...and flowery vines...
...very groovy polka dots...
...and little Mr. Hootiepants, here.
Aren't they fun? I used some fuzzy-coated beads I found online. Flocked beads - who knew?
I bought mine at Fire Mountain, but have seen them elsewhere, too.
The technique turned out to be really interesting. I drew on them with fine and ultra-fine Sharpies, but at first I found that the ink wanted to run and smear all over. Then I discovered a very important trick. Here's the HOW-TO!
Start with the ultra-fine point and do your black outlines.
Then add color - and immediately blot the color dry by rolling the bead on tissue or paper towels.
Do just one or two small bits of color at a time to avoid smears. Keep adding color until your drawing is done. Let it sit for 15 minutes before handling it much, in case there's a still a bit too much ink saturated in the fuzz. That's all there is to it!
My vine bead is an inch and a quarter high and soft as a bunny's butt.
The thing I like most about this technique: you can get some almost painterly effects by adding colors and blotting in between. Some bits even remind me of watercolor - you can see it pretty well in the hummingbird body!
Let me finish up this post with a couple of tips.
TIP 1. I am not very good at drawing things, but I did once manage to teach myself a freehand owl, and never forgot how. (To see, check out this old Halloween post.) For the hedgehog and hummy, I googled "how to draw a hedgehog" and "how to draw a hummingbird," and practiced on paper first.
These flocked beads are usually pretty cheap, so I didn't mind messing up a few times.
TIP 2. Do your best to avoid getting them wet. Interestingly, this is not as critical as you might think. I assumed they would be Gremlin beads, i.e., one should never never never get them wet! But to my surprise, they can withstand a bit of moisture without any drama at all. So just use common sense and come in from the rain.
What would you draw? Ideas, please, because I have a bunch of flocked beads and want to make more. I hope you enjoyed this fluffy post!