Swamp-Beast Egg

Still with the creepy, Halloween theme, we have the Swamp-Beast Egg.

It was going to be Cthulu, but everyone knows that Cthulu has tentacles. If you want to get all Lovecraftian, it could possibly be a Deep-One Egg. I’ve also heard it being called a Dragon-Egg. Whatever.

Preparation

Find a fat, rounded egg, so that Swampy looks like he’s had a healthy fish diet. Get boggly eyes (makes everything cuter) and some impasto medium.

Undercoat as described earlier, let it dry and then paint in a solid green. If you’re after a light-hearted beast, go for a bright, vivid green. A dark green will be decidedly moodier. As for his tummy, settle for a muddy mustard of river-bed brown. Two solid coats of that and let Swampy dry.

Get some white paint and mix it into some impasto. Using a slim paintbrush, scoop and roll it onto the egg about midway to form the teeth. Think goofy, clumsy canines jutting upwards.

Meet 'Swamps', the Deep-One
Meet ‘Swamps’, the Deep-One

Clean your brush out, let it dry, then mix red with the impasto. Scoop and roll a thick slab to form the lower lip, draping it across the teeth. Build it up and sculpt it with a knife or spatula if you need to.

As always, just ask for diagrams if you need them.

While you’ve got a blob of red impasto sitting there doing nothing, dip your paintbrush in and tease to form spikes on the back. Continue all the way down the back. If the spikes fall over, tease them back up again. They’ll hold when they’re dry.

Finishing

Let it dry, then mix some green in the impasto and build the lower portion of the mouth, and some eyebrows above where the eye will be. Thick, heavy eyebrows give an impression of brutishness, so be moderate if you want a goofy, rather than ugly or scary egg.

Stick on the eyes and let it dry: big and close for cute, small and wide for piggy.

When it’s all dry, pick up a fine brush, mix a different shade of green and make a succession of ‘scales’, little U shapes in rows, all the way around. This is the most time consuming part, so make sure you’ve got a coffee handy, especially if you’re doing a batch. You are doing this in batches, right? Everyone is going to want one!

Alright, so keep going around and around, making little U’s, alternative the position on each row. You can afford to get thicker at the back, where his scales would be larger, but as you near his face, scatter the scales and make them finer and smaller.

Mix some lighter tummy colour, and, using a fine brush, make horizontal lines.

Some spikes or fins on the back, plenty of scales.
Some spikes or fins on the back, plenty of scales.

Let it dry. Get some shiny gloss (he’s a swamp beast, he’s wet) and slather it all over him, going for at least two coats. I’m yet to find a proper egg cup for him, but that’s ok: He’s one of those eggs that likes to be picked up and held.Mini Jeztyr Logo

Mummy Egg

Keeping with the spooky, Halloween feel, but a whole lot less creepy, is the Mummy egg. Rather than polarizing, everyone, young and old, seems to like this one.

Preparation

There’s not a lot to prepare for this one. You’ll need some boggly eyes, some muslin or rough cotton cloth, some coffee and paint.

Cut you cloth into long strips. Get your coffee – instant, espresso, percolated, turkish, doesn’t matter so long as you haven’t added milk. What? You added milk? *Sigh* Drink that, then make another, and this time don’t add milk. Black Tea also works.

Soak your cloth in the brew for a few minutes to let it penetrate. Now rinse and squeeze it out. You should have soggy, bashed up, ‘aged’ cloth.

Method

  1. Paint your eggs a mustard yellow then, with a sponge, a rough brush or even some tissue, scrape on some green, grey or brown in blotches. Your Mummy has spent a lot of time in a sarcophagus!
  2. Don’t bother glossing it up: matte texture is fine. It’ll help with the wrapping as well.
  3. Stick your eyes on just above centre.
  4. Using craft glue, attach the start of the piece of cloth to the base of the egg.
  5. Wrap haphazardly. Don’t be shy going in all different directions. If your cloth is too thin, fold it over in half.
  6. Daub glue on to hold it in places, especially since eggs don’t like to be wrapped up.
  7. Finish off leaving a trailing bit of bandage.
  8. Find a proper egg cup to stick it in. I found the ones in the picture from Home – a Maxwell and Williams creation.

Mummy

For extra points, instead of an egg cup, try making a paper-mache sarcophagus!Mini Jeztyr Logo

Creepy Eyeball Eggs

This is a polarizing one: You either love it or you hate it.

You know how putting boggly-eyes on things makes them cuter? Well, a big, disembodied boggly-eye ain’t that cute. In this series, I did a couple of ‘body parts’, like a heart, a stomach and a brain, but I’ve given them away. My favourite was the eyeball, anyway.

I just remember that Halloween is around the corner, so I’ve bumped this post up to now.

Preparation

Choose an egg than is not so eggcentric: you want a less of difference between the size of the base and the top. Also, knock off any lumps or bumps with sandpaper or a box cutter.

Undercoat as usual, make it smooth, then coat it over with a good, strong white paint. Texturize a little with foam if you like.

Go look at a real eye. It helps. See the size of the iris (the coloured bit)? It’s not very big in the grand scheme of things. Only one and a half centimetres or half an inch or so. Make it too big, and the eyeball will look comical. My first few attempts, my irises were far too large. Keep it small.

Get a circle, piece of rubber, foam, whatever, that matches the size of the iris and use this as a stencil on the egg at the very top. Next, get a stencil or a sticky dot that is smaller than the iris. Use a pencil to trace it.

If you’ve made a small secondary hole, then the pupil, being black, will happily hide it.

Decide on the colour of your iris: I chose brown because I used my wife’s eyes as a model. Paint lightly with black around the outside of the iris, stroking toward the centre. Then get your coloured paint and paint over these, blended in toward the centre. Finally, using some white paint, add some radiating flecks. Your iris is done.

Now, fill in the pupil. Two coats of black at least to hide any white or colour underneath.

EyeballEgg1

If you need diagrams, let me know.

The blood and gore

The back of the eyeball is where you can let loose. Using impasto medium, get some red, white, blue and pink paint and build up ‘muscles’ on the side, about halfway up the eyeball.

EyeballEggRear

Use the impasto to get lines and icky textures in there, with lines of red and pink and even mustard if you like.

Toward the base, build up the goo into a peak to form the optic nerve. Let this dry.

Pro Tip: when painting arteries and veins, mix in a little white paint into the blue or the red. If you don’t, putting blue against a red background will result in a ‘black’ vein which, while more accurate, isn’t as visually appealing. The same goes for arteries. Adding a little white paint brings up the vivid red.

Using a wire or a fine brush, mix the ‘vein’ paint in with a little impasto to give it body, then dribble or drag over the eye from the base up to create your blood vessels.

When you’re satisfied, gloss it over with high gloss. Many coats. The more coats the better.

Apparently there’s some kind of gloss that gives a ‘wet feel’. I haven’t found it yet, but it sounds like something that would take this to the next level.

EyeballEggFind a shallow egg cup, darker if you can, that shows off a bit of the muscular features and the veins.

Voila! Eyeball eggs!Mini Jeztyr Logo

Robot Egg

This is a crowd-pleaser. Not only is it cute, not only can it stand on its own two feet (yes, it has feet) but it’s fully customisable. The limit is only determined by what bits and bobs you have on hand.

Body and feet

Blow your eggs, undercoat and paint a solid metallic colour. Silver is good, copper works well. Set aside and let them dry, then get your keys and head on down to the hardware store (or rummage around inside your bits-box in the garage).

  1. Get some dome nuts. These will make the feet. You’ll need two per egg, so make sure you get enough.
  2. Get some wing nuts. These will make the shoulder joint. Again, two per egg.
  3. Get some black enamel washers to put underneath the wingnuts.
  4. Get some normal hexagonal nuts for the eyes. Two per.
  5. For the eye lens, go for a packet of clear rubber bumpers that you stick on the inside of cupboards to stop them banging. Hang on… these things.
  6. For the arms, walk to the garden section and look at the micro-fittings. Get some elbows (guess what they’re for?) and some nail-clips.

As for the antenna, find some small screws, scraps of wire, anything that looks ‘robotesque’.

Copper and Brass go well
Copper and Brass go well

Assembly

Paint your pieces before you assemble. Let them dry. Also, if you want diagrams for this, just let me know.

  • Glue your feet on first. The weight in the nuts will help support the egg. Position them a little forward so that the egg has a natural tendency to balance on them.
  • Push the nails out from the nail-clips and insert them the wrong way. This makes a claw.
  • Assemble the arms – don’t attach them to the egg until they’re dry. Into the wingnut, insert one side of the elbow. If you’ve manage to get the sizes right, you can literally screw it in.
  • Insert the nail of the clip into the other end of the elbow, glue it in. Make sure it’s properly dry before you move it. I found the nail wanted to slide out, even when the glue was almost dry.
  • Glue wingnut to enamel washer. This will provide a solid surface area to attach the assembly to the egg. Wait until dry.
  • Glue arm to robot, somewhere a little forward of centre, so that the balance is still toward the ‘feet’.
  • That is the hard part done! Now for the eyes: Glue the hex-nuts in position.
  • Peel vinyl stickers and stick the on the eye-nuts. Job done.
  • Glue on antenna, let the whole thing dry and, boom! Robot Egg!

RobotEgg

Patch Panel

Robots are cute. What’s cuter? A pathetic, bashed up robot. You can add one or two ‘patch-panels’ to the egg. This gives an impression of rustiness, clunkiness, unsophisticatedness (if that’s a word). To do this, get some masking tape and form a rude quadrangle on the back.

Get some slightly off-coloured (or completely dissimilar) paint and daub it on with a sponge to create a textured finish. Mix copper and silver together, or even add gold to make some ‘brass’. This makes your makeshift patch. Let it dry.

Using a very fine paint brush, the back of a paint brush or even some wire, add some ‘dots’ to make rivets, holding the plate on. Dip, dot, dip dot…

PatchPlate
Your patch plate to fix your broken robot

With some black paint, add some oil dribbling out the back, or perhaps add rust – green for copper rust, rufus for iron rust. Depends on the primary colour of your egg.

Let it dry and, (second) boom! A sad, pathetic, lovable robot!Mini Jeztyr Logo

Painting Eggs for Easter

Some time back, don’t ask when because I can’t give you a date, and it’s not important anyway since you could read this without knowing the exact… you know what? I’ll start again.

Start Again

Some time back I began to paint eggs for Easter to hand around to the family. It’s more personal that buying a bag of chocolate, a lot healthier, too.

I remember, as a child, my mother talking about how to ‘blow eggs’, and that manifested into a desire to give it a shot.Egg collection2

So I did. My first few attempts were pretty lame. The colour was messy, the lines weren’t straight, the images were uninspired. There are some cultures that paint Icons on their eggs, and pass a ribbon through, and make a real effort. I looked at those, and I looked at my efforts, and I looked toward getting a new hobby.

“No! Start again, see what you did wrong and fix it,” I said, “It’ll be better the next time around, you’ll see!”

So I did. And it was better. That’s all well and good, but what can I share with you folk who want to blow and paint your own eggs?Egg collection1

Rather than eat the elephant all at once, I’ll fill you in on the bits and pieces that I’ve learnt in successive posts. There’ll be a bunch of photos and diagrams, which I apologise for in advance, but it’s a necessary evil.

Once you’ve got the hard bits sorted, you can get onto making all sorts of designs, like ‘Princess Egg Layer’, ‘Eggs Benedict’, ‘Deviled Eggs’, ‘Harlequin Egg’, ‘Ladybirds’, ‘Night Sky’, ‘Cowboy’, ‘Cthulu’, etc. It doesn’t even need to be painted, either. Onion skin eggs look super. You can use crayons and pencils to colour, or dyes or even leave it ‘natural’ if you’ve got a nice enough shell.

If you’ve got any specific requests, such as ‘Hey, Jez, how did you make the eyeball?’ just let me know. Until then, I’ll get cracking on making up some diagrams to help out with the basics.Mini Jeztyr Logo