Monday, July 16, 2012


One of the tricks I learned back when I did faux finishing &  trompe l'oeil was to let my eyes go fuzzy when looking at what I was trying to copy.  Hold on, I swear this will make sense in the next few sentences.  If you blur your vision, you will see the object only in terms of light & dark, shadows & lines.  You'll see its bones.  Then the rest is easy.  
It seems relatively obvious-- that you can purchase something for its bones-- its shape, its figure, its lights & darks.  It might not fit into your decor as it is, but that doesn't matter.  Its the bones that make it.  The rest is up to you.

Resin objects {the inexpensive figurines, lamps, frames & whatnots you can pick up cheap at any discount shop} are the easiest to customize.  A little cleaning with some good quality paint prep {like this one} & your set.  I've got some other projects that require a bit more work {glazed pottery, for one}, but these little candle holders only took an hour or so all told.  Acrylic paints in your choice of colors {like these or these}, some brushes & a nice spray poly {like this}, and that's it.

I gave them a quick undercoat, since the original finish was so dark.  I just used a light paint {linen for the Buddha & pink for the monkey}- the color doesn't matter, just so it provides a lighter base.

Thing 3 informed me that the Buddha wanted to be green.  She said it went with nature & grass & things that Siddhartha would have approved of.
Monkey wanted to be purple, because that is what monkeys like.  I don't know why.  But who am I to disagree?

To highlight both pieces I used a dry brush technique.  The alternate would be to do a dark glaze, which would fill in the creases and add depth.  I prefer the highlight version that dry brushing gives-- at least for these pieces, & for what I as trying to accomplish.
Just mix the base color of the statue with a lighter shade {you can do it by adding white paint, which lightens the original color-- but I prefer to add a bit of a different shade of the same color-- for example, I mixed a bright lime green with a bit of the apple green to create the highlight for the Buddha}.  Coat a nice square brush in the lighter shade on both sides of the brush, then wipe off the excess.  Then gently brush the surface of the figurine-- don't dab the paint, just run it over the surface to highlight.  It makes for a very nice, subtle effect.
Then take them outside & spray them with the poly seal to finish & they are ready to go.

See?  Much happier.

What color do you think monkeys prefer, I wonder?


  1. I'm going to go with yellow, for bananas, but maybe that's too typical?

    These look great. I love what you have done with them!

  2. Funny and quirky! I bet your home is full of fun details.

  3. Love this idea, it's such a fun accent for a room - a cool pop of colour! <3
    If you have a free moment I would so appreciate if you could check out my new post!

    The Urban Umbrella


  4. Very cool and colorful! You seriously must do crafts in your sleep :)

  5. So cute! I was going to spray paint a couple of pieces I found at the thrift like this! I have this thing with making everything gold hahah. I LOVE the colors though. You should do this on milk glass!!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! <3

  6. Aww, that purple monkey is darling. I like him the colour that you painted him

  7. Hello there! I really loved this post! There are some super helpful tips on how to do this the right way, and I also loved the way that you described the "bones" of an object....never thought of it like that.
    Anyhow, I liked it so much that I shared it today on my blog as a favorite link front he week!


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