I was reading some figure carving techniques in Al Stohlman’s “Figure Carving Finesse” book, and I took interest in his section on snake scales. Now, I’m not particularly fond of snakes, however the technique for creating the texture was intriguing. It starts with a series of criss crossing sine waves, and textured using a pointed beveler (I used F909). I carved a small collar, and it ended up lying around for a few weeks because I didn’t know how to colour it. Rattlesnake scales pattern? Either the scales would have to be tiny or I’d have to get a better airbrush to paint it smoothly.
A while later I remembered a book I read in kindergarden about a “Rainbow Fish” who was much more beautiful than all the other fish due to his iridescent scales. Perfect! Now, how to recreate that beautiful effect on leather? There aren’t many good iridescent paints available for purchase, so I ended up making my own. I started with the antique, mixing tan kote, blue spirit dye, and a small dollop of Fiebing’s black antique finish. This provided an excellent base on which to paint the scales.
For the iridescence? Believe it or not, I used makeup. Yup, I kid you not. I have a variety of bright shimmers and glitters that I’ve never used and have been sitting in my drawer for years. I bought them because I thought they were gorgeous, but I rarely wear makeup, and when I do, it’s only subdued, natural tones. I mixed them with Super Shene and voila! Instant iridescent paint in any colour I could dream of!
I finished with two generous coats of Zelikovitz Satin Top Coat to help seal the shimmer and glitter into the Rainbow Fish leather dog collar.
Makeup! What an excellent idea! I have some bowling shoes, Dexter SST5 Chameleon, that the paint has been chipping off of. I’ve been looking for some way to redo them and I’m going to try your idea! Thank you!