Paper Mache Dragonfly- wings

Just a short little post about the wings.   I intended to make one wing, with the cloth added before making the others, just to see if it will work the way I want.   Of course I didn’t stick to my plan.  I decided to make the top pair of wings.     I painted the structure black after I finished.   I’m pretty happy with the main structure of these wings.   They aren’t as detailed as real dragonfly wings.   I knew that would be impossible.   But they are analogous to the wings of a dragonfly.  That’s all I was shooting for.   I’m happy with them, happy enough at least to continue the project.

paper mache dragonfly wing structure finished

Next, I have to cover them with cloth.  I bought two different kinds of cloth to experiment with.   First is this purple-ish colored, sheer  kind.    I have no idea how purple it will be with only one or two layers.   We’ll see.

paper mache dragonfly cloth3

Then I have this iridescent, clear-ish cloth.   Again, very cool in many layers.

paper mache dragonfly- cloth1

Here is a close-up of this cloth.  Very cool.    Still, I’ll have to play around with both to see how each looks over my wing structure.  I’ll let you know.

paper mache dragonfly - cloth close up

I’m working on the lower pair of wings now.   Eddie saw the camera and wanted to say “hi”.

paper mache dragonfly- Eddie

This is as far as I’ve gotten on this pair.    I am happy with the bamboo.   I think it gives the organic look I wanted.

paper mache dragonfly- lower wing structure

More later.  Thanks for stopping by!



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Win this Paper Mache Dragon! And support a great cause!

Hello everyone.  It is time.   It’s been a long wait, but I’m finally able to announce this opportunity to support a great cause, and to possibly win one of my dragons.   I made this dragon for the Dragon Master Foundation because it is a wonderful organization.   The people involved in this group are totally dedicated to the fight against cancer.  All the proceeds from this campaign will support cancer research.   The expense ratio for this foundation is less than 1%!  There is no paid staff.  This is the right group to work with.

So watch the video to see the Dragon Master Foundation dragon.   (Click the photo below) Then follow this link for details.  Buying more chances to win will also get you some great perks!  I have one of the T-shirts with the dragon on it.  I love it!

PLEASE share this link with your friends and family.  I very much want this campaign to succeed.  As I head into my Medicare years, I can’t tell you I can’t tell you how many people I know who have been affected by this disease.  This is my small contribution to the fight for the cure.  Thank you for your help!

Paper mache dragon- white profile

Click to watch the video




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Paper Mache Dragonfly

Hello everyone.  Yes, it’s been a while since I posted something.  All I can say is that life sometimes gets in the way of art.  I’m sure most of you can attest to that fact.

I’ve decided to make a dragon-like dragonfly.    This idea came after getting a really cool gift from one of my daughters at Christmas.  She is a senior in the architecture program at the University of Washington.   She has access to some laser cutters in her program and she used one to cut these dragonfly wings out of wood and paper.    I was just blown away by the precision of those lasers!

paper mache Dragonfly wing

The cuts produced the most delicate structures!

paper mache Dragonfly- wing close up

The key to this project will be making wings that are analogous to wings like the ones above, but with much less detail.

I found some sticks at a craft store made from bamboo.   There are fairly flexible.  And I like the organic nature of the little branches.   So I decided to use them for the outside of my wings.

paper mache Dragonfly- bamboo

I was able to put together some pairs of sticks, ones that had matching little branches (below).  Using pairs of sticks like this I can make sure that opposite wings are somewhat consistent in structure.

paper mache Dragonfly- bamboo pairs

Using masking tape I made the basic shapes of the wings.

paper mache Dragonfly- basic wing structure

I wanted some of the interior veins to be bigger than others.  So first I used pieces of wire clothes hangers wrapped with masking tape.

paper mache Dragonfly- inside wing structure

I put those inside the top wings first.

paper mache Dragonfly- wing structure

Right now I’m adding smaller gauge wire to finish the vein-like structures inside the wings.    To tell you the truth I’m not sure this will work yet.  I’m not sure if it will look the way I want.  Obviously I can’t create anything as detailed as the paper structures.     Here is a close-up of what I’m doing.

paper mache Dragonfly- wing structure

This is a far as I’ve gotten.   Once I have the internal structures complete I will paint everything black.  Then I’ll add a layer of some really cool cloth I bought for this project.    It could be really cool.  Then again, these might end up in the garbage can.   Can’t tell yet.paper mache Dragonfly- wing structure

I’ll make another post as soon as I have all the veining finished.  Thanks for stopping by!

P.S.  In case you’ve been wondering about the dragon raffle, that has been pushed into May (cancer awareness month).  I’ll let you know as soon as the foundation is ready to launch.

Make art!







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Paper Mache Drogon (Young Adult Version) Video

Hi all.  It always takes me more time than I expect to get these videos finished.  Of course, life has a way of getting in the way.     You all know what to expect of these videos.  So ignore this post if you don’t want to see another paper mache dragon being made!   But if you do, just click on the photo.   And remember to watch in HD.

Paper Mache Drogon

The next video will be here soon, mid-April to be exact.  That will be when the Dragon Master Foundation will launch the raffle to win the dragon I made for them (along with a spectacular co-prize…you just have to wait!  But trust me.).    Information coming soon about how to win and support the great cause of fighting cancer.

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Dragon Master Foundation Dragon

Hi everyone.   I thought I’d take a moment to post some exciting news.  Well, it’s exciting to me anyway.  I mentioned a while back that I was working on a “secret” project.  I’ve been waiting to make a post about it until things became a little more clear.  I made a dragon for the The Dragon Master Foundation that they will give away in a raffle coming soon.   This is a great organization.  Their goal is to make the “Big Data” of cancer research accessible and available to all who are working to eradicate the beast that is cancer.  They are in partnership with many of the major children’s hospitals around the country.    The money made on the raffle will help their cause.   I am waiting to post photos and a video of this dragon until the official launch of the raffle.   You will all be the first to know.  It should happen in April.   Meanwhile, check the group out. 

Dragon Master Foundation logo

I’m also working on the time-lapse video of Drogon.  I’ll have that soon.  Make art!

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Paper Mache Dragon: Young Adult Version- Painting

Hello everyone.   It is so nice to have a blog post about paper mache rather than about my technology woes.  I have been doing art in the midst of all the goofy stuff I wrote about earlier.   I finished my Drogon trophy.    I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.    I started by just painting with black paint.

 Paper Mache Drogon Tropy- paint

While the paint was still wet I added white (below) to the spitwads (gluewads).

Paper Mache Drogon Tropy- paint white on black

Then I painted the spines, and the webbing between them with red paint.  In the “Fire and Ice” books Drogon is described as being basically a black and red dragon.    And those are the colors of my earlier Drogon renditions.

Paper Mache Drogon Tropy- paint neck web

I had to repaint much of the mouth because I did a lot of work inside (described in earlier posts).

Paper Mache Drogon Tropy- paint mouth

The breastplates started as as a basic gray.   I did some washes to them,  first red, then blue, then black.

Paper Mache Drogon Tropy- breast plates

After painting I scraped the paint off of the horns.  This is a tedious process, but it’s still easier to paint over the horns and scrape later than it is to try to paint carefully around each horn.

paper mache Drogon Tropy- scrape horns

After scraping I did my usual blackwash.  But I also added a red wash as well.

Here he is!

Paper Mache Drogon Trophy final

Thank you all for your patience with this.  I will have more photos later.   And I intend to make a time-lapse video of this built.  I’ll have that soon.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was also working on a “secret” paper mache project.   I did complete that project as well.  I will make a post about that very soon, I promise.

Make art people!   I should say…Make art, people!


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Okay, so that was one of the worst 12 hours of my life!   But with the help of Ben Peter I regained ownership of my page.   Thank you so much Ben!!!  It turns out that he is a German photographer. He does great work.   Check out his page and “like” him if you are so inclined.   (   Thank you to all of you who wrote.  All of a sudden I have almost 200 messages and comments to respond to.   I will get to everyone.  But let me first thank you en masse for you support, once again.  You are all the best!     I can breathe again.


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Technology….I can’t win

I’m sorry to bother you all with this.  But once again the technology gods are out to get me.   I opened my email tonight and noticed about a hundred emails telling me that my Gourmet Paper Mache Facebook page had been hacked.  Sure enough, when I opened it up I saw that it (it….not me) was sending out pornographic messages to my 210,000 followers.  Great.   I swear, I have followed every avenue Facebook offers to remedy this with no success.  I have control over my Dan Reeder account.  But I am no longer administrator of my artist page.   So I can’t delete the hideous posts.  I can’t even write a comment on the page to warn people or to explain what happened.   And there is no human you can contact at Facenbook with this problem.  I went online and found that hundreds of people have had the same thing happen to them.   It’s just unbelievable.   I’m sorry to bore you with this.

Btw, I’ve done the basic painting on my Drogon trophy and the spitwad experiment looks good.  I’ll post a photo or two tomorrow.  Thank you for your patience.

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Paper Mache Drogon: Young Adult Version- scale-ish skin.

Hi all.  Thank you so much for your patience.    Over the last two months it seemed as though  the cosmos conspired against my doing art.  I finally got enough of my revised website together to relax a little and get back to my art.   I decided to play around with some different textures for the scales.  So I made some fancy spitwads out of toilet paper, commercial paper mache, and white glue.  I rolled them into various sized balls.  Then I started squishing them onto Drogon.  First under the eyes…

paper mache spitballs  paper mache Drogon-spitballs under eye

…then on the rest of the face.    After that I used bigger spitwads on the neck.

Paper mache Drogon- face 1  paper mache Dragon - neck texture
I’ve never done this before so I just stuck them on in a rather random pattern.  I wanted the sizes of the spitwads to vary.  It’s a little hard to see in this photo how they all fit together.   I think it will look great once it’s painted and blackwashed to accentuate the individual spitwads.

Paper mache Drogon -neckpaper mache Dragon- with scalesSo here’s how he looks so far.   I need to do the other side and let it all dry.   Next time, paint!    Thanks for stopping by!

PS.  I do have a little secret project going as well.  I can’t tell you about it right now.   But you will be the first to know.


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Crisis averted

Hi again.  Just thought I’d add an update.  Well, “scrambling” doesn’t describe it.  I’ve been working like a dog for hours putting together the skeleton of my new, main website,   It is still under construction.  It will be a while before it has everything in it that the old one did.   I should mention, as I did on my new site, that back in the day when I first decided to have an online presence (2008) you could either set up a website (static) or a blog (dynamic).   I wanted both so I made a website and a blog.  Of course now you can put both together.   But I’ve decided to keep both, this blog, and my main site.  I have many subscribers here that I don’t want to lose by using the blog on my revised website.   So stay here for current art developments  (if I can ever get back to doing art that is).   Again, thank you for all of your concern and support.    I don’t mind if you write to tell me that something isn’t working on my revised website.   Just remember that I’ve only worked on it for six hours.  I’m sure I will have many things to fix.

Take care.  Make art!


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