Friday, September 12, 2014

Getting Ready for Halloween

I've been popping in and out of Michael's Arts and Crafts a lot more than usual lately. There's one not too far away from where I work (my favorite store, A.C. Moore, doesn't have a location out that way). And even though I know I have to work on Halloween night, that didn't stop me from picking up a new decoration.

Michael's had plaster skulls and monster heads on sale. I had to have the monster head, because I don't have anything Frankenstein-related yet. I know, it's hard to believe.

Frankie here was painted with both Testor's model car paint (that I bought for another project, the gnomes that are giving me hell) and Folk Art craft paint. I was going for a sickly pale monster green, by combining a flesh color, white and green of the Folk Art paint. When it was all said and done, in the light of my kitchen....er, painting studio...Frankie actually has a bit of a pale, sickly blue tint to him and I really like it (think Tom Savini's make up work on the original "Dawn of the Dead," in 1978.

I'm not a great painter, but I was happy that I was able to get some differences in skin tone. While I was able to create some highlights on the face, I had a hard time creating depth. I wanted him to have bags under his eyes and hollow cheeks. I couldn't get his cheek to be any more gaunt, but I think the eyes have a good start on them. I even made it a point to brush on various shades of green eye shadow under his eyes and on his cheeks  to show depth, but I can't get him any thinner.

I did think about clear coating him, kind of the cheap woman's clear glaze, but I decided against it. I've decided I like this kind of chalky finish that he has.

I thought a lot about my paternal grandma while I was working on this project. She passed away about three years ago. I would admit that during the last 13-15 years, I didn't have much to do with her, mostly because of how she treated people and how I didn't like it.

When I was a little kid, she had a corner of the basement that was her own ceramics studio. She even had her own kiln down there and shelves loaded with unpainted ceramics and molds.  I thought it was the coolest thing in the world! I still have the peg light Christmas tree she made for my family in 1978, and a couple other small pieces.  I used to beg her almost every time I saw her to do some kind of ceramics project with me, but she never would. She always said it was too expensive. I would have loved to sit down there and paint with her.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

So Mad I Could Scream

I've been working on re-painting a couple of gnomes now, off and on, for the better part of two months. The metallic silver Testor's paint I bought isn't fucking drying/curing on the gnomes. I don't know why. The gnomes were clean (one is vinyl, the other is resin), I primed them first...but the silver isn't curing. I've even run an embossing gun over them to speed dry. The silver remains tacky.

So I went online and tried to figure out what's going on. "When paint is not drying on the surface, the most common cause is that the wrong paint was applied. When painting flexible vinyl or rubber, our solvent based enamel will not dry. A water based acrylic paint should be used. Dry time on acrylics is about 15 minutes minutes and enamels are dry to the touch between 30 minutes to 1 hour." I don't know that I believe this. If this were happening ONLY to the vinyl gnome, then yeah, this is true. But it's also happening to the resin gnome. And my vinyl gnome isn't flexible.

It's God damned model car paint. How can paint not dry when it's being painted on over PRIMER??! I've been wasting all this time for nothing. I've just now gone back, painted on a coat of some cheap craft paint in the same color over it and run the embossing gun over it again. It's still tacky.

I'm so pissed. I've been washing silver model car paint off my hands for weeks. I'm taking a shower and going to bed early tonight.