Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Clown That Never Was

Sometimes things don't turn out like you expect them to.

For example, sometimes you sit down to watercolor a beautiful vintage Santa image and you end up having the living daylights scared out of you by a Google image search for "French clowns." True story.

This Santa image is super detailed and sketchy. I had a rougher textured hot press than my normal Fabriano - (I love the size of this block - 5x7 because I can get two cards out of that if I'm painting small images) so I stamped him 3 times with my Mini MISTI in black, knowing that I was going to stamp him again after I painted. Some watercolors have opaque pigments in them - like the peachy one I used for his face - and if you don't overstamp, the lines of the image will look dull when you're done. So I left the stamp set up on my mini MISTI while I painted so that I could just pop it back in, stamp a few more times and crisp it up after it was dry.

Then I started painting, trying to be careful around the details, not putting too much color on anything but his coat.

And then I saw it.

If you were watching a horror movie of this scene, you'd be screaming at the screen right now.

I noticed that hanging from the left side of Santa's belt was....

a French clown

Specifically a Pierrot-ish creature. 

Because I was immersed in my audio book, without thinking, because I couldn't remember hideous little Pierrot's name from my childhood, I grabbed my phone and Googled "French clown," in an attempt to color the little monster accurately.

and then I clicked "images".

never, ever, Google image search French clowns.

Trust me on this. You're welcome. I am typing this from deep inside the Institute for PTSD, just FYI.

After I regained consciousness and changed my drawers, I decided just not to color that part at all. And honestly you don't even notice that there's a little face eating clown there at all with the detailed image and the watercolor paper. Except that now you know. So in essence, this could be a Halloween OR a Christmas card, you choose.
Father Christmas Watercolor by Understand Blue

Links to supplies

Anyway, I really do love the vintage Father Christmas who is about to have his face eaten off. He's so innocent and sweet. And doomed.

I stuck him back in the MISTI and overstamped a few more times to get the most out of the image. Then I paired it with a sweet sentiment from Forever Evergreen. This is a 4 Bar Card (3 1/2" x 4 7/8"), so that gives you an idea of the size of the image. It's pretty tall. This card is actually a sample for one of our Falliday Fest challenges - I hope you'll join us!

Anyway - speaking of the Mini MISTI - we did a review of it at Splitcoast today, and in conjunction with the review - there's a coupon code! Use code SCSKIND to not only get a 15% discount, but she is also donating a portion of the proceeds from the coupon code sales to the Kind Campaign - an anti-bullying organization. Click here to use the code on anything in her store!

The coupon is good through the 15th. Go forth, without searching for clowns, and shop.

Don't search those clowns.




  1. I would have just colored him in red like the know blood red like the IT clown...eek! Love ya, what's that behind ya? ~Di(no e)

  2. You are hilarious! I took your word for it and did not google French clowns. Diana is funny above too.....what's behind ya! Boo! Love your work, love your blog, your youtube, etc. You are very talented. Take care!

  3. So of course I had to google French Clowns. OMG no wonder a lot of people dislike clowns! On another subject, I'm wondering how you like the Schmincke watercolors?

  4. Gah! Good choice, not the paint him. Terrifying creature however, this Santa is beautiful and perfectly painted.

  5. I've always been scared of clowns...had no idea the French ones were extra scary! And that little creature hanging from dear Santa's belt does look maniacal! Poor Santa! Eeeek!!

  6. it is harder to keep an eye on the clown when he/it isn´t colored! :O


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