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happy MAHALOween!

i read that term - happy MAHALOween - on a tiki bar's website.
when this fun phrase gave me a way to incorporate my love of
tropicana decor and tiki culture into October celebrations, i was IN!

(truth is, i'm not really into Halloween anymore - fall, yes. pumpkins, YES!
the 'scary horror bloody zombie creepy clowns and witches' kinda' decor? nah.)

since i have NO intention of dressing up in costume, 
 i simply decided to give a pumpkin a costume. with a tiki mask!

continue reading for the details and an easy paint tutorial...

this 'hap hap happy guy' just makes me laugh!
here's how he came to life:

i was walking out of the grocery store one day about a month ago,
and there were crews trimming the palm trees in the parking lot.
a few of the trimmed pieces were blowing around on the ground, 
and the piece you see in this post landed right by my driver's side door.
before i got in, i picked it up -
because when mother nature delivers, you accept the gift!

i honestly knew IMMEDIATELY that it was destined to become a tiki mask.
i mean.... that 'hair' on top, right??!!!
(if you look closely, you can see that i already drew some facial details on it with pencil.
i forgot to snap a pic before i started his makeover!)

here's the 'how to' for painting him:

i looked at the many tiki photos i've saved on my laptop and Pinterest,
and sketched out a few different possibilities.
once i had chosen one - a happy face, because that's our thing -
i traced the outline of the palm bark onto a piece of paper
and then drew the face to fit the dimensions.

when placing the elements of the face,
i took into account the existing cracks and shaded areas on the wood,
as they contribute to the final '3-D' look.

then i picked up my brushes and got to work...

i painted the teeth first, with matte white acrylic paint. 

next, i applied the darkest brown ('espresso') to add depth
to the inside of the mouth, the eyelid line and the eyebrows.

then i added a few drops of water to that brown to make a wash,
and applied it under the eyes, eyebrows, nose, and lips.
i also used a very tiny brush with this color to create the separations of his teeth -
using some of the natural cracks in the bark to accentuate them.

then i filled in the tongue, lips and eyelids with a light tan wash,
made by mixing a bit of white with the espresso brown wash.

a medium brown wash was used to fill in the nose
and create the edges of the mouth and dimples.

a bit of white added to the medium brown wash made a highlight color
that i used on the end of his nose and upper eyelids.
i watered it down a bit more to add a highlight down the center of his nose.

then i sprayed him with clear matte paint, to protect the paint and the wood outdoors.
(it also really makes the details POP)

these close ups show that he really IS one dimensional!
the effects of shadow on the right side is the darker coloration in the wood,
 working with the placement of painted highlights + shadows for a truly 3-D effect.

to hold him on the pumpkin, i just used a loop of masking tape.
if i were putting it outdoors, i'd attach some kind of ties to the mask
that would hold it securely on the pumpkin.

and because he fits our home decor theme,
after October is over he'll come off of the ceramic pumpkin
to join many other wood tikis in our backyard jungle...
so he'll be an upcycled AND repurposed tiki!

wishing you all a fun and safe MAHALOween!

related content:

shared online:

funky junk interiors | new upcycled ideas #650

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