Supporting our Frida Kahlo learning, we’ve been looking at Mexican folk art. A simple Google of the term brings up pages and pages or examples, so we identified a few things that were clear to us when looking at Mexican art:
- It is bright and colourful
- There’s incredible attention to details
- They use a lot of dots
- There are a lot of skulls used in art.
Using this information as a basis, we made ourselves some Frida Kahlo and Mexican folk art inspired air drying clay pendants and I’ve got to say, I don’t normally count myself as terribly artsy, but I’m really happy with how these turned out.
We cut shapes out of air drying clay and pierced a hole in each shape. These are then left to dry overnight.
Once dry, place a ring through the hole.
Following the principle of ‘bright and bold’ I opted first for orange, yellow and a bright pink. I decided to do a sun – something bright and cheerful for dreary days. Once the foundation layer is finished, it’s time to focus on those details. For my sun, I added bright yellow swirls in the ‘rays’, and created a leaf motive in the pink area. Once it had all dried, I used a white fine-tip gel pen to make dots all along the outline areas, and to colour the eyes white. This really caused the sun to ‘pop’. A dot of black paint finishes off the eyes. The green branch has white dots outlining the leaves, and yellow dots running along it – like buds in early spring.
The final touch of the sun is to give it a bright and contrasting border and because a lot of Mexican folk art seems to have sequence or glitter on it, I finished off the rays of the sun with a coat of glitter paint.
Once the pendant had dried, I flipped it over, deciding on something different for the back. This is probably the most success I’ve ever had with a tree of life, something I love immensely and enjoy doodling. I used the same pink as the sun’s background and covered the whole surface, before dabbing some white paint in the centre and a few dots of black around the sides before mixing it in for a graded darkening effect which I think worked so well. Using a very fine paint brush, I created the tree and its branches.
The white and yellow flowers are done with the tip of the very fine paint brush, and a tiny dot of red paint finishes off the flower. As with the yellow buds on the other side, this tree is given green buds which I like to think are leaves.
Remembering our points above, we added details to this too – red, green and white dots all the way around, and a little brush of the glitter paint over the tree and her branches, and my tree of life is good to go.
Once dry I threaded through some necklace string, with the end pieces from this kit for easy jewellery making.
I’ve really enjoyed this little project, and I’m thrilled with the finished product!