Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven, where I'm gradually decorating for Christmas. I like to have a theme to my decorations each year and this time it's Russian Fairy-tales. I've created a little canvas hanging to display above my Frost Maiden doll and my Matryoshka tree. She could perhaps have been inspired by one of the costumes from the Ballets Russe! The human face is a key component of my project so I'm linking it to 'That's Crafty's' All About Face Challenge here. I'm also linking up to the Unruly Paper Arts 12 Days of Christmas Party, where I've been having so much fun - you can find out about here.
When I was a little girl I was a huge ballet fan, obsessed with Ballet Russe star, Anna Pavlova, pictured here. Her high cheekbones and strong features have always seemed to me an ideal of beauty. That head-dress could have been taken straight from an icon! First things first, though.
To begin my theatrical backdrop, I took a mini canvas and punched two holes at the top to hang it by. I happened to have some Irish Cream Fresco Paint left over from another project so I slapped that on as a base coat.
Next I added some Grunge Paste through a Prima stencil. These flourishes were ultimately rather lost under all my layers, but you win some, you lose some when it comes to backgrounds!
I had a plan of what I wanted for my focal image. Rather than draw a completely new face, I went to one I had created for my Queen of Hearts Art Doll and scanned into the computer. She was originally designed for a wooden profile head, but she had the kind of strong features I felt I would be able to adapt for my project.
Using Pan Pastels, Inktense pencils and Pitt Artist Pens, I transformed her into a rather theatrical moon, which I cut out carefully and positioned on my canvas. I didn't stick her down until I had decorated that background, though.
First I gave parts of the canvas a generous coat of Prima Crackle and left it to dry for a day. I then painted it with Fresco Finish colours by PaperArtsy: Antarctic, Inky Pool and Hey Pesto.
To create the Ballet Russe magic, I used some Shaved Ice Frantage, fixed on with Glossy Accents. I added white Posca Pen highlights and accented the eyes and lips with Glossy Accents too. Sapphire, Indigo, White Fire and Green Amber Treasure Gold also helped to create some more glitz, and I painted the face with Pearl Glaze to give it a moonlight sheen.
Jofy snowflakes stamped in Snowflake Fresco Finish by PaperArtsy and a little bird with snow-tipped wings - maybe the swallow from The Happy Prince - help create the feel of a tale told on a cold Russian winter's evening.
The diamonds on the head-dress were created with a harlequin stencil, edged with white Posca pen. I shall try to photograph the final tableau of decorations in a few days' time. For now, thank you for dropping by Magpieheaven today. I am having so much fun linking Christmas posts to the Unruly Paper Arts 12 Days of Christmas link-up here. Please do pop over if you can and join!