A while back I went to a garage sale, and paid $1 for a box of buttons and other doo-dads.
This deliciously ratty whiskey box needed a new life.
I gathered my supplies. I had some fantastic cast foam pieces from DG Gothic. I think that skull has found a home. I also printed the title of the book, “Vile Incantations,” on a clear sticker, so I could use it as a painting guide, and gathered several papers for collaging the inside.
The box got a couple coats of black paint on the inside. I didn’t really need them, but my plans were amorphous at this point.
I decided to use several seasonal papers to collage the inside. Looking back, I might have done something spookier, as this is a little incongruent with the outside.
Grunged it up with a black glaze.
I thought I got more pictures of the letter painting, but I didn’t. This took a teeny, tiny brush, and several sessions. Then the back and side got a base coat of gray.
I used toilet paper (or bog roll, as the Spousal Unit calls it) and liquid matte medium to create texture. The paper gets extremely mushy, so you can push it around where you like.
Another coat of gray. Okay, I didn’t really need the first coat. Shut. Up.
It doesn’t photograph well, but I did a glaze of black to get into the nooks, then wiped it back.
Next, a lighter shade of gray is dry-brushed with a fairly heavy hand.
A lighter touch is used to dry-brush a layer of white.
The spine gets the same treatment, avoiding the painted details.
I was going to leave the “paper” alone, but I decided to freshen it a bit. I discovered there were subtle grooves, so I did a base of Titan Buff, a very light wash of brown to stick to the grooves, and a gentle dry brush with white to hit the high points.
I waited until the very last to do anything with the top, as I didn’t want to have to use the skull for support as other parts were drying. His name is Rutger. Isn’t he gorgeous? He got glued down with Liquid Nails, as apparently, I’m out of E6000.
Once the glue dried, there were some gaps between him and the surface. I used liquid matte medium and bog roll to fill them.
I wanted Rutger to look as if he were a part of the book, rather than just glued on, so more bog roll was used to create a smooth transition. Then the rest of the front cover was treated.
Before I did any painting, the entire skull got a coating of liquid matte medium. This is because paint looks different, depending on the substrate. I wanted to have a consistent substrate so the paint color would be the same.
Time to paint! First, my base coat of gray. That red you see around Rutger is the red dye from the original book cover coming up. No worries, it will all get covered.
The front cover got a glaze of black to stick in the low points, which was wiped back bit by bit. Then two successive dry-brushing layers of ever lighter gray, finishing with a light touch of white. The teeth and the area around the eye sockets got a little extra white for emphasis.
I could not be more pleased. It was an absolute joy to work with DG’s skull. This grimoire is the last raffle-eligible item of the season.