Monday, December 26, 2011

An Elf is Born: Part 4

This post picks up from An Elf is Born - Part 3

Styling the Elf’s Hair

Tibetan lamb hair behaves very much like human hair, or should I say unruly human hair (like mine)
I allowed the glue to dry overnight before going for the 'royal hair treatment'
The royal treatment consisted of washing the elf's hair using my personal shampoo and conditioner. With the texture and frizzyness greatly improved (I’ve had years of practice on my personal mop of hair) I added some leave-in conditioner, and hair moose for good measure. I combed her hair using a toothpick and small hair comb, then set her aside to dry.

Blushing the Elf

The elf was sculpted using my personal combination of random ‘flesh tone’ clay colors. However, if you look at your own skin you will notice that certain areas, especially where blood flows close to the surface, are slightly pinkish. This includes your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin, knees and elbows, hands…
‘blushing’ is a painting method that adds a nearly invisible layer giving sculptures a 'flushed' look. Once I get better at this and perfect my technique, I may create a tutorial.
The overview for now: I used brown acrylic paint mixed with water for a very runny consistency. I painted small sections of her skin, then wiped it off. Then painted some more and wiped some more. A subtle amount of paint was absorbed with each layer. While tedious, the results are nearly life-like and provide so much depth to her carefully sculpted features. Notice these in areas of the elf's face, hands and knees.

I repeated this ‘blushing’ using red paint on the face focusing on the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead

Painting the Final Details

The elf’s face was detailed starting with the eyes. I used a mixture of green and brown to outline the iris, then painted the iris alternating between yellow and green strokes. Alas the green was too dark and her eyes did not quite achieve the bright consistency I was aiming for. I finished the eye with a black center for the pupils.

Using a fine brush I added black eyeliner and brown eyebrows. The eye-shadow was painted in layers using watered down green paint
Lips and finger-nails were painted using a less watery method of ‘blushing’ with a heavier layer used for the fingernails.
Additional photos of Ha’ela can be seen on my website


My ‘name the elf’ contest had an interesting turn-out, with one contestant adding to the suggestion of another for the perfect name
The first suggestion Ha’el was submitted by Debi
Second suggestion by Donna was to add an ‘a’
And so her name is… HA’ELA
Congrats Debi and Donna, you have both earned a gift certificate to my Artfire Shop

And Finally – My Secret Santa Gift

I participated in a Secret Santa Exchange on the Promotional Frenzy Team on Etsy and received this STUNNING Necklace Handmade by the wonderful Natasha from GreenhouseGlassworks
This necklace features a fused glass pendant, custom designed to my style of liking dark colors and magical themes. Notice the fiery red and black design. I LOVE IT!! Thank you Natasha!
And… it goes very well with black (my favorite)
Second photo shows me wearing the pendant this past weekend (pizza is Di Fara's yummmmm)


  1. So glad you liked your pendant!! It is so fun to see my work go to a happy home :) thanks for the feature.

  2. Oh that pendant is gorgeous! So is Ha'ela - glad the girls helped you pick up a name for her, it suits her better that I could have imagined!:) Happy Holidays!

  3. Pizza and pendant both look awesome :-). That elf has taken a lot of hours to create! Thanks for sharing the process with us.