Sugar Skulls Monthly Challenge

The Day of the Dead or locally known as Dia de los Muertos in Mexico is a holiday celebrated on November 1. This holiday s a celebration of life and death.During this time, families put up altars and other decorations to remember their loved ones who already passed on. It is traditionally known that on November 1 the souls of the deceased children come down from heaven to reunite with their families and the souls of adults come visit on the day after, November 2.

One of the traditional decorations shown during Dia de los Muertos is the sugar skull or calavera

Last October, we wanted to give face painters a chance to showcase and share their skills through their best Sugar Skull design. One design had the amazing opportunity of winning our contest. 

In this article, we will meet and know more about our Sugar Skull contest winner - Melissa Gardner or Nia Jean Artworks.

The Purple Calavera

Last week my Mom called me with sadness in her voice, I could picture tears in her eyes. She told me “I miss my Mom, Lissa” a simple sentence made my mom sound like a child in all the humble ways. I realized our family is still deeply hurt by the passing of my Grandma. This Dia De Los Muertos I will do my best to remember her and her spirit so it can live on in our hearts. My Grandmas favorite color was purple and she loved her jewelry so much. This piece I painted for her. Te quiero mucho abuela. Till we meet again. 

This is what Melissa put on her entries caption. Art is a representation of one's feelings and creativity. In this design, you can see Melissa's passion as well as her attention to every detail. Every line, every gem, contains her feelings for her mom and grandmother. Her technique and style deserves a lot of praise.

Her inspiration for the design is Mimi Choi and her mask optical illusion. She used Cameleon Base White applied with a sponge, Black Cameleon with size 0 brush. Mehron Paradise Purple paint using size 0, filbert brush.

About the Artist

Melissa Gardner has been a face painter for two years and been a professional face painter for one year. You can find her in her social media pages : 


Instagram :

Here are some of her designs : 


Here are the entries we got in our Sugar Skull Contest :