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Topic: Marilyn in Pink  (Read 11429 times)
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daisy2799
« on: April 07, 2010 06:37:21 PM »

This is my first contest entry.  I've always been fascinated by Sand Painting.  I don't have THAT kind of paitience but thought pasta may make a good medium for trying something similar.


For the project I used Pastina pasta, which are essentially tiny stars.  Recently I have been obsessed with pink and black so I went with those colors. 

I checked a lot of websites about dyeing pasta.  All had the same basic directions, rubbing alcohol + food coloring + ziplock bag + pasta = colored pasta.  The difference came in the amount of time the pasta remained in the solution.  Some said 10 minutes others 30 minutes. 

I did some experimenting and found that the amount of time it soaks doesn't matter as much as how much food coloring you put in.  I put the same amount of pasta, food coloring and rubbing alcohol in three bags.  I let them sit for 10 minutes, 8 hours, and almost 24 hours.  Each turned out the same color in the end.  The true color doesn't really come out until the pasta is completely dry.  I used rectangular baking pans with sides and wax paper to dry the pasta instead of cookie sheets because I was worried about the excess rubbing alcohol spilling over the edges.  My pasta dried in one piece but it was easy enough to break up with my hands when it was completely dry.

After the soaking time you drain the rubbing alcohol and place on cookie sheet to dry.  I usually did mine before bed around 11 pm and checked and stirred them before work in the morning (6:30 am) and by the time I got home around 5 pm it was completely dry.

I did a three-toned photo so I needed three colors but had real issues with getting the middle hue of pink.  After almost 2 boxes of trail and error, I finally came up with a color I was okay with.
Here are my formulas, I mixed the food coloring in the rubbing alcohol:
Light Pink- One drop of pink food coloring + 1 cup rubbing alcohol + 1.5 cups pastina pasta
Medium Pink- 1.5 cup of already dyed and dried light pink + One drop purple food coloring + 1 cup rubbing alcohol
Dark Pink- Eight drops of pink food coloring + 1 cup rubbing alcohol + 1.5 cups pastina pasta

This is the dark pink after I drained the alcohol.

Here is the starting image.

I used photoshop to alter to three tones and then made them pink.  This was great because it gave me a good idea of what it would look like when I was done and a color guide.

Here are two others I toyed with doing.  Einstein is a great example of one that wouldn't work too well unless you used more colors.

I printed the final photo in sections and taped them together.  I do have access to a large format printer but I wanted to make it so anyone could do it so I used basic letter paper.  I used blue painters tape so it wouldn't leave marks or sticky spots on the canvas.

I am not a great free hand artist so I used carbon paper to transfer the image to the canvas.  I taped the carbon paper to the canvas then the photo on top of it.

I traced it with a blue pen so it would show up against the black.
When I purchased the canvas I actually got two, so I put the photo I used to trace on the other canvas.  This was nice because the side by side comparison helped with color reference when painting.

I then went through and painted with acrylics the outlined shape.  I figured this would make it easier to apply the pasta and if there were some "spaces" they wouldn't be as obvious.  Above are the steps of each color.

After painting I used white school glue to affix the pasta to the canvas.  I found it easier to trace the outside of the area I was going to glue and then fill in.  Be careful not to create large globs or add too much glue.  When you put the pasta on top of the glue it seems to seep a little.  That is why I started on the edges slightly back from the true edge and worked out then inward.

I used a fan paintbrush to move the pasta around and "sweep" away extras.  I also used my fingers, and touched the pasta but was careful not to push it into the glue too deep.  Make sure the area you are going to add glue to doesn't have any loose pasta.  If you begin to put the glue down near that loose pasta it attracts like a magnet and creates huge glue globs on the tip of the bottle.  Very frustrating

For application I either used my fingers and sprinkled the pasta then pressed it down gently into the top of the glue.  For more precise areas I used "the soon to be patented folded piece of cardboard."  This is a nod to the monks and their method a grain of sand at a time.  I would load up some pasta as seen above and gently tap the sides.  To clean up or to form tighter borders around the pasta colors I again used the fan paintbrush.

I sent the pasta and glue overnight to dry.  I then used a 50/50 glue/water mix and poured it from the glue bottle onto the dry areas.  It was a little messy and it kinda reminded me of cereal in milk.  I used the corner of a paper towel to soak up the overflow.  When it dried it locked the looser top layers in place.

Final Product!

I thought of adding black pasta to the black areas but not sure exactly how it would change the look and I am currently very happy with the outcome.  Let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010 06:57:28 PM by daisy2799 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010 06:49:06 PM »

Thats Amazing !!! You Rock !
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010 06:49:43 PM »

This is absolutely awesome! Thank you so much for the instructions.  I have toyed with this technique with sand, sugar and chocolate painting.  The pasta is a great medium.  Hitting this rocks!
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010 07:07:29 PM »

this is very cool. i used star noodles for my project (charles darwin) too, but i didn't finish it. it'll be posted at another time. i love, love what you did.
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010 07:09:33 PM »

You say you don't have the kind of patience needed for sand painting, but I got fatigued just thinking about all the steps you described.  This is fantastic!  I knew right away who the pasta portrait represented.  I love that you used little pasta stars to create Marilyn, perhaps the most famous starlet of all time.
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2010 07:18:23 PM »

oh my wow!
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2010 07:22:11 PM »

ummmm....whoa.


And when I say, whoa...I mean whoa.


(You've got my vote)
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2010 07:28:56 PM »

I <3 Marilyn.  This also reminds me of a craft kit I was given one Christmas, with a picture and some coloured plastic chip things.  So pretty
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2010 07:30:59 PM »

I do wish you'd done Audrey Hepburn instead (I love Audrey Hepburn), but this is completely amazing! I think it looks great as is, so I wouldn't worry about the black.  I bet the contrast in texture between the black and the pink pasta looks good, too.

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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010 07:33:19 PM »

The effort and experimentation alone are amazing!

The final project....just wow...incredible...

pasta?  unbelievable...
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2010 07:45:44 PM »

Wow!!  That is awesome!!
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2010 07:56:50 PM »

Wow that is incredible. 
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2010 08:31:40 PM »

What a great idea! Nice job!
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2010 08:56:04 PM »

Initially when I saw this challenge, I thought, ooh tacky! You're isn't tacky though. It turned out really nice.
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2010 09:47:22 PM »

That is fantastic. I can't believe all the time and prep that went into this.

There is an easier method to dyeing pasta. There is a company we use to buy all our art supplies and toys for the preschool, www.discountschoolsupply.com, and they sell a bottled watercolor, called Liquid Watercolor, I think. It's about $3. a bottle and comes in 20+ colors. Anyway, just put a few (or more) drops in the plastic bag with the pasta and it dries within minutes. We use it for gluing and in the sensory bins. It has no odor and it is washable. Not trying to diminsh your superb effort - just thought you (and all of your new fans) would like to know.
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« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2010 04:25:03 AM »

Wow...thats really good.
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2010 04:46:02 AM »

This is awesome and such a great tut! I feel inspired to do something similar, though I'm not sure what my material of choice will be.  Grin
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daisy2799
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2010 05:33:03 AM »

That is fantastic. I can't believe all the time and prep that went into this.

There is an easier method to dyeing pasta. There is a company we use to buy all our art supplies and toys for the preschool, www.discountschoolsupply.com, and they sell a bottled watercolor, called Liquid Watercolor, I think. It's about $3. a bottle and comes in 20+ colors. Anyway, just put a few (or more) drops in the plastic bag with the pasta and it dries within minutes. We use it for gluing and in the sensory bins. It has no odor and it is washable. Not trying to diminsh your superb effort - just thought you (and all of your new fans) would like to know.

Thanks for the tip.  I love learning about new methods!  Checking the site out today for sure!

I do wish you'd done Audrey Hepburn instead (I love Audrey Hepburn), but this is completely amazing! I think it looks great as is, so I wouldn't worry about the black.  I bet the contrast in texture between the black and the pink pasta looks good, too.



The chances are they will be a pair since I have pasta left over and another canvas just waiting to be used!  Smiley


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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2010 07:25:39 AM »

omg--you are doing another one?  I am showing this off to all of my co-workers--it is still unbelievable to me...can't wait to see the next one...cool to learn about new products as well..
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2010 08:31:05 AM »

Amazing! Love it!
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« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2010 11:38:12 AM »

Hi, I love your work very much! Love your idea that using pasta instead of sand, such a great idea!  Roll Eyes and the final product is very amazing! Hope you can win this challenge ;-)
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2010 03:29:54 PM »

That's awesome. It's amazing. Wow.  Grin
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« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2010 09:21:24 AM »

this turned out amazing, great job!
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« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2010 01:34:24 PM »

Amazing!  Fabulous work!
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« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2010 06:19:29 PM »

Stunning!  This totally ROCKS!
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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2010 10:09:45 AM »

That is just awesome! I also love your project walk-through.  Grin
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2010 08:57:58 PM »

Wah... Shocked What dedication!
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« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2010 02:55:27 PM »

That is amazing! You are very talented and patient Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2010 01:05:18 AM »

This is really great! I hope you win!
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« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2010 12:53:28 PM »

Simply Stunning! May I ask how you turned that photo into a 3 tone image? I cant seem to figure it out. Thanks!
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« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2010 04:23:14 PM »

Fabulous & so interesting to see the process as well!
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« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2010 02:37:10 PM »

So you made a Starlet from starlets??? I love it!
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« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2010 02:05:24 PM »

Oh my goodness- that is an amazing portrait! I've never seen pasta-painting before. You have such an eye for detail! Really cool project.  Cheesy
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