Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Every Fallout Shelter Needs Craft Supplies

Kelli Nina here, with a different take on this month's theme of "SHELTER" and a note about a free tutorial and giveway at the end of this post.  

We have an atomic ranch theme for our home decor--the product of two cold-war babies with a fascination for all things nuclear. We often talk about backyard shelters and whether it would be wise to be prepared for anything. "Take Shelter" is one of our favorite movies; gives me gooseflesh every time I see it! These old signs alerting citizens to the existence of a safe haven underground strike my fancy. I love the simple, universal symbol and decided to play with it. 

My goal was to take these four images and try to age them each in different ways. I was going for a grunge effect--weathered and rusted. Here's how I got there.

I began by drawing four signs, which I sketched with black ink, then filled in with watercolors.

Sign 1 was altered with a wash of gray to deaden the color, then washes and splashes of red and orange to simulate rust. Finally, some specks of blue splattered across the page.

Sign 2 was altered with a series of drips. I got the paper very wet and kept adding black paint until it ran.

Sign 3 was altered with orange, brown and yellow paint washed across the surface and then sprinkled with rock salt. I let the painting dry and then brushed off the salt, creating a mottled and rusty texture.

Sign 4 was altered with a profusion of colorful splatters. I can't resist a little color here and there. I just dipped a brush in water and then paint and tapped it against my finger to release its little gems. For the larger splashes I used a slightly larger paintbrush.
I finished them all with a smidge of text collage applied with a glue stick and then overpainted with some black watercolor. Everyone wants to know how I stitch on my sketchbook paintings...check it out! Exactly thusly. Free motion foot and off we go! 

On a more cheery note...I'm having a giveway in celebration of Art Camp for Women! If you need some craft supplies to stock your own fallout shelter, hop on over to my blog, where I'm drawing for some stitchpaper and mini doodle charm kits replete with Sharpies and Shrinky Dinks (there's a free tutorial, hint, hint). You've got until August 23 to get in on the drawing. Who can think about fallout when there are charms to be made? There's a craft storm coming! 


  1. Oh, WOW!

    I want to make these so badly.

    Love your work, passionately!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I love that you love my work passionately. So awesome! I feel pretty attached to it. When we make art, it's a labor of love.

  3. I grew up in the Australian countryside and we didn't Know about fallout shelters as kids.But I worked in the 1990's with a Dr who built his own nuc fallout shelter,he was considered an odd bod.
    Not sure if you have looked at the flickr site but my shelter theme was based on shelter during times of chaos and war.It came about because of a chance mentioning of a fallout shelter on TV the night before I got the theme for August.And then thought about other types of shelter used from the stone age till now.I had to laugh because I had no idea what a modern fallout shelter looks like.
    And the other joke was I bought a 1950ish book,to use as my altered sketchbook for the challenge, and it had a chapter on building fallout shelters and nuc warfare.

  4. That's neat Faye. I knew I could not be the only one not thinking about fuzzy puppies and bluebird nests, lol. Shelter means survival to me and it's precious. At first I thought you'd said you worked with Dr. Who. LOLOLOLOL>

  5. Fabulous! Thanks. And gorgeous work.

  6. Awesome, you always inspire me!


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