Xmas Sparkle

Apologies that I’ve only just met my posting rule of  ‘some time over the weekend’, but that requires my computer and various other bits of kit and I’ve only just got home.  Luckily, I had this ready to roll when I did.  I started seeing a guy that I’ve known for years last Saturday, and I’ve been at his place because we had a late night on our third outing this Friday.  Don’t worry, I behaved myself!

I have been working hard on the newsletter that I write for the Sheppey Together service.  I bring you my Christmas tree art deco pic, with the photos and commentary from there.

First, I chose the image I wanted to work with. Jenny has a selection of suitably-sized images that you can use, but I wanted to use something different here. I printed it out A4 size, then blew it up to A3 as that’s the size we usually work with.

I then taped the picture face-up to carbon paper and then to the thick black paper base, and traced the lines that I wanted to use. I used black carbon paper here, but we have used blue in the past as it’s easier to see. Do not lean on the carbon lines, as you can get a smudgy mess on your arm and wipe them off the paper. These are just temporary lines, so don’t worry if your hands were a bit trembly (as mine often are). The most important thing is to use a heavy, consistent pressure, as being too gentle won’t show through.

I then drew over the lines to make them more visible, using gel pens in appropriate colours. Usually, we would stick to using gold or silver pen for the whole thing, but I wanted to try a different look here.

Next came the paint. It looks a bit flat, but that’s because I’m just using it as a base level.

No matter how carefully you paint, you will go over the original lines. They are just a guide, so don’t worry about it. The lines that you draw on after painting will also be with gel pen, and they are for emphasising the areas that you want highlighted the most. Use whatever colours you want, just make sure that they’re in keeping.
Once you can see the shape of your piece again, it’s time to get glittery. I used a combination of glitter and glue for the star, glitter glue for the main body, and glitter paint for the swirly tinsel.

Once you’re happy with the overall effect, it’s time to add a few crystals to highlight key points. I chose to do a few circular ones, placed to look like baubles, for a subtle effect.

Once the piece is finished to your liking, you can sign and date it. If you’re not sure whether you need to add anything, Jenny is always happy to give pointers.

I am always amazed at the difference that the right frame makes to a piece, I can never quite believe that it’s my work once Jenny’s woven her magic. The other photos were taken with a different camera, but you get the idea. This piece was done in 2 2-hour sessions, with how long you take depending on overall intricacy and how much definition you want to add, and the longest I’ve taken was 5 sessions for an extra-special birthday present.

If you’re local, we’d love you to join us for an art deco session, wednesdays 13:30-15:30 at Trinity  Room in Sheerness Healthy Living Centre.  £4 covers room hire and all materials used, exclusive of framing, but you’re welcome to bring your own supplies.

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