Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Altered Paint Brushes

At our latest play date we created altered paint brushes.  Our inspiration was a workshop from Michael DeMeng called Good Brushes Gone Bad.  
Artwork by Michael DeMeng from Lemoncholy's blog
(Sorry i don't like to steal/borrow photos - but i thought you should see what i am talking about in case you  cannot imagine an altered paint brush!)
 Anyway, while i did not create a scary monster face from my old paint brush.  I still tried to use some of the concepts. I started with a used large house painting style.  It is about 4" wide.  I soaked it in warm soapy water to loosen the bristles and bent and crushed with my hands to make it look frayed.
I gesso'd the whole thing to have a ligher base to work with.  My friend asked "why gesso something?"  Well it is like a primer.  It gives a uniform colour to your surface that dries fast and has a bit of "tooth".  You could certainly use white acrylic paint in this application.  But the drying time is really a nice bonus with gesso! Did it feel weird to be painting a paint brush?  Yes it did!
Next i painted the bristles green to look like grass.  I clipped a few here and there to make it as scruffy as possible.  I covered the handle with floral printed tissue paper.
I got my idea for the grass/bird concept from an image on this blog about the Altered Brush Project.
The one i liked is by Angie Reece.  You can google "altered paint brushes" to see MANY illustrations for ideas!
So here is my finished Altered Paint Brush!  I added some twigs to suggest a nose and a perch for the birds.  The eyes are speckled bird's eggs,  I painted the birds a bit to make them more blue. It also makes them look less, i don't know, less like purchased craft store feather birds.  I took apart a craft bird's nest and just used a few vine-y strings to make a loose nest.  It is wired to the paintbrush.  A bit of eyelash yarn filled it out.  Then to add to the whimsy i glued on some beaded earrings and added a flower to her "hair".  I might add more!
Here is the brush that D. started with.
As you can see she is a devotee of DeMeng.  Of course this is far from finished - it needs paint and texture to transform it from a collection of dis-separate components into a completed art piece. Along with the paint brush, there is a protractor, toy lizard arms, a watch strap, a key and angel wings.  Stay tuned for a look at the finished product at our play date next month!
Here is S.'s work in progress.  S. used a watch face for a face and will attach an assortment of keys and metal objects to make her brush come to life.  It will also get painted and texturized to add more artistic flair.
And now - for a change of pace - a used bath brush!
Z. started by painting the bristles in a pretty aqua colour.  then she covered the handle with a map of Hawaii.
You'll have to wait to see how it turns out - but she plans to add this adorable mermaid/shell lady to the brush!  It will hang horizontally in her bathroom.  But not before more details are added like glitter netting and more shells.
Check back to see how they all turned out!