I've been putting off this project forever (okay, about 8 months). Ever since coming back from Mexico, I'd been dying to try out something I'd seen down there in the kiosks. Since my husband is able to create steel dies that cut wood, I asked for his help in putting into wood what I'd envisioned in my head. He obliged.
I finally got around to painting it tonight. Can you guess what (or who) it is?
Since this was only a test piece, scrap wood was used. However, even being scrap wood, the puzzle pieces came out just as I wanted them to! Each piece is 3/4" thick, so they're super durable. Vince has already chucked pieces across the room for kicks and nothing split or cracked (aside from the slight crack that was there to begin with). I though that was a good sign, especially since we'd only used scrap wood!!!
For reference, this is what 3/4" of an inch looks like:
Anyhow, the naked pieces have been sitting on my counter just waiting for me to pick out the perfect colors. I finally did so tonight because with the oncoming snow, I figured a crafty activity would keep me occupied. Here I am about halfway through the process:
To get some of the colors juuuuuust right, I got to try my hand at mixing. I wanted a subtle rosy pink for the cheeks, but the red I had was too dark and the white didn't help, so I added yellow and got precisely what I wanted. I felt all sorts of artsy!
I must've painted each piece about five or six times. Wood absorbs paint like you wouldn't believe, and I wanted certain colors to REALLY stand out (like that gorgeous cobalt blue).
Besides, I don't mind if things take longer to do if they come out looking nice in the end.
The halo might've been one of the more time consuming parts of the project because wanted to use special metallic paint to highlight some of the rays. To ensure I didn't make a total mess of things, I taped off lines for myself:
It definitely looked a bit silly at the time, but I was so happy with the way it turned out.
Definitely worth the agita of fighting the tape.
All in all, it took me about an hour and a half to paint everything. I used a hair dryer at some points to help the paint dry faster (so I could paint facial features, for example). Otherwise, I just spent my time sanding, painting, painting some more, and taping off things here or there.
I used a different brush for each color because I didn't want anything getting mixed that I wasn't mixing on purpose, ya know? The sponge tipped brushes worked best on the wood to give it a smooth, even coat. The fine-tipped brushes were perfect for the details. I'm really happy with how the final project turned out. Have you guessed who I was painting?
I haven't sealed it yet, but that's because I want to wait overnight to let everything really dry thoroughly.
Now that I know I can actually paint these pieces and have them look like a cute facsimile of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I'm going to have John make me a few more using non-scrap wood. He'd know the best kind of wood for a project like this, so I'll defer to him, but I wanted to share with you folks because I'm just so pleased with how she turned out.
I'm contemplating painting other versions since this is such a basic design. Suggestions? Thoughts?
I'm also thinking about coming up with other designs - specifically ones that involve the Holy Family. I've always liked those Holy Family images with St. Joseph basically encompassing Our Lady as she cradles the Infant Jesus in her arms... something like that.
So, that was my craft tonight. Any ideas on which version of Our Lady I should try next? I'm very open to suggestions!
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