Saturday, 26 December 2015

"Elements Entwined" Journal

Hello everyone and welcome!

Let me present you my my "Elements Entwined" journal which I particularly enjoyed making as I had discovered some new techniques while making it. 
Again, during Christmas period I do receive quite a lot of Christmas orders and so this was is not an exception. I was quite pleased that I have received quite a few local UK based orders. It's good to be appreciated by people from your own continent as usually it's American people and people from Australia that did order a lot before from me. So I am glad that UK customers did join them this year. 

So the mission for this project was to create some fire and water Yin Yang inspired artwork. That was all I knew. Luckily my customer didn't order it to be a Yin Yang shape in particular and so I had some space for inspiration. 
I have used couple of  stock images from google as my main inspiration and while there is nothing special in these pictures, they really helped me to understand what exactly I wanted to show on the journal. I wanted the water and the fire to be more than just that. I wanted them to look decorative. 
So  everything started with black clay base and white clay for the elements. I knew that this project will require quite a strong and powerful colour effect and I wasn't sure I will be able to achieve it by using colourful clay. I admit I am not as strong in using all sorts of polymer clay effects and I prefer to use clay for sculpting and then paint it over. I have noticed that my style right now is undergoing some changes where I am discovering some new techniques, tools, materials, ways of painting with inks and acrylics and even liquid polymer clay.  So there it was, just a black and white object, but I did make sure that I made all the necessary volumes and textures on it before colouring. 

The first step for me is always sort of a trial. I use inks and I do use lighter, sort of more transparent colours, just to set the colours in, to understand how the design will look and so on. When I like what I made, then I add up some more shadows, deeper and brighter colours and then I bake my artwork. 
As you can see, I am using a transparent film as a palette for my inks. this way I can clearly see the colour and the inks don't get absorbed into paper. You can also use a white plate I guess but make sure you won't eat from it again. 
So for this composition I used Piñata Inks in red and yellow (can't remember if I mixed orange or used Piñata orange as well).. And for the blues I used blue ink from Piñata and a little bit of Adirondack ink in Mermaid colour. I was quite pleased with the result and I knew I will be enchanting these colours later after the first bake. 


For the water - wave effect I have used this photo to get inspired from colours and to see how to create the foam.  Waves do fascinate me a lot and by looking at them you can see so much detail, lovely constellations of foam, strands of foam, perfect turquoise teal ocean wave colour burst and lovely little shimmery droplets on the very tops of the waves. PERFECTION!Love waves! 

After the baking was done I added up extra tones, made sure that the colors are strong, vivid and consistent ( I used Reeves, Liquitex acrylic 
paints for that). The little ribbons and swirls of fire got covered with 18K Gold Leaf  pen from Krylon. I love this pen. It's quite pricey but it's perfect as it uses real gold powder and it shines so much more than gold acrylic paint I have. 

For the silver-white wave foam I have used same marker but in Silver tone. I have also added up some crushed pearls on the bumpy parts of the water foam. And the actual foam was made from Pardo Translucent clay. First I made it from a lot of coral look-a-like clay pieces and then I texturised it with a very fine ball tool to create more bubbles. 
After all the colours were set, I decided to experiment and I used liquid clay (brushed it over the fire and water areas). Baked again, of course. It gave it this interesting depth and some nice satin shine. I have also implemented some crushed crystals into it while the clay was still liquid and baked it all together. Unfortunately crushed crystals ended up being very sharp and so I had to rip some of them off and cover the others with more varnish and liquid clay as safety comes first! I didn't want my client to cut his fingers! 
And so by the end of this project I came up with this journal which I was quite pleased with as I haven't yet done anything from clay that represented realistically looking fire and water and even if fire does only look real in the photos or real life, I knew that my fire will be fore of a decorative one and I was happy with the result.  ENJOY!










































































Thank you so much for reading till the end, 
Namaste 




Samurai Journal

Hello everyone!

Today I would like to show you a journal I made as a custom order for a client that was local and fun to work with. My client had an idea that he wants to have a journal made for his girlfriend for Christmas. He said she loves Samurai art and Giraffes. He was willing on having both elements put into one work, but I kept insisting that he has to choose one as giraffes and  Samurai can't go together neither physically, not geographically or ethically. It just doesn't go! Period :)
So we stopped at Samurai and his preference was more of a classy side of Japanese art. We stoped at this picture gracefully painted by JungShan Ink and together we decided to work on a square journal. Just as well I had one and I really wanted to use it for some time. 

I didn't quite know where this journey will end and at this moment of time I was using my new claying/painting technique where first I engrave a little relief on raw white clay to show some volumes and then paint it all over. First I really wanted to keep it very simple, almost calligraphy style, but when I used my black ink, it turned purple when diluted  and so the artwork gained some colour. I also wanted the artwork look like it's painted on ancient yellowed down paper and that worked. 



In general, I like painting with inks on my clay artworks before I cover them in acrylics. It might seem like a waste of time as I cover the majority of ink with acrylic paints anyway, but  it helps me out a lot as when the background is covered in colour, it's easier to paint on top of it with acrylics later and the white background doesn't shine through the multiple layers of paint. So all in all my Japanese samurai clay tile looked like this after it was first baked. I knew it's wasn't finished, but sometimes my artworks do not look completely right up until the very last moment when I put the very last finishing touches. So bare with me on this artwork and see the whole process. I started painting with acrylics as soon as it was baked and from there an idea of the sunset had appeared. Sometimes the whole colour scheme can arise from just a couple of correct brush strokes with the right colour. Same happened here. I decided that I was the Samurai and the tree to be backlit and I decided that the sun needs to be very warm yellow to achieve that kind of look. 

I've been also looking at quite a few mountain scenes which were painted in watercolour technique to understand how it would look like. 
So you can see from the picture bellow that the result and the whole colour idea kinda remained similar to original watercolour effect I made with inks prior baking, but of course it has gained more depth, shadows, atmosphere and feel of realism. Although this hardly can be called a good painting, I am still very happy with the result as all in all across two covers and a spine, it looks like a nice composition and a story about a dedicated Samurai who rises before the sunrise to practice his skills, to meditate in a dance with his sword and to greet the sun respectfully. 


Thank you very much for reading, 
Namaste ॐ





Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Dancing Hippo Momma Journal

This cute journal was made for a client who really loves her mother. Her mother is in love with all things related to hippos and likes to write in her sketchbooks, so as a loving daughter, her child decided to surprise her mother for Christmas! Oh how do I love clients like that! Caring, loving, attentive to their loved ones and full of fun and inspiration!
So she wanted the journal to show a dancing hippo and we both stopped at one picture drawn by Disney Team and when she saw it she didn't want to have anything else but this hippo. 
I did make sure to make a hand drawn sketch and a creative collage before we start. 
The main things required to be present on the cover was a hippo, a lot of cake and a tutu. And the hippo had to hold a cake in her hand! Fun, right?























So I arranged a whole tea set with a lot of sweets, fudge and cake flying around in a magical dance with a hippo. Everything is dancing, even her curtains and her fruit bowl. 
It was quite a lovely project and fun to play with.

























Thank you so much for taking time to read this, 
Love, 









Monday, 14 December 2015

Christmas 25% Discount

Hello everyone!

I would like to joyfully announce that for the next couple of weeks up until the end of this year there will be a 25% discount available in my ETSY SHOP on tools and tutorials. This is my Christmas present to each and every of you this festive season! xxx































Thank you for being my follower!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Creature in the Fox Mask - Necklace


This necklace appeared out of nowhere and I was actually working on some other project but midway I stopped doing what I was doing and took black clay and started to sculpt. I have created the head in quite a short time, but then when I put in on a chain I begun to wonder that it doesn't look complete. 
I tried few options and ordered few different elements, but non of them really fit. I think this necklace was hanging on my necklace stash hook for about a couple of months, before this small black tassel came along with a little black Czech glass bead  in the shape of a drop. 
This necklace also reminds me a little bit of a door know, the ones you have on the door to knock at. 

 
At the moment I am also trying to break the boundaries in the ways how I want to make my jewelry pieces. I want to dedicate more time and make my pieces even more detailed, make the lines finer, swirls thinner and the whole thing more ornamented. I hope with time you will notice this in my future pieces. 

Thank you so much, 






"Radharani's Dreams" Necklace

Hello everyone!

I would like to show you my newest necklace "Radharani's Dreams".


This necklace was inspired by my deep interest in Hinduism and India in general.
This piece is very special and it's main element is Krishna's Face. Krishna is the God of all Gods according to Vedas (Ancient Indian Manuscripts) and same as Jesus, Krishna was once walking and breathing on this Planet. He also had a lover, the most beautiful girl Radharani. She was so madly devoted to Krishna, that all she could ever think of was Krishna. Therefore I decided to call this necklace "Radharani's dreams", as when we are remembering out loved one, we usually see his or her face in the most beautiful light and atmosphere and our feelings have all the colors of the rainbow. 




Golden elements on the chain and the necklace look like beautiful golden peacocks, one of Krishna's main symbols. Shimmery and magical light blue swarovski crystal in a drop shape represents the tear drop of love, anticipation, blues, longing and missing a person you love. 


So this is how Radharani passes her lonely days when Krishna is far away from her. She dreams of him eternally and always and her feeling overflow her soul so much that she can't hold the tears.

Size: 6x9cm ( 2.5 x 3.5 inch) approx
Swarovski crystals, 16K gold plated elements
18K Gold leaf pen outlines
Polymer, Alcohol Ink
Writing on the back in Sanscrit: Hare Krishna

Thank you very much for reading, 

Monday, 19 October 2015

25% Off all items!

This is one short thing I want to say before I leave London for 2 weeks and go to Riga !




















                                  SHOP HERE NOW! 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Bracelet Giveaway Original Post

Hello everyone and welcome!


I am so excited to announce that starting from today the 13th of October until the 2nd of November I am hosting an amazing GIVEAWAY for this gorgeous bracelet you see on the picture. It is worth over $300 and was for sale in my shop recently. Although I decided to make things more EXCITING for you and give you a chance to win this expensive piece of art. 
Here is a video preview of it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQ3FuciYKXg

HOW TO ENTER:

Go to Mandarin Duck Facebook Page and find the original Facebook post about this giveaway (it will have the same picture).

  1. LIKE the PAGE.
  2. Like the post
  3. SHARE IT! (Most important).
  4. Comment bellow that you shared it.
When choosing the winner, I will use a RANDOM SELECTION service, which will select a winner. To be noticed by this RANDOM selector, you need to do all 4 things I asked for. 

DATES:
  • Starts: 13th of Oct
  • Ends: 2nd of Nov
  • Winner announced: 3rd of Nov by London, UK time.
See the video preview of the bracelet HERE! 
GOOD LUCK!


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Kitsune Fox Journal

Hi everyone!

Let me show you a lovely and quite unusual project I worked on recently.  This was a project for a lovely customer from Japan and my first ever custom order from there. I got overexcited when I found out where my client is from as Japan is a dream place to go and I am finding the traditional Japan to be one of the most fascinating things on Earth.
But my client was quite a cool guy and he sent me this journal cover with a spiral binding inside, so that he can swap and change his papers inside it whenever he needs to. He said he wanted to keep this journal for life. Now, I do really cherish and appreciate such will. It amazes me every time when people choose to trust such an important job to me. Thank you so much!

And so the idea of the journal came directly from my lovely client as he was very specific about the idea. He had all the drawings and elements ready for me and I only needed to combine them in the right composition and add up my own Mandarin twist!

Foxes in Japanese Mythology are classed a type of Gods or good spirits and they are worshipable. It is a great luck to have a fox in your garden. The coolest and the most Japanese thing about these foxes is that they are supposed to have 9 tails and breathe fire. Now this is my thing! FANTASY CREATURES! Oh yeah! :) Younger the fox, less tails it has. Older and more experienced in magical skills the fox is, more golden and multi-tailed it gets. At least that's how I understood the concept.



I especially loved the little graphic clouds. They so remind me of anime style, but it seems like it's also quite traditional for Japanese art to show clouds this way.
On the back of the journal is my client's family crest - a very stylised Wisteria wreath. I do like it a lot as it sums up the whole thing with a deep family and dynasty meaning. So even if this journal seems to be quite cute and innocent, it possess a lot of knowledge, tradition and respect for elders, spirit animals and nature. Thank you so much for such honour to my client!



Thank you for reading, 
Enjoy your life, 

The Spirit of the Forest

Hello everyone!
It seems like I am writing these posts one by one today, but you know me. I wether work like crazy or leave stuff behind and then have to start picking it all up :) Now is this exact time.

 This project has been a very special one for me as it was my first ever Kindle cover and then I realised I can do kindle covers too! Yay :)
I wanted it to look like brown leather as my client did send me the actual brown leather kindle cover. So it needed to match. Therefore I used Living Doll by Sculpey ( which is a dyeing dinosaur now and is not produced anymore...) and decided to create an wonderful, center orientated composition of a bird that is protecting the forest leaves with it's wings and is surrounded by all sorts of magical orbs, swirls and other elements. The main focus point is an absolutely gorgeous aqua-green labradorite crystal that has these amazing vertical lines that so reminded me of the pine forest. And so it goes that this wonderful highly decorated bird is keeping the image of the forest very close to it's heart.

I wanted to ornate the bird's chest with some wonderful swirls, aventurine crystals, little golden dots and curvy outlines. And I also wanted the face of the bird to be very innocent and cute, therefore I used a simplicity trick here.



To find a labradorite like this in supply stores is very hard ( at least I am finding it very hard) and so I kept this stone for a very special occasion.



Thanks a lot for checking in :) You can find 10 more photos of this Kindle cover in this JOURNAL GALLERY. Enjoy!

Love you, 



The Horse with a Fire Mane Journal

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping here today! :)

Today I will be happy to talk about my new journal "The Horse with a Fire Mane".
It is an A6 journal and it was ordered by a loving mother for her child. Her daughter loves riding horses and even owns a personal Pony and so the daughter says: "When we jump together, I feel like we are flying!". This inspired me to create a pegasus with a fire mane as and I made it quite stocky as a pony would be.








I wanted to experiment with incrustation technique and I used crushed freshwater pearls for that. And as I am not into clay swirls of any kind, I also added some little swirls to decorate the wing and the chest. I used fine gold paint to make it really sparkle with golden shades.
For the background I used Mandarin Duck Texture stamps (Blossom and Organic Mesh Inverted).



I especially like how the mane turned up. It is playful, airy, bouncy and looks natural to me as if wind is blowing at it. I also decided to add little golden decorative ropes to enhance the liveliness of the mane even more.  

The wing has a combination of purples, golds and pearls for that special royal style.

I hope you like it and you can see more of it in my  Gallery section or my Flickr Gallery.

Thank you so much for reading, 




Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Little Black Sheep

Hello everyone!

Today I would like to show you a little and very cute figurine I made a couple of weeks ago. This little sheep figurine was fully made from polymer clay and has some foil inside it to make it lighter and to ensure that baking process is safer and nothing cracks.
I used the swirl technique to imitate the sheep's swirly fur patterns and decorated it all with swarovski crystals to make it look rich and magical. I really loved making the swirls and when I covered the whole back and sides, it started looking like a cape with a hood. It looked way too cute to spoil it and so I decided not to cover the whole sheep's body with swirls.
Enjoy the photos guys :)



























Thanks a lot for popping in!
Love,