Today I want to share with you another project I did as a member of the wonderful DecoArt media Design Team.
Three of my wonderful teamies will be part of this event and some more team members - including myself - will be featuring projects on their blogs during the next days and be showing off with Andy Skinner's new Stampendous stamps and the fab products from the DecoArt media line. So loads of inspiration are about to fuel your creative mojo! Here's my share - enjoy!
This skull of "Homo hahahbilis" as he has been named by its discoverer, Dr. Rufus Bellows, has only recently been excavated and forces anthropologists all over the world to accept that there has been another, much earlier and totally different human species that had the most amazing qualities and seems to have developped in a totally different direction than its later "colleagues".
So far scientists who have carefully examined the specimen dare assume that this much older species had its own means of protecting themselves against predators like the giant sabre-toothed tiger. They believe that these early humans could squeeze their own noses to have some acid liquid squirt from the inner corners of their eyes that would harm the attacker's eyes and thus win them enough time to escape.
They also have come to believe that the ostentatious red tufts of hair on the back and sides of the head were a kind of visual warning sign for predators to indicate that they were inedible, maybe even poisonous (like you still see it with certain caterpillars today for example).
The title "homo hahahbilis" was suggested by my son and I love it!!!! He also came up with "hoho erectus" which is just as genius, but I think we will have to wait until Christmas to meet this guy. lol
To create my mixed media foam board panel I used Andy Skinner's new "Skuldoggery", "Unexplained" and "Handle With Care" Stampendous stamp sets alongside the cracke stamp from his older "Industrial" set and of course a lot of DecoArt media fluid acrylics, Misters and Gesso.
I started with covering up a sheet of heavy mixed media paper with torn scraps of old magazines and dictionary pages. This time I used DecoArt's "Antique" Decou-Page as it already has a slight brownish tint to it and I thought that would add beautifully to the grunge look I was aiming for.
Once that was dry, I applied two thin coats of heavily diluted white Gesso to tone everything down a little.
I stamped the clown skull image onto some heavy cardstock and cut out the skull shape with a precision knife so I could use both - the stencil and the mask. Then I placed my stencil onto the prepared substrate and thinly stippled on some white Gesso using one of DecoArt's Dual Sided Paint Pouncers.
Next I stamped the skull image onto the dry shape using black archival stamping ink. As the surface was a bit uneven because of the glued and layered on paper scraps the image didn't come out too crisp - but I was expecting that and there is an easy way to fix that.
Of course I could have stamped the image onto a separate piece of paper and glued it on but I wanted to create a single layer piece this time and doing it this way it also fused the image with the textural background.
Then I stamped on the words and the barb wire and let everything dry thoroughly.
I started adding washes of Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Quinacridone Gold and Phtalo Green-Blue. To make the skull pop from the background I painted a shading around it with Quin Gold.
I placed the cut out skull mask on top of the stamped skull and scraped on some white Gesso as well as some Green Gold and Quinacridone Gold using a palette knife. I let the Gesso and each paint dry before I added the next one.
Then I toned down the skull with a light wash of Yellow Oxide.
The black areas that had gone missing because of stamping onto an uneven surface were painted back in with Carbon Black using a small soft brush.
Then I started shading my skull image by adding Yellow Oxide to those areas that were in the shade.
The light areas (that would be hit by the light of a punctual source like the sun) were highlighted with Titanium White as well as the teeth.
This way the skull pops even more from the flat looking background.
Time to paint the nose and shade it as well.
The red hair was stamped on using True Red DecoArt Americana acrylic paint and the chin-beard stamp from Andy Skinner's Skuldoggery set.
I covered the skull with the cut out mask again and added Red and Black sprinkles using the DecoArt media Misters. I also sprinkled on some white and turquoise Shimmer Mister paint.
For a finish I stamped on a lot of scratch patterns with black archival stamping ink and mounted my finished painting to a piece of cut to size foam board using matte Decou-Page and four metal brads.
I wrote the name onto the label and fixed the label holder to the foam board with two thin brads.
I painted and doodled some structure in black to the red tufts of hair.
This image shows how the layered on paper scraps create beautiful texture that shows through (see black areas):
And once more the finished piece:
Homo hahahbilis will probably remain a great mystery to the science world, but maybe there will be some more finds that will help reveal the secrets of this wondrous species.
Hugs and happy crafting!