In this blog post I’m going to show you how to make your own unicorn 3D picture like artist Purple Faye’s (me) original 3D acrylic painting, the rectangle version, using the ‘Make Your Own Unicorn 3D Picture Kit’ by Yorkshire artist Purple Faye
First, you need to buy the kit here
Your kit contains step-by-step instructions to talk you through the cardboard and modroc stages of making your Unicorn 3D picture. However, as the kits don’t contain paints I don’t go into any detail as to how you might like to paint it. You can enjoy making it up for yourself but just in case you’d like some guidance here’s how I made the original 3D acrylic painting that the kits are based on.
Using the template I created I started by cutting it out and drawing round it onto the cardboard. I then cut the head/mane off of the template and used this to cut out another cardboard shape. To finish the cardboard stage I cut out the eye and placed all the cardboard cut out shapes onto the blank canvas, stuck them down with PVA/craft glue and left them to dry. It is this stage that makes them really 3D but because it’s cardboard it isn’t as heavy as people think it will be when they think it’s solid plaster being used.
The next stage was to apply the modroc (bandages with plaster of Paris in them) over the cardboard layers. I did this by getting my piece of modroc and cutting it to the rough shape of what I needed, keeping in mind that it shrinks when wet so it’d need to be a bit bigger plus have some overlap to go round the edges too. I cut it when it’s dry as it’s easier to cut when it’s dry rather than wet. Plus once it gets wet that’s it you have to use it, so if you don’t need to use it all then you can’t save any offcuts for later.
I wet the modroc by filling a container (an old Tupperware dish) with cold water (using cold water slows down the setting time so you have longer to use it, warm water speeds it up) and a squirt of PVA/craft glue then dunking each piece of cut out modroc separately to try and reduce the amount of scrunching up in the water. When removing the modroc from the water I try to wring out as much water as I can without distorting the shape too much. I then place it on top of the cardboard and start to smooth it out so it covers all the area that I need it to.
Once it’s all covered, including the sides where it meets the canvas, I then use extra bits on top of the hair/mane and tail to give it more texture. I did this by scrunching/ruffling it up and using my thumbnail, once it started to set, to gently score some lines into it too. You could also try cutting strips, wetting them and rolling them into sausages then placing them on top. To give a kind of dreadlocks appearance.
When the modroc is setting and still wet it looks a lightish grey colour and gets more white the drier it gets. I try to leave mine overnight at least to make sure it’s fully dry, it dries faster the warmer it is so if you wanted to speed up the process you can use a hairdryer on it.
Once it’s dry I give mine a quick sand with some fine sandpaper, just to get rid of any rough bits, then I start to paint it with acrylic paints. You can use whatever paints you have available though. For this one I only used white, shiny purple, gold, blue and black.
I started by painting the whole of the unicorn white, once as the base coat to seal the modroc and then another top coat to make sure it was fully covered. Next I painted the horn gold and the hair/mane and tail in the shiny purple, I mixed a light grey with the black and white to add some shading details to the legs, head and horn. I used the black to add the details on the face (eyes, nose and mouth) then I finished it off by mixing a light blue and painting the canvas background with it.
So now you know how to make your own unicorn 3D picture like artist Purple Faye’s (me) original 3D acrylic painting, the rectangle version, using the ‘Make Your Own Unicorn 3D Picture Kit’ by Yorkshire artist Purple Faye
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