Theatre props: Let’ssss make a Snake!

You got to love having theatre friends. I got a text from my friend M the other day, saying “Hey! We need a puppet snake in a vase on a stick… Can you help?”

Well, of course! So this morning I whipped up a little snake pal from odds and ends I had lying around my studio. It’s pretty nifty being able to create on the fly because I have all my supplies in one space. (Which looks like a hurricane has gone through recently, but you’ll have that in a working space! All I’m saying is don’t judge me by my messy working conditions. I know where everything is!)

So, to start, assemble the snake materials needed…

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I had a leftover styrofoam egg from another project, as well as miscellaneous green fabric and tool. The khaki fabric I used was actually recycled from my fat pants. They no longer fit, so I washed them up, cut them off just above the knee, and cut the seams open. Ta-DAH! Reduce, reuse, recycle, folks!

I started by covering the top half of the egg with the green fabric. (I had cut a large square and started in a corner to cover the head.) I tacked the fabric to the egg with hot glue in a few places, but mostly secured it by pushing the fabric into the egg with an end of a spoon.

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So after the head was covered…

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I started working on the underside of the head and belly. This is the general shape I began with for the belly. Don’t worry that it looks big. We’ll trim it later.

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Then drew out a basic outline of the snake belly with a tan marker on the tabs fabric.

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I added a little more definition to the belly with Zentangles.

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And then finished it up with some shading.

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Now we need to attach the belly to the head. I used the same technique as attaching the green to the head. After attaching, I began trimming the excess fabric away.

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All that’s left now is to attach some eyes and connect the tan and green pieces with some hot glue. Since this is a theatre prop that is in about 30 seconds of one scene for one show, hot gluing the seams will work fine. If it was being used in a more close up venue, I would have sewn the seams.

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Attach the eyes with hot glue, do some artistic folding of the green to make a cobra good, and insert a stick into the styrofoam to hold up the head, and you’re good to go!

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

It’s no secret that I am a huge Dr. Seuss fan — his art is wonderful, his lyrics fantastic, and his whimsy and fearless storytelling is something from which we all could learn.

Today’s post is in honor of what would have been the 108th birthday of Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. 

This piece is actually very small — it might be 5″ X 7″, I don’t remember for certain.  It was created on a half of a page from an old sketchbook using a red calligraphy pen and a black Sharpie.  Again, my focus with mimicking Seuss is his dynamic use of lines and block color.

Happy Birthday to the Coolest Cat around! Thank you for your great stories, your inspiration, and your lasting legacy.

Technique: Falling Up

Sometimes the pieces that appear on the iPad screen after I have been doodling really amaze me.  “Falling Up” is one of those pieces.

I had just purchased ArtRage and was beyond thrilled with the responsive nature of its digital oil paint. I was happy blending and creating many piles of what certainly would have ended up in the garbage if it’d be real oil paint but ended up being just happy scribbles in the digital realm.

I had discovered that I could also turn my paints metallic on the app, which spurred yet another round of smearing and blending.

As I zoomed out to view the full “canvas” for a particular painting, I was amazed at what I had squoze onto the canvas.  It looked like a buckled ocean wave spilling into the ceiling.  Thus, “Falling Up” was born.

To this day I can’t figure out how I created this piece, but I do enjoy looking at it.

Created in ArtRage on iPad.