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Step by Step Easter Bunny Eye

The lake outside of my studio may still be frozen, but spring is technically here, haha! As I wait for those elusive 50 and 60 degree days in the extended forecast to reach me, I’ve decided to do a little Easter and springtime painting! Not only to get into the springy mood myself, but to warm myself up for my Easter gigs which start this weekend! In honor of spring’s inevitable return, today I wanted to share this simple little eye design…a bunny peeking around some eggs!

First, do a quick “sketch” outline of the eggs and bunny. I used a small, round brush with a little white.

Next, fill in the eggs with whatever springy colors and patterns you like! Try stripes, polka dots, zig zags, or just solid color! Experiment with metallic paints if you wish! I used my Cameleon small blending brush to blend the colors of the egg over to my eyelid.

With a round brush, fill in the white of the bunny. Add a few pink details inside the ears and the nose. I like to use a little light blue to add shading to white objects…it gives them a little dimension and a bit more color!

Outline the design with a fine, round brush and your favorite black. I like Wolfe black for my outlines. I also used some tiny dotters to add polka dots to my eggs here!

Add some fun flourishes around the design! I used my new Topaz Fleur Mirror eye stencil, combined with my Topaz Tiny Bubbles stencil. I then used a Deb’s Dotter to add a few more colorful dots to tie it all together.

I finished off the design with some “Capricorn” glitter creme by Amerikan Body Art…one of my favorites for the bright, cheery colors, and it blended perfectly with my colorful polka dots!

I have another fun Easter design that I will share soon, and hopefully some more as my schedule allows over the coming week! Stay tuned! Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy painting!

  • Topaz Stencils - Fleur Mirror Eye
    Topaz Stencils – Fleur Mirror Eye
    $6.00
  • Topaz Stencil - Tiny Bubbles
    Topaz Stencil – Tiny Bubbles
    $2.00
  • Amerikan Body Art Glitter Cremes
    Amerikan Body Art Glitter Cremes
    $10.99
  • Deb's Dotters
    Deb’s Dotters
    $0.10
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Glitter Comparisons

This past summer while working in my Glitter Glamper booth at the MN State Fair, I found myself not particularly loving my yellow, pink, and sometimes orange in glitter tattoos. The problem was that the kids saw my super bright looking “hot pink” glitter in my kit and always chose it, but it just didn’t come across as bright on the skin. I mean, you know how it goes…the kids still LOVE them, but we as artists are always our own worst critics, and we want our work to really pop. While it does depend a lot on the skin tone that they are being applied to, generally bright, bold and opaque colors just tend to show up better on glitter tattoos. Here are a few from the fair that showed my pink, yellow and orange woes…

I tried mixing in some orange with the yellow to capture the layering on Belle’s dress…meh…
This girl really wanted this pink and this orange…she loved it but to me it didn’t come across as bright as the jars of glitter may have led her to believe.
You can see how crisp and bold the dark green is…but as you get to the yellow flame tips, it starts to lose it’s readability a bit.

I found that I was not the only one in my booth having this struggle! But the awesome thing about working alongside so many painty friends is that you can learn from each other, share and test out other brands, and get better!

Well, now that the fair is over, I thought I would do a little experimenting with some different shades and brands of yellows, oranges and pinks…the three colors that seemed to disappoint me most! I should note, I am sharing this information simply to help my fellow artists. I don’t even sell most of these glitters in my shop yet…so it’s not a sales pitch and nobody paid me to do this. 😉 I tend to stock my whole store based on my own experiences and recommendations from painty friends, so I’ll likely be adding more of these down the road as I test them and fall in love with some!

Anyway, here are some photos of swatches on my own arm, along with some gif’s to show the sparkle factor!

Pink Glitters

I had the most shades of pink to test! The one I currently have in my kit is Amerikan Body Art’s Bubblegum Pink. It’s one that looks super bright, but when used as a glitter tattoo, isn’t quite so much. I do still LOVE this pink, and it is my go-to pink for face painting. It does tend to be a little bit more transparent which is why I think it doesn’t pop as much on plain skin. Over pink face paint though, it’s awesome and it’s sheer-ness means it won’t totally cover up my work but enhances it.

For glitter tattoos, however, I think the UV and Neon shades seemed to show the most contrast against the skin. So, if you’re going for that as your goal, I’d recommend the UV and Neon options. I’ve included some other shades of pink too, because you don’t always necessarily want the UV look, and there are applications for both. I also think that the non-neon versions do have more sparkle in the light!

Yellow Glitters

Same goes for the yellows, and the oranges below for that matter. The UV/Neon versions seem to be a lot more opaque and bold, though the more sheer, iridescent colors have more sparkle to them. I had been using Amerikan Body Art’s Lemon Zest…much like the bubblegum pink, I still think it’s the best for face painting, where the neon/uv versions are more bold and high contrast for glitter tattoos. The powders are less glittery, but I thought were worth a try in this comparison!

Orange Glitters

Electric Orange is my fave for face painting, again, though the UV/Neon options seem more opaque. I do like Amerikan Body Art’s Tangerine glitter too, for a darker orange!

Summary…

This is by NO MEANS an exhaustive sampling of these colors. I chose some from my existing vendors, some that looked good to me online, some that I found my fellow artists using, and some that I already had on hand. But what I’ve learned is that the more holographic glitters are best when poofed over face paint of a similar color, though the UV/Neon versions seem to be more bold and opaque when applied directly over bare skin, as we do for glitter tattoos. Neon glitters and powders are bolder, though the non-neon ones tend to have more sparkle.

Do with this information whatever you wish! For me, this has pretty much just made my kit grow, haha! I love both the more iridescent and the more opaque glitters and will keep both in my kit…just as I have both glycerine based and wax based blacks and whites in my face paint kit! They both have their ideal application.

Do you have a favorite shade of yellow, orange or pink that isn’t listed here? I’d LOVE to hear about it!!

Post it in the comments! I really prefer my blog posts to be living documents where we can all share ideas and new things as new things come along. We all know there’s a new product practically every week in our world, ha! Your comments help keep these posts relevant, so please feel free to share! Challenge my opinions and post your own! Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope this post has helped you in your own quest for the perfect glitter for your application!

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Turn Old Holiday Cards into Glittery Decor!

Christmas time is the perfect time of year to do messy, glittery projects around the house. You can always blame the lingering glitter on your aunt who sent you that glittery card, or whoever wrapped their gifts in glitter paper, haha!

It seems we all have just a little more time on our hands this year, thanks to Covid, so why not spend some time reducing holiday waste and making something sparkly out of all those holiday cards? I remember my mom making these decorative balls out of old Christmas cards, and had one of hers in my decorations, so I thought I’d deconstruct it and make a couple of my own with an old stack of cards from previous years! My soon-to-be teenager Sam even helped me out with cutting, scoring, folding and gluing. This is a great project to do with your kids at any age. Little ones can help cut or tear the fronts of the cards off and recycle the backs. They can also help with the tracing of the patterns, and if they’re good with scissors, cutting out circles! Here’s how to make them!

Tools & Supplies Needed:

  • Template (see next step!)
  • Pile of holiday cards – You’ll need to make 20 circles to create one ball.
  • Cardboard – any thick stock will do. You can even use a holiday card back, or a cereal box from your recycle bin!
  • Scissors
  • Ballpoint pen or nail – for scoring the cards to create crisp folds
  • Glue – Any ol’ white school glue works, though thicker tacky glue will drip less
  • String, yarn, etc to hang with
  • GLITTER! duh!!!

1. Make a template.

I’ve made this SUPER easy for you…simply download and print this template I’ve created for you, below!

Cut out the circle and the triangle, lay it on your piece of cardboard, and use them to trace a pattern on the cardboard. Cut those out so you have a cardboard circle and triangle, as shown in the photo above. This is scaled to create about a 7″ diameter ball. If you like, you can scale these up or down to change the size of your ball!

2.Cut circles out of holiday cards

Next, lay your cardboard circles on the front of your cards, trace them, and cut them out. You’ll need 20 circles to make one ball. This is a great place to involve kids. You can have them start by tearing the cards in half and saving the fronts. Photo cards don’t work well because of their glossy surface, so we only use the paper greeting cards for these!

3. Score the triangular folds

Take one of your card circles and flip it upside down. Now take your triangle template and position it so that all 3 points are touching the edge of the circle. Here’s where you’ll use the nail…but it doesn’t have to be a nail. A ballpoint pen works, a letter opener, a toothpick, a fork, whatever…just something strong and relatively pointy. What we’re doing here is scoring the card, so that you’ll get perfectly straight, crisp folds. Press and run your nail or whatever tool along the three edges of the triangle. Put a piece of cardboard or paper underneath so you don’t scratch or write on the table! This is my son doing this part…

4. Fold

Now, flip your circle back over and fold towards the printed sides. Notice how nice it folds after you’ve scored it!

5. Glue 5 Circles together to form the top.

Put some craft glue on one of the flaps.

Glue together 5 pieces to create a domed, round top for your ball. Clothespins or chip clips work great to hold the together while they dry! Before you totally glue them all together, loop a piece of string, yarn or ribbon through the center point to hang it with. You can tie a knot here to hold it in, or just use some glue and/or tape inside to hold your string.

6. Repeat to create the bottom, and make a strip for the middle.

Now that you have the top made, do the same thing again to create the bottom. You should have two domed pieces made of 5 cards each. Next, glue 10 more together in a straight row, as shown above. This will be the middle of your ball.

7. Assemble the Ball

Take your strip of 10 cards, shape it into a ring and glue as shown above. As you can see here, I am impatient so I used a little tape on the inside to hold these together while they dry!

Now, glue on your top (above) and your bottom (below)!

8. Add Glitter!

And now for the BEST PART….the GLITTER!! When I’m using loose glitter like this, I work over a folded piece of paper, poster board, etc. This project is small enough that a file folder worked great! That way, you can catch all the loose glitter in the folder or paper, and use the crease to dump it neatly back into your glitter jar, leaving not a speck to be found. Hehe…

Doing one seam at a time, apply glue to the edge. Here’s where a thicker tacky glue might be helpful as it will be less drippy. But, you’ll want to get your glue on, and then quickly pour glitter on it before it drips away on you, which is why I apply glue and then glitter to one “rib” at a time…

This part may require some breaks to let the glue dry. I start with the top ribs, then go around to the side strip. Then, I let it sit and dry before turning it over and doing the bottom ones.

Notice my orange file folder catching every single speck of glitter?! Amazing, huh? We don’t have ANY loose glitter specks around our house…nope, not a one! 😉

Done!

Once they dry, hang them wherever you wish! These are pretty and simple, a fun way to get your kids into recycling, and a great way to honor all those friends and family who have taken the time to send you cards. If you can find glue that will work well, you can even try making these with photo cards, and have all your friends and family’s faces on them! And, like I said, you can even shrink down the template to create smaller ornaments, which would also enable you to get several circles out of one card.

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How to Paint a Sweater Texture

Just in time for your ugly Christmas sweater paintings, I’ve put together a super quick video to show you how to create a cable knit sweater texture! It looks super detailed, but really it’s just a matter of finding the right sized tools to make the size knit you want, and then repeating a pattern of short strokes and “stamps” with a petal brush. Enjoy!!

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Glitter Glamper Progress: Epoxy Resin Glitter Backsplash

Yesterday I finally started blogging about my process of turning my 1963 Shasta into THE Glitter Glamper! I shared some of the uglier work yesterday: removing a little rot, fixing a dent and sealing up holes. Today I thought I’d share one of the “prettier” projects: the glitter backsplash!

As I mentioned last time, the interior of this camper is so beautifully original that, while I need and want to transform it to scream “Glitter Glamper,” I still want to achieve this while preserving the original state underneath. I need to brighten it up overall so that I can get great lighting to work in, and also create an environment that feels unmistakably and unforgettably “Glitter Glamper” to my guests. Yes, this has created significantly more time and expense versus just painting over everything with white and coating it with glitter, however, I am enjoying the process so far and loving the results!

I knew that the area between the countertops and cabinets presented a great opportunity to inject some glitter, by way of a backsplash. I explored a few options, from glitter wallpaper to a gem mosaic and everything in between, but in my mind they all started with cut panels that could be put up and removed if I wanted to later. In order to achieve the ultimate in glittery-ness (yup, that’s a word I have full authority to create as a glitterologist, haha!), I decided to go with a poured resin and super chunky glitter. This would enable me to use big, sparkly glitter but still seal it up in a durable, wipe-able surface that can easily be kept clean without glitter constantly shedding!

I started by purchasing some pressed hardboard from Home Depot, and cut panels to fit above the counter, carefully measuring to make sure it fit around outlets, the window, etc. When going for a solid, uniform color coverage with glitter, just as I would paint the skin under one of my glitter “wannabeards” before applying the same color glitter, I want to lay down some paint as a background. This gives the illusion of full, opaque coverage of glitter, even if you may have spots here and there where glitter has fallen off or isn’t as thick. I went with a white base coat here, because I’m using silver glitter. A gray would work too, but my goal is brightness and silver reflects white as well, so it was perfect! Not only did the white paint give me a more even look, but it helps seal up the wood, so it took less glue and less resin in the end. I painted the back, front and edges of each piece and allowed them to dry. Then on to the fun part…

I bought a couple 1 lb jars of chunky glitter from the craft store. (Note: we do not EVER use metallic craft glitter on skin…only cosmetic grade glitter!) I laid each piece of wood on a large piece of tagboard that had been folded in the middle (or newspaper for the longer ones), and then coated the wood with Mod Podge. School glue would work too…but Mod Podge is already watered down glue, so it spreads farther and quicker, which was my goal. After a coating of Mod Podge, I then dumped plenty of glitter over the wet glue and allowed it to dry. Then I carefully lifted the panel and shook off the loose glitter, set it aside, folded the paper and funneled the extra back into the jar.

Pouring the Resin

Before pouring the resin, there is a bit of prep work to do. You have to prepare a very level surface to work on, as gravity will spread your resin out, and you want it to be an even thickness. I used my kitchen counter, and covered it with many layers of newspaper, to protect it if any resin spilled over. (For the next round I laid out painters’ plastic, which is better as it won’t soak up resin like newspaper!) Also, make sure that you have the ability to leave your pieces there for 24 hours to set, where it will remain stable, level, and free of floating particles of dust or whatever! Making dinner was tricky around this and made me a little nervous, but it worked out just fine.

Then, you have to create some sort of “fence” around whatever you are pouring resin onto, of course, to keep it from just pouring off the edge. I used painters tape and went around all edges, making sure to fold it under and rub it tightly against the underside of the wood to contain the resin while it was still liquid.

Here is what I used for my resin:

Whatever resin you use, make sure to carefully read and follow the directions! I got out some paper cups to pour each part into, and then a cool whip bowl to mix them together in. I also got out a couple plastic knives and a foam brush to help spread the resin. Different brands will have different amounts of time that the resin is work-abe, before it hardens. Pay attention to that, as you only have so much time to spread it before it sets up.

Pour out equal parts of resin into the paper cups to ensure you have an equal amount of both resin and hardener. Then, pour the two cups together in your larger container, and mix. Make sure to mix it well…epoxy resin is a chemical process that requires equal parts and thorough mixing! Once I had it well mixed, I slowly drizzled it over the glitter, trying to distribute it as evenly as I could. Then, I used the foam brush (and plastic knives for the tighter corners) to make sure that it was spread out and covering all of the glitter.

Get down low so you can catch a reflection in your resin. This will show you where you may need to add more, spread it out, etc. The act of mixing resin will undoubtedly fill it with lots of bubbles. When doing a smaller project, all you need to do is get down close and exhale over the surface, and you’ll see the bubbles rise and pop! For this I took a heat gun and ran it over all the surfaces. A hair dryer would probably also work, though a heat gun blows less and will disturb the surface less. The heat causes the bubbles to rise and pop. Be careful not to burn your project! With this particular project, air bubbles were virtually unnoticeable anyway because of all the light bouncing around inside from the glitter. However, removing them helps it to be smooth and strong.

There is one little ledge area above the fridge where I had a lip on the panels, to hold things in during transit. Since a couple inches of the back of my panels was visible here, I glued some fun fabric on that edge. When installing each panel, I first drilled pilot holes so as not to crack the resin when I screwed it in. Everything went up beautifully with minimal screws!

There were just a few edges that showed in the end, including this little ledge where I had the fabric backer, so I covered those with some bling-y trim and a glue gun.

Overall I LOVE how it turned out. Photos truly do NOT capture the amount of depth and sparkle in this! I love it so much, that I’m toying with the idea of an epoxy resin flooring as well. We shall see…that may be a project for spring! In the meantime, this turned out exactly as I had imagined, and consider it a big win in achieving my intense glittery-ness and remove-ability!

Thanks for stopping by…Stay tuned for more updates on the progress! 🙂

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Christmas Body Paint 2020

For the past few years I’ve been doing a Christmas themed body paint on my oldest son for my business holiday cards! Yesterday I had the chance to paint Sam again for this year’s cards! He is always such a willing and awesome model! Here is a little collage of the past years…

This year I did a little time lapse video of the painting which you can find on my YouTube channel or on our learn page of tutorials!

Here’s a collage of the progress as well:

I have to say it felt really good to get my paints out again. I haven’t been doing much face painting since Covid, but have kept very busy lately on my newest project, which I’ll share with you here very soon!! In the meantime, enjoy the time lapse and start thinking about Christmas, winter and the holidays!! We are currently taking submissions for winter/holiday themed designs for the next issue of Wet Paint Magazine, so be sure to get those in asap for a chance to see your work in print!

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Easy, On-the-Job Minion Tutorials

Are you a purple minion or yellow? Well, either way you’re in luck! I’ve just finished two really simple, on-the-job minion designs, both yellow and purple! You can leave them as-is, or you can get creative and add some 3D google eyes! Check out the videos below, or you can hop on over to our YouTube channel to watch these and more!

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How to Paint a Fun Camping Scene

Camping season is upon us, something my family and I love to do all summer long! Right now all the campgrounds are closed due to Covid, but we didn’t let that stop us! We took our camper down to my in-laws’ house last weekend and camped in their driveway, for a socially distant, outdoor visit! It was good for all of us to get out beyond the grocery store, and see some humans we know in 3-D! So, since we’ve had camping on the brain, I thought I’d put together a tutorial for you! Watch the video below, or right here on YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more tutorials to come! Thanks for stopping by, and happy painting!

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Step by Step Video Tutorial: Silly Snake!

I came up with this design years ago, and it got a lot of great reaction on social media! So, I thought I would put together a step by step video tutorial for you! This is one of my favorite and most popular snake designs. It can be easily adapted to fit within the time you have, and adjusted based on how wiggly your canvas is! 😉 You can add or leave out the background texture, or just do a solid color. Add extra glitter details, or leave them off. Here I added a little red liquid bling to the tongue! You can even add real google eyes in place of the painted iris/pupils! Try painting the snake in fun colors like pink or blue…the possibilities are endless!