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Frosty the Snowman

“… he began to dance around!”

This snowman is one jolly happy guy! His smile never wavers whether it is cold or warm, rainy or sunny. Last night at our house it snowed and I was as happy as he is. I thought it appropriate to share this particular bit of craftiness today.

I can sit for hours with my acrylic paints, working on plaster ornaments, houses, figurines… whatever I can find! I always like to do mine Just Right and Uniquely Mine, as I sometimes say. I get into a Zen-like painting trance, interrupted by the need for fresh clean water in my containers.

I use washes of thinned paint to shadow the creases; I dab with thickened paint; I dry-brush with barely a few molecules of paint to bring up the details. I touch up the borders where two colors meet to make sure there is good sharpness and definition — to me, this makes THE difference in their quality. I am very picky about that part!

For example, the snow for this particular plaster snowman started with a coat of ivory paint over the white plaster, and the blue and teal areas got their first coat. Then I deeply tinted the whole piece with a strong brown wash.

I went back over the snow with a coat of thinned white paint, then treated a few select areas with a rosy pink wash, rubbing most of that off immediately so I got only the barest effect.

Then I dry-brushed him forever! Well, OK,  not really, it just seemed like it. To preserve the effects of the washes and layers, I didn’t want any wet paint seeping into the tiny cracks and pits, so I colored him back to the final ivory color I wanted by just dry-brushing everywhere, over and over.

The scarf was done with 3 different colors — the original base coat was bright blue, then came the brown wash that everywhere received. Then a thinned coat of a toned-down blue, a wash of very dark navy, and finally a dry-brush of baby blue.

Painting like this is like a puzzle to me. What order, what color, what technique, what brush does the next step need to be, in order for me to get the final effect I want? I like these pieces to have depth and interest, even close up.

Luckily, acrylic paints are so user-friendly, inexpensive, readily available, and easy to clean up! I have a hard time finding challenging plaster items any more, though. This craft is definitely something that is not mainstream right now; I had a ball in the early 80’s when the selection was abundant and full of variety!

I noticed something when I was taking these pictures…

Are camellias supposed to bloom in December? I think the blooms on this bush are so beautiful when we have white snow on the ground — their delicate pink edges just glow. Most years their beauty is not so noticeable against the dreary brown/gray skies and dormant lawns and landscaping.

I found out today that I’m not the only crazy “old” lady who craves and loves snowfall! My dental hygienist and her hubby went out and built snowmen this morning before work! Her kids are the same age as mine, so, HAH! to all you young and old snow-scrooges out there ;) who try to convince me the inconveniences cancel out the beauty. One more vote for my side!

I’m glad my little Frosty isn’t melting like the snow outside. It never lasts long here :(

May you be safe and warm and jolly-happy this season…

Merry Happy!


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