Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day of the Dead Brings Out My Creative Side

It's true I can't speak much Spanish past "Uno Cerveza Por Favor," however, there is one Spanish word I have been dropping a lot lately - "Dia de los Muertos," or "Day of the Dead.  It's a rememberance of those who have passed on, a festivity mostly in Mexico and in other Latin American countries.  Teaching students who have roots in Mexico drew me to these traditions, and to learn more about it.  Happening November 1 & 2nd, people will go to cemeteries and honor those who have passed, as well as have family gatherings and decorate with "Catrina" and "Calavera."

This past week I had a lovely time decorating two Day of the Dead skulls, two different ways -- colorfully, and with just black paint pen and Sharpie markers.   First, I headed to Michael's, coupon in hand, to clean out their supply.  You know, these skulls come out in August/September, so it's important to get 'em while they're there!  Then, I went to Home Depot and picked up some glossy double coated white spray paint to give the original brown paper mache skull a nice white shiny finish. It also helped the pens flow freely on the piece.

With this skull, I tried to use all my favorite colors and went to town with the elements of traditional Day of the Dead skulls -- flowers, (traditionally, it's Marigolds - for their color & scent to attract the spirits), crosses, swirls, flames etc.  Of course, I had to use sparkle -- applied with good ol' Elmers Glue, as well as t-shirt puff paints I found in the garage from an art project long ago.

I taught an adult group this skull project, and one of the ladies inspired me with her detailed black and white skull.  I tried it myself a couple of days later and love it.  I also used silver glitter and black puffy paint to make it pop more.

Here are the paint pens that I purchased to supplement my Sharpie markers.  (expensive, hence the Michael's coupon!)  I loooooved the way they flowed across the surface.  I went back and forth between the oil and the acrylic kind, and of course, Sharpies can do no wrong.

So much fun!  This project's a keeper in my books.