A Simple Spirit Bear Gourd

Today I finally got started on a dog portrait that needs to be done by Wednesday.  It was a bit of a late start, but I’ll still be able to have it ready on time.  The portrait is of  “Cody,” a shih tzu, and I’m working in oils.  So far so good, but I didn’t take any photos today, so my comments are on this gourd I made back in November.  I had it at the Holiday Market but it didn’t sell, so it went on my website’s Bear Page which “went live” earlier this week.

This is the simplest gourd I’ve done so far, but I’m happy with it.  It’s small – about 6 1/2″ in diameter, but a very nicely shaped gourd with a smooth unblemished skin.  With such a pretty gourd, I wanted its color and subtle mottling to show, so just brushed the upper half with interference violet, and it’s a very pretty but subtle effect.  Over the interference paint, I brushed Celtic spirals and runes (a little mixed symbology there) then added a few triple dots, just because.  I used both Antique Gold and Antique Bronze metallic acrylic paints from Daniel Smith’s “luminescent” series.  These are great paints – sumptuous colors with an elegant shine, giving great coverage with one coat.

The little bear on the top is sculpted from polymer clay and brushed with mica powders.  And he has glass eyes.  These bears are so much fun to make and I have found several uses for them – pendants, totems, and now embellishing gourds.  I think it would be fun to make some sort of cut-away gourd with a bear scene inside.  (I’ll have to remember that idea.)

The beads are the finishing touch.  Moonstone is one of my absolute favorites, and the amethyst echoes the violet in the interference paint.  It always amazes me how reasonably priced these semi-precious gemstones can be.  Of course price reflects quality, but I think this quality is perfectly fine for this purpose.


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