I haven’t been blogging much recently as I’m working secretly on some commissions for Christmas.  These I will share with you after Christmas.
I had a demo evening last week during which I painted Brocci my miniature dachshund.  It was a very loose and quickly worked portrait of 8″x8″ and I left it loose after tweaking it a little the following morning.
I had a box frame in mind for this piece as I’ve been wanting to try and make something ‘steampunk’ style for a while now.  So I decided to make a beetle to add a bit of 3D interest to this piece.


The finished piece framed with my steampunk beetle


The finished piece 8″x8″ pastel on velour.
Because this was a demo I didn’t stop to take progress shots.
So instead I took some progress shots when I remembered
while making the beetle sculpture.
All the materials to make him were found around the house.
A walnut, 2 old watches,


The beginnings of my beetle wings.  This is a walnut
which I sanded smooth on the outside before cutting
it in half and drawing on the wing shapes.


At this stage I’ve cut the wings out with this cool
wee tool I got from Lidl.  It also has lots of attachments
for sanding the edges smooth.


Barry M nail varnish creates the sheen.  I wanted a metallic
finish as a lot of exotic beetles are bright and metallic in appearance.
I also like Barry M as they are an animal cruelty free cosmetic product. 🙂


The body is the inside of an old wrist watch.  I love using watches
and the tiny parts inside!  I used Super Sculpey a type of modelling
clay to back the watch and create the head.  I’ve then coated the
head in a deep purple varnish which has created a shiny dark


Strengthened and decorated with more cogs
from another watch the head taking shape.
I’m very sore on watches!



The finished beetle.  I used very firm wire
varnished to match the head for his legs.
I don’t know if you can see it in the photos
but he wears a little collar made out of
the watch hands.  There was nothing too difficult
about making him but it was very fiddly and I kept
superglueing myself to things.
But he is pretty hardy and ready to be glued into
place in the frame.

Hope you like the finished piece at the top.  It wasn’t exactly a pastel blog post but I enjoyed working on something a little different.  The finished piece is available.  I will have it at Victoria Square Sunday Fair if you’d like to see it in person 🙂