How I won a contest: Part 1

Part 1 : Exploratory Committee.

Greetings! It’s been a while, has it not? I started writing the blog post almost 2 years ago exactly to the day and, well, I think it should be posted because I think it can put a little bit of language to a process that often feels a bit magical. It also shows the amount of work that goes into a project and details the process of how I went from an idea to a winning design. A lot of what I’m writing describes the process as it happened, before I won the contest so the language speaks in the tense of those moments and I tried to point out things that have changed since then. So…here goes:

I’m going to go with something a little different today. Less homey & antiquey and I’m just going to go into art mode here.  I’m a huge fan of the band Foxy Shazam and was completely excited to hear that they were hosting a contest through Creative Allies to design their next shirt promoting their new single “Holy Touch“. I got right on it.  Typically I don’t enter these contests…but…being a huge fan and being a designer, I had to win this.

(update: I won this).

I entered it more as a fan than a designer. I really put everything I had into coming up with a design that would win or at the very least, get some attention. And, interestingly enough, as I write this, I was just informed that I was a finalist winner so that’s a good step in the right direction

(update: it was a step in the right direction)

On Your Mark

One of the luxuries of taking public transportation to work everyday is I could make it a productive. As busy as things are, it really is a genuine privilege to just literally have to sit down and be still for an hour a day. I used this time for my pre-production which is one of my favorite parts of the design process. To me, I’ve found this to be THE most important step for me in creating. To me, good ideas aren’t just low hanging fruit. If I went with one of the first things I thought of, that’s likely the  I really want to work and wrestle with as many different ideas in as many different directions as I can and then narrow it down. I’ll go through dozens and dozens if not hundreds of very rough scribbles & sketches to get passed all of the cliche’ ideas and get to the ideas that are underneath those.

doodling my way through to the winning design…

It also helped that I was already acquainted with the band’s catalog beforehand so I could draw on looks & themes that they’ve already approved. Every album, photo & video that the band puts out is a little visual clue as to what they like and the music, of course, is a HUGE indicator of any look or feel.


Honing in on the design. The iconic broken window makes an appearance early on in the sketches. Eric looks heavenward with rock’n’rosary in hand.

I went through a long process of working things out on pen and paper before I even started on a computer. I had to get through “easy” ideas that I figured a lot of people would think of in order to get to more meaty ideas that were behind them. The shirt’s purpose is to promote Foxy Shazam’s newest single/video called “Holy Touch”. Mind you the video didn’t come out until a week before the contest ended so none of the designers had a clue where the band was intending take the “Holy Touch” concept themselves.

Without any direction, I had to consider how I would represent Foxy Shazam representing “Holy Touch”.  Because they were the first things I thought of I figured crosses, rosaries, &  Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam” would show up often in people’s designs. It’s not that these elements are no good – I did several designs using these very elements in fact – but I had to thoroughly explore the idea before I could entertain the thought of returning to those first ideas. My experience has also taught me that more often than not my strongest ideas come at the end when I’ve already felt I’ve long exhausted  all my options. I make it a practice to keep pushing myself to explore & create even after I literally hit a wall and can’t come up with any new directions to take it.  I was planning on going with one solid design that I’d hang my hat on but if I had any other ideas along the way I’d throw them into the pool as well.

At some point I thought of the iconic broken circular stained glass that appears in the background of Foxy Shazam’s “I Like It” music video which you can see here:

Foxy Shazam's music video

An iconic broken window.

The whole motif of the album as a whole was this idea that there’s a “Church of Rock’n’Roll” and this building in the video is said to be it. Having seen the band live several times I also noticed that the drummer Aaron McVeigh has a graphic of this very window on his bass drum head.

Aaron McVeigh's Drumset Foxy Shazam

That’s the biggest bass drum I’ve ever seen…and I like it.

Taking this project seriously and truly treating Foxy Shazam as a client, and not having the luxury of talking with them, I of course should make careful note of what they like & how they’ve represented themselves in the past and the fact that they’ve used this image several times tells me that something about it speaks to them and has resonated with them and if I do something using this window, it will hopefully resonate with them as well.  So it was settled. I would go about recreating this window. How I would use it, I didn’t know – but I knew that I wanted it to be featured in the design somehow. In addition to seeing Foxy Shazam as a client, I also realized that it was a competition and taking the time to recreate this exact window wouldn’t be a simple task and other designers might not take on so I went ahead with it.

A few minutes of internet sleuthing and I figured out that the church in the music video was 150+ year old First German Reformed Church in the band’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.  I also learned that the band’s keyboard player Sky White also is a co-owner of the church as well so I definitely knew that this place was near and dear to some hearts in the band so I was very confident that I was going the right direction by using it. In researching the church I also recreated some of the less iconic side windows in the church that don’t really appear in the video. I didn’t end up using those in the final design but my intent was to, if I used them, let the ‘client’ know that I did my homework and came into this project more than prepared.

One of dozens of sketches: The stained-glass window gets prime real-estate here  but the idea ( Nuns with guns behind Rev. Eric Nally) is too much of a derivative of their 'I Like It" video. Keep on keepin' on.

One of dozens of sketches: The stained-glass window gets prime real-estate here but the idea ( Nuns with guns behind Rev. Eric Nally) is too much of a derivative of their ‘I Like It” video. Keep on keepin’ on.

Though Foxy Shazam’s music is hard to pigeonhole, there’s definitely something nostalgic about it. The glamour, the excess, & the tongue-in-cheek rock spectacle is fresh but familiar . When singer Eric Nally describes his musical influences he usually doesn’t list musicians but rather thoughts, feelings, smells or experiences, oftentimes associated with childhood. So that got me thinking of what I personally find nostalgic and familiar. Comic books.

Early Foxy Shazam comic idea

One of the first rough thumbnail sketches for the comic book concept shirt

I started out with a more the idea to do 1950’s pulp horror comic meets Rocky Horror Picture show (an idea I would’ve come nowhere near had I stopped at my first few ideas for sure). Singer Eric Nally with a bloody rubber glove & doctor’s scrubs falling revealing a priest’s collar underneath & people/the band running in terror? Drippy, spooky lettering? I liked the idea but I felt it didn’t really have it’s finger on the band’s pulse. It was almost there but not quite. As I mentioned I really wanted to take my cues from what I knew of the band at that point but also, in the spirit of the music itself, take some chances. So there’s a line that I had to walk without the benefit of being able to ‘check in’ with the band to make sure I was on point with them. I felt the horror pulp comic was the smallest bit off target but I loved where it was going. I decided to bring it around towards the highly entertaining, oftentimes goofy comics of the 1970’s & 80’s because I think that really ‘landed’ with what the band is like…vintage flavored, dramatic, and a whole ….lot…. of…. fun.

While I was playing around with this idea, thinking of music and comics, what came to mind was a very convincing comic spoof I’d seen of Rick James being drawn into an old Incredible Hulk cover. It was perfect ‘vibe’ and I felt like it hit the nail on the head and was exactly the tone I wanted for my design. They hadn’t represented themselves with comic books before or even mentioned them but putting them together, I felt like the guy who first put peanut butter & chocolate together must’ve felt. That was the ‘taking a chance’ part of the exploration. This was the direction that I was going to head. I could’ve done the shotgun approach and just made as many designs as I could, submit them all, and pray that one hit the target. I did entertain this thought briefly but I felt that was not the wisest way to go about things. Since I had the time to think about this I was going to approach it as thoughtfully as possible. In the end, I think the shotgun approach wouldn’t have really sharpened my craft or enhanced my tools in any way. It might’ve shown that I was fast and able to think of many good ideas, I find more value in not only going the distance and investing developing a great idea and but also committing to that idea.

It's hard to mess up  anything when combining 80's icons & comic books.

It’s hard to mess up
anything when combining 80’s icons & comic books.

That being said, I did have a few of what I considered good ideas and, along the way I would do a quick design of them and submit them. I treated them as an exercise and if they involved more than a few minutes to design or if they detracted any time my main design. Here’s one of them:

It was an idea but I never claimed it was a good.

It was an idea but I never claimed it was a good.

As you can tell it was a simple design that didn’t take more than a few minutes to create but it wasn’t the least bit smart or clever and though it might stand out a little amongst the plethora of riffs on Michelangelo’sThe Creation of Adam“, it was by no means on the cusp of ‘why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” territory, which is where I think great ideas should reside. Simple & smart takes the cake in my book. This was simple but not necessarily smart.

Part 2 : The Execution
coming soon. 



It’s been a crazy couple of months for Mrs. Hair Tonic & Horse Feathers & I. I’ll spare you the ghastly details but since October of 2011 we’ve lived in an apartment as our cute little house decided to bite the hands that have fed it. Major plumbing catastrophes. But alas, that’s not the point of this post. These drawer linings are:

A fancy drawer liner.

You’ll only see it when it’s really really time to do laundry.

A while ago, I came across a treasure trove of 1920’s-30’s era furniture that was just sitting outside a nearby neighbor’s house, waiting to be thrown away. This little dresser drawer was among those items. I decided that I wanted a put some drawer linings inside of them and I really wanted have fun with those. Now I know that not a single guest would likely every see these (and neither would I really) which makes it the equivalent of ironing your socks & underwear but oh well.

You can take a piece of foam core (or you could use cardboard but we wary of the corrugation as it might cause ripples) and cut it to the exact size of the bottom of your drawer. From there, using scrapbook paper, vintage wallpaper, computer printouts and whatever other ephemera you can find, you can let your artistic & collage-making sensibilities go wild and really create whatever you want here. I love checkerboard patterns & Victorian etchings so that’s what I did here. I found 4 different  kinds of scrapbook papers that I liked (two darkish, two lightish) and made the checkerboard, adhering it using Modge Podge. Then I found an image of a Victorian woman & a butterfly on the internet, printed those out and put them over the checker board. I also printed out a very small poem by Margaret Atwood and put that in there as well for fun and then Modge Podged over the whole thing.  A good resource for vintage ephemera and photographs & graphics to print out and use is The Graphics Fairy.

So that’s just ONE of the 5 or 6 drawers. Each one can be different, the same, themed, or-whatever. I’m going to make each one different but all with a Victorian whimsy flavor to them to tie them all together. If you try this, do send pictures as I’d love to see what you come up with!

PS ~ I don’t scrapbook but scrapbook paper is incredibly wonderful to have around. I have books and books of it and have used it countless times in so many projects, including this one. Whenever you see that a book of it is onsale, get it! Don’t waste money on individual sheets as you get a much better deal on the books.

‘The Artist’, a modern silent film debuts this year at Cannes Film Festival

The hugely charming-looking silent film ‘Louis‘, from 2010, kind of came and went and went, the general public, have never really had the chance to see it. Interestingly enough, 2011 is turning out another new silent film called ‘The Artist’. It is a French film , shot in Los Angeles, with quirky film-veteran John Goodman and L.A. Confidential’s James Cromwell and it stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, both French. Here is the synopsis:

Hollywood, 1927. George Valentine (Jean Dujardin) is a successful silent movie star. But the advent of talking movies plunges him into oblivion and makes a young extra named Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) into a huge star. This movie retraces their destinies, or how fame, pride and money can become obstacles to a love story.

It was literally a last-minute addition to the Cannes Film Festival and it’s truly been a dark horse in the race for the Palme d’Or, going from a list of out-of-competition movies to one of the most talked about films in the festival. Weinstein Co. are vying for rights to the film even before its May 15th Cannes debut. Hopefully all of this adds up to a US wide-release. It would be outstanding if the once considered ‘dead’ art form of silent pictures rose from its grave a

la Lon Cheney style and made a resurgence as a viable art form once again ~ 84 years since the talkies pushed their way into Hollywood and 75 year after the last widely considered ‘relevant’ silent film flickered on the big screen. What’s interesting to me is that, sure I’m certain the film is good, but part of what the buzz is about is the novelty of a silent film. A silent film is far from novel.

From the looks of the trailer, it looks stunning and powerful, with a killer score to match. Fingers crossed & prayers made that this film realizes it’s potential and doesn’t suffer the same fate that ‘Louis’ seems to have.

Music : interrupted / Piano : repurposed ~ { Part I }

You may’ve read about my piano stool rescue a few of a months ago. I rescued that piano stool from 100+ of time that’d split the wood and corroded the metal. That turned out lovely enough but according to my 100-year-old piano, I’m a bigger enemy than time ever was. See, I have {had} a 100-year-old piano that I procured about 10 years ago. I loved that piano. It was my elan vital. I wrote many songs on that piano. That piano followed me when I got married and moved an hour away from home. When it came to live at my new house it was even prominently featured in the kitchen. Long story short, it didn’t last long here. Faced with having to do some heavy-duty construction at the house last year , I was forced to move it into another room and it was then that gravity & I ganged up on this lovely antique piano and ~ I’m sure you can anticipate where this is going~ I’m just fortunate that I was able to get most of myself out of the way as all 500+ pounds of it came crashing down with the most amazing sound I’ve ever heard and rendered the piano unplayable. There’s nothing like hearing a piano crash onto the floor.  Sotto Voce: Don’t invite me to a piano moving party as this is the second piano that I’ve had a hand in dropping. I’m 2 for 2.

Long winded explanation to say that I busted up my one and only piano and didn’t have the heart to throw it away. But what to do with a quarter ton piano in the middle of a room?

Taking out the piano's 'guts' and will reassemble the 'bones'. I removed every part that I possibly could to lighten the weight.

Taking the piano's harp (not pictured) out was by far the most difficult part but it contributed the biggest 'weight loss'. I wanted to remove the harp from the chassis but I simply could not get it to budge so I took the whole part out. The biggest casualty was the wall that I gouged when I dropped that piece. In my estimation it's got to be at the very least, 300 lbs.

I harvested some of the piano's vital organs.

More harvested vitals: I decided to use the pedals and instead made some interesting home decor out of them. We tore down our well-worn fence a short time ago so I decided to attach the pedal to a piece of the old fence, use a piano string as a hanger and, wah-lah. I'll be blogging about this project too ~~~ eventually

Putting the bones back together. I was going to get rid of the keys and have the lid permanently closed but I realized that that's where all the drama is! The contrast of those 88 black and white keys. I cleaned them up and put them back in and screwed them in as such that they're permanently fixed in the playable position.

Under the hood: Not too much! I decided that I would turn this into a armoire for our television so we can hide it when it's not being watched. I hinged the bottom portion so it can be used as a cupboard/storage area. I'll be building some shelves that will fit nicely into that large bottom space. It can be used to store/hide a DVD player, video game consoles, DVD's, etc... This is plan A. If Plan B doesn't work out then my plan is to turn it into a bookshelf. What do you think it'll work best as? I do have a plan C actually. I thought if I can't make all of this repurposing work out, I would make it a garden feature. I think it'd be so fun set it in the backyard to grow flowers all around it and in it, letting vines creep around it's legs. It could be really magical! Part of me hopes that plan A & B don't work out as I think it'd be stunning in a garden.

Here's the cabinet I've built to go underneath the keyboard. As mentioned above I put hingest on the bottom piece of wood so it acts as a door to hide everything underneath. The wood is all leftover scraps from a fence we built last year that've just been sitting there, begging to be used. If anything ignites my creativity, I will not throw it away (sorry about that Mrs. Hair Tonic & Horse Feathers). I've inherited that lovely trait/liability from my father, Mr. Hair Tonic & Horse Feathers Sr.

So that’s where I am at this very moment. So far 100% of the materials I’ve used for this project have been things I’ve already had and I’ve spent all of $0. Also, I’ve cut all the pieces with a handsaw, not a skill saw. I’ve come to REALLY appreciate every cut that’s gone into this because of it. I may’ve gained a muscle or two in the process.

Part II will be coming soon as I try to hone my not-so-handymanly skills and get a television into that old box. I do love the past but for a project like this: thank goodness for flat screens. Stay tuned!

Silent Movies: why it’s hard to like them but why it’s worth it.

     I came across this post about silent horror films a bit ago on WordPress’s main page. I reposted it and you may’ve read it by now. The author hit the nail on the head…or rather hit the coffin nail into the coffin as her post dealt largely with the silent horror film Nosferatu. The blog is worth the read and the film is worth the watching and was the inspiration of this post.

    To those who know me or at least have read a few posts on this blog, you’ll gather that I love and adore old films. Specifically silent films. Silent cinema is my favorite artistic medium and I’ve even made one myself. But there is one thing that is interesting yet not all together surprising; people at large don’t generally like silent films. For the longest time I didn’t know why.  When I saw The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for the first time I was mesmerized.

Condrad Veidt's astounding in 'The Man Who Laughs', one of my favorite films of any genre

When I saw Buster Keaton’s The General, I was hooked for life. Interestingly it is a badge of honor among the artsier-and-fartsier-than-thou to say “oh I love silent film” yet for the average Joe and average Jane they’ll take Rush Hour over The Gold Rush any day of any week of any year.

one of silent film's finest: Buster Keaton's 'The General'

Silent movies are fatiguing though I don’t mean this is a negative way whatsoever. It’s a positive. They are fatiguing because they are engaging. They are engaging in ways that modern movies are not. For instance, you can go to the theater and chat with whoever is next to you, talk on the phone, watch the silhouettes of the people around you, check your email, send a tweet about being at the movies and still not miss a beat of what’s going on. No imagination is required either. It’s all done for you. A bunch of guys in white shirts and ties made sure that you’re spoon-fed every plot device and want to reduce the amount you’ll have to ‘work’ (i.e. think) to watch the movie. With silent film it’s a different story. There’s actually very minimal use of title cards in silent films. The filmmakers did not want to rely on title cards but rather they held fast to the “show, don’t tell” mantra. And that’s not to say that the characters in the films went around like mimes with their mouth shut trying to act out what they’re trying to communicate with broad gestures. It’s much more subtle than that. Often times characters will ‘speak’ on camera but, lo and behold, it’s up to you, dear watcher, to imagine what they’re saying based on the context and other visual cues. No title cards. For an hour or two of this, this can get fatiguing as the general public is not used to using their thinking muscles while watching Avatar. This fact, mixed with our culture’s ever-shortening 140 letter attention span, is a recipe for dismal result when you introduce thinking into one’s entertainment.

But I submit to you that this is a privilege, not a liability, for silent cinema. It’s an art form that takes, not merely gives. It’s an engaging exchange, a wordless dialog without words between the film and the film watcher. It’s an art form that commands attention like no other work of art can and it’s an art form in which you become part of the creative process. It’s entertainment that challenges you to take off your bib and put on an apron. The 3D movies that we are being force-fed come with the promise put the viewer inside the movie watching experience yet it appeals to no other senses than it did before.  Our brains can remain in the ‘off’ position from beginning to end but now we can see terrible movies in one extra dimension now! Another dimension of terrible!  How is that a privilege? How is this advancement?

Chaplin's moving final scene in City Lights

Silent film star Mary Pickford famously said, “It would have been more logical if silent pictures had grown out of the talkies instead of the other way around”. Many of the silent film stars of the 1920’s felt that pantomime was the highest form of art and that talking pictures, first widely accepted in 1927, was a devolution of the craft of film rather than an evolution of it. Pickford is famous for her complaints against the ‘new’ talking pictures, comparing them to, “putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo”. Iconic silent film hero Charlie Chaplin echoed this sentiment in a different way by saying in 1928, “Moving pictures need sound as much as Beethoven’s symphonies need lyrics. By sheer necessity, the craft of pantomime grew and grew and silent film had quickly become a universal language.

A scene from The Passion of Joan of Arc

Actors truly honed and sharpened their craft out and for the most part didn’t have dialog to rely on. And what’s interesting is that as film went on, the actors became subtler and subtler. It’s generally understood by people who’ve never really taken the time to watch a silent film they’re  all grotesquely over-the-top, over done, and over-acted with  mandatory jangly piano accompaniment. Admittedly that may be partly true, but only in part.  Early in the history of silent film most of the actors who acted in those silent films came directly from the stage and from vaudeville. All their years of experience taught them to how to communicate with the back row of a crowded theater. As the craft of film making grew, so did the act of film acting. The crude broad strokes of acting soon gave way to extremely subtle and nuanced acting. Very powerful and moving films, such as  The Passion of Joan of Arc (a film shot almost entirely with close-ups) were produced. Even in comedy where one might expect to find crude and broad humor and Keystone Cops frantically running through every scene was, by the early 20’s, rich with subtly and nuance of character. One of the most famous comedians of the time, Buster Keaton (‘The Great Stoneface’), was most famous for not so much as cracking a smile in his films. Charlie Chaplin was re-inventing comedy as we know it by introducing pathos and heart to his comedy. Harold Lloyd was wildly popular in his day and his gimmick was really…well, that he was just a regular guy. No over-sized shoes or garish comedic facial hair but an every-man, relatable to the audience. Yes, of course there were still pratfalls and base slapstick (which I love!) but still…

Cinematography also was just starting to grow by leaps and bounds because, as I mentioned, the medium was almost completely visual without the dialog to lean on and carry the film. It became the camera’s job to “show, not tell”. Again, I know a lot of popular conceptions about silent film is that the camera is static, the shots are clumsy at best but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Take 1927’s “Sunrise; A Tale of Two Humans” by Nosferatu director, F.W. Murnau which was released right as sound made it’s way to Hollywood. Beautifully long and graceful tracking shots, hardly any title cards throughout, and some very state of the art special effects. It is the silent film that you wouldn’t expect to be a silent film. It really is a shame that the ‘talkies’ came along so early on as I feel that it slowed down the innovative direction that cinematography was heading. George Lucas even admitted that he doesn’t think film, and particularly cinematography, still to this day, has fully recovered from film’s transition to sound.

the iconic 'maria' from metropolis

Another reason (or two) why it’s oftentimes a challenge for people to watch a silent film is the absolutely horrid soundtrack that usually follows them. As mentioned, there’s a misconception that by law silent movies have to have a jangly tack-piano accompanying these flickering images. Again there is some truth to this. Smaller movies and smaller movie-houses would have had a single piano to accompany any given film but larger films in larger theaters would’ve had a full orchestra with printed scores and maybe even a Wurlitzer organ. Often times, however, what’s available now is a low quality film transfer with either a soundtrack of arbitrary tack-piano or arbitrary classical music scores thrown over the top of the film that have absolutely nothing to do with the picture. The absolute best, unbeatable way to experience a silent film would be in a crowded theater with live accompaniment written specifically for the film, played by live musicians. There is an enjoyment in that that you simply unparalleled. Especially with comedies. Granted that’s ideal but not all that practical as events like this are hard to come by (though I’m going to see Harold Lloyd’s iconic Safety Last this June at the Orpheum!). But what is practical is and will help your appreciation of silent film is find one that has an appropriate soundtrack married with the picture. Kino just re-released Buster Keaton’s ‘The General’ (one of my favorites) on DVD and BluRay and it’s got a very fantastic and  nuanced score (its on Netflix too). I highly recommend it. The Harold Lloyd Collection and The Chaplin Collection are also boxed sets that have outstanding musical scores. Oh and one more – Kino’s newly restored and complete Metropolis by Fritz Lang is available (on Netflix as well)

Wow! I covered more than I’d intended to but I suppose my passion for these films is clear and that’s really what I wanted to communicate. These films are gems and I find them to be more satisfying to experience them and I hope that more and more people will explore these films for themselves. They are the great-grandparents of every single modern film you have ever seen or ever will see. They are time-capsules. They are engaging works of art that invite you to invest in their continual creation and interpretation. They might be hard to like but they are so, so, so worth your time.

ideas are free #02: Bottle~o~Buttons

~{ I’m sure that Anthropolgie stole it from somewhere too }~

I can’t lay claim to this idea because I saw it a while ago at Anthropologie. A smaller, less unique looking bottle full of antique buttons for $16.

I liked the idea but I didn’t care for the price however. In fact I don’t think I like any of Anthro’s prices but I digress.

I made this bottle for my favorite price: $0

I now have a unique item that is currently sitting on my coffee table at home. From a discarded bottle of Patron and a bin of old buttons I happened to have, I recreated the Anthropologie look and you can too!

You might not happen to have an assortment of old buttons at your disposal you might be able to procure some at a thrift store or a yard sale for just pennies. Bottles and jars are pretty easy to come by. The jar I used isn’t even old, it’s just neat looking with a fun cork. An old apothecary bottle or even a mason jar that would do quite nicely as well.

And why stop at buttons? Fill it full of something else unique that you might have ~ antique keys, dice, old fish hooks, bow ties, toy soldiers, origami swans, etc. If you try it out, take a picture and send it to me and I’ll put it here!

Civil War Silhouette of the Great Emancipator

I had a few hours to kill this morning as I wasn’t able to participate in this year’s Record Store Day so to make up for it, I decided to create something.

Since I’m a Presidential history buff and since April 12th, 2011 marked  the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I decided to honor The Great Emancipator with a great silhouette. I made my first painted silhouette last week and loved it so much that I couldn’t wait to get started on another one. I’ve been antsy.

a silhouette of the great emancipator in our humble orange quarters

Authentic Victorian silhouettes are cut out from paper so having a painted one isn’t much on authenticity but it’s very easy to do and the effect is great and instantly hangable. The Abraham Lincoln one took less than an hour to do and it looks great.  Although this one has a big too much negative space so I just might take it off it’s stretcher bars are put it onto 8×10 bars instead.

I took pictures of the process but I don’t think I’ll put them up. I do promise a tutorial but I’m waiting for my wife to do one as I want to walk through it with someone who’s never done it before so I can adequately explain the process.

Previous Older Entries