Illustrations + Jewelry Bin

Illustrations + Jewelry Bin - student project

Skillshare mobile ate several versions of this, so I might get a little more luck out of the desktop version. :)

I wanted to do this workshop because for a while now I've been looking for ways to turn my illustrations into jewelry, but I hadn't been all that thrilled with the results. Working through this class has helped spark some new ideas that I'm excited to try out.

This is the cover image. This might be the main inspiration for a set of jewelry illustrations. Does it count that I actually did these doodles for another workshop I'm doing? It was inspired by details from Gustav Klimt paintings:

Illustrations + Jewelry Bin - image 1 - student project

I'm going to use shrink plastic for probably the most shallow reason ever: it's shrinky plastic and it will never cease to be fun to play with.

Since I use a lot of different materials I decided to make some test swatches. I bought a packet of matte and a packet of black shrink plastic. I might go back for the packet of ink jet printable kind.

For both swatches, I sanded the surface first.

Illustrations + Jewelry Bin - image 2 - student project

Pre-shrink, top row (left to right): Sharpie marker, colored pencil, Sharpie glitter pen, gel pen, Copic alcohol marker.

Middle row: Black sharpie, oil pastel.

Bottom (left to right): soft pastel, blue Crayola metallic marker, gold Crayola glitter marker, two swatches of gold acrylic marker.


Illustrations + Jewelry Bin - image 3 - student project

Nice surprise: The glitter marker from Crayola held up really well. This was like $6 for a package of 7 markers. I have a good collection of Copic markers, chalk pastels, and gel pens, so happy to see those held up too.

Black shrink plastic test swatch:

Illustrations + Jewelry Bin - image 4 - student project

The biggest difference here is the two red lines are Posca acrylic marker. I really, really, REALLY wanted this to come out in the end because I live and die by acrylic markers.

Illustrations + Jewelry Bin - image 5 - student project

Three surprises: The chalk pastel swatch actually showed up a lot better than I thought, the gel pen held up, and the acrylic marker came through. It has to be a thin coat. I think the metallic color I tried on the matte swatch just wasn't a good color to use for this purpose.

On a side note: I'm using a heat gun to shrink the plastic.

So with that I've got a plan for this afternoon. :)


Better late than never! :)

Got a little behind on projects, but wanted to wrap this one up! Here are the finished pieces.

Illustrations + Jewelry Bin - image 6 - student project

So the top three are some experiments: Watercolor illustration with resin sticker on top (thank you because I am now in love with resin stickers <3); a test illustration with plain pen; and a test of the shrink plastic with no pen/pencil outlines.

The bottom three are more finished pieces. I've been doing so botanical doodlings lately, so those are showing up everywhere. These are a combination of pastel, Micron pen, and color pencils.

Illustrations + Jewelry Bin - image 7 - student project

Things I've learned while working with shrink plastic:

-Draw big.

-If you use it, let your ink dry OR add the ink outlines after you've colored in the bulk of your design.

-Heat pieces between two sheets of parchment paper to prevent curling.

-Slower heating helps prevent distortion. 

-You can use a heat gun. Go slow and heat the plastic up as evenly as you can. You can reheat the plastic from time to time and adjust the shape a little.

-Mod Podge makes a good sealant.

-As Sova mentioned in the class, colors darken when the plastic shrinks so keep that in mind when picking colors or coloring in your piece. I am still working on this one since I'm so used to working in high saturation colors. :)

Many thanks for this class! I had so much fun trying all of these different methods. I'm definitely going to keep this up; there are a lot of things I'd like to try now that I have some of the basics under my belt.

Rebecca Vadnie
Art and More