Halloween is one of my all time favorite holidays...yes...even at 29, it still is! I love it because it’s a time when I can push the limits on my creativity and imagination. Two years ago, the movie In the Heart of the Sea was released. It’s a movie based on Nathaniel Philbrick's novel about the sinking of a Nantucket whaling ship, the Essex, by a sperm whale. After seeing the movie at Dreamland, I was so inspired that I bought one of those funny pink Vineyard Vines whale hats and painted it to wear on Halloween.
Fast forward to this year when I was under a bit of a time crunch. I only had a couple of days to figure out a “couples" costume that wouldn’t be totally cliché...I really wanted to do something truly artistic! A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox and as I was scrolling through Pinterest for ideas.. a lightbulb went off! This would be a sweet costume to create!
Props were minimal but the painting aspect of the project was going to be an exciting challenge! I drove to Michaels and Party City and purchased:
1. Two White Leg Warmers from Party City
2. Two white masks + two headbands from Michaels
During the past four years, I’ve accumulated many brushes and paints while working with my art students so I had lots to choose from!
The leg warmers were used to create the tails, ears and the masks. First, I cut the leg warmers in pieces to fit the masks. Then I sheared the hair on the masks to create a faux fur look. I hot glued the pieces onto the masks and waited a few minutes for them to dry. I did the same for the ears to fit over the pieces on the headband. Afterwards I put the following acrylic colors on my palette:
(I use professional grade acrylic: Goldens)
Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Titanium White, Quinacridone Yellow, Naphthol Red Light, and Carbon Black.
I used various combinations of these colors to get to a fox like reddish brown color for the masks, ears and tails. I also used a scrubbing technique with my brush to stain the props - it was definitely a delicate process.
Finally...the dress! I poked my head into a few different stores, Target, TJ Maxx...I wasn't having much luck so I went online and googled, "Yellow Dress" and an assortment of dresses popped up on Amazon. There was a plain dress that was similar in style to the dress that Mrs. Fox wears in the film, minus the apple design. No problem I thought...I'll paint the apples on myself! And that’s what I did.
We celebrated Halloween on Beacon Hill in Boston and what an exciting evening it was! We enjoyed seeing so many wonderful costumes and happy trick or treaters. We will definitely plan to return next year!