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Tangled Trophy, Magical Mount, or Booth Bait

This tangled trophy is the second in my series of wall mount animal heads (no animals harmed in the process!) Inspired by the Chiaroscuro (Italian for light-dark) drawing technique usually done on gray or tan paper, this stag was painted in the "Renaissance" style using warm colors with highlights of white.

The white bust (made of cast plater and resin) needed quite a bit of preparation before I could begin embellishing the surface. My husband concocted a custom combo of filler paint and spackle to cover the surface. He had to smooth out all the texture that was molded into the original mount; the fine hair, for example, was otherwise too bumpy for me to draw my intricate Zentangle patterns on.

Using Identi Pens, Copic markers, and soft pencils (Bs), I began the fun process of drawing pattern on the surface giving careful thought to what would work well to enhance the dimensional form of the stag.

I used patterns that would evoke a "foresty" feel where my stag would be at home. I used Zentangle patterns like Poke Leaf to echo twining vines; Sand Swirls, that reminds me of whirling leaves in the fall, the Diva Dance lines, that could represent a babbling brook, Banana Leaf , that looks like feathers from forest friends, and so on.

Here is a glimpse into the creative process.

I especially enjoyed giving this guy a soul by painting his glistening eyes using acrylic paints and coating in glossy varnish as opposed to the rest of the surface finished off in a mat archival spray.

Before putting on the final finish, I shaded the patterns with carbon dust, and colored charcoal dust - my new acquisition from a large art supply store in Vienna. I used these new materials to create the finish on the antlers that had been white. I will keep that my secret as I'm most proud of the realistic result.

I called my stag "Booth Bait" in the title because he is going to show up to attract onlookers to our spread of unique art and crafts that will be on sale at the upcoming Stanley Hotel Artisans Market in Estes Park on November 17 from 10am-5pm. I would love to see some of my local followers there. My next post will include details and photos about our new line of ornaments and other Christmas gifts crafted just for the show. Here's a peek:

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