Sunday, 17 February 2019

 Making a Venetian Mask using Helmar Craft PVA glue.

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G'day crafters, Kristina here with my latest project, a stunningly gorgeous hand made Venetian mask.  I am absolutely in love with this project.  It turned out better than I had hoped for.  I was given the challenge of using one glue, as this blog post is a product spotlight.  So I decided to use the Helmar Craft and Hobby PVA glue.  It worked amazingly, so, onto the instructions.

Helmar Products used:
Helmar Craft and Hobby PVA glue

Other items required:

Cheap mask from cheap shop (mine cost $2.50)
Crackling Paste or medium
Rich Gold acrylic paint
Unbleached titanium acrylic paint
Paint brush
Black acrylic paint
Gold feathers (or white which you can paint gold)
Gold tipped feathers (or white which you can paint the tip gold and put glitter on)
Embellishments to decorate the face (I raided my stash)
Gloss Varnish
Gold leaf
Gold glitter

Painting the feathers if you have white ones.
If you could not find gold feathers, or gold tipped feathers, then this is how you make your white ones gold.  You will need a fan brush and the rich gold paint.  Place the feather onto paper so you don't get paint everywhere.  Start from the bottom of the feather with the fan brush, painting in an upward motion so as not to disturb the feather too much.  Cover the whole feather in gold paint and leave to dry.
For the gold tipped feathers, using your fan brush and the gold paint, start about an inch from the top of the feather and paint up.  When it is covered in paint, sprinkle some gold glitter on it and let it dry.

Quick video of painting a gold tip feather is here:  



To begin with, you need to make the cheap mask a little more sturdy, so begin with ripping up the newspaper and covering small areas of the mask in the PVA glue, and begin to paper mache the whole mask.  It should begin looking like the picture below.  Just keep going until the whole mask is covered in newspaper and glue.  You will need to do two layers of paper mache, so wait until the first layer is dry before you begin the second layer.

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You should have something like this when you are done with the newspaper.  Make sure you let it completely dry and harden before going on to the next step.  Once dry, give the mask a quick sandpaper just to remove any sharp or bumpy bits of newspaper.


Painting the Venetian mask

If you want the crackle effect then you will need two colours of acrylic paint.  The first colour you paint on will be the colour seen between the cracks of the top colour.  I wanted gold cracks so I used Jo Sonja Rich Gold acrylic paint for the first layer.  You will need to do at least two layers of the gold paint, to ensure perfect coverage of the mask.  Your mask should look a little like this.

Ensure that the gold paint is completely dry, let it dry for an hour or so before even thinking of using the crackle medium.  Each crackle medium may have different instructions, so make sure you follow your instructions on the bottle.  You cover the whole mask in the crackle medium, very thick, and try not to brush it in too much, just leave it to sit on top of the paint.  My instructions said to wait at least 4 hours before putting on the next layer of paint.  I have included a quick video of the crackle medium beginning to work while I am painting the top coat on the mask.

Once the medium is dry, cover the mask in unbleached titanium acrylic paint.  You should be able to see the cracks appearing as you paint the mask.  This was super fun to watch happen.

See all those lovely golden cracks appearing in the paint?  Super exciting right!!  This is what it should look like now, and the longer it is left the more cracks that will appear.


Just leave it to crack away, and dry for about an hour, just to be safe.

Painting the lips and the nostrils

Use the rich gold acrylic paint to paint over the lips on the mask, do two layers.  Use the black acrylic paint to put in some nostrils.


Gluing on the gold leaf

You will need your gold leaf and your Helmar craft and hobby glue.  In chalk, lightly draw on the mask where you want your gold leaf mask to go.  Make it kind of a butterfly shape.  Then you put a small amount of glue in the area marked off, wait about two minutes for it to begin drying and place a small amount of gold leaf onto the glue, pressing down gently on the gold leaf to flatten it. 
Just a word of advice, if you have never touched gold leaf before, it likes to cling to your hands, rips apart and flies away in the slightest breeze, and can disintegrate on your fingertips if you rub it too much.  It can be difficult to work with to begin with, but once you understand it, it is definitely worth the fussiness.
Just continue to gently place the gold leaf onto the craft glue until the whole area you marked off as the mask is covered.  It does not need to be neat at this stage.

I found if I put the craft glue in a paint palette and used my fingertip to rub it on the mask it was a lot easier.  See picture below.


Gluing the gold cord around the gold leaf area.

Before you begin the second layer of gold leaf, it helps to glue the gold cord that you have to outline the gold leaf mask.  This takes away the need for clean edges on the gold leaf, which is rather difficult.  Use your glue to outline the area around the gold leaf, in small areas at a time and glue the gold cord onto the mask.  The gold leaf will still be rough looking but that will be fixed in the next step.  Give the gold cord time to dry before doing the second layer of gold leaf.

Smooth out the gold leaf using a soft paintbrush and holding it over a bin (it will make a mess).  Just gently brush along the gold leaf to smooth it out, and to remove the unstuck pieces.  Now you do your second layer of gold leaf.  Just place little bits of glue in the spots that require gold leaf, don't place glue all over the mask.  Place the gold leaf on all the little spots, wait until it's dry and smooth it out.  Do this two or three times and your gold leaf will be amazing.
Decorating the mask
I found some gold decorations to place around the eyes, to make them stand out more.  Use glue to go around the eye and stick on whatever decoration you have.
Use anything you have to decorate the mask how ever you please.  I wanted minimal decorations, with just one little pop of colour, so I found a purple gemstone and a gold embellishment and I placed it between the masks eyes.


Gluing on the feathers

You should have dry feathers by now if you did the feathers at the beginning.  All you need to do is glue them on to the mask.  Sounds easy right?  Well it is, but you need patience.
Using the craft glue place a little bit on the end of the gold feather, about 2cm from the end of the feather.  Then hold it onto the edge of the mask, at the back.  It is as simple as that, but you need to hold it until it is kind of stuck otherwise it will fall off.  When I was sure the glue wouldn't stick to the paper underneath the mask, I put it down for five minutes so the pressure would push the mask onto the feathers even more.

This is the time consuming part, but it is very much worth it.  Just keep going along until the whole top and most of the sides of the mask are covered in gold feathers.  I glued an embellishment along the edge of the feathers for a little more pop, and to help hold them in place.  Let all of the gold feathers dry before beginning the gold tipped feathers. 

The gold tipped feathers are place underneath two gold feathers, about half way up the gold feathers so they are higher.  Using the craft glu, place a little bit of glue on the underside of two gold feathers and then place the gold tipped feather on the glue.  I placed a paintbrush under the mask while doing this to raise it up so the gold tipped feathers wouldn't stick to the paper.

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You can place as many layers of feathers as you please.  I really hope you enjoy making this Venetian mask as much as I did.  To get all of this done using only one glue is pretty amazing.  I definitely recommend Helmar craft and hobby PVA glue for this project.  Enjoy making this and I will see you next month.


Sunday, 3 February 2019

Acrylic painting of Australian Uluru landscape tutorial on YouTube

Aussie YouTube Hoppers video

I have been very busy these past few months with quite a few different activities.  This particular painting was made specifically for a group of Australians that I am now a part of.  The Aussie YouTube hoppers.  A bunch of 13 very talented ladies who all participate and make their own creative video tutorials on YouTube, with a specific theme.  The theme for this month is Beautiful Australia.  

I had trouble deciding what to do, as I always feel a little out of place.  Most people involved in the projects I take on are either mixed media, or scrapbooking.  Very talented at that.  I paint, it's what I do, it's what I love and I sometimes feel unworthy of being a part of a team.  It is my own insecurities, nothing anyone ever says to me.  So I am doing my best to get over it, yep just get over it lol.

On to the topic, Uluru, Australia's beautiful red rock, notorious for "a dingo took my baby".  I have never been there, but it is on my bucket list.  The red dirt just looks so amazing, and the quiet that I assume engulfs you is magical.  Quiet, ahhhhhh yes.  I used my artists choice and put the fence in the painting.  I don't think it is actually there, I just wanted something closer to the viewer for perspective.  

In all honesty, I threw a tantrum over this painting, the grass, the grass, the darn grass.  You will see from the pictures I place next that I just couldn't get it right.  Like I say in my video, I mainly focus on portraits and doing a landscape is completely out of my comfort zone, which is what I need sometimes.  I am pleased with the result.  The link to the YouTube video tutorial is here:

Make sure you follow the link in the description of the video to see the next project made for this theme, by Niamh Baly.

On to the embarrassing pictures of the beginning of this painting.

This part was ok, Ultramarine on the top, darker to lighter.  Red Oxide on the bottom, with some burnt umber.  Yep, doing well.  I honestly wanted to stop there, because the grass terrified me.

Bam, what amazing grass that is Kristina.  My gosh you got it first time, is what no one will ever say to me lol.  I hated this, but I thought with a little more grass layering it would magically fix up.

Yep, I thought wrong.  Luckily I was doing a practice painting before actually filming for YouTube, so none of this is in the video.  Aren't you lucky.

Still I didn't give up, thinking maybe by putting the long grass in the front it would look awesome.

Cue the tantrum, the sleepless night figuring out what to do and the obsessing over the painting, because I was determined to get it right.

This was my solution, start over with the grass, but first paint Uluru in.  I actually enjoyed painting it, I calmed down and then I got down to nitty gritty of investigating how to do grass.  That damn grass.

Chuck Black, an amazing YouTuber, I watched his videos.  I am nothing compared to him, but I tried his technique.  It certainly looked better than my previous attempt, and this was only layer one.  Many layers to go.

I ended up with this one, with only a few layers left to go.  The anger was subsiding within me, I could look at the painting without wanting to boil up from the inside out.  The green annoyed me though.  My reference picture had green, but in my painting it just didn't look right.  So I took it out for the YouTube video.

This is my practice one for the video.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I had done it, I painted Uluru and grass.  I had done my very own landscape!!!  Now for the filming of the painting.  In the stinking hot heat of Queensland, in summer, in my garage.  Open the garage door get attacked by flies, and I haaaaate flies, with a passion.  Keep the door down, the light isn't amazing, and it's stinking hot.  So I sweated away and made the video, I am proud of that video.  I have a long way to go, very long, but I am taking my baby steps towards teaching people how to paint, while hiding in my garage lol.

This is a quick little part of the YouTube video, just showing the close up of the posts.  I could've spent so many more hours just fiddling with the little details, but I restrained myself.

As a final note, from frustration comes success.  I consider this to be a lesson learnt, a success and it's given me the opportunity to build on what I have learnt here.  Also in the making of this video I realised that I needed to invent something to hold my iPad on my easel.  Being after Christmas and coming up to a lot of birthdays in my family, spare cash wasn't an option for an expensive holder.  Plus I am currently using my husbands old broken iPad, so I didn't want to spend any money.  SO I came up with this.  Hubby obviously did the hard work, I just told him what I wanted done.  And voila, didn't cost me one cent, holds my iPad nice and safe and is very sturdy.

It is absolutely perfect, and I am grateful for my hubbys help to make this.  

So, moral of the story........hmmmm I could say "never give up", "from failure comes success", "Just keep swimming", but the lesson I learnt the most, "Believe in myself".  I never do, and It is hard for me to say those words, but it is something I need to start doing.  I am worth something, I can paint, I am a good person and I deserve to be alive, and so do you.  

To anyone thinking they aren't good enough, think again, because you are.  You are unique, special, beautiful and talented.  And you are worth it too.

If you are interested in painting Uluru, the traceable is here:

The reference picture for Uluru is here:

Please follow me on facebook........... KristinaObrienart
I am also on Instagram..........
Aaaand Pinterest.......
And now Youtube.......

Acrylic painting Tutorial of Disney's Bruce the Shark, from Finding Nemo.

Mickey Mouse Rock n Roll Rhinestone Shirt

How to make a Mickey Mouse Rock n Roll Rhinestone Shirt

Good morning/afternoon everyone.  Kristina here with my latest Helmar blog post.  I had the theme of Rock n Roll, now I am the least Rock n Roll kind of person in the world.  I do love Disney though.  What does Disney and Rock n Roll have to do with each other???  Well, Mickey Mouse does the Rock n Roll symbol with his hand!  So I thought that it would look stunning as a rhinestone design on a black shirt, using Helmar's Gemstone Glue.


Helmar Products Required:
Helmar Gemstone Glue

Other items necessary to complete project:
Shirt, preferably a dark colour
Old paintbrush
Tracing Paper

Here is the traceable I have made from the design pictured:

The first step is to copy the traceable onto either tracing paper, or normal paper.  Then cut the traceable out, making sure to carefully cut out the fingers so you know where the black on the shirt should stay.
Place this on your shirt, taking care not to have the design to high or too low, then trace over the whole thing in chalk.

The next step is to start gluing the rhinestones on using the Helmar Gemstone Glue.  I began with the vertical line on the cuff, then I started on the bottom of the hand.  Pay attention to the lines and neatness, try to keep it relatively straight.  I used the old paintbrush to paint a little line of the glue onto the shirt, then placed the rhinestones onto the glue.
You just keep gluing the rhinestones on, making sure you leave a gap where the black part of the fingers are.
Make sure you leave the glue to dry for at least 24 hours before even thinking about washing the shirt.  When I did wash mine, every single rhinestone stayed attached, nice and firm on the shirt.
This is a picture straight after washing the shirt.  I was really impressed with the strength of the gemstone glue.  The final step is to let it dry and then wear your awesome, unique, one of a kind Disney Rock n Roll t shirt out to the next concert you are attending.  You never know, we may bump into each other at the next Pink concert, ballet recital, or even Disney on Ice!!
Until then, keep your creativity light glowing, and stock up on Helmar products and all those shiny shimmering pretty things that make life so sweet.

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One final word, please remember that Disney is a copyright giant, it is fine to make things like this for yourself or to give to another person, but please don't charge any money for Disney inspired products.  For your own sake.  So create away! And give away!


Wednesday, 9 January 2019

The Artoholics Box Design Team Call Out

The Artoholics Box
An Australian Monthly Art Supply Subscription Box
Design Team Call Out

I have some awesome and exciting news, I have begun the journey into small business!!!  It's a scary and unknown time, but I am determined to make this work, and to make this the best Art Supply box ever!

Just some quick information on the boxes, they will be starting in March, so you need to get an order in before February 22, as the boxes are very limited in number at this stage.  They contain 6+ full sized art products, in different mediums and techniques each box.  We will venture into sculpting, sgraffito, drawing, painting both oil and acrylic, copics and lots lots more planned.  The box comes with a full description of the techniques involved and a tutorial that can be made with the items in the box.  With plenty left over for other projects.  

Shipping will be free in Australia only.

So please check out my website and make a pre order of the March box, you won't be disappointed.  I am putting everything I can into making these boxes awesome.  


Here is a sneak peak of the tutorial included within the March box, which is Acrylic based.

And the even bigger news is that I am looking for a design team.  You will need to have a YouTube account with at least 500 followers.  Instagram is also a must.  You will be required to unbox on YouTube and also make a tutorial on YouTube with the products in the box.  This means you must be confident in a number of different mediums, pencils, painting, sculpting, charcoal etc.  This is only open to Australian residents, and applications must be in by January 22nd 2019.  If you wish to apply please pm me at the facebook page listed above, with a short bio, all your social media links, and a quick list of what art mediums you are confident in.   

I will be more active in my blogs and YouTube account this year, because I am determined to inspire the world.

Please like, comment and subscribe!

Please follow me on facebook........... KristinaObrienart
I am also on Instagram..........
Aaaand Pinterest.......
And now on Etsy.........
And now Youtube.......
The Artoholics Box Website is here 

Until next time.........