Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Having Fun With My Little Monster...

No... not that little monster! Romeo kitty is a good boy (mostly). I was actually referring to this little monster... from my sketchbook...

Inspired by the work of Jesse Reno, I wanted to create a collage where the main subject stood out from the background, but in a reverse-masked-out kind of way. I love the circus and thought a funky primitive elephant was a good place to start.

I recently bought a vintage mirror — that I disassembled to make an earring display —and the backing was an old piece of cardboard from an air conditioner box. It was so thick and full of fun graphics, that I wanted to use it as a base for the collage.

I started with one of my favorite techniques... creating circles with different sized bottle caps and jar lids.

Then I continued with acrylic paints, pencil, sketching, adding vintage papers and such.

Then more layering with more paint, more drawing, masking, vintage photos, tissue papers, ephemera and the like. When I got to where I liked it, I stopped messing with it!

I enlarged my elephant sketch — who by now has evolved to take on the name Monster of Love — and made a transfer of it.

On to "masking off" the image with acrylic paint. I decided to stay in the pink family, but go a little lighter. I did many, many, many coats of paint... starting with a watery mix at first and then slowly graduating to a dry brush technique.

Then the scary part! The outline. I wanted it to look sketchy like a charcoal pencil, but I didn't want it to smear. So I put a call out to all my little social media monsters and got some great ideas back, but eventually went with black acrylic paint... watered down at first, and then using a very dry brush to add that sketchy look.

I loved my little Monster so much, but could not stop at the original design. I added some feet... and he was just begging for a curly tongue... which then begged for something to drink. And that was that.

I think I'll be making a whole cavalcade of crazy circus creatures in this style! And maybe I could even teach this as a class. Because I had way too much fun!


  1. I am glad I am sober.......I'd swear I saw a pink elephant......love your little monster.

  2. Love the pink monster ! Great technique to play with.

    (Pet, pet, purr, purr, Mr. Romeo !)

  3. it's GREAT, Michelle! i love your take on the elephant - so fun and whimsical.



  4. Beautiful! I love that you used cardboard as your canvas. A testament to the fact that art can be made using anything we have on hand. My grandmother was a junk artist, and that is one of the greatest lessons she taught me! Right on sister!

    1. Thanks Amy! I love using cardboard as my canvas. And how cool that your grandmother was a junk artist!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such thoughtful comments. :o)


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michelle renee bernard