I often don’t know what I’m gonna paint on stuff I buy. Hence my workshop is full of shelves brimming with “paintables”, as in To Be Painted. Like TBD (to be determined). Like FOP (full of potential).
But when I saw these black plates at the dollar store, I knew exactly what I wanted to paint and where I wanted to hang them.
Whether or not they turned out how I’d envisioned is a different story. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Here’s the supply list:
- Two black plates
- Rubbing alcohol & cotton balls
- Silver Sharpie
- Martha Stewart White Pearl paint
- Fine tip for top of pearl paint
Yes, I realize there is a paintbrush and some white satin paint in the pic but I didn’t use them. You could, of course. But right now, two weeks away from Halloween, I’m all about saving steps.
Start by cleaning the plates and then washing them with rubbing alcohol, allow to dry. You might notice some streaks. I did. So I took a paper towel to rub them off.
Line up the two plates and with the silver Sharpie, draw a continuous line from one plate to the other. On the bottom plate, take the line only about a third of the way.
Now let’s draw the spiderweb.
It’s just like drawing spokes of a wheel, only don’t make them perfectly spaced. Well, I guess you could if you wanted. I prefer a more random look. (which means no measuring!)
You can make a little circle in the center of the web but I like it all wonky-looking. Start by making little swoops – curves – kinda close together. As you work your way towards the outside of the plate, add more space in between the swoops.
Don’t worry it your lines aren’t perfect. You’ll go over them with the pearl paint next.
With the fine tip on the pearl paint, start painting, working in one section at a time, rather than circularly, around the plate. Know why? Because the pearl paint thru the fine tip is puffy and it takes a while to dry – no matter how long it takes you to fill in the swoops and lines. I have a tendency to rest my wrist or bottom of my hand on the surface, which would mean a lot of smooshed paint. Which would mean a lot of aggravation.
Which would defeat the entire reason I paint!
Here’s a close up. No, it’s not perfect. But I still like it. If you don’t paint over the marker lines exactly, no worries. Some silver will show. That’s fine. If your paint bobbles a bit and isn’t perfectly straight, no worries. It’s for Halloween, mmkay?
Alright. On to the . . . skeleton. Now, I’ve never drawn or painted a skeleton. Ever. But the grandson is loving skeletons and skulls right now so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Some people would sketch first. Draw a few samples, step back, see how they look, and make adjustments.
I’m not some people.
I googled ‘hand skeleton’ and just drew it on the plate, thinking everything was just fine.
At least it looked like my reference picture.
Then I drew a simple spider at the end of the ‘web’.
Then, without stepping back, taking a look at the skeleton hand, I just filled in all the bones with the Sharpie. I wasn’t thrilled at how you could see the pen strokes. But I was planning on covering the whole thing with white satin paint after I outlined it.
So, without stepping back – did I already say that? – I started ‘piping’ the outline.
Why is ‘stepping back’ so important, you ask? Or maybe you didn’t but, trust me, you should – ask and step back when you paint. It’s so important because when you’re working close up it’s easy to lose perspective on what you’re painting or drawing.
Note my sketch of the skeleton hand below.
See the difference? The sketch looks like it has a thumb.
Oh well. “It” happens.
Here’s the other weird thing – after the outlining I liked the stroke marks on the bones. So I left them, instead of covering them up with white paint.
This one? Um, notsomuch.
Know what? I don’t care. I like it.
It turned out almost like I planned except for, er, that thumb thing. But every time I walk by it, I’m reminded to take a step back.
Maybe somebody upstairs is trying to tell me something?
To make the spooky ‘tree’ I crammed some branches into a vase, then stuffed it with spanish moss – the grey stuff that makes a humongous mess – and tucked a little moss here and there. Oh, and another dollar store raven. Or crow. Is there a difference? Maybe I’ll google that.
I’ll just keep in mind that everything on google isn’t necessarily anatomically correct.
Are you done with your Halloween decorating? Please say no. I still have a couple of projects to do. I’m so ready for Fall projects or even, dare I say, Christmas.