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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ask StudioMarcy ~ Online Coaching: Kneeling Angel by Mona

Mona Rae Baroody is self taught and lives in Arnold, CA. She describes her style as eclectic- especially with color and shape. Mona loves to do commission work, because it inspires new ideas and learning.

Mona is a member of LEST, ISGB Nor Cal and the Sacramento
Area Beadmakers Group. Her shop on etsy is monaraebeads and her website is

Mona is happy with her concept of a cute, sweet little child praying. She is wearing a handmade, encased goldstone stringer halo and her wings, which Mona believes are upside down, but cute.

Areas that she would like help in include: a. hair with more texture, b. improved closed eyes, c. more realistic facial features...
"her cheeks are just pink dots, her nose is just a raised dot, should she have ears, she doesn't have a mouth." d. realistic body posture,

Honestly, I think she's adorable already. These are just tweaks .
1. Hair with more texture~ You have texture by making it look curly, but if you want to add more, then I'd suggest using cased stringer. Case an opaque in clear or a light transparent, and it will look more like individual strands. To give it more visibility, stripe
your cane with a variety of hair colors first, before adding the transparent and pulling it. I've included a few "strands" on my sample angel, so you can see it.

2. Improved closed eyes~ here's what I'd do. If you look at someone with closed eyes, you'll see that their eyes are recessed in their sockets. I would place a small dot of black where you want the eyelashes to be and then I would take a rounded tool and heat/ push a depression into where you want the eye sockets. So you have depressed black dot which looks more like a concave eyeball. Now you take your base skin color and put a small dot over the black and leaving a small rim of it for the bottom eyelashes. Point your flame over the top rim, and slightly melt just the top in. Voila, a closed eye.

3. More realistic facial features~ Mona, you can add more facial features, but let's chat about it. I'm not sure how large your face is on your bead, but making tiny details is very hard. Here are some simple things that might help...
a. for the mouth- make a depression like a small smile. I use a rounded tool that I got on etsy for a lot of my smiles. Unless you handmix the lip color glass, it's really hard to make it look good, when you're working so small. You can also make murrini for the mouth, if you want it to look really accurate.
b. for the cheeks- I like using pink dots, but you don't have to use them at all. Our cheeks don't look like pink dots. You can depress the sides of the head a slight bit where the cheeks go- more like our cheeks are. Or even add a dot where the apple of our cheeks go. The rounder and fuller, the younger the face looks. Personally, I like fat round cheeks- (slightly autobiographical)
c. for the nose- add tiny nostrils and give your nose a tiny bridge. That will make it look a lot more real
d. for ears- our ears pretty much go between our mouth and eyes. Make a dot where it's supposed to go and slightly melt in. Then reheat it just a bit, and take a small sharp tool and slightly life the ear so it has a center indentation and looks more ear-like.

4. Body position- go to google images and look at what other kneeling angels look like. Print out a few samples and put them near your bench while you're working. You'll notice that our knees extend quite a bit ahead of the rest of our bodies. Adding additional glass in that location would help. To give more definition between the thigh and calf, warm up that area, and use a sharp tool to indent the area more.

I've included a photo of my first try of a kneeling angel bead wearing blue. It shows some of the areas that I was talking about. It's available in my etsy shop,

Thank you Mona. We all look forward to seeing your next angel bead.

Come back tomorrow for a mini tutorial on creativity and taking one bead from everyday, to much more interesting.