Skull-A-Day 4.0 - Tutorial - #36 Dia de los Muertos Alter Skull

This is a great project to do with your kids, students, art group or by yourself. It's really easy and just takes some imagination. These all use basic art materials that you might already have in your house. If not, they can be found at your local art store or grocery (well the salt at least). I used a crayon as my resist. I used water color pencils and paints for the painting parts. I used salt to diffuse the water color paints in different areas.

In the tutorials, you will see crayon, a candle, embossed ink, and a gel pen used as resists. Watercolor pencils, tube style water color and solid water color paints are used for painting. Salt and corrugated cardboard are used to give different pieces a textured appearance. Feel free to combine the different techniques to create your piece. Art is about experimentation, so have fun with it.

Watercolor with Wax Resist - This is a good one showing two different forms of wax (candle and crayons) and a nice use of watercolor.

Water Color and Crayon Wax Resist Leaf - This uses a template to make the outline of a leaf. You can use a real leaf if wanted. There is a textured rubbing using the bumpy area of corrugated cardboard, but you could do a leaf rubbing or use a different texture if you wanted. I too recommend using the warm Autumn colors if you are going to do an Autumn leaf. However, with Spring coming soon, greens (light to dark, as leaves come in different colors) and yellow-greens are good. Using a texture for rubbing doesn't make that area completely covered in crayon, it leaves uncolored paper for the paint to adhere to. The combination makes the image have more textural interest.

Crayon Resist (VIDEO) - If you can't draw, this one uses a rubber stamp to make an inked image. Then, that image is traced with white crayon...easy enough. Then, the inks with a pad applicator are used. You could use water colors if wanted. After she is done, she uses the pieces for three different style cards that all used the same stamp.

Water Color and Resists (VIDEO)- This used a gel pen (there is a recommended brand, but try to experiment with regular ones. You can sometimes find them at a Dollar Tree, but craft and scrapbook stores have them too.), crayons, alcohol and water colors. This is also more organic or freeform than the other tutorials. The gel pens and crayon are the resists. The alcohol is used to self blend the water color. She uses the two resists separately, but feel free to combine them

Watercolor Resist (VIDEO) - Once again, if you don't know how to draw or just prefer stamps, this is a nice one for that too. This uses a multicolored ink pad, a brayer, a stamp, clear ink, clear embossing powder, a heat gun (the last four things are for embossing), sparkley water color paint and an aqua painter. The embossing resists the paint because it is a melted wax. If you don't want the fancy paint, regular ones will work too. If you want the fine sparkle, mix in some pearlescent powder on a palette with tube style water color paint. The use of the embossing after the paper has been inked or painted, makes those colors show through when the paints are applied over them. A black ink loaded stamp was used at the end, to finish the layered look. The embossing resists the ink too. These are very neat techniques.

Painting a Crab with Watercolor Salt Technique (VIDEO) - This is painted on a pre-printed image. The salt is used on the sky. When you use salt on top of water color, the salt absorbs the color, making the areas around the salt lighter and look crystallized. Water color pencils are used for the shading on the sand and the red and orange parts of the crab. After, regular water color us used to blend the pencil and color the remaining uncolored areas. This is by far my favorite of all the tutorials.


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