By Prudy Vannier
Irishmen have played their drums called bodhrans. They are played
with a single drum stick called a tipper. A bodhran is covered with
animal skin which we simulate with a faux (“fake”) finish
technique. It is held in place with a wood belt which we will also
paint. We’ll add traditional Celtic patterns on the sides. Celtic
patterns are well known for their intricate weaving and repeating
Painting lessons: Faux leather
technique, wood graining technique, dip dots, repeating patterns
lidded, round paper mache` box
- 2- 1”
wood knobs (Walnut Hollow)
dowel to fit in knobs
Americana® Acrylic Paint: Buttermilk DA003, Fawn DA, Ebony
Black DA67, Marigold DA194, Burnt Umber DA064, Hauser Light Green
DA131, Honey Brown DA163
Brush’n Blend™ Extender
or chalk pencil
DuraClear Satin Varnish
Brushes: fan brush, #6 flat, 1” flat, #3 round
- Paint supplies:
water basin, paper towel, Royal® palette paper
1. Use the 1” flat to basecoat the top
of the lid with Buttermilk, the side of the lid with Honey
Brown, and the side of the box with Ebony Black.
2. On your palette mix Fawn with extender. Use the 1”
flat brush to paint it over the dry Buttermilk lid. Quickly
crinkle the plastic and lay it on the wet paint. Lift to get
a wrinkly leather effect.
3. Thin Burnt Umber on your palette with water. Load the fan
brush and drag the tips over the Honey Brown edges to make
a wood grain. When dry, Use the big brush’s handle to
dip into Marigold and paint the gold tacks abut 1 1/2”
apart on the wood grain.
4. Put the lid on the box and draw a chalk line on the box.
Repeat on the bottom of the box – put the lid on the
bottom and draw a line around the box. This will be your guide
for positioning the painted Celtic design.
5. Use the soapstone to mark 8 equal slashes around the box
within the space you marked. Use these as guides to paint
a curved stripe with Marigold with the #6 flat.
6. Repeat with Honey Brown, painting the stripe so that it
weaves under and over the Marigold one.
7. Use the round brush to paint repeating designs in the stripes.
I put curved lines in the Marigold one and dots in the Honey
8. Use the end of the big brush to make Hauser Light Green
dots for shamrock leaves. Use the tip of the round brush to
paint the stem.
9. To finish, varnish all pieces and glue the lid to the bottom
of the box so that the back is open. This is how bodhrans
are constructed. Glue the wood balls to the ends of the dowel
to make the tipper (drum stick). The drum is played by holding
it up in the left hand, while the right hand holds the tipper
in the middle like a pencil. Twirl it slightly so that both
ends hit the drum head.
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