Thursday, October 6, 2016

DESIGN DIARY: November's Mask

I've decided to accelerate my schedule with the Ladies to give people born later in the year a chance to get the masks and paintings now rather than having to wait another year.  That means I'm exploring the themes of November, whose birthstone is Topaz and whose birth flower is chrysanthemums!  November happens to be my own birth month as well, which means I'm personally attached to this time of chill winds and grey skies in the northern hemisphere.

Mood Board

Chrysanthemums come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, from the fluffy round to long and thin spindles of the spider chrysanthemums.  I've decided to go with a more traditionally round chrysanthemum, which will be a bit easier to carve than many long spindles.  As always, I like to reference botanical drawings, which make it easier to observe leaf shapes and overall silhouettes of the flowers and stems.  Pinterest makes this reference gathering much easier.



I like to start with a few variations on the designs to see what kind of layout I prefer.  I tried a big focal flower at first.  By the end, I found myself preferring the way that bunches of mums and buds would fill up the space.  I tried incorporating monarch butterflies on this mask in the bottom design since it's going to be in the final 2d painting for Lady of November, but I may save this for a special alternate design for myself, since it would break with the consistency of the series thus far.


Work-In-Progress Shots

Here are a few progress shots of November’s Mask in the making!  I did something different this time by doing a complete underpainting of white in both the flowers and the stems, which made the final colors even brighter. I also used a coat of interference gold beneath the orange to create a subtle shimmer in the underpainting.

You can also watch a video of this mask in the making here:

The Finished Mask

This mask is available at my Etsy shop!

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