Monday, February 28, 2011

Clay and Wire Poison Dart Frog

I've been reading about poison dart frogs a lot lately, and decided to try to make one for myself.  They are very small creatures, so I tried to go for life size (about an inch long).

I made the frog out of white Sculpey clay and some phone wire I had around the house (left over from the Batman costume).  Since poison dart frogs usually have very complicated and ornate coloring, I decided to paint the frog rather than make it out of multiple colors of Sculpey.  The wire was necessary because the tiny front legs of the frog refused to stay up when made out of clay, so I replaced them with wire to make sure my frog didn't collapse.  In the end I didn't make any of the toes for the frog, but they quite likely would have just broken off anyways.

To paint the frog, I first went with a solid yellow base coat.  I did this three times in order to get a very bright, rich yellow color, and also because the wire legs were fairly resistant to being painted.

Once the yellow was on, I added the black.  This particular type of frog is actually black with yellow stripes, but if you paint black first, the yellow will be a hundred times more difficult to get right.

Now that the frog was painted, I added a clear coat of varnish to give it that shiny, wet, amphibian look.  All done!

See all the frogs here!

For this project I used Sculpey clay and Games Workshop paints:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Artfully Arranging Flowers: Three Roses for Valentines

Flower arranging is nothing unique of course, but this year I tried to make a Valentines arrangement that would stand out a bit, or at least not just be a vase packed with flowers.  I looked at a lot of arrangements available online, and eventually was inspired to make this.

The supplies are: A square-ish vase, smooth river stones, two glass hearts (not necessary, but add a nice touch), and three roses with some greenery and baby's breath (the tiny white flowers).

I put the rocks in the vase and put the hearts on top.  I debated mixing the hearts deeper into the rocks, but I didn't have enough to make them stand out and not just get buried.  If you're using a lot of glass beads or something similar, you could just mix them with the stones.  Next I cut the roses to three separate lengths, each long enough to have the stem reach the bottom of the base, and each one a flower longer than the last.  I decided to have the red rose the main flower, so it was the longest.  Place the roses into the vase and make sure the rocks are holding them well in place.  Finally, accent the roses with the baby's breath (cut so that it will be below the height of the rose flowers) and tall greenery in the back.   See the diagram for heights and numbers of materials.  Of course, don't forget water!

See all Cut Flower Arrangement ideas here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Water Color over Ink drawing

Water color over ink.  I'm very happy with how it turned out.  I really don't know much about water-coloring, so this is a nice way to fake it.  For more water-colored items, click here.

I used some old water colors I found at home; nothing even remotely fancy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Minnesota Song Birds: Water Color

I finally had a chance to color in my new Minnesota song bird drawings.  I used old water-colors (I think originally from a coloring book...they're quite old) and colored in a print out on 110lb card stock.  The card stock isn't made to be water-colored, and the paper did warp a little, but not too bad.  Coloring over printed (or drawn) ink can be tricky because you can fade the ink lines if you make it too wet or brush over it too many times.  However, it meant I could try again if I messed up by just printing out another copy.

The original ink drawings are here
The first set of birds are here
Other water color pieces

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Como Zoo Orchid Show

I went to the Orchid Show at the Como Zoo this past weekend, and was quite amazed by the number and variety of orchids, and thought I'd share.  I was quite happy with how well my camera's macro setting was working indoors and under rather adverse conditions.

See more orchid related posts here
This is my camera