Rockabilly Dia de los Muertos

Fall is coming. That means Day of the Dead is right around the corner. I can feel it in my bones. Sure, it’s still a toasty 95 degrees here in Southern California, but every cell in my body knows that the Fall, and all of the amazing festivities that come with it (like Day of the Dead), are on the way.

Did I mention how super excited I am for Day of the Dead this year? Oh yeeeeh. Guess I did.

The cool, crisp weather. Scarves. Pumpkin lattes. Soup. Homemade bread. Oh and…

Sugar skulls.
Papel picado.
Calavera Frida Kahlo.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery on October 27th.
Face painting.
Los danzantes.
Pan de muerto.
La catrina y el catrin.
Life and death.


In readiness for this special day that comes once a year on November 2nd, I decided to create a tiny painting as a gift for a very dear cousin of mine. She is going to be married next year, and we recently celebrated her engagement. It felt good to breathe life into my sugar skulls again. It was like, hello old friends.

I dug into a pile of wood scraps that I have for such occasions. I had my son sand it down so it was smooth, then I applied an even coat of primer. Then I lightly sketched my design. I knew I wanted a simple portrait with a heart somewhere.

My cousin is really into leopard print. Must run in the family.

Awww, young love.

I used Nova Color Paint and Sharpie paint pens to work all the little details. I used to think this was cheating, but it just makes common sense to me now. I know I can work those little details with paint and brush and it would look fab but really, why? I can create the same effects with a paint pen in half the time. Paint pens for the win. Especially in black, since I like to add black outlines in my work. I sealed the piece with a coat of glossy Mod Podge and then popped it into a small frame which I had blasted with Krylon spray paint in red.

And now I’m off to plan some cool and uh-mazing stuff for Dia de los Muertos. Peace and love.

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