DIY Shell Jar

Shell Jar

This week I thought I would show you something ridiculously easy to make, practical and pretty. All you need is an Abalone shell, some clay, a bit of paint and some varnish. If you can try and get an Abalone shell which is as gritty as possible on the outside. It makes it a lot easier for the clay to latch on and makes it less likely to just peel off later. 

I hope you like the tutorial :)

Trying Out a New Lash Glue

Duo Lash Glue

My last experience with Duo lash glue was not good. I have tried this brand twice in the past, once with their regular lash glue, and once with their latex free versions, and both times my eyes flatly refused to have it anywhere near them.

I felt like I should give DUO one last shot though so I picked this one up while I was in NY

And boy am I glad I did! I think I finally understand the hype around this brand, or at least for this product. Unlike regular lash glues this one dries black, so it makes it a lot easier to hide that annoying line you can get between your eyeliner and your real lashes when you apply the false lashes too high.

Colour of the lash Glue

At first it was a little tricky to get the hang of. Since it’s dark grey it’s a lot harder to tell when it’s ready to apply, unlike white lash glue which will normally start to go a very faint shade of light blue when it’s ready to be applied.

Basics: 7g • Cruelty Free • £4.95

It’s also a lot runnier than most lash glues I have tried. I have to be so careful when I’m using this or I’ll end up squeezing out the whole thing instead of just a drop. At first it was a bit of a pain (especially since I ruined two pairs of feather lashes this way) but now that I’m used to it I love this glue. I haven’t been reaching for Royal Lash glue in a few months and I think it’s going to stay that way.

You can get it here (**)

The Zodiacs: Cancer

Close Up Cancer

There seems to be a little bit of a misunderstanding going on at the moment. Each time I post a picture from one of the Zodiac looks people assume that I won’t be doing their zodiac (Capricorn and Sagittarius especially) so let me take a moment to clear this up. I will be doing ALL of the twelve zodiacs. Taurus will probably be last because it’s my Zodiac, but don’t think just because I haven’t done it yet that I won’t be doing it at all :)

The Zodicas Cancer

When I was drawing the face charts for the Zodiacs the first thing I thought about for Cancer was the sea. It’a also described as a bit of a paradoxical sign with traits that you think wouldn’t work well together. So because of that I decided to use two colours that clash, red and blue, and pearl rhinestones. Lots and lots of pearl rhinestones!

Cancer Makeup Look

It’ll be a while till I finish the zodiacs series, but when I do I want to do a thirneenth video which is just simple eyeliner looks based on the Zodiacs using only eyeliner. No rhinestones allowed :)

I hope you like the tutorial

Drawing a Dragon Horse

Báls Head

If you’ve read Defiance, or the first chapter, you’ll already be introduced to this character. I started drawing Bál a year ago but stopped while I was writing to the rest of Defiance. He’d been sitting in the corner of my room for a bout a year and once the second book was published a week ago I figured I should probably finish him.

As usual I did all my initial sketches on wax paper

Apart from the obvious shape of a horse (a friesian horse) there were a few changes I made to Bál. He needed to have a more reptilian look than a normal horse, so I give him hooves with claws, a long lizard-like tail, scales and a face that was more angular.

Sketch The Head At First Laying Down The Colour

I had originally planned on painting him with a pale wash of watercolours, but now I’m very glad that I only painted a light wash of colour under him and decided to stick to pencil for the rest. I can only imagine how long it would have taken for me to finish him if I’de decided to paint him too

What I used (**):

 Makeup Brushes for blending • Mechanical Pencil • White Gel Pen • Tortillions • Rubber Blending Subs

I started out by getting the shape of the muscles and feet right. I had considered drawing him with his teeth bared so that you could see his sharp (carnivorous) teeth, but I felt that I wanted to capture the beauty of this animal in this drawing. Besides, if I saw an animal like this running at me with those feet and that kind of skin I think I’d already be scared enough without seeing his teeth. Especially if it had Ulf on it’s back.

Legs Half Drawn

That drawing above is where I left him a year ago to finish writing the book. At that point I had a clear enough image in my head of how he looked so that I could write about him. And also, if I’m honest, I couldn’t quite face drawing the rest of the scales.

What I used Scales so many scales

A year later I started drawing him again (and those bloody scales). I just put a ten hour playlist of Imagine Dragons and got started. About three days later I was finally finished! (and I promptly swore never to draw him again).

Almost Done Bál

And that’s the final drawing! I have to draw Ulf too soon (for a super secret Outsider related project which involves art;) but I’m pretty sure I want to draw him without Bál. I think if I have to look at one more scale I might just throw my pencil across the room.

You can read the book here

A Lush Solid Shampoo I did NOT like

Lush Solid Shampoo Review

It’s not often I post a negative review. I think for the most part that’s just because I’m normally quite lucky with products I try, or I don’t dislike the product enough to write up a negative review. But I’ve tried every single one of the Lush solid shampoos, and of course the very last bar I tried (Jason and the Argan Oil) was disappointing. Everything about this bar looks and smells amazing, once I used it though…not so amazing.

Basics: 55g • Cruelty Free • £5.75 •

The first thing I noticed is that my hair did not like this shampoo. I tried it for about a month to make sure it wasn’t just my hair playing up on me, but each time I used this I would have an oily residue on may hair after, no matter how much I rinsed my hair. It also has this strange gritty texture when you lather it up, like little grins of dust on the soap.

Lush Jason and the Argan Oil

Most of the shampoo bars crack when you’ve used them so much they’re little more than a thin tablet, but this one cracks into several pieces after you’ve used it only two or three times. I even bought a second one to check I hadn’t got a bad batch the first time. Nope, still broke into pieces.

It could be that this kind of shampoo is better for people with very dry hair, but for me at least this is the one Lush shampoo bar I really didn’t like.

The First of my T-Shirt Series

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I’ve been planning to do these for for the last three years, and today I’ve finally made the first design live. The idea I had (at least for this series) is to draw a series of animals that perfectly represent a mood. The first one I wanted to start with, a koala, is essentially my spirit animal. I am not a morning person, and the koala seemed like the perfect animal to represent that.

I started off with the first four designs by drawing them on some tracing paper. All the rough doodling and experiments with the shading I do on the tracing paper and then transfer the final design onto a drawing card after. If you haven’t seen it already I’ve done a video on my second channel here all about how to transfer drawings.

Working on the Design

Detailing

After the outline of the koala had been transferred onto the paper  I did some underlying shading before I started to draw the fur. I didn’t want to add the shading after drawing the fur or it would have blurred all the tiny marks that took ages to do.

In total from start to finish it took me around six hours from start to finish to draw

The first layer of fur I drew with a mechanical pencil, the second with a thin tip black pen pen and lastly I used a white gel pen close to the ears and a few white hairs on the fur.

Finished

I’m not sure what design I’ll be doing next for this t-shirt series. Each batch will be limited edition, so I’m a little stuck between making the bulldog or the kitten next. Any preferences?

If you liked the t-shirt you can get it here

Defiance: How I Made The Cover

How I Made The Cover to Defiance

Just like my last book I wanted to make a video showing how I made the cover. In the first book I wanted to paint this picture of the goblins being bad and the elves and dwarves good. But in the second book I wanted to tip that idea on it’s head and for people to see that, actually, while violent and ferocious, the goblins do actually have a very good reason to hate the dwarves.

The cover this time the cover was going to be Ulf’s tribal cuff

The second book is called Defiance, primarily because of Astrid and Ulf. Astrid is starting to defy what she calls “the harsh voice” in her head and the fear that she will always be alone. Ulf is defiant against the dwarves and what other goblins see as their place in the world, and both of them use wolves and the image of wolves as part of who they are, so I felt that it was the perfect image to represent the book.

I hope you like the video :)

Outsider Art: Tyr

Face

Tyr was one of the Character’s in the Outsider series where I really didn’t have a clear image of how he looked in my head at all at first.  There were a few physical features and traits I was absolutely certain about when I started sketching him. I knew he had to have green eyes (just like all the elves in Kentutrebā). I gave him similar eyebrows and upper lip to Sylbil, but he’s a very different character to her with very different experiences, and I needed that to show on his face.

Sketch Basic Shading

I started out the same way I normally start any of my portraits, with a rough sketch on wax paper. After that I transfered the final outline on brown paper and started shading it with grey tones on the left side of the face and red/yellow tones on the right.

You can see my video about how to make sketch transfers here

I originally wanted to draw Tyr on a dark brown paper, but don’t have many sheets left and I wanted to save it for a drawing of Ragi, Ulf or Bugul (Bugual is a new character in Defiance). With darker paper you really have the opportunity to make unusual skin tones like green and blue(ish) stand out, so I wanted to keep that paper for them.

Pan Pastel Shading Eyes Done

After the basic shadows and highlights had been done I added a colour to the eyes. Even though his eyes should technically be the same vibrant shade of green as Astrid’s and Sylbil’s I just couldn’t quite bring myself to give him the same colour.

What I used (**):

Polychromos Pencils • Makeup Brushes • Mechanical Pencil • White Gel Pen • Tortillions • Pan Pastels

The colours I went for instead I felt gave him a wilder and more unpredictable look. I didn’t like the idea that he should have exactly the same eyes as Astrid and Sylbil. Especially considering his history with them. I like to think that his eyes have faded a little over time, each year becoming a little more gaunt and with paler eyes and a little less like his sister.

On the Art Wall Tyr Outsider

Once I finished his face I didn’t spend much time on his hair. Nothing longer than ten minutes just so I had a rough idea of how his hairline would look and hang around his face. At some point I might go back and fill it in properly, make it darker and glossier, but for the moment he’s going to stay pinned on my wall next to Ragana and Jarl.

You can read book 2 (Defiance) of my Outsider series here

The Zodiacs: Aquarius

The Water Carrier

As of uploading this look I am officially half way though my Zodiacs series. For most of these looks I’ve tried to incorporate the Zodiac symbol into the makeup looks, but for this one I wanted to focus more on the element of water than the symbol.

I painted the jug months ago, and now that I’ve filmed the tutorial it should be quite a beautiful flower jug

The funny thing is that I got the wig for a witch look originally, but I thought  it worked absolutely perfectly for this look when I tried it. I’m tempted to use it again for Sagittarius since I’m going for a bit of a celtic warrior theme. But I might stick to my original idea of a high braided ponytail.

The Zodiacs

The Zodiacs Aquarious

Making the water pour out of the jug was easy. Just grab some sellotape, some cling film, and tape one end to the bottom of the jug while the rest hangs out. If you were going for a costume version of this look you would want to wear a toga and have the end of the cling film wrapped around your waist, then carry the jug on your shoulder. Of course if you wanted to be really elaborate you could have sings with clear beads hanging down from it too.

I hope you like the look :)

SECOND BOOK RELEASE!

Defiance Klaire de Lys

Today I got back from holiday and I had the best parcel ever waiting for me at the door. If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Twitter you know that Defiance, the second book in my Outsider series, was released yesterday!

This time I want to have a giveaway for both the first and the second book, along with some of the artwork I did for the second book

If I could I would have a camera recording everyone’s reactions while they’re reading the book, I love seeing how people react while they’re reading it. Especially when they get excited or afraid for a character. Since it’s not possible for me to have a camera in everyone’s living room I thought I’d do the next best thing and run a small giveaway at the same time.

Cloud

The two winners (one for Instagram one for twitter) will win signed copies of both books and a piece of artwork I did for the second book

If you have a Twitter or Instagram I want you to tweet/instagram your reactions with the hashtag #DefianceReactions and tag/tweet me (@Klairedelys) while you’re reading the book. You can tweet/instagram as much as you want. If there’s a new character you love or love to hate, I want to know. If you’re happy or shocked by the ending of a chapter, I want to know.

The books

The Giveaway will be ending on the 1st of August • The giveaway is worldwide • You can enter on either platform as much as you want

I can’t wait to see what you think of the new book! I’m especially excited to see people’s reactions when they read the first and last chapters which are my personal favourites ;)

You can read the book here