpkin – Back
This three-dimensional Halloween decoration is available at Michaels.
Ceramic Cat Closeup
The top of the pumpkin sits on the kitten’s head like a little hat. Aww, so cute!
Ceramic Pumpkin Closeup
The cut-outs in the faces of the cat and pumpkin hint at a surprise, which will be revealed at the end of this post in the last photo.
Ceramic Cat in a Pumpkin (6” wide x 6” deep x 8” high)
Acrylic Paints – dark green, black, metallic gold, buttercrunch yellow & orange
Painted Pumpkin – Front
Paint the pumpkin orange and the stem green. Be sure to paint all the edges of the cut-outs too.
Painted Pumpkin – Back
It will probably require two coats of paint for a nice even finish.
Painted Cat’s Eyes & Pumpkin Top Edge
Paint the cat’s eyes metallic gold, including the inner edges. Add black for the pupils and a dot of white in each. Paint the top edge of the pumpkin, around the cat’s body, with buttercrunch yellow.
Painted Pumpkin Top Edge – Back
Painted Cat Closeup
Painted Pumpkin Closeup
Painted Cat – Front
Paint the cat with two coats of black paint, including the front paws draped over the pumpkin. Add black lines on both sides of the pumpkin stem.
Painted Cat – Back
Working out the Details
At this point I noticed something funny. It looks like this kitten is sitting in a bowl of soup, and his disembodied paws appear to be floating on top! To fix these issues, draw lines in pencil to thicken the pumpkin’s rim and connect the paws, via legs, to the body.
Painted Details – Front
Paint the legs black, and the pumpkin rim orange. With a fine brush, paint the whiskers white and the mouth pink. Indicate toes with thin white lines on the front paws.
Painted Details – Back
Finished Cat Closeup
Finished Pumpkin Closeup
Glowing LED Lights
This is the finished project. Concealed LED lights illuminate the inside, just like a real jack-o-lantern. I hope you enjoyed this fun and easy Halloween project.
Look at that little face! Is he cute or what? The inspiration for this project is an adorable spotted piglet. In a previous post, “Year of the Pig 2019,” I mentioned my brother’s affinity for pigs. We usually find a way to include a pig at any gift-giving occasion. Sometimes it’s just a card, or a flying pig ornament for the Christmas tree. We all share the same sense of humor, and the more ridiculous the pig, the greater the laughter.
For my brother’s birthday this year, I decided to combine two of his favorites: pigs and cats. Believe it or not, he and his wife share their home with 11 feline fur babies. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s a lot of mouths to feed! Each cat started out in life under very difficult circumstances, but after being rescued, they live comfortable, happy lives filled with play and lots of tender loving care. Such an unusual family deserves an equally unique family portrait.
How to Create a Wooden Pig Photo Plaque
On a recent visit to AC Moore, I noticed a large wooden pig plaque. It was really cute, but I held off buying until I could come up with something my brother would appreciate and ended up liking the idea of a family portrait. The pig is large enough to accommodate photos of all eleven cats with my brother and his wife in the center. Any size or shape plaque will work as long as it is large enough to fit all the images. You could also create a plaque to commemorate a special event, such as a graduation, a birthday, or your favorite vacation. Let’s get started.
You may need to do some light sanding to ensure the surface and edges are smooth.
Wooden Pig (20-1/2” wide x 11-1/4” high x 1/2” thick)
Acrylic Paint – tan & black
1) Jar of Mod Podge Gloss
1) Oval Mop Paintbrush
1) Elmer’s Permanent Glue Stick
2) Paintbrushes – one for base coat, and a fine brush for details
Heavyweight Matte Finish Photo Paper
You might want to print a quick draft version of your photos to make it easier to lay out on the plaque. This will also give you a chance to experiment with different ways of cutting them out to make your design look more attractive. Be sure to reprint your photos on heavyweight paper for the final project. If you try to use regular printer paper, it will bubble and curl as soon as you apply the Mod Podge, and you’ll have to peel it off and start over. How do I know this you ask? Because it happened to me! It was awful!
How NOT to Complete a Photo Plaque
I watched a tutorial video to learn how to use Mod Podge for decoupage. They made it look sooooo easy but looks can be deceiving. They mentioned you could use laser printer color copies but said nothing about needing heavyweight paper. All my photos had been meticulously cut out and glued down using Mod Podge on the backs. Initially there was a little bubbling, but it smoothed out as it dried. While the Mod Podge does dry clear, the recommended sponge applicator leaves streaks behind and it dries that way! Instead, I recommend using an oval mop paintbrush, which produces a smoother finish. Next, I applied an even coat over the entire plaque. This should have been the finale, but I knew I was in trouble after the first few cats had been coated. Within seconds, the photos bubbled and curled up into little blobs! It was horrifying! They didn’t mention that in the how-to video! Frantically, I scraped the photos off and then used soap and water to clean the surface of the plaque. Back to the drawing board!
The Correct Way to Create a Pig Photo Plaque
This time I suggest a few changes to the process:
First, print your images on heavyweight matte finish photo paper.
Apply one coat of Mod Podge over the entire page of photos, using an oval mop paintbrush.
Allow drying time.
Cut out the individual photos. I chose to cut out the cat’s ears and round the bottom edges so that they would resemble spots on the pig.
Lay out the photos upon the plaque.
Trace the photos to determine the locations of the spots.
Paint each of the black spots a little larger than the photos. I ended up making all the spots solid black to prevent tan paint from peeking out from behind the photos.
Paint the pig’s face, ears, hooves and tail. A painted smile goes a long way to give this little guy some character.
Trim the photos and/or adjust the painted black spots as needed.
One at a time, paste each photo using Elmer’s Glue Stick.
Place a clean sheet of paper on top and firmly rub the surface and edges to ensure a good seal. Repeat this process. Let dry.
Apply a coat of Mod Podge over the entire plaque. Congratulations! Mission accomplished!
This is a fun and unique way to display family photos. Although pigs may not be for everyone, there are plenty of interesting wooden plaque shapes to match your family’s unique style and personality. Deciding which photos to use is a fun and adventurous activity. Let your creativity soar and be open to new possibilities as you create this memorable family portrait for everyone to enjoy.
New ideas are always brewing at the arts and crafts studio. Here is a sneak peek at a few of the upcoming projects…
Cake decorating has been a popular topic on this blog, and I have lots of new cake designs to share.
Crafting with Feathers
Craft stores always have feathers, and there are many creative ways to include them in your artwork.
Full Color Makeover
This monotone crane has been standing next to a potted plant for years. It is high time he gets some much-needed attention. Believe it or not this makeover will transform him into a crowned prince.
The only time of year my family decorates cookies is Christmas. This post will inspire you to create beautiful cookies any time of year.
Painted Wood Crafts
Wood crafts are inexpensive, easy to color or paint, and quickly produce attractive décor for your home.
Magical Creatures from Harry Potter
The world of Harry Potter is inhabited by some extraordinary creatures. With a little creative magic, you can conjure one to adopt into your family.
Art Studio Mascots
Speaking of adoption, our foster cats have become permanent members of the family, and they will be popping into the studio from time to time for a visit. Here are a few of their recent comments: “Being an inspiration is exhausting and we’re working for kibble. F.Y.I., the feather projects will be delayed indefinitely…you don’t have any. You’re welcome. Wake us when there’s a big juicy mouse project!”
I hope you enjoyed this brief look into future posts. Comments and suggestions are welcome, and I look forward to hearing from you.
A little piece of paradise – Isn’t that what we all want? That means different things to different people. For many, the idea of a cozy grass shack on a tropical island is a common fantasy. Of course it goes without saying that we’ll expect all the comforts of home in that “shack,” but that’s not important. Visualizing the dream is the focus here. This time of year so many people visit the seashore. An ocean-themed centerpiece, created one piece at a time, brings memories of vacations past to mind, and inspires dreams of vacations yet to come.
Before & After Photos: Tropical Home – Front Facade. What was once a home for tiny gnomes transforms into a tropical retreat with orange silk flowers, and a bamboo pattern drawn by hand on the exterior walls using a brown Sharpie marker.
Before & After Photos: Tropical home – Back Facade. The bamboo pattern continues across the back, giving it that island vibe.
Before & After Photos: Lighthouse. Whoever heard of a lighthouse without a roof? To make the roof shown, fold the paper into a cone and staple it as needed to hold its shape. Glue a soup can lid to the bottom of the cone and paint it gray to match the lower portion of the building. Add twine along the edge and down the sides to resemble a standing seam metal roof. Tie several knots in a piece of twine and glue it to the peak of the roof. Tint the glass votive holder yellow using a highlighter, and line the inside with orange paper to suggest a brilliant light glowing from within the tower.
Before & After Photos: Sailboat. This sailboat only needed minor adjustments. The faded white stripes needed a fresh coat of paint, and the middle stripe was changed to orange. Because the opposite side of the sail was unfinished, the stripes and shells were duplicated on the back. A cute little blue bird was glued on top of the mast.
The Star of the Show: A Blue Ringed Octopus
Before & After Photos: Octopus Closeup. It’s hard to believe the monochromatic octopus on the left is the same one on the right, but it is. It’s amazing what a difference a little paint can do.
Original Octopus Candleholder: This whole project started with this silver metal octopus candleholder. As you can see, it looks top heavy with the large pillar candles, and the octopus is rather hidden underneath. Round candles were another option, but he looked like a juggler! (lol)
As with all creative projects, it’s helpful to gather a few photos for inspiration. The blue ringed octopus is a fascinating creature. Fans of James Bond 007 will remember the movie, Octopussy, in which Maude Adams had an aquarium with this beautifully patterned octopus, and she also wore a white silk robe emblazoned with its colorful, exotic image. Each octopus has a unique pattern, and the blue iridescent rings are impressive creations courtesy of Mother Nature.
Octopus (7-1/2” high x 4-1/2” wide x 1-3/8” thick)
Acrylic Paints – tan, brown, black, yellow, white, & metallic blue
1) Bottle fabric paint – white
1) Bottle fabric paint – brown
2) Paintbrushes – one for base coat, and a fine brush for details
Clear Spray Paint
This is how it looks without the candles. The large metal plates are too big, overpowering the beauty of this piece.
The plates were removed using a Dremel cutting tool, and the tips of the tentacles were filed smooth. Now you start to notice the amazing sculptural details created by the artist.
The color was the next issue to be addressed with two coats of tan paint. The artist painstakingly created a realistic looking octopus, but that thick coat of silver paint had obscured all those intricate details.
A brown pattern was applied to the entire body and the eyes were painted black.
Black spots were added, overlapping the brown.
Blue iridescent rings were applied over the black spots. Random yellow stripes wrap around the legs and head. A white dot was added to the pupil of each eye.
The eyes were made more realistic with the addition of brown irises and white outlines.
Two coats of clear spray paint were applied to protect the acrylic paints. White suction cups were added to the underside of the tentacles and allowed to dry. Next brown fabric paint was applied over each of the suction cups to provide shape and depth. This beautiful sculpture now has the rich, colorful appearance it deserves, and makes an interesting conversation piece.
Photo: Completed Centerpiece. Black pebbles form little volcanic islands amid a vast ocean. In front of a cozy tropical home, a mermaid sits quietly reading, as a sailboat glides along the water. Another mermaid leaps out of the sea with a treasured seashell in her hand. The lighthouse makes a welcome rest stop for wildlife and a sunbathing mermaid. A feisty octopus playfully thrashes about the water’s surface. Palm trees swaying in the breeze display a pair of small signs that says it all: “Beach Please!”
All babies are cute, but baby elephants are so expressive like the one above having the best day ever!
Baby Nuzzles Mom
Standing beside their watchful mothers, they look so small and somewhat fragile.
Baby’s First Steps
With those big floppy ears, it’s easy to imagine them taking flight, playfully floating upon the breeze and coming to a landing in our love-filled hearts. Let’s bring some of that joy into this week’s project.
How to Paint a Wooden Baby Elephant:
Raw Wood Elephant
In previous painted wood projects, the animals had feathers, scales, or fur. Elephants present a unique challenge: wrinkles. I must admit this took much longer than expected as I progressed through a series of trial and error to achieve the desired appearance by layering. Let’s get started…
Wooden Elephant (5” high x 6-1/4” wide x 1-1/4” thick)
Acrylic Paints – Gray & Black, (Pink is optional)
Markers – Gray
Pens -Black Fine Point
1) Bottle fabric paint – Brown
1) Bottle fabric paint – Black
1) Bottle fabric paint – White (not shown)
Start building texture with three-dimensional fabric paint. I used white, but any color will do because we will paint over it in a later step. Draw both eyes with a pencil. Thicken and shape the ears and outline the eyes with fabric paint.
Paint the Body
Paint the body gray, including both sides and all the edges.
Draw Details with a Marker
Define the wrinkles using a gray marker.
Add More Wrinkles
After viewing numerous photos, I added wrinkles all over the body using a marker but immediately regretted it. I should have followed my own advice: Draw or paint what you feel, not what you know.
Repaint the Body
A fresh coat of paint gives us a clean slate to try again and allows the marker lines to lightly show through, which is great for the next step.
Cautiously Draw Wrinkles
Using a pencil, slowly add details in key areas to imply overall wrinkles. Build up the eyes with brown fabric paint.
Trace with a Marker
With a gray marker, trace the wrinkles and outline the eyes. Finish building the eyes up with brown fabric paint and allow it to dry. Add pupils and a white spot in each to bring them to life.
Trace with Fabric Paint
Retrace the wrinkles with black fabric paint. You are probably thinking, “Here she goes again. Jumping in with both feet,” and you are correct. The difference is this time … I like it! Don’t worry about too much contrast because we will tone it down in the next step. Develop the eyes with the same fabric paint.
Repaint & Create More Texture
By repainting the body with gray paint, the raised wrinkles recede, becoming part of the thick skin. Next, mix black and gray acrylic paint to create a darker gray. Dip a cotton ball in the new dark gray paint and dab it on a piece of scrap paper to remove the excess. Lightly dab the cotton ball all over the body to create new subtle layers of texture. Repeat as needed.
Trace with a Marker
Retrace the wrinkles, ears, and eyes with gray marker. Add lines around the mouth and tip of trunk. At this point you could stop, but I wanted to add a few little details to make this elephant look like a baby. For that we need a little inspiration.
Adorable Baby Elephant
Three things stand out: eyelashes, the pink inside of the mouth, and peach fuzz hair running along the spine from top of the head to the tail. Markers or paint will work nicely for the first two details, but the third requires a special ingredient…
A Longhair Cat
Yes, I am recommending the use of cat hair for an art project. I must say it is the oddest ingredient I have ever used. Longhair cats require daily brushing, so collecting soft hair is no problem. (lol)
Completed Baby Elephant
Glue on the hair with Elmer’s glue. Adjust and trim the hair as needed. Add eyelashes with a fine point black pen and paint the inside of the mouth pink.
Closeup of Elephant’s Face
Although these details are minor, I think they provide softness and a “cuteness” factor to this baby elephant, just like his living counterparts.
Baby Elephant – Before & After
This completes our project. Persistence pays off. Experimentation is a tremendous help in solving artistic problems. If you are not happy with the results, let it sit for a day or two and the inspiration will come to you just when you need it most.
Have you faced any artistic challenges like wrinkles? Have you used an unusual item, such as cat hair, in an arts and crafts project? Please share your ideas in the comments section. Thanks for joining me. Good luck with your future works of art.
Sixty-five million years ago the Tyrannosaurus Rex, also known as T-Rex, spent his days hunting, eating, and making little dinosaurs. Archaeologists, writers, and world-renowned movie directors have been thrilling us ever since with all the gory details of this master predator.
Did they roar like lions? Were they solitary animals or did they mate for life? Having such short arms, I wonder, how did they get back up after a fall?
After viewing this photo, who wants to go camping? (lol) The mere thought of facing a creature, capable of eating its prey whole, leaves us with mixed feelings of fear and awe. And we love it. To bring a few of those Jurassic thrills into our lives, let’s jump into our next project:
Huge jaws, piercing eyes, and razor-sharp teeth – what’s not to love?
When we look at large lizards alive today, we can visualize tyrannosaurs having thick, textured skin, consisting of scales and bony plates, with a ridge along the spine.
Predators typically have camouflaging patterns and colors to give them an advantage while hunting. With these ideas in mind, we can begin the creative process to bring the T-Rex back to life. Let’s go!
How to Paint an LED Tyrannosaurus Rex:
Raw Wood T- Rex, Front
This wooden T-Rex (available at Michaels) has preprinted details and cut outs to enable green light from a concealed LED bulb to penetrate the figure and cause an eerie glow in the surrounding area.
Raw Wood T- Rex, Back
The back is plain wood with the on/off switch and battery compartment. The wood on the front is smooth, however you might want to sand the back lightly, however that is entirely up to you.
LED Wooden T-Rex (5-3/4” high x 7” wide x 1” thick)
Acrylic Paints – Cappuccino, Light Fuchsia, & Dove Gray
Markers – Brown & Black
Marker Drawn Details
Use magic markers to figure out the color scheme.
Painted Basecoat, Front
Paint the entire body with the basecoat.
Painted Basecoat, Back
Paint the basecoat on the back. I did not add any details, but you can if you wish.
Marker Drawn Details
Go over the details with markers.
Painted Gray Background
Paint the background gray to contrast with the tan body. At this point you could stop.
If you have been following this blog for a while, you know there is a more advanced painted version. Please read on to discover how to give this dinosaur a more reptilian appearance.
Advanced 3D Painting:
Three-Dimensional Fabric Paints
1) Bottle fabric paint – Brown
1) Bottle fabric paint – Black
Painted 3D Details
Using brown fabric paint, apply nubby texture to the body. The black paint is for the teeth, pupils, and claws. I outlined the eyes in black too but didn’t like it. To me, he appeared to be wearing a pair of sunglasses. (lol) You can see the revision below.
This is the completed Tyrannosaurus Rex in all his glory.
T-Rex Before & After
I am always surprised seeing the plain original wood side by side with the completed project. Caught up in the creative process, it’s easy to forget where we started.
Lit T-Rex with Flash
This photo, taken using flash photography, shows the soft glow of the LED light.
Lit T-Rex without Flash
In a dark room, this T-Rex makes a cool nightlight.
I hope you enjoyed this transformative journey. Thank you for coming along for the ride. What is your favorite dinosaur and why? Please let me know in the comments section.
Welcome to part two delving into the inspiring art of painting. As we go, we will examine different types of paints and techniques to pique your interest. By the end, I hope you will have better insight into the many artistic possibilities and take away a few ideas for future creative projects. Let’s go…
Oil Painting: Produces incredible effects ranging from translucency to rich sculpted textures.
Oil on Canvas
Compared to other options, oil painting requires more supplies, such as solvents, primer, and varnish, and as a result the chemical fumes necessitate working in well-ventilated rooms or outdoors.
Applying oil paints with brushes produces intricate details and luminous colors.
Thick Textured Application
When oil paint is applied with a palette knife (a.k.a. painting knife), textures can be achieved with sculptural, three-dimensional accuracy found in nature such as leaves, flowers, and trees.
Fine Arts Collectibles
Prior to using oil paints, surfaces must be prepped with primer or gesso, and upon completion the finished work should be sealed with varnish to protect the paints.
The preferred choice of world-renowned artists, such as Van Gogh, and Michelangelo, and da Vinci, oil paints are excellent for a wide variety of subjects in styles ranging from classical to abstract and everything in between.
Paint Pens: Offer precise control for detailing and illustration.
Assorted Paint Pens
Paint pens are prefilled with water-based paints, oil-based paints, or fabric paints in a variety of colors. Since many have strong fumes, you may need to work in a well-ventilated room or paint outdoors.
Tip sizes are available in fine, medium, and broad. You can create layers of colors and finishes, such as metallics and glitter.
Whether you plan to paint rocks, plastic, metal or just about anything else, there is a paint pen for it. The only limitation might be very thin materials, which may allow the paint to bleed through, so remember to have a protective cover underneath to protect your worksurface.
Exterior & Interior
Interior or exterior projects are no problem. Be sure to check pen labels for usage because sometimes store displays become mixed up. Find the right pen for the job and it will last for years to come.
Hand Drawn Designs
Let your imagination run wild on new DIY projects or existing items with a fresh coat of paint and custom hand-drawn designs.
Paint Pouring: Represents playful self-expression, where each combination of colors results in freeform, one-of-a-kind designs.
Although acrylic paint cleans up easily with soap and water, you will need gloves, an apron, a covered worksurface, and drop cloths to protect the floor.
Cups of paint are simply poured onto a canvas or any object, and then tilted back and forth allowing gravity to handle the initial composition.
Paint pouring utilizes unusual tools, including a hairdryer, wooden craft sticks, balloons, drops of silicone, and a kitchen torch.
Lively patterns resemble natural stone, undulating waves, or clouds drifting upon the sky. Turn ordinary tabletops, ceramics, coasters, picture frames and more into unique works of art.
Set your inner child free by exploring the playful world of paint pouring.
Watercolor Painting: soft and dreamy with vivid colors and subtle nuances.
For many people, watercolors are the first introduction to painting with beginner’s trays prefilled with paint. Watercolors are nontoxic and cleanup is easy with water.
Be sure to paint on watercolor paper, which dries flat. Regular paper is too thin, resulting in bubbles when wet followed by warping when dry.
Water & Sky
Watercolors are the perfect choice for painting water and sky, accompanied by reflections rivaling those in nature, but architecture presents a challenge. As you can see, the edges of Notre Dame Cathedral lack definition. Please refer to the photo below for the solution.
Watercolor Painting & Technical Pens
When you are painting a world-renowned landmark like the Taj Mahal, you really need to get it right because people will notice if something is out of place. Watercolors can be combined with technical pens, creating clean crisp edges for the structures and soft fluid movement in the reflecting pool and sky.
Ocean vistas and all the denizens of the sea benefit from the use of watercolors, which ebb and flow onto the page like the tide upon the sand.
Paint Pens & Airbrushing
Painted Pottery & Ceramics
Paint Pens & Acrylic Painting
Watercolor Painting & Mixed Media
Paint Pens & Airbrushing
Mixed Media Sculpture Painting
I hope you have found some inspiration to paint whatever appeals to you in a style all your own. To narrow down the options, review the painting photos above and search for more online. Notice the colors, patterns, textures, subjects, and special effects. Notice which ones really capture your attention. Do you have any favorites? Please let me know in the comments section. In case you missed part one of this series, please click here. Good luck with your painting endeavors!
Have you ever wanted to give painting a try? Anyone can paint. With a little patience and a lot of creativity, you will feel like an accomplished artist in no time. It’s fun, relaxing and reduces stress. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
Acrylic Painting: Bold colors, unlimited finishes and surfaces, ease of use
Paint by Number
One of the easiest ways for beginners is with an acrylic “Paint by Number” kit, which comes complete with paints, brushes, and a preprinted canvas. Simply match the numbered paints with their corresponding locations on the canvas. There is a wide range of themes for all ages and skill levels.
Decorative Painting & Wall Art
Acrylic paints can be used in almost any application. Brushes are cleaned with soap and water, and the paints have low or no odor, which is great for those sensitive to strong fumes.
Make a new piece of furniture look like an old friend with decorative designs and an antiquing finish.
Statues & Figurines
Upcycle a garage sale purchase with a fresh coat of paint and colorful accents.
Faux Finishes & Decorative Painting
Upgrade walls, or any surface with acrylic faux finishes and decorative painting, including Sponge Painting, Marbleized, Faux Wood Grain, Crackle, Metallic, Plaster, Textured, Stenciling, Stippling, Mural Painting, & Tromp l’oeil.
Airbrush Painting: Street art, murals, and no size limitations
Airbrushing requires compressed air to disperse paint onto any surface. Cans of spray paint work in the same way and are often used on building-sized murals.
This handsome German shepherd painting disguises an otherwise unsightly telecommunications box.
Riding in style has a whole new meaning when your car becomes a mobile work of art.
Let imagination run wild as any wall, inside or out, can be adorned with flights of fancy.
Tromp l’oeil Painting
Tromp l’oeil means “Fool the Eye” and in this photo three-dimensional painting turns this electrical transformer into a lovely stable, complete with bales of hay and a friendly face.
Fabric Painting: Art, fashion, and home furnishings
Fabric markers can be used to layout your design, followed by fabric paint applied via brush or easy-squeeze bottles for three-dimensional paints.
Silk-screening is like stenciling for fabrics. A separate screen is used for each color, which is applied using a squeegee.
3-D Painting & Appliques
Fabric paints can be applied to any surface, bringing designs to life in three dimensions. They also function as glue, sealing the edges of appliques and adhering beads and other embellishments.
Tie dyeing is easy for kids of all ages, and the end results are always a surprise.
Designing Home Furnishing & Apparel Fabrics
Large-scale patterns are perfect for upholstery, draperies, and pillows. Apparel styles are constantly changing. Launch the next fashion trend by creating and wearing your own designs.
Glass Painting: Illuminating color, and painting with light
Wall Hangings & Suncatchers
Luminous colors and intricate eye-catching details, hallmarks of stained glass, bring character and beautiful style to any décor.
Mosaic Glass Gems & Jewelry
Earrings, bracelets, necklaces sparkle with colorful glass beads. Mosaic glass gems are perfect accent on crafts as well as vases, flowerpots, etc.
Drinking glasses and pitchers take center stage with hand-painted colorful accents.
With a box of clear glass ornaments, you can let your creativity sore. Paints can be applied inside and out, and the finishes range from metallic, pearlescent, iridescent, and glitter in every color of the rainbow.
Stained Glass Windows
Museums, churches, and many secular buildings are adorned with spectacular stained glass. Sunbeams are transformed into a dazzling kaleidoscope of heavenly light.
Acrylic Painting, Airbrushing, & Paint Pens
Acrylic Painting & Airbrushing
Acrylic Painting & Airbrushing
Acrylic Painting & 3D Fabric Painting
Painting is a wonderful pastime, which enriches your life and can be easily shared with family and friends. No matter what your style and interests may be, there’s a type of painting to challenge your skills and engage your mind for experiences that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the journey!
One of the most easily identifiable animals upon the face of the earth is the giraffe. There is nothing else like it – that long neck, towering legs and a fur pattern that resembles mosaics. Giraffes are so tall, that the babies are born at a minimum height of six-feet tall to feed from the mother.
Each subspecies has unique fur patterns and colors. There is a ridge on the forehead and two horn-like protrusions on top of the head.
Some have spots down the length of their legs, while others have solid tan or white below the knee. For this project, you will need to look at giraffe photos and decide which pattern you prefer.
How to Paint a Wooden Giraffe:
Raw Wood Giraffe
Both sides and all the edges will need to be sanded and painted. Ensure the giraffe stands without wobbling. If needed, restore balance by gluing pieces of thin cardstock to the bottom the feet.
Wooden Giraffe (8-1/4” high x 4-1/4” wide x 1-1/4” thick)
Acrylic Paints – red, brown, orange, black, tan
Bottles Fabric Paint – brown, black
Sand & Paint Base Color
After sanding, paint the entire body tan.
Reference – Giraffe’s Face
I bet you didn’t expect to have a Giraffe anatomy lesson! Typically, wood craft animals stand facing forward. If you look at the close-up photos above, you will notice this giraffe is turning his head to the side. This effects both sides of the head. Both eyes need to be on the same side. We will address the back of the head in a later step.
Hand Draw Details
Because this appears to be a baby giraffe, the facial features are cute but small, including the ridge between the eyes. I began drawing some of the spots to understand what the layout should be. To keep the pencil lines to a minimum, the remainder of the spots were freehanded with the paint brush.
Mix Custom Paint Color
Be sure to mix enough paint for the giraffe’s spots to last throughout the project. To keep the paint moist on a paint palette, cover it with plastic wrap, ensuring the plastic is pressed down upon the paint surface and the edges are sealed. You may need to moisten the paint, but the color will be preserved. I created a reddish-brown by mixing brown, red and orange acrylic paints.
Paint the Spots on the Neck
Use a fine brush for the spots. Be sure to leave space in between, which resembles mosaic tile set in grout.
Paint Spots – Right Side
As you work your way down the body, the size of the spots diminishes. Be sure to paint spots on the edges, including the front and back of each leg and the neck too.
Paint Spots – Left Side
For this step, the following areas will remain tan: the back of the head, the mane, the inside of each leg, the feet, and the tail.
Defining the Details – Right Side
Paint the head and facial details, except for the eyes, which will be completed in a later step. Paint the tail and hooves black. The muzzle and fur between the eyes are darker, while the cheeks are lightly spotted. The “horns” are a combination of black and brown.
Reference – Back of Giraffe’s Head
Figuring out the back of the head was difficult. Because our giraffe is looking off to the side, you will only see a portion of the face.
Reference – Back of Head & Mane
When the giraffe moves his head and neck, the mane twists and turns.
Reference – Back of Head & Mane
There are no spots on the ears. Notice how the mane twists as the neck shifts.
Defining the Details – Left Side
Draw the details on the back of the head. Be sure to show the twisting mane. Paint all the details except for the mane.
Paint 3D Details – Right Side
The eyes are painted with brown fabric paint for a 3D effect and outlined in black. After it dries, add black pupils and white dots in the center to bring life to the eyes. Using brown fabric paint, create a raised mane, centered down the entire length of the neck. It will take two coats to make the furry mane to stand upright. Create fur on the “horns” with black fabric paint.
Paint 3D Details – Left Side
Paint the eye with brown fabric paint and outline with black. Using brown fabric paint, complete the twisted mane on the back of the head. Create fur on the “horns” with black fabric paint. Allow it to dry overnight.
Finished Close Up – Face
The following steps apply to both sides: Because fabric paint is shiny, paint over the mane with brown acrylic and then highlight it with reddish brown and tan. Paint the horns with black acrylic. Some reddish-brown paint was brushed into the ears and up onto the furry horns.
Finished Close Up – Back of Head
Touch up any details as needed. The spots on the left side of the neck, closest to the face, curve toward the face to give a three-dimensional roundness to the upper portion of the neck.
Giraffe – Before & After
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the original raw wood giraffe and the fully detailed project at completion.
I had a lot of fun painting this little guy. Figuring out the anatomy was challenging and rewarding. There are many wooden animal crafts waiting for good homes. Check out your local craft stores or the internet to find one you will love. Good luck!