Scared Crow Scarecrow!

Designer – Annette Smyth

Powertex Scared Crow Scarecrow by Annette Smyth

Hello, welcome to my latest article. This month the design team were invited to use a step by step article from another design team member as a source of inspiration. I chose to use the Scarecrows in September by Fiona Potter as I loved this little man as soon as I saw him. However, I wanted to put my own spin on the project so decided that instead of a scarecrow I would create a scared crow. He would make a fantastic Autumnal centrepiece for the table and I can see him surrounded by a group of ornamental gourds.

Materials Used

How to make a Scared Crow Scarecrow

Building the armature

Step 1. Build the armature and head

Attach dowel to base with tape.  Use foil  to build head, neck and beak onto this.  Cover with tape ensuring it is secure.

adding the arms

Step 2. Add the Arms

Gather a small bunch of twigs and secure with masking tape. Secure these to the ends of the dowel with more tape.

building the body

Step 3. Build the body

Using foil fill out arms.  Tape cardboard rolls to wooden base, cut to required length and fill in the torso with more foil.  

Cover everything with tape and coat with a layer of black Powertex.

Adding feet

Step 4. Add the feet

Use 2 more twig bunches, dip strips of gauze in Black Powertex and wrap around tape on the twigs then slide up the tube legs.

The head

Step 5. Cover the head

Coat the hessian in Black Powertex and shape around the head and down neck. Push eyes into place.

Dressing the scared crow using Powertex fabric hardener

Step 6. Dress the Crow

Using Transparent Powertex I dipped the fabric as follows

  • a square of fabric for the top – cut a hole in the centre to fit over the head.
  • rectangles for the dungaree legs
  • smaller rectangles for the dungaree bib
  • strips for the shoulder straps
  • a length of rope for the belt

DESIGNER TIP – You could choose your fabrics to suit your own rooms colour scheme?

Step 7. Make the Hat

The video below will show you how I made the hat. I decorated mine with Paper decoration dipped in Black Powertex.

WHY NOT try using hessian to give a straw hat effect?

Dry brush the hat for the scared crow

Step 8. Drybrush the hat

I used Powertex Easy Varnish and Yellow Ochre Powercolor to drybrush the hat .

Watch my video here if you’re not sure how to drybrush.

Finishing touches with Powetrex powercolor

Step 9. Finishing touches

Using Transparent Powertex I added fallen acorn husks to the hat, dungarees and base.

I hope you have as much fun as I did creating your very own scared crow. There is no end to the different types of scarecrows you could make. How about a scaredog or scarecat…..What scare animal would you create?

We love to see what you create so post your makes on our Facebook group – The Powertex Studio and inspire other people to have a go.

If you would like to see more of my work or join me for a workshop in my home studio then please take a look at my website – www.annettesmyth.co.uk or contact me via my Facebook page.

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures

Axx

Scarecrows in September

Wow, it’s September already! I love September the start of autumn and all those fabulously rich warm colours.  As a farmers daughter the harvest was always such a special time, I loved helping dad bring in the harvest when the whole countryside appeared to turn rich rusty gold, snuggly nippy nights, warm mellow days…oh and scarecrow trails!

Did you know that scarecrows have been around for over 3000 years? The Egyptians were the first to use Scarecrows along the Nile River to protect wheat fields from flocks of quail (see link to a great source The  History of Scarecrows). The Greeks, Romans and Japanese all had a form of scarecrows.  I think the scariest story of scarecorws was from medieval Britain who use living Scarecrows!!! 9-year old boys and older patrolled wheat fields carrying bags of stones to pelt the crows if they landed in the fields.

I hope you find my interpretation a lot friendlier!

To get started I needed to make an armature, now forgive me here because I was doing it all in a rush and didn’t remember photographs until it was made ready to StoneArt.  I will try to explain…
First I used a wooden base and some 2mm aluminium wire.  I pulled off around about a meter and starting from the centre I made a circle for the head by wrapping the wire around a jam jar. I extended out each side to made shoulders and arms and then wrapped the tail of each around the pole on the wooden stand.
Once this was done I used masking tape to secure it in place and padded out the body, arms and head with a lot of cheap kitchen foil.  I then masked the whole thing with masking tape.
I then made up a quantity of StoneArt Clay – around 150ml of Ivory Powertex – once this was made I painted Powertex onto the masking tape to give the StoneArt clay something to key onto and then added pieces of clay that I had flatted between my fingers.  Once it was covered I used the end of a paintbrush to mark out eyes, mouth and nostrils.  I then painted a thin layer of Powertex over the clay and gently rubbed in more dry StoneArt Powder.  I left this quite rough as I wanted a rough weather work finish. I then set aside to dry.
Now it was time to dress the Scarecrow.  I used Transparent Powertex which I worked into some ivory paperdec to cover the the arms and head to give the impression of being stuffed with straw.   Next I used two similar sized pieces of natural paperdec and worked transparent Powertex in. Tip: it uses a lot more than you think but once dried it is clear and hard.  I draped them over the shoulders and about two thirds of the way down on both front and back.
I used additional pieces to cover the wooden pole and base to give the effect of a tree trunk.  I also covered a little mdf mouse that was left over from another Powertex MDF kit. Finally I added some more ivory paperdec to make a scarf.  I then left it to fully dry, it took about 3 days!
Now to add colour! I could fill the whole blog with the very many colours and layers I added. However I wont but I will say that i started with Powercolor ultramarine blue and a tiny spec of black pigment mixed with Easy Varnish.  to colour the blanket coat.  I used dark green for the base, orange and red for the scarf.  For the straw, I used yellow and red ochre in varying degrees and used red ochre on the mouse.  I then built more layers of colours to get a well weathered look on his coat using Colortricx in pearl and copper.  I coloured the tree trunk with Secret Artloft Pigment in Golden Olive.
I then made up a small quantity of StoneArt Clay using Bronze Powertex Fabric hardener. I used a golf ball sized ball of the clay and pressed onto the top of the Scarecrows head
 I rolled this with a craft rolling pin and shaped into a circle and draped over a yogurt pot to shape
Then I layed it over the powertex ball on the head and finished the shaping.  I also pressed a little butterfly into the hat that was left over from some other project.
I added two mdf ravens which i painted with Powercolor Black mixed with Easy Varnish. Once they were dry I used Secret Art Loft Pigments in Interference Lilac to add some shimmer and Tequila Sunrise to colour the beak. I stuck these on using some matte gel for speed and added some tiny rhinestones for the eyes on the mouse and ravens.

 

Hope you like my rather friendly but scruffy weathered Scarecrow!
Have a fabulous autumn and don’t forget to share your makes with us over in The Powertex Studio and Powertex Addicts United.