Monday, February 22, 2010

Creating Metallic Dragon Necklaces and Dragonflys with Face Paints

I was inspired by a wonderful face and body painter from Australia, called Ambah. She does fantastic jewelry. So, I started working on it. This lead me to do dragon necklaces, and dragonfly pendants.  I am still working on my skills, but I thought you might like to hear how I am doing it.

This was the first time I tried this design, and using all of the products the way I did. (So I am extra flattered some of you liked it!) Probably will change it up a bit for next time. Each time I try one, I get just a little bit better. So, stay tuned!

Of course, I could have zipped it out in 5 minutes or less if I just glued on the jewels, and customers would have probably be happier. But, that would not have helped me increase my skills as a painter.
This is how I made THIS one work ...

That neat silver color is Kryolan's AquaColor metallic silver, that is the best silver, even if it is a bit flakey.  The other great silver is the Mehron metallic you mix with a mixing liquid. FYI, once the Mehron is mixed with the mixing liquid, it is easier to apply, and really pretty. However, it is a pain to mix at a gig and I get powder all over myself and my kit. When I need a good gold, I do use the Mehron with the mixing liquid, as I have not found a good gold yet.  But when I need a good silver for necklaces, I use the AquaColor.

I create the basic outline of the necklace, with a tiny detail brush and white paint. Then I fill in the outline.

The pink jewels on the dragonfly are created with Interferenze Strauss Wine.

The shadows inside the jewels are with Diamond FX metallic red, a watered down Diamond FX metallic black, and the highlights are with Diamond FX's metallic white.

I highlight all of my necklaces with the Diamond FX metallic white.

When it is filled in as I like it, I outline it with a product I made myself. You can proably see it in the "chain." In a small bowl I mixed one teaspoon of the metallic silver that comes in a 'tube' from Mehron, some silver metallic loose powder from Ben Nye, some generic shimmer powder and a teaspoon of hair gel. I mixed them together, and spoon it into the corner of a plastic bag. I snip the corner of the bag, and sqeezed it into an ALMOST empty silver Liquid Bling bottle. It could be all the way empty bottle, but the one I had to use just wasn't :)) This drys ALMOST flat, but with a tiny bit of 3-D feel. You can make these "gilding pastes" as we called them in henna work, in just about any color.

Next, I add shadows, using Mehron's black Starblends and a brush I keep just for that purpose. For the ruby Victorian, I do much the same thing.

Finally, I use a few very small dots here and there of silver Liquid Bling on the "metal" part of the dragonfly, and the clear Liquid Bling on the pink jewels, to give it more highlights.

I will introduce my students to this type of work in a class I am doing April 6th, in Montclair. see

But I will have a whole 2 hour class, JUST on this at FABAIC, on Sunday, May 30th at 10 am.

- Lilly Walters, 909-398-1228

Henna Tattoo Artist, Face and Pregnant Belly Painter
Books and Face Painting Classes


  1. Just spectacular work Lily!

    Thank you so very much for sharing1
    - Artist Entertainer with a Twist of Charm -
    877-725-6967 office
    562-237-3327 cell
    Face Painter - Balloon Artist
    Whittier (Los Angeles) CA

  2. Hi Lilly! Such pretty pictures you have posted - say, do you mind telling us about how long it takes you to complete these necklaces and what type of venue you would actually use them in? You know, not just a jam or practicing for more pretty pictures. Your class at FABAIC sounds like fun!

  3. Hi Lilly,

    I've long admired your incredibly realistic and beautiful work with painting jewelry, but have only just now found this page and read your 'about me' area.

    I notice that you are considered to be the leading expert on one hand typing and was wondering if you have published any articles/books or could suggest a program for helping to teach that.

    My daughter has CP and only the use of one hand. She's 13 now and computer use at school is really increasing. Whatever you could suggest would be really appreciated!!!
    Thank you so much.