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DESIGN DIARY: December’s Mask Part 1

Ah Lady of December!  She was the painting that started it all.  Back then, however, I hadn’t started making masks to match each Lady yet.  Now that I’ve decided to challenge myself with this multimedia element, it’s time to revisit December’s themes as a mask!  

The birthstone of December is Turquoise and the flower is the white narcissus.  I’ve actually done prior research into the structure of this flower for the Advent Angel piece created for my Spirits of Winter series, who was actually the prototype birthstone image I did before I switched to the Ladies of the Months’ rectangular format instead.

Mood Board

The funny thing about white narcissus is that they share a lot in common structurally with daffodils, being a variant of a similar plant, so I had some warm up with this flower already thanks to March’s mask and the aforementioned Advent Angel.  I love the way the corona of petals overlap to give this flower its unique shape!  I decided to go with the more rounded star-shaped for this mask, since I like the simplicity of it, which is much easier to carve.


I was actually pretty happy with my first try at this design.  The flowers have elegant sweeping stem structures that fill up the space nicely with the bunches of blooms in the middle, crowning the mask in a balanced way.

Process Shots

Here are some shots of the mask during the tooling phase and after it was baked and hardened.  I’ve tried something different with the tooling for this flower by adding many thin lines in the petals with a stylus to give it a delicate textured feel.  This is actually the same technique I’ve used to add texture to butterfly wings in leather.

I have an ambitious idea for the painting part, but I’m not sure how it’ll turn out, as the method is experimental.  Will all my hard work be for naught?  Find out in the next Design Diary!

This has been your special Patreon-only sneak peek!
Thanks for your support!



May’s mask marks a shift from the previous masks, which have been a lot more colorful.  With the birthstone being Emerald and the stems being green, it was going to be an interesting challenge!

Reference Gathering:

I gather my references on Pinterest where I find multiple views of the flower from the side and front. I also wanted to find reference of the bright colored seeds, which I knew would add a burst of color to this monochromatic mask.  Flower Note: All parts of the Lily of the Valley are extremely poisonous!



I tried out a couple of layout variations and decided I liked the more symmetrical one so I could show different angles of the blooms for more visual interest throughout the mask.



Here are a few peeks at the mask in progress!  By the end, I decided on a dark green to help set off the bright green stems and white blossoms, which resulted in a much darker mask than usual.  I brought a little subtle shine back to the mask by adding a few tiny rhinestones in key places.  In the end, I think this mask is one of the most elegant masks yet!



More shots of the finished mask to come with the final release!  Want to reserve one of these limited edition masks for yourself?  You can do so via the Mask Collector Reward tier on Patreon.

I hope you enjoyed your Patreon-only sneak peek!  A download of this Design Diary along with a materials list will be included as one of the Digital Collector ($5+) Rewards once the Lady of May set is released.

Thank you for your support!

Ladies of the Months Now on Patreon!

I’m pleased to announce the arrival of the Ladies of the Months to Patreon!

Some of you might remember this lovely set of  Art Nouveau portraits personifying January and December from my display at DragonCon.

Now, you can join me directly on this journey of creating the rest of the Ladies in the series by Pledging on Patreon!
(Current Patrons, see this Rewards comparison to familiarize yourself with my new Patreon structure.)

Your Pledges will help to make this series the best it can be by allowing me to upgrade my paints, hire models, etc., things which I could not do on my own limited budget.

Pledge today to access the Lady of January Patreon Rewards including:
  • Patreon-only sneak peeks of each upcoming Lady in the series!
  • Patreon-only exclusive 10×20 inch Giclee hand accented with metal leaf!
  • The ability to pre-order each Lady so she will be sent to you as soon as she arrives!
  • Wallpapers of the Ladies for your desktop computer & devices.
  • Process videos of each painting!
  • Plus much more!
Watch my video introducing this art series and how Patreon works for more info.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions!