I have been working on a cowboy costume for the past few weeks. And on Sunday, it got to present itself to the world of the student costume party! :)
The motto was “Throwback Thursday”, and the best costume got a prize. Quite a few people showed up in costume, including a fighter pilot, a dutch maid, a hippie, and a knight in chainmail armor. I personally liked the hippie the best, but I also liked the knight costume a lot. It was not surprising to me that he took the prize in the end.
(Unfortunately, I don’t have good pictures of the party itself, but I can say that the hosts did a great job, and that it was fun!)
It’s cold and rainy these days and it gets dark before 5 PM. This is not the kind of thing to encourage a person. But luckily there is a lot you can do indoors, like studying, or reading, or making costumes.
I finally could bring my mannequin out from the art room in the basement to my dorm room on the top floor. Eventhough it’s hollow, it’s heavier than you might think. It now stands at the far end of my room and lightens up the costume corner:
I put my mannequin right to work by modeling my costume for the party next week. I have been getting a cowgirl costume ready and could see the pieces coming together for the first time. I really like how the pieces are working together and just prepared some final details like the holster and some fringe. Soon, I will have it done!
I also got some work done on the elephant mask. It will be a gift for a friend, so I want to get it done really well. I seem to have trouble with the painting techniques, though. I get the procedures of oil painting and acrylic painting mixed up, meaning that I apply the colors in the wrong order and intensity at a time. This can result in kind of a mess. But I had the same issue with the rhino mask and it turned out just fine. So this will work out, too.
I’ve been working on this mannequin project over the course of the last month. I will use it to design costumes and display them once they are finished.
A couple of days ago, The mannequin got its burlap “skin” coat, and today I painted that coat light grey. When that dries, I can consider this project done!
I also put some base layers of paint on the elephant mask.
And I did some more work on my cowboy costume by braiding and heatsealing a lasso. I had salvaged some plastic “rope” from an old seat and did a simple french braid. I used simple office clips to keep the long strands of rope from tangling while I was braiding them. That way, I could make a long rope within just a few hours.
Since this was old rope, it was frayed up on quite a few spots. Some hot air from the heat gun melted those loose ends and made the rope more stable.
Plastic covering, to draw out the pattern for the burlap layer
part of the gun
first gun in rough assembly
I’ve been working on my mannequin and adding new layers to stabilize it. I will add a final layer of white-painted burlap to finish it off.
The reason I made this mannequin is to use it in making my costumes. And for starters, I will be making a cowboy-costume for a christmas party (costume party with the motto “throwback thursday”). I could probably put together a good costume as is, but I wanted a challenge. So I will take it to the next level with some custom parts: two gun props, a customized hat, a lasso, (maybe some leather gloves) and a leather skirt. I’ve finished parts of the first gun and the weathering on the hat.
How did you fill your day? I had a day off from school and several options to act upon. And though I did do several things, the most noteworthy among these would be a spontaneous build: A mannequin to hold up and display my costumes.
I built it out of reclaimed materials I had lying around the studio: wire mesh, wood scraps, screws, string, and papermaché. The frame will probably need some more reinforcement, but the basic structure is in place. I’m actually surprised at how well it is turning out and can’t wait to dress it up! :)
Today I finished the lion mask! I originally wanted it to be a male lion, but during painting, I decided to turn it into a lioness. It has a strap on it and a thin, black cloth behind the eyes. That way, you can wear it and see your environment without your eyes showing. The coat of varnish finished it off, and I am really happy about how it turned out.
(I know I’m late on this, but happy New Year 2017!)
I had a lot going on, but due to severe technical issues, I was not able to actively post anything. It was frustrating, but if you have a dark sense of humor (which I do) it was also funny:
First, I broke my laptop screen by getting headphones stuck in the lid. The result then looked like I had been in an earthquake, so I had to send it in to get that fixed.
Then I lost my cell phone for a day when I went to the Frankfurt airport to pick up a friend. Thinking the phone was at the airport, I had the card blocked and requested a new card. Turns out the phone was in the car. I was glad to have my phone back, but now there were issues with activating the new card…
…Long story short, I figured the phone out after a week and got my laptop back today! :)
So now, “back from the dead”, I bring you the news:
football pillow: happy face
football pillow: sad face
desk shelf, side view
desk shelf, front view
the theater painting, almost done
The elf costume is done! I dyed it with turmeric to make it orange-yellow, and since that looked so good, I just kept it that way (instead of adding a green shade)
I made a christmas present for a class mate. He’s a football-fan and he and his wife are about to have a baby, So I made them a football pillow with 2 faces on it. Depending on how you catch it, it’s sad or happy :)
I reorganized my desk by building a little shelf. The whole area was completely out of control, but now I have a place for my folders and school/craft supplies. It actually turned out better than expected!
My painting is about 70% done! The last 30% will be tricky, since I don’t want to add too much or make it too detailed.
That’s it for now. Enjoy your day and greetings from winter-wonderland Ewersbach!
I am making a “Tauriel”-inspired costume out of burlap. Considering that I’m not a good sewer, I think it’s looking really good. Now that the basic shape is set, I will be trimming and hemming all those messy edges. :)
I’m happy with the way it’s turning out, but there are two things I’d try to do better next time:
When shaping the pattern for the dress, I didn’t calculate quite enough extra fabric for the pieces. This means that the dress fits ok, but when I try to move around, it gets a little tight. Next time, I’d calculate an extra 2-4 inches to the initial “plastic wrap” (skin tight) pattern (possibly even more, depending on how loose the final fit should be)
I also would try to leave even more of an edge for hemming the cloth, and I’d hem the pieces as soon as possible. I did leave a edge for the hems, but in some places it wasn’t enough, and some edges started fraying already, so it’s a little messy. So if you ever try to sew something, leave a 2-3 inch-edge and don’t wait with the hem for longer than necessary :)
When all this hemming is finished, I will dye the piece green. And then I’d be done! :)
Have you ever attempted a bigger project without much pre-knowledge? What was your experience with that? Leave a comment if you like and have a great day :)
I have a lot to do these days, so I haven’t been posting updates like I wanted to. But better late than never, I guess:
I bought a bundle of tightly-woven, raw burlap last week. I am using it for two projects: a costume and an oil painting.
I started making a “Lord of the Rings”-inspired elf-costume. I am modeling it after the character “Tauriel”, so it’s technically a “Hobbit”-inspired costume. The leather vest and arm pieces are already done, now I want to make the green elvan dress. I am no seamstress, but I still needed a sewing pattern. So I got a primitive pattern by wrapping my arms and torso in plastic and clear packing tape, marking the cut lines and cutting the pieces out. I probably looked a little wierd when I was wrapped in plastic, but the strategy worked out! :)
I finally could start a new oil painting today! I used the burlap as the canvas material, and put 3 coats of primer on it. Now the canvas is ready to go!
This weekend I took the time to catch up with some “normal” stuff. I cleaned my (very dirty) room and put together a special hanger for my elf costume.
Then there was the not so normal stuff: My mom and I had some families over with their little kids and we started some seeds together. The kids were very excited to participate in the whole process, from washing the pots to putting the seeds in the soil. The plants will be given away at our church in exchange for donations. All the money will go toward sponsoring our church’s summer camp, so that kids from a refugee/lower-inco background can go to camp, too. Two of those kids were among the helpers today. I didn’t get pictures of the process, but the results speak for themselves :)
A few days ago I had posted that the painting “Shadow under a Bridge” was finished. But when I went to show it to my professor, he suggested to change the sky and the hills. I did what he suggested and like the result. It was good before, but now it’s even better!
As for “Works in Progress”: my remake of “Water Power Plant” got its first coat of background paint. It’s a bright pink (contrasting color) so that the layers on top (mostly greys and greens) will have more depth.
I am also going to remake “Devil’s Canyon” in oil. The frame is assemled and glued together, I still need to add the canvas and the primer before I can start painting it.
Water Power Plant: first coat
frame for “Devil’s Canyon”
Now for something completely different: It’s Carneval-season here in Germany, the time when everyone dresses up for “Fasching”. I just recently watched all the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit-movies and because I liked the elves so much, I decided to make an elf costume. It’s based roughly on the character of Tauriel, though I won’t make an exact copy of her look.
I have inherited stacks of leather and leather sewing tools from my grandfather (my dad’s father). Working with leather is really fun, but only if you have these special tools; without them it’s impossible. So thanks to the tools, I managed to finish the vest and one of the arm guards. The patterns are done with paint markers. I’m no seamstress, but I think the stuff is turning out pretty good :)