Mascara Tree Sketch

There’s a clip on YouTube of a man drawing Bette Davis with mascara. It’s speeded up, and it may be edited, but the result is amazing. He uses the mascara wand as a brush and makes it work with line, shading and value.

After seeing it, I wondered if it was real. So I grabbed by two mascaras–Avon and L’Oreal Voluminous, both in brown/black, and went to work. Surprisingly, neither one had enough color to make it work well. The Avon wand was also quite flexible, great for applying mascara to eyelashes (after all, that was what it was designed for) making it hard to control.

A trip to the drug store, and I had my teen-reliable mascara–Maybelline in double black. The bottom of the container is pink, the top green. I don’t think it’s changed in 30 years. And it worked.

The trunk worked best because the uneven application makes great rough spots. The branches benefit from the the application of the brush held so the bristles create the long leaves of the willow tree.

Ink, brush, paper: cheap. Art in mascara: Not priceless, but washable.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. She is a collage artist and teaches workshops, but not in mascara painting. Yet. Image: “Don’t weep, willow” Mascara on paper. (c) 2008 Quinn McDonald, All rights reserved.