Jeweled Dragon Décolletage Necklace
Who wants to spend hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on real jewelry when you can just paint it on!? Here is a step-by-step tutorial of how I created this Silver Jeweled Dragon Décolletage necklace.
Begin by laying out the basic shape of the design in Paradise Silver using a #4 Round brush. Try to make sure that the design is proportionate to the space you’re working with, and balanced.
Begin to add shading onto the dragon using Paradise Black and a Paint Pal Filbert brush to give it dimension and make it look 3D. Paradise Black blends beautifully with other paints, so this is the ideal paint to use when trying to create shading. Keep in mind where the light source is coming from so you know where the shadows might fall. Use the wide edge of the Filbert Brush for larger areas and shadows, and the thin edge to lightly outline the edges of the dragon.
Now to begin with the sapphire jewel. Using a reference photo is very helpful at this point, as the shapes and hue variations are very abstract and not as symmetrical as you might expect. There are triangles, irregular hexagons, pentagons and some wavy shapes as well. Using several different shades of blue, sometimes mixing them with white to lighten them, I created the angular shapes of the jewel. I used several Mark Reid #2 brushes (one for each color) for this intricate work because the points on these brushes are very precise.
The jewel is the most time consuming part of the design, as it takes many layers of paint to emulate a real sapphire jewel. There are variations in hue even within some of the surface shapes, the shadows and reflections deep within the stone, so try to look past the top layer of the jewel. Outline the heart jewel with Global Strong Black, and use Paradise Black to add shading to the outer edges of the stone where it is encased in the silver heart.
Continuing with a Mark Reid #2 Round Brush and Global Strong Black, outline the entire design using very thing lines. Create the texture and depth of the dragon’s skin, scales, and wings. Using Paradise Black to add softer lines and shading, and Global Strong Black for the precise stark line work.
To give the whole design a 3-Dimensional look, use Mehron Black StarBlend Cake makeup and a Paint Pal Filbert Brush to add shadows around and below your design. Having the shadows fall a little offset from the design will make it like it’s literally resting on the skin and could be picked up! Try to have the darkest part of the shadow closest to the design, allowing it to lighten as it gets farther away. Once your design is finished, spray it lightly with a fixing spray to set the design and make it last. After painting this design, I didn't want to wash it off, and the fixing spray helped it last for almost 24 hours with only minimal smudging, even through a night's sleep!
I truly enjoy creating realistic looking jewelry paintings and hope this tutorial has been helpful! If you decide to try a design using my tips, please tag me and let me know if it helped you! Happy Painting!
Natalia Malley is the owner and lead artist of Peace Love and Paint LLC in the Washington DC metro area. She has been face painting for about 10 years, has won numerous face painting competitions and has been published in several face and body art magazines including SkinMarkz Magazine, The Colored Palette, QMagazine, FABAIC Magazine and Silly Farm Newsletter.