Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Wizard's in his castle and the Witch is in..... - or is she out?

The title of this post may be a bit confusing - unless you "look at the pictures".  Both these painting projects were done as gifts for my sister Fiona, who loves all things mystical and has a particular affinity with witches (so you see I'm not being rude implying she is a witch, I'm just appealing to her sense of fun), the fact that she loves cats and that there is a cat on the piece adds to its' appeal.  My sister also has been known to have hair of this hue, and some of Witchy's legwear looks familiar too, gotta love Fi!

"The Witch is In" project is a wooden piece she keeps by her door,  the plaque can be turned over to read "The Witch is Out", but I'm not sure she ever turns it over.  I used a pattern by DeLane Lange in her book "DeLane Paints Your Special Day" and Jo Sonja Acrylic paints. 
I cut the piece out myself, using the trusty scroll saw my husband bought me for Christmas last year, I have over the years received a few non-traditional Christmas gifts all of which have been entirely appropriate for me and invariably associated with craft: This year for my birthday, my eldest son bought me a heat gun -  as he doesn't know craft but does know tools it is a chunky industrial model that will outlast me, and as it was given and opened in a busy restaurant at my birthday dinner, to much excitement by ME, we got some very interesting looks "why is that woman so excited to get a drill" (that's what it looks like) and so on.  I don't know, there was the same fuss when I got my Dremel (specialist cutting tool), my framing tools, my bench grinder.......anyway, I digress.
 The second project is "Red Castle Wizard".  This plaque I also made and it was, as I recall, the first one I did using my router.  When I say "first" I should say this completed project is the end result of about fifty efforts with the router, the first 49 "ending in tears"  mine.  M-an, routers are hard to use!  It is from a pattern by Joy Vagg, which appeared in "Australian Folk Art & Decorative Painting, Vol 12 #10.  The technique used is known as pen and wash, whereby you start with a very light background (these become your highlights), draw in all the lines with a fine permanent marker, then wash the base coats of colour in.  The last step is to apply the shading, primarily with stronger applications of the base colours, strengthening them with darker shades.  Some pen and wash projects have the shading drawn in with the pen, this one didn't.  It is very much the idea behind colouring stamped images, particularly if you use copics or similar.
 Anyway, that's it for today. I hope that this isn't the only post I make with a Halloween theme before the end of the month, but if it is, at least I got these characters out there.  Hope you enjoyed, and don't forget I'll be "witching" you and have a "wizard" time crafting.......again, I hear you all groan, but I KNOW you love the corn really, Dee.

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