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Another Day, Another Painted Prop

on October 26, 2011 - 3:41pm

A very quick peek at the last of the large prop makeovers this year. 

After this, I hope to start snapping some official images of every character in its place and tell the story of this year's theme.

We have here a 6 ft hanging ghoul with a blue complexion. His detailing is pretty wonderful for a hanging prop which is what caught my eye. That and his almost gleeful expression which works well in my story (coming soon). But blue isn't what I'm looking for, so it was time to give him a quick paint job.

For the record, this prop could easily be taken out of the box, hung up, and with a good spotlight be ready to go. I just needed him to look a little different. Plus, I wanted those eyes and teeth to pop.

All I did was paint black around the eyes and mouth (image below, left). Then I used dark brown to paint the deep creases and shadows (below, middle). And finally, light grey/beige and white dry brushed highlights (with white for the eyes and teeth).

Dem Bones

on October 18, 2011 - 2:20pm

Teaser for Project 3 (of 4) in my buycostumes.com adventure stars this 5 foot posable skeleton. Doesn't she look nice and rested?

I'm about halfway through her transformation process, and will spend the next hour or so typing up the start of the how-to. Stay tuned!

Update: It only took me 3 hours or so, but here's part one of a two part how-to, and the first step of this skeleton's journey into a new character.

Radio Makeover

on October 15, 2011 - 9:00am

Before I did my Rip Van Winkle routine and dropped into slumber for days as my body wrestled with a virus, I had time (and energy) to work on another piece from buycostumes.com. This time it was a radio.

I liked the old fashioned shape of it, and the idea that a skull presses out against the black screen of the speaker. 

While not for me, some people might like the feature that when you turn it on, lights flash red and blue. The skull moves forward, pressing against the screen, and then there is a recording of a voice speaking spooky sayings.

For my display, I turned the radio off just when the skull was sticking out the furthest, freezing him in place. 

The drawback to the radio is it comes in a light milk chocolate colour, almost like toffee (see images below).

The colour draws attention to the fact it's made of plastic, and since there is no contrasting colour on the main body of the piece, you can't see all the great grain detailing on the face of the radio. 

The brass look of the buttons are fine, and the colour of the mesh at the top half of the radio is perfect.

I grabbed black, white and brown acrylics, and a can of black spray paint.

Who Says Plastic Doesn't Have Panache?

on October 6, 2011 - 11:16am

Mirror, Mirror on the wall. Who's the ghoulish of them all?

Wait. Don't answer that. Let me pretend it is I.

Here is the first makeover mystery item from buycostumes.com.

In this post I'll show you how to add simple detailing anyone can do. I'll then continue with uncomplicated dressing ideas, and eventually (as it isn't dark in my part of the world right now) I'll share with you how this style can be dramatically altered using lighting.

I have a store-bought mirror that reflects images upside down.

The frame and "glass" are made of plastic (issue number 1 I'll be focusing on).

The size is 14" H x 21" W which is pretty decent. Placed in a hallway or a nook of the room, it would work well as a focal point. But if you want to display it on a large wall, it suddenly looks smaller than it is (issue number 2 I'll be focusing on).

Plus, the mirror itself has a curved back (in order to create the upside down effect). The dressing approach I use will camouflage that as well.

Let's begin with adding depth and texture with acrylics.

Halloween in a Box

on October 3, 2011 - 10:44am

As you know, every year I choose a different theme for my Halloween parties. Based on that theme, I assemble a collection of ghoulish goodies to display: some I make from recyclable items you find around the house; some are store bought items that have been given a makeover of some sort.

I've shared with you my work so far this year - the lanterns, the candle skulls, the ingredient jars and the organ specimens.

Now comes the fun part.

The folks from buycostumes.com have sent me a box of haunter treats to play with.

Five items, to be exact. And they've arrived.

Two will be getting a simple paint upgrade.

And the other three - including two larger items - will receive more attention as they will be the stars of this year's theme.

What is this year's theme? You know I won't reveal that just yet. I will say it's more like a scene telling the story of a lost soul. And an unfortunate soul.