The Art Diaries: Chameleon Parrot

I thought I’d start a series, sort of a art diary where I show you the various little things that I’m working on and just take photos throughout it. Sometimes I just want to sit down and work without worrying about filming, just a camera, take a photo every few minutes, no pressure.

Today I was working on a mask using a type of clay called Paperclay which when it dries is really light and quite strong to see if it was suitable to use for future masquerade tutorials.

Half way through making it I picked it up and it snapped in half, it’s really quite heavy when still half-dry, but once the one half had dried it really was quite strong so I decided to see what I could do with it and experiment.

I sanded down the sides till they were smooth and then painted it with a old gold ink a friend gave me years ago. It’s one of those colours I’ve always wanted to use but never got around to using, so I was quite pleased to use it up on the mask today.

One of my HUGE pet peeves is my paints drying up, feels like such a waste.

For the beak I really wanted to see what the nail varnish would look like instead of using something like acrylic ink or gold paint. I used four colours from Barry M (of course), Copper, Gold, and two Magnetic Instant Nail Effects in Violet and Black.

If any of you have seen the Magnetic Instant Nail Effects you’ve have seen the cool effects they have once you hold the magnate over it. I painted the Violet shade at the end, blended it into the rest of the beak and held the magnate over it while it was still wet.

I was really quite pleased with how it turned out! I think maybe next time I’ll do the whole beak in the black version, should look lovely and it would be a nice contrast between the gold mask.

After that I decided to add some old lashes on the mask. I was quite tempted to use the large feather lashes but I really like those and i’f I’m going to use them I’d rather use them a mask that’s not an experimental one.

In the end I ended up using some lashes from QVC I really hated, horrible lash band with really sharp edges. I had to curl them in the opposite direction to get them to work with the shape of the mask but in the end they worked quite nicely!

Mind you I really do need to find a glue which isn’t superglue but is still fast drying and strong. HATE that stuff! Glue my fingers together every single time no matter how careful I am.

Finally I finished off with rubbing chalk pastels all over them to get a variety of bright colours over the mask. I was quite pleased with how the texture I had worked into the mask worked with the pastels.

I didn’t have a good spray varnish, and to be honest I tend to avoid them because I get horrific reactions to some (think stung by a bee style allergies …not fun) so I just used hairspray which doesn’t affect me so badly.

I’m really quite pleased with how this one turned out, there are some things I think I’ll do differently on the next try. I might use acrylic ink instead of pastels unless I can find a varnish that won’t dull the vibrancy of the pastels. If you look at the bottom right picture (above this one) you can see how the hair spray really muted the colours.

I’d also like to make the improved version have a smoother beak, find a way to simulate feathery edges with the clay and maybe paint in some lashes around the eyes.


  1. zara says

    klaire, i just want you to know, you are a huuuuuge inspiration to me as an artist, your work is incredible, your incredible! keep it up babe!

    • Klaire says

      No these blog post are just informal posts showing the things that I’ve worked on but which are experiments and prototypes for videos.

      I do a lot of work which never ends up on video because I wasn’t happy with it or I was trying something out. These blog posts are a good way of showing that work and showing the process behind making my videos :)

  2. KouzukeRan says

    Hi Klaire,
    Lovely work!
    If the paper clay is the same thing I’m thinking of, you could have actually wet the sides and patched the 2 halves together with more clay?

    I used to use the clay for art in secondary school. (I did badly… though)

    I find it pretty heavy and not sturdy at all after drying though?
    So I thought the clay you are using might be different from the paper clay we get here.