Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tutorial - Dead and stressed effect for Bubblehead Nurse (without paints)


I have the worst type of acrylic paints. They differ drasticly in consistency from grainy and gobly to runny and bland and mixing those paints is a pain, because the result rarely is the one I'm looking for. Sometimes the colour seems fine, but when it dries it's something totally different. I never would have bought those paints, if I wasn't forced to. School regulations for art course, which was nothing more than pitiful. So I'm stuck with huge bottles of second-rate acrylic paint and I'm doing costume that needs to be stressed, rustic and believable... So I continued in the road of using stuff found from kitchen to finish my Halloween costume.

Staining buttons and shoes

I had bought the cheapest white buttons I could find from the fabric store. Tea dyed dress and nurse cap were already aged with goop and looked great. I had to come up a solution to make the buttons fit the costume and not to pop out as spotless and shiny. The solution was to use instant coffee, drop of water and all purpose glue. I used this technique for the shoes also.

I mixed a small amount of instant coffee in a tiny drop of water. Then I added glue to make the mixture semi-runny. It needs to be thick enought to stay on the button.

I paintes the buttons with "coffeeglue". For different surfaces and looks add different amounts of the mixture and let the buttons dry in different angles. If you want to strain the surface, tap the glue with a Q-tip when it's partially dry. Then let them dry completely. The result is cunning with unique look and little effort.

For the shoes I first painted a a white base with acrylics. Then I just added the "coffeeglue" and when it was dry I finished them with few splashes of goop.

Dead legs in progress

I wanted to use stockings as a part of my costume. I wanted some coverage and I didn't want to spend too much time doing the bodypaint. But I wanted my legs to look like... dead. I purchased a pair of grey stockings. For my purpose they needed to be synthetic fiber. Then I bought bleach. Fun fact: When you bleach synthetic fibers they don't become white, but yellowish.

First I took a bucket and threw the stockings in a water-bleach bath. I just wanted to wear out the colour a bit. After I had soaked the stockings 'bout two hours I took them out, rinsed them and placed them on the floor. I folded them from the knee and squirted undiluted bleach randomly over them. I let them be for another hour, squirted some more bleach and waited two hours before washing the bleach off. It recommendable to wash the stockings before use if you have sensitive skin.

Easy and un-deadly cool!

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