DIYs inspired by India

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As some of you may already know, tomorrow is Holi, an Indian springtime festival which is renowned for its unique celebrations that involve throwing colourful powder and water at random strangers on the street. Seriously, that’s not even an exaggeration – look it up. I’ve personally never celebrated this festival, but I’ve always thought it seemed like tons of fun!

So this year, in honour of Holi, here are three fun DIYs that are inspired by India. Let me know which one’s your favourite in the comments below!signature

 

1. Elephant Garland

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What I love about this DIY is that you can make it using things you probably already have at home. Elephants are always the one animal everyone associates with India (accept maybe peacocks, but they’re way to complicated to draw) and fun fact, Indian Elephants can weigh 2,000 – 5,000 kg. Now that you’ve learned that useless piece of information, let’s move on to the DIY…

What you need:

  • different coloured card paper
  • black marker
  • paint (I just used nail polish – it works fine)
  • jewels, stickers, sequins… you can decorate them with anything really
  • twine
  • sticky tape

Method:

  1. Cut out as many elephants as you can from the card paper. If you’re not a skilled elephant artist, then you can print out my template.
  2. Using your paint and various decorations, make your elephants as colourful and glittery as possible.
  3. Outline your elephants with black marker and add a couple of fun designs. This step is optional, but I thought it gave the elephant shapes a bit more definition.
  4. Lastly, tape your elephants onto some twine and hang them up on your wall!

2. Jeweled Perfume Bottle

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This glammed up perfume bottle would make an Indian Princess jealous! Gluing on all the jewels is a little time consuming, but the end result is definitely worth it!

What you need:

  • a perfume bottle
  • glue gun
  • fake jewels
  • black glass paint
  1. Paint the top and sides of your perfume bottle with pretty, abstract designs (spirals, dots, lines etc.) using the black paint. Leave to dry.
  2. Carefully glue the fake jewels onto the perfume bottle in any pattern you choose.
  3. You’re done! Now all that’s left to do is proudly display it on your dressing table 🙂

3. Painted Glass Frame

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This glass painting DIY looks a little daunting, but I promise it’s very simple. This was actually my first time ever painting glass, and I was thrilled with the result!

What you need:

 

  • A4 glass frame
  • glass paints
  • black relief outliner
  • paintbrush
  • A4 sheet of white paper
  • A4 sheet of paper with a sketch of desired design (for my design, you can print off my template)
 Method:
  1. Place your sheet with the design inside your frame.
  2. Using your rough design as a guide, apply the black outline directly from the tube onto the glass. Make sure that your lines are continuous as paint will bleed through any gaps. When you’re happy with the design, leave to dry.
  3. Once your outliner is totally dry, you can start applying colour with your paintbrush. Leave to dry, remove your reference sheet from inside the frame and replace it with a sheet of white paper.

Well, that’s all for today. I hope you’re all having a great week and if you are celebrating Holi, have a wonderful time! Oh and before I forget – I recently got an Instagram account which I am on constantly, so you guys should definitely follow me@artsyteenblog 🙂

 

Henna Tattoo Tutorial

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So ever since I went to Dubai last year, I’ve become slightly obsessed with Henna (or Mehndi). For those of you who don’t know what Henna is, it’s a reddish-brown paste made from the leaves of the Henna plant, which has been used for thousands of years to make hair dye and temporary body art. In some cultures (especially in the Middle East and India), it is common for women to decorate their hands and feet with intricate henna designs during festivals, celebrations and weddings.

Basically, think of it as a tattoo without the commitment.

Obviously I’m in no way a professional henna tattoo artist, so if I can manage to make some simple designs, so can you!

NOTE: Nowadays, henna often contains chemicals. If you have sensitive skin, test a small bit of henna on your skin beforehand to make sure you don’t get an allergic reaction.
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What you need

  • Henna cone
  • tissue paper
  • sheet of card paper / cardboard

 

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  1. Henna dye is usually sold in cone-shaped tubes. To apply it, you simply cut off the tip of the cone and squeeze the paste onto your hand (a bit like piping icing onto a cake) to create a pretty pattern. Before decorating your hand, practice on a piece of paper until you can confidently create simple designs.
  2. If you want you can use my design, or you can try creating your own (google images provides plenty of other amazing examples). Just remember, if you mess up you can’t wipe it off!
  3.  Once you have applied the henna to your hand, leave it to dry. This might take a while, so if you’re impatient like me, wait about 10-15 minutes until most of it is dry, then carefully dab the rest off with some tissue paper.
  4. Once the henna is dry, wash it off with water and you will be left with a (slightly lighter) tattoo on your hand.
  5. The henna tattoo will last about a week, although according to my Mum (who is Indian, by the way), putting lemon juice on your henna will make it last longer.henna design

 

 

#ArtKnowItAll: Pop Art

While on holiday in Germany this summer, I went to a lovely Pop Art exhibition at the Museum Brandhorst in Munich. I thought the colorful, unusual paintings (including a large collection of Andy Warhol’s works) were intriguing. Young, flashy and sometimes just plain bizarre, they inspired me to kick off my #ArtKnowItAll series with the Pop Art movement.

What is Pop Art?

From the mid 1950s to early 1960s, a new form of art emerged in Britain and America reflecting a post World War II world of manufacturing and industrialization. Bold, brash, fun and outrageous, Pop Art took imagery from popular culture and successfully incorporated it into modern art. 

Features

  • Inspired by commercial art and the media, Pop Art uses striking colour contrasts to depict popart 2.jpgidentifiable objects and people. The globalisation of pop music and Hollywood at the time created icons such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe who were often featured in Pop artist’s work.
  • Pop art also reintroduced structure and identifiable images to modern art, which was a huge change from the Abstract Expressionism that had become so popular.
  • New mediums and techniques were also introduced; collages, multimedia and machine-produced art became commonplace. 
  • A new emphasis was placed upon repetition and the mechanization of art, imitating the mass production and consumerist times.

Three Famous Pop Artists

The majority of Pop artists began their careers in commercial art.

Andy Warhol (1928–1987) was a successful commercial illustrator before becoming one of the most famous American artists of his time. Warhol’s art used a variety of media including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. His work was controversial, blurring the lines between fine art and mainstream culture.  In 1962, he exhibited the now-iconic paintings of Campbell’s soup cans which brought both himself and Pop Art national recognition for the first time.

James Rosenquist (born 1933)also one of the protagonists in the pop-art movement,  started his career as a billboard painter.  He later adapted this visual language of advertising to the context of fine art,  taking fragmented, unconventional images and juxtaposing them on canvases to create visual stories.

Another leader of pop art, was american artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)However, his main inspiration was the comic strip. His works often featured thick outlines, bold colors and the unique Ben-Day dot technique (small, closely-knit dots of paint applied to form a larger image) which became so popular.

A Cultural Revolution?

Though Pop Art was a prominent movement in the UK and USA, it was undoubtedly a global phenomenon. Activists, thinkers and artists were “rebelling” against the confinement of what they felt to be a conformist society. Art students believed that what they were being taught at school was unrelated to their lives and current affairs.

And so, Pop Art sought to shatter the division between traditional “high” art and popular culture by celebrating everyday life.

I  hope you enjoyed the first installment in my #ArtKnowItAll series. As promised, I created some artwork inspired by the Pop art movement which you can see above.

Let me know in the comments below which art movement you want me to write about next month!

5 Fun Facts about Halloween

So I’m from Ireland which, if you didn’t know, happens to be the birthplace of Halloween. Originally called Samhain, this ancient festival was created by the Celts some 2000 years ago to mark the beginning of winter (a time often associated with darkness and death). On the night of October 31st, it was believed that ghosts and spirits of the dead would roam the Earth – clearly a cause for celebration. Today, Halloween is still widely celebrated all over Ireland and around the world as well. Halloween’s always been one of my favourite times of the year so I decided to research a few interesting facts about this festival.

1. Turnips were the original Jack-O-Lanterns

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 When I think of Halloween, spooky-faced pumpkins are one of the first things to come to mind. However, you may be interested to know that jack-o-lanterns were in fact originally made from turnips and used to ward of unwanted visitors on All Hallows Eve.  It was only when Irish immigrants came to America, bringing their Halloween traditions with them, that pumpkins, native to the U.S., were found to be perfect for carving. The other day my mum went shopping and the supermarket happened to be out of pumpkins. Luckily there was a sale on turnips, and so Mum brought a few home for us to try to carve. The above photo is of a turnip that I carved myself, pretty scary don’t you think?

2. Door bells frighten ghosts

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Did you know that ringing a bell supposedly scares evil spirits away? If this superstition is true than I can’t believe all I ever got was a couple of chocolate bars every Halloween in exchange for risking my life to rid peoples’ houses of ghosts. And to all the neighbours who only gave me orange or monkey nuts as payment for my sacrifice, that’s just plain selfish.

(Seriously though, am I the only one who’s gotten fruits when trick-or-treating?)

3. Every year a LOT of money is spent on Halloween Sweets

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Halloween candy sales in the USA are estimated at over two billion dollars annually. Two. Billion. Dollars.

I think I’ve made my point.

4. Fear of spiders is one of the top phobias in the world

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OK so I know this isn’t technically a Halloween fact, but let’s be honest – I’ll take zombies and vampires over spiders any day. That’s right, since I was very young I have always been terrified of insects, the eight-legged variety in particular. Why, you ask? I have no idea, but I do know that millions of other people can relate to this fear. In fact, Arachnophobia is one of the top ten phobias around the world, affecting four times as many women than men. At least I’m not the only one.

5. Costumes were originally worn to blend in with the creepy crowd

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The tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween started thousands of years ago. On the night of October 31st, it was believed that the boundary between the worlds of the dead and the living was blurred. This meant that spirits of the dead would cross over into our world. The Celts started disguising themselves to avoid being recognised by the ghosts as human.

Well, that’s all for today! I hope you learnt a few new things about this spooky festival. Have a Happy Halloween!