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The Day of the Dead
"Zapata's Skull & Rose"
This is a present for my daughter, so the pictures are of the tavern just before we left to take her back to Buffalo. The glue holding the grass around the base is still curing and my quick studio backdrop is a large cardboard box.
However, I present to you the tavern...
To see more of how this came about, you can checkout my Work in Progress post.
It's the holidays, so I present to you ...
The Day of the Dead Fairy Tavern
"Zapata's Skull & Rose"
Okay, it's hokey, but my daughter enjoys the masks and such from the Day of the Dead and as I was trying out my homemade paper clay, I started to shape the fairy garden house. When I placed the windows where they ended up, they reminded me of a cockeyed skull and the idea was born.
Das Air Dry Clay
Two Plastic Bottles of different size with the bottoms cut off.
Glue Gun and Hot Glue
Painters or Masking Tape
Cardboard for the base
Extra Plastic from Product Packaging
Homemade Paper Clay
First off, if you haven't had the chance and want to do something like this ... I do plan to make terrain, etc. using these components ... I suggest Creative Mom's YouTube channel. Yes, it's all Fairy Homes and such but she does a damn good job on construction and design using the above components. They are lightweight and durable and hold a solid edge if you want to use any of those cool terrain stamps many of us bought into or a mold.
I hot glued the two bottles together so the cut ends are flush. I used a lot of glue to ensure that they were together solidly. Then after measuring a terracotta pot against the cardboard round from a frozen pizza, I glued the bottles to the cardboard. I wanted to ensure that there was space to glue the base to the pot's rim but not have the building flush to the edge.
I then glued some aluminum foil to the bottles to form some shapes. The "hat" was planned all along but it's going to be a sombrero now. So I glued a ring of foil around the bottle top and then added foil over the ring and flattened the edges. To strengthen the form and blend the bottleneck out a bit I used the painters' tape around the brim and across the back where the "smokestack" comes up.
To help bridge in between the two bottles a bit more I added a rope of foil from the front to the back in an arc and glued it down. Then I added more foil atop the cap of the second bottle to make it taller like and then used more foil and painters' tape to make it more of a long neck bottle. I glued a rectangle of packaging to the front as a box window.
With everything constructed, I spackled the shape with the Homemade Paper Clay. The reason I used the Homemade Paper Clay first is that I used recycled shredded paper instead of toilet paper to make the clay so it's very, lumpy.
The initial skinning of Homemade Paper Clay.
From here I wanted to apply a smoother surface for the finished product and wanted to add some sculpting. So instead of using a finer Homemade Paper Clay, I went for my Das Air Dry Clay. I created the skull face first.
Then tonight I skinned the "bottle" side of the tavern adding a petal edge to the front and back around the neck and blocking out the window.
Well, I have to finish the back of the skull side and then the sombrero. I have three Day of the Dead skull buttons I am going to embed in the sombrero per fairly common costumes.
I'll also add a bunch of details to the building and naturally, I will do my usual work on the ground. There are a lot of skulls that show a thin mustache for male ones, so I think I might make a series of boards tacked up to make a thin mustache to frame the doorway.
This is a vector skull I manipulated to sort of match my quazy skull face. I am thinking of doing it black on white like this.
As usual, thoughts and comments are welcome.
Enjoy and Stay Tuned!
The Mexican holiday Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) is coming up on November 2.
These are two figures that I sculpted for Reaper, albeit very slowly -- starting in November 2014 and ending in October 2016 (with long periods of inactivity, and other sculpting and painting projects along the way).
Izzy "Talin" Collier drew the character designs:
Reaper sells them as "Day of the Dead Cavalier" and "Day of the Dead Duchess", DHL 03822 and 03823.
If you search for them in Reaper's online store, don't use the words "of" or "the" because those words will blank out all results. Just look for "day dead".
(I refer to them as "Diego de Muertos" and "Diana de Muertos".)
At last, it is time to paint them.
I don't know whether I will use vibrant colors all over or mostly subdued (black / brown) with limited spots of color.
I've done some online image-searches, watched the Pixar film "Coco", etc.
The traditional flower of the holiday is marigolds (orange-yellow), so that color will be part of the palette.
I think I will put them together on one base, but I also don't know how ambitious I'll be on the basing around them -- a bare cobblestone plaza, an altar (sugar skulls, ofrendas, etc.), or more extensive structures and hanging decorations.
My first step of painting is to work out the values with blends of Black and White Brush-On Primer:
Thanks for reading,
This is La Charra a wonderful bust from Creepytables Miniatures.
I cleaned some mold lines.
From the look of it the hat needs some work with putty, will attend to that later.
I have decided the Skulls on the base will be sugarskulls.
The snake is a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.
La Charra will get some facepaint in the Dia de Muertos style.
I'm not sure about her hair yet.
Need to think about it, any suggestions welcome.
I haven't decided about the patterns of her facepaint yet, there are a lot great ideas out there.
Here are some inspirational pics.
This one has been sitting on my desk begging to be finished for awhile now. After taking the pics I fiddled with the face and changed the color of the stained wood to a walnut which I like better. I'll try to get a photo of that up at some point. I had a wip on this with all my colors and process but the evil empire of photobucket ate the pictures.
I used some of the bright skin triad and for the shadow colors corporeal shade. The basework is made from the firm sculpey (the gray type,) a stick and etched brass foliage. The spider shield and barrel are from reaper's bones line. The crystal I did with a few real ones and then just made the rest out of sculpey. I had fun with the idea of someone emerging from shadow so painted the back with the shadow colors and then blended the front to back which gave me a very nice green I used also on the foliage. I made that using a combo of chestnut brown, corporeal shade and linen white.
Enjoy! C&C welcome and feel free to ask any questions! I can try to dig up some of the old photos, but having lost my hard drive, it may take time to find the right SD card.
Also, I have clearly been playing too much Skyrim...
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