How to turn an eggshell into Cloud Strife.

Originally made for Tobirion. :3

You Will Need:

*Poster paints or acrylic paints.
*Cup of water (for your paint)
*An egg (be awesome and get an organic one if you can!)
*A small plate (for mixing your paint on)
*A medium sized brush – soft bristles
*Japanese calligraphy brush – fine bristles ((if you don’t have one I can show you
very easily how to make one – go to the bottom of the page to read how))
*Newspaper/art mat/something to put your messy work on
*An eggcup
*A hairdryer
*A needle and bowl/jug
*Lots of breath!

Step 1
Blowing your egg

First thing’s first. You need to hollow out your egg. Insert a long needle into the large end of the egg to make a small hole. Twist the needle as you push it into the eggshell as far as you can while still grasping it. When you pierce the shell, gently wiggle it around to make a reasonable sized hole. Have patience, this will take a bit of time. If you try to rush you will probably end up cracking the eggshell.

Then, use the needle to make a slightly larger hole in the small end. Wiggle the needle around. You are trying to break the yolk.

Now we’ve got our holey egg hold it over a jug or bowl. Place your lips over the large end of the egg and blow firmly until all the egg comes out. This made me so light headed! My brother and I took it in turns because again, this will take a while depending on how big you managed to make the hole at the small end of the egg.

When you have blown out all the filling (later to turn into an omelette or something yummy) hold the egg under a running tap and fill it with water. Blowing out water is a lot easier, I promise. Do this two or three times – you don’t want a stinky eggshell!

And then the dull bit. Leave it in its eggcup on a windowsill or somewhere safe to dry out. In the meantime, you could make your ‘Japanese calligraphy brush’! (See bottom of this post)

Step 2
Undercoating Cloud

Your egg is dry, hooray! Time to paint it.

If you are using an organic egg, its probably brown. If not, its probably covered in speckles, right? Depending on your preference, whether you like your Cloud tanned or freckly (or with a bar code on his cheek), depends on if you want to do this step: getting Cloud’s skin tone.

Mix two small blobs of brown paint – about half the size of your thumbnail – onto your mixing plate. Add a blob twice the size of white paint and a dash of yellow. Swirl them up together and you should end up with something that looks like this: (please excuse the bad photography!)

Take up your soft bristled, medium paint brush and, in the other hand, hold the eggshell at the top and bottom – between thumb and forefinger. Begin painting the first layer of ‘skin’. Before you start this, have your hairdryer ready to switch on and within reach. The first layer won’t look like much but you will have to dry it before applying a second and third coat. Once you’ve applied the first layer of ‘skin’, you can now set the eggshell into its cup and paint it half and half, i.e. paint the large end of the eggshell, dry it, turn it upside down and paint the small end; cont. Do this as many times as is necessary.

Don’t be afraid to get your fingertips messy!

Step 3
Them Shinin’ Locks

Time for Cloud’s hair. With a pencil, very lightly sketch some spikey hair onto the small end of the eggshell. Make sure one side covers his forehead and then lengthens at the back of his head. You’ll have to estimate how wide Cloud’s face should be. I would roughly say no bigger than a teaspoon.

Now, I don’t tend to clean my brush too often or wash my palette when using paints of a similar colour. It’s up to you if you chose to mix-up Cloud’s hair colour this way as well.

To the left over paint you used for Cloud’s skin-tone add a healthy dollop of yellow. Mix it up with your brush and add a few drops of white paint. Keep adding white paint until you have achieved a pale, straw-like yellow. It should look something like this:

Now, with your medium brush, carefully paint on the first layer of Cloud’s hair and hair-dry it. Don’t worry about how pale or blocky it looks after one coating. Add one or two more layers of yellow paint.

To make the hair appear textured add streaks of white and even-paler-yellow. Think about how Cloud’s hair might fall around his face from the crown of his head. I added a drop of orange to my yellow palette to use for darker tones.

Step 4
Infantry Scarf

Where would Cloud be without his green Crisis Core scarf? 

Wash your plate, then mix together green and white paint until you have a peppermint-green shade. In pencil, I lightly marked on the edge of the scarf so I could get a reasonably level neck-line.

Paint a base-coat of green onto the bigger end of the eggshell. When that’s dry, add another layer if you think you need to.

Time to add texture. Add a few drops of white to your green palette and – with delicate, horizontal strokes – blend in the lighter shade of green to Cloud’s scarf. This, with a bit of concentration, should create the appearance of folds of cloth.

Step 5
The Face

Take your pencil and sketch on Cloud’s face. It’s up to you what his expression should be, so don’t feel that you have to copy mine – although you are more than welcome to. When you have sketched on your guide lines, you may want to wash your plate again.

The three colours you need are: black, blue and white – make sure none of them touch each other on the plate and that your brush is clean.

With your ‘Japanese calligraphy brush’ (see bottom of this post on how to make one), dip the tip into the black paint. Carefully trace the lines you have drawn for Cloud’s eyes, nose and mouth. Do not press hard. If you do, the brush will scratch and the confident black-lines you are aiming for will not happen.

When dry, using the now clean J-brush (I wipe it with kitchen-paper to help clean it and get rid of excess water), paint his irises blue. Thoroughly clean the brush again and fill in the whites of Cloud’s eyes, which may need a few layers. I also added a white dot between the pupil and iris to create that “anime-shine” effect.

Finally, if you want, mix up a small amount of red and white to create a rosy-pink. Draw small circles with the J-brush onto his cheeks to add extra cuteness – if you like that kind of Cloud!

And volla! You now have Cloud Strife the eggshell. Enjoy~

How to make a “Japanese Calligraphy Brush”

Take a paint brush with few bristles and glue them together to create a fine point. Leave it to dry.
Ta-da! As easy as that.

I LIIIIIIIIVE! (This is Sparta)

I have officially survived and completed my first year at university. Wow. I didn’t expect it to feel this anticlimactic. They really shouldn’t organise for five deadlines to be in the same week. I haven’t slept, by the way. I’ve just done an all night-er in order to complete my last (and worst) essay of the year. This is my ‘couldn’t give a shit’ face. Look at it.

 What have I discovered from this year of intellectual stimulation, stress and piss ups? Firstly, I am a worse procrastinator than Mitch. As much as Mitch would like to claim the title, it’s true. Most of my essays are written in a week or three days before the deadline (OK, so some people write their essays in a day, but can the result of that always be called a ‘good essay’? I know what I just produced within the space of 9 hours is not). It’s not fun but I know I’ll continue to work this way. I’ve discovered an excellent technique for finding quotes without actually reading the books, by the way (only to be used on essays you really don’t care about). You take your book, which you know is of a relevant topic, you open your book at a random page and seven times out of ten, you’ll have a quote you can use in some shape or form. Ta-da! I’m not shitting you. It works wonders. Just make sure you have books reasonably close to the topic you’re discussing. Ninja, if you’re reading this, don’t kill me.

 Secondly, I’m a massive steampunk dork. I find this ironic as I was never much interested in Victorian aesthetics or society as a young student. I didn’t dislike it, the era just never captivated me. I guess what changed that is the nostalgia thing. …Nah, it’s totally the fake!science, cyborgs, goggles and Cockney. On a slightly more serious note, I am increasingly surprised just how niche steampunk is. I thought it was quite a growing sensation – it’s certainly employed in many new Hollywood films (SuckerPunch) and TV series (Dr. Who) – but there is almost nothing, I say again, nothing that critically interrogates it. In fact, there are so few books on steampunk (most of which don’t properly dive into the various areas that are screaming for debate and awe) that I could probably fit all of these books onto one shelf. There are many blog posts, forum debates, internet-communities and fictional novels out there that you would think someone, by now, would have seen the opportunity here to pioneer its exploration and interrogation. Yeah, don’t look at me; she says now.

 Thirdy, I’m a bitchin clean freak (Mitch joke). No, no. I like my areas clean. Antibacterial, Mr. Muscle, bleach kinda clean.

And finally: I speak wonderful French and German with bits of Turkish and Japanese when very drunk. It’s like my party trick. How to forget English. Aaaah… My accent is so screwy. XD