Calypso's Eyes - a Pic-tutorial

My latest poppet, inspired by Calypso of The Pirates of the Carribbean, really had some great eyes. I love to paint eyes with nailpolish. Nowadays there are so many great choices. Here's a short pictorial on how her eyes came about.

First, I went thru the entire box of nailpolish, and did up some samples on a sheet of clear plastic.
<--shades of blue
<--golds for accents

Prep your eye. If you like, buy clear ones. If you found a heck-load of spray-painted ones for super cheap like I did, sand those buggers off! Here I am using an emery board for shaping nails. I've also used a rotary tool with a sanding disc attached.

You can lay down a translucent layer of color first if you like. For Calypso's, I put down a teal blue. Forgot to take a pic, too excited.

With a toothpick, I add details like dots and lines. Note how the dots look tiny from the back but much larger from the front. I put down varying sizes of gold and teal green dots.

Then it seemed lacking so I put in black lines with acrylic paint. I like how they are a tad bit subtle because they are the last layer. I usually do gold lines as the first layer so they stand out more. Notice that although the black is fairly thick on the edge, it shows up as only lines from the front. Somehow the edge gets lost. The third pic below shows the two teals I used, the background more bluish, the dots more greenish.

love how it turned out. looks very oceany here, and different depending on the light:

This was how she may have looked with brown hair or blue. I ended up using the blue with streaks of the brown and an additional third wool variegated yarn with pinks and purples in it. BTW if you're wondering how I do the eye/hair/skin test, the eye is stuck into the hole of the head meant for the neck. I then drape a bunch of the yarn over to see how everything will go together.

And that folks is how Calypso got her hair and eyes.
Thanks for visiting!
Aloha, ~Su


The Sketchbook Project 2011

The Sketchbook Project: 2011
I've been wanting to join The Sketchbook Project put on by the Arthouse Coop but wasn't sure if I'd have the funds. My wonderful craft world Craftster.com put on a scholarship drawing sponsored by the Arthouse Coop and although I wasn't one of the 3 winners, an anonymous Craftster member became my Fairy Sketchbook Godmother and gifted me a book! So I've picked up a book, and forked over $20 for digitizing (since it's a good chance I may not make any of the tour stops - yes my book will go on tour!) and joined the Sketchbook-Along here.

I've decided this is a great way to 1)spark my journaling and sketchbooking again, 2)work off the energy of some awesome artists in the Sketchbook-Along, and 3)solve the problem of not crafting during the school semester. I didn't want to take on any major projects what with work bumping up to a possible 40 hours a week from my usual 20, and with me taking the dreaded Anatomy and Physiology class AND lab this semester.

My theme that I chose is "If you lived here..." So the plan (so that I wouldn't have anxiety and stress about this sketchbook thing) is to sit down every night (if I'm not exhausted) and sketch a little, or glue a bit of something down and journal a little blurb about one thing that was interesting that day. Just whip out a double page spread and be done with it, call it a night. Then I can always go back to it. Or not. It'll be like a running train of thought, kinda like I used to do daily on FaceBook, until I run out of pages.

Speaking of pages, I hear everyone talking about how the pages are thin, so I'm planning on gluing 2 pages together as I go along. I just bought a whole bunch of glue sticks that were on sale for back-to-school, so I think I'm prepared. I think I'll do pen/ink drawings with color pencil or pastel crayon accents, and the blurb for the day in black ink. That should make it a little less intimidating.

This is really exciting for me, to have an artistic outlet to balance home, work and school, and also to have it go on tour across the continental US and reside permanently in New York! Wow! They have it worked out that each book has a barcode and you can see how many people pick up your book to browse through. I also chose to digitize it so I can share it with friends and family, since New York is so far away. I'm also gifting a sketchbook to my nephew who I started on sketchbooks when he was little. We used to glue leaves and draw with crayons in them. I hope he will fill his sketchbook with wonderful things and send it back in time to join the tour.

You should think about joining in too! It doesn't matter if you can draw or not - a lot of people just glue in pictures and write, and some write and draw nothing at all. In one of the books that really struck me as too cool the artist simply made cut-0uts on every page. It was beautiful! At the very least, visit The Sketchbook Project to see what others have done, and be inspired!

Thanks for visiting! Aloha, ~Su


The Eyes Have It! Part II

The last "Eyes" post was full of eyes made in July. It was getting too big, and I had to break to change baby's diaper, and then I got distracted by Life... A mom's job is never done!

Anyway, onward. Here are a few more eyes that I've made. My very first repainted pair was made for this doll. She was made for SunflowerSmiles, for the Mini Poppet Swap #2.

I liked how the eyes turned out so I made 2 more to go with her. On the top is a teal green background with yellow-gold lines and dots in blue and green. The next pic is a violet purple, with turquoise lines and dots in yellow-gold and rust-orange.

The following three were made for the DIY Swap 12, which are being included in 2 Poppet-Making Kits that I'm sending out today. I love these translucent ones, because the color can change drastically depending on the background "skin" it gets placed against, and the way the light hits it!

These eyes are on a two dolls going to live in Canada with my swap partner Averyg. Maybe they'll arrive today! If they do, I'll be able to post about what I sent her. The first one is only one color with the lines scratched in. The 2nd one is the same blue as the first, with a different light angle, and with dots in green and yellow-gold. I painted black lines after everything was done so depending on the angle they can be faint or dark. I LOVE these eyes, have to make more!

I've been enjoying the cat-shaped iris eyes, only because there is more surface area to add color to it. The round-iris eyes are great because they are clear so it's instant gratification, and no sanding. I've been told I should sell these, but really, what would I charge that people would be willing to pay? If you have a thought, let me know!

I've got some new nail polish and acrylic paints that I bought, so I'm eager to make more and experiment with some new color combinations. Hope you like these!



The Eyes Have It!

I've been having fun making eyes for my Poppets... Here are the eyes that I've made. Minor swap spoilers in here... so I guess if you need something to keep you going while you wait for your package to arrive, you are welcome to take a peek.

If anyone's interested in a tutorial, let me know!

Top of pic below are what the eyes look like before I sand and repaint them. They come 3 pairs to a package. Below them are (left) purple and silver dots painted onto clear round-pupil or "animal" eyes, and (right) light green with burgundy and green dots and yellow lines. All of these were sent to a swap partner whose favorite color is purple.

Close-up on light green eyes:

Aqua blue with blue and gold dots. On the right is before, on the left is after I painted in some black lines with acrylic paint. These eyes were custom made for a sea demi-goddess poppet that my swap partner hasn't received yet. Look for that post in the near future.

This pair of eyes is a shimmery light tan with dark brown lines. I really liked how these came out but the finished head didn't match the doll that I was making so I scrapped it for the project. I didn't have the heart to pry the eyes out and reuse them.

And that was just July!