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Topic: Tatterhood Mailbox - Pic Heavy!!!!  (Read 3321 times)
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« on: January 11, 2011 02:48:24 PM »

Why, hello good reader!

Years ago, I painted my mom a mailbox in "my style" (dragons and creatures and the like; she didn't want flowers or trees, she wanted something I would normally do). It was an acrylic painted wooden mailbox, and she liked it a lot. Close to ten years later, I have tried to do other mailboxes for her, as the original was getting pretty weathered and my art skills had improved. Two (or three) failed mailboxes have come and gone...and now, I finally have created a worthy replacement.

I'm not a good real-media painter; I'm far better with Photoshop (that 'undo' button is just so handy!). So I decided to create a mailbox image digitally, and using iron-on transfer paper, apply it to a wooden mailbox. And it worked!

You apply the iron-on transfer to wood in a similar way to t-shirts. Always do tests before the real thing, as the paper you use, the heat of the iron, etc, are all going to affect how it turns out! I used dark tshirt transfer paper and a plain pine mailbox. After peeling off the back of the iron-on transfer sheet, you put parchment paper on top of it and, with your iron on high, iron for about 15 seconds - just to really tack the paper in place.

I then folded a pillow case in half, put that on top of the parchment and iron-on paper, and ironed (with force) in intervals of 30 seconds - this time may be shorter if you have a smaller item you're working on, but I found for a mailbox, 30 seconds of moving the iron vertically and horizontally did the trick. I would always quickly check on the image before ironing again, to make sure it wasn't burning or bubbling. You will get a bit of a 'wood pattern' but I really liked the effect on the mailbox. I based everything on this tutorial - although I used different iron-on transfers. You have to be CAREFUL ironing it - I had the paper rip on me twice (which I didn't know could happen!).

(it ripped on the bottom - but a bit of blue paint, and it wasn't visible anymore!)

Afterward everything was sealed with varnish. Make SURE to do a test for this one - you don't want the varnish to yellow your image.

If you've made it this far, you deserve to see pictures of the full thing!

The mailbox is a mesh of norse mythology and fairytales - Yggdrasils (world tree) is the 'setting/frame' (you can see the unnamed eagle and Verflnir the hawk at the very top). I threw in my own interpretation of the four stags, and some original characters I designed (based on fairytales) were added for good measure. Tttec is on top of the lid, with a half-troll to her left and her now calf-headed sister to the right. At the sides are two characters, "the Norman Lion" and Cerdic. And in between the two deer in the front panel is Tttec's goat, Brsi. (I think I"ll post the digital image of the mailbox up on my site, later).

I used stock from MoonsongStock, xNickixStockx, Sassy-Stock, and LughoftheLongArm as reference for the eagle, the two main deer and the rats (they're in there!). I had a screen-capture from Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) that I used as 'arm/deer' reference for part of Cerdic. And I used a reference from a picture of a headless guy in a red shirt holding a fawn for the Norman Lion pose - for the life of me, I can't find the source, but I'm determined to dig it up again and post it asap!

Thanks for wading through this massive wall of pics and text!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011 01:42:36 AM by Tatterhood » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011 03:03:02 PM »

How gorgeous! I love your artwork and the overall look is wonderful.

I heart SLB...He's dreamy!
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011 03:06:44 PM »

O.M.G. That is the most stupendously fan-freaking-tastic thing I have ever seen! It is simply gorgeous! I'm in lurve!!!! How long did it take you to craft that beautimous thing? WOW!

L: "Don't leave your dirty package on the table."
C: "If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that..."

I WIST I had all these super cool things!

See you in the clouds, sweet little Jackson.
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2011 06:03:15 PM »

Thanks! I completed the mailbox, working off-and-on it, over two months (an hour here and there after work, sort of thing). Most of that time was spent drawing and painting (digitally) the illustration. Testing took up a surprising amount of time -but I'm glad I did it!

I also bought the mailbox, instead of making it (that was unsuccessful done for past-mailbox #3!) so that saved a lot of time and work! (I got it here - just mentioning that as I had a really difficult time find a plain unpainted mailbox offered in Canada at a reasonable price!)

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Just kill him with your awesome.

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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011 06:05:03 PM »

This is so incredible, I don't even know what to say.  Your mom must be thrilled!  The way you have the tree weaving around all the separate parts and framing everything is especially beautiful.  I'm very intrigued by the transfer technique you used as well, I might have to try that at some point.  Rocked!

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