Saturday, April 14, 2018

Gardening at Night by Betsy Skagen

 Spring has arrived and gardens are blooming. But beware those cute little garden gnomes...for at night they turn the garden into a place where evil resides.
Under the cloak of night  these gnomes cast wicked magic upon your garden. Innocuous plants turn into man-eating beasts while the gnomes themselves cart body parts from nearby cemeteries into their gardens. What they do with them, one can only imagine...and shudder.
I had such fun making the "Gardening at Night" scene (which by the way gives a subtle nod to R.E.M., my all-time favorite band). It all began when I assembled the 7 x 7 Corner Room Box and painted it with gesso. I gave it a base coat of green paint and then began adding different layers.

Slowly I added layers of several greens, as well as yellow, brown and black acrylic paint-- to create a lush plant background. I used a heat gun to dry between each layer so as not to muddy the colors.

Next, I assembled the Planter Box with Trellis and Little Birdhouse. I painted the trellis with a mixture of yellow and white acrylic paints and painted the birdhouse sky blue. 

I then inked the edges of the trellis and birdhouse with brown ink and a blending tool to give them an aged appearance.  
After placing florist's foam inside the planter, I inserted the carnivorous plants that I made from clay.  I also added black paint to plastic greenery, dried moss and miniature flowers and added those to the trellis.
Finally, I painted  a miniature bird with black paint and added it and the birdhouse to the trellis.
To make the wheelbarrow, I first assembled it all but the axle and wheels and painted it green. I then painted the axle green, the wheels brown and completed the assembly. 
Next, I cut apart a small plastic skeleton  and shortened the rib cage and limbs to create a more gnome-like shape. I then reassembled the skeleton using a strong adhesive.
Scraps of blue striped fabric made the perfect pants and I quickly turned a red circle of felt into a hat.
I painted doll limbs with brown paint make them appear dirty and cut a rusty miniature snow shovel into the shape of a spade. After piling the wheelbarrow dried greens, I added the limbs, spade and mushrooms. 
It is the little details that really make the scene.

I aged miniature pots by smudging white paint with my fingers and painting moss with white paint before gluing it to the pots. 

On the base of the Room Box I created a curved pathway with black stones and surrounded it with green moss. I also added plants to the walls of the Room Box. 

Next, I created an entrance to the garden from tree branches from our yard. Sometimes I soak the branches to make them more pliable, but these were bendy enough that I was able to just use wire and hot glue to create the archway. 

I secured the archway in place by punching holes in the Room Box and securing the branches with wire on the back side.
To finish "Gardeing at Night" I glued everything in place and added additional details such as a gnome holding a skull, rope ladder, mushrooms and creepy trees.  
Thank you for stopping by the Gypsy Soul blog. I hope this tutorial inspires you to make your own Night Garden. Remember to keep an eye out for those wicked gnomes! -Betsy

Great Stuff

Wheelbarrow 1:12
Planter Box with Trellis
Little Birdhouse
Garden gnome
Rope ladder
Rusty shovel
Plastic greenery
Artificial flowers
Miniature trees
Florist's foam
Doll parts
Miniature bird
Polymer clay
Wooden dowel
White cardstock
Acrylic paint
Red felt
Cotton ball
Tree branches and twigs
Brown ink
Beacon Fabri-Tac
Beacon 3-in-1
Hot glue gun

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