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

How to build an alternative statue ……..

Hello everyone, Annette here……

I hoped you’ve all had a stunning Summer and are ready for an awesome Autumn.

My challenge this month was to create a statue representing the star sign Virgo……mmm that certainly made the old brain cells fizz.  SO……Virgo is represented by the virgin carrying wheat and she is an Earth sign.  With this knowledge I set off on my creative adventure.

Using the wood and metal base, I pushed this through a polystyrene egg (my egg came in 2 parts so I secured it was making tape around the centre and top to bottom) and then packed the bottom of the spike with foil to stop the egg from slipping down.  I used the egg so that I could get a nice full skirt that was supported underneath.

I then built up the top of the egg so that when the plaster head was seated on top the proportions were more balanced.


To attach the head, I used Grace from the European range,  take a piece of foil and wrap it around the figure just below the shoulders and attach to the plaster with masking tape (only a small amount needs to be on the plaster as this will determine your neckline).

Now open up the pocket you have made, with the foil, and sit it on top of the extended egg.  You may need to tear up the sides slightly to get it to sit properly.  Secure with masking tape making sure it is well attached.

 

As my statue is going to be carrying something, I needed to add hands and arms.  Take a piece of foil and fold it to create a narrow strip.  Place the hands at either end ensuring that the thumbs are pointing upwards at both ends.  Now wrap the foil around the wrists and secure with masking tape.

Take this strip and lay along the back of the plaster head placing the hands to the front.  Check the positioning of the hands and if necessary fold the strip back onto itself behind the shoulders if the arms are too long.  Secure to the back with more masking tape.

Using small pieces of foil fill out the arms and round them out.  Also check that you are happy with the shaping at the waist and the back of the statue, use pieces of foil to build out any areas which need more shaping.

Once you are happy with the overall shape and positioning cover everything with masking tape and then coat the whole statue, including the plaster head, body and base with a layer of Ivory Powertex. Lay a small piece of clingfilm between the hands and body to stop them sticking together.

Now let this dry

For the clothing I used Ivory Powertex and worked it through strips of Natural Paper Decoration for the bodice/sleeves and muslin for the skirt, I used four separate pieces of muslin so that I could shape each piece over the fullness of the egg.  It is also easier to work with smaller pieces that one larger piece.

Let this dry.

I liked her at this stage and would be happy leaving her here however she needed something to represent the Earth sign so…..

I took a piece of Powertex Rice Paper (the one I choose had images of the earth/sun and moon on which fitted perfectly with the Earth sign) and using a wet paintbrush I drew around the shapes I wanted before pulling them from the piece.  This causes a feathered edge which blends into your background better than a cut straight edge.

Using Powertex Easy Coat Matt varnish, I attached the pieces to the dry clothing.  I coated both the clothing and the back of the rice paper then pressed the piece into place.  Using a soft brush starting at the centre of the rice paper smooth it out towards the edges,  this stops it tearing and ensures it is all stuck down.  Now take some more varnish and coat the front of the rice paper ensuring you go over the edges.

Leave this to dry

]

She now needed colour adding in to pull everything together.

On a spare piece of fabric I tried using tea stain to see if this would work but decided it was too flat.

I played around and found that the Powercolor Yellow worked perfectly so I mixed this with Easy Varnish and heavily dry brushed the clothing.

For the hair I mixed the yellow with mocha Powercolor to give it more interest.  The eyeliner and eyebrows are a thin line of Bronze Gold  Colortrix and varnish  and the lipstick is coral Powercolor.

To finish her, I found some seed heads in a nearby field and made a small bunch for her to hold.

 

 

You could make a statue to represent any of the Zodiac star signs and use different rice papers to tie into the specific attributes of the sign.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project and look forward to seeing what you make.  Don’t forget to post your pictures on our facebook Powertex Addicts United or Powertex Studio

Until next time, happy Creative Adventures

Axx

Why I LOVE Stoneart…………

Hello there

I hope you’ve been enjoying the recent spell of warm weather and haven’t been too affected by those nasty thunderstorms…..living in the Midlands we’ve had the joy of both ends of the weather spectrum!!

This month I wanted to share with you my absolute love for Stone Art so I took the monthly theme from Powertex UK and created a masquerade statue using Stone Art in its various forms mixed with Black Powertex.

Stone Art is a unique fiber-composition which has been especially designed for use with Powertex Universal Mediums. 

The reason I love working with this product is the total flexibility you have with it.  You can use it with any of the Powertex Universal Medium colours although I choose not to use the transparent unless I’m adding pigment in to colour it at the same time.

To start off you can layer it on top of a coat of Powertex, press in to form a bond then gently wipe away the excess into a pot for reuse later.  By repeating this process you can build up the stone effect on canvas, polystyrene, wood etc and you waste nothing as all of the excess can be reused.  Polishing the layers with your hand will cause a more natural effect and will cause the darker areas to have a slight sheen.

Next you can mix your Powertex Universal Medium with the Stone Art in a pot to create a slurry of various consistencies.  In its loosest state you can paint this onto any surface to give a rustic texture.  As it gets thicker, you can use a palate knife to spread over your base.  The thicker the mixture the more control you have over it.

 

Finally you can go all the way and make up Stone Art clay by adding more powder to the slurry stage and then kneading (like bread) to make sure all the white has been absorbed into the coloured liquid.  Again you can choose how firm you mix this before working with it.  When covering statues etc I keep mine on the tacky side so that I can blend in any joins.   However when working on a canvas, I tend to make it firmer so that I can imprint into it with stamps and stencils, these imprints will come out with a rustic feel due to the nature of the clay.  In this firm state you can also use it in silicon moulds to create beautiful embellishments.

I finished my statue by adding the venetian mask from the Powertex range, I coated with black Powertex and then dry brushed with Rich Gold pigment.  As a finishing touch I tucked feathers into the collar…..after all this is all about masquerade!

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures and don’t forget to post your makes on the Powertex facebook page

Axx