Like many artists, I like to try other media occassionally.  I came to polymer clay from textiles, so I took lots of fiber classes in college.  Later, I have taken watercolor painting classes, and on my own, I've explored other painting and mixed media.  One of my current outside polymer interests is making mixed media paintings including close-ups of women's faces. 


As a treat for myself, I bought the whole 132 color set of PrismaColor pencils.  Yummy color!!  In the faces I draw, I begin with an underpainting in oil, then add the colored pencil for the details.


My outside polymer explorations usually feed in some way back to polymer. 


Today, I did a small experiment of drawing a face directly onto baked clay.  I found that a mixture of 1/2 UltraLight clay and 1/2 Original white Sculpey makes a wonderful, toothy surface that takes the colored pencil beautifully!  Here's a little experiment, an all pencil drawing on the baked clay.  I'm sure I'll want to explore this in more depth when the bead show is over and I have some quiet time this summer….

Let me share a few other cross-over media inspirations…  Years ago, when I did watercolor, I experimented with painting with alcohol ink on polymer in the same manner as one would watercolor, ie, layers of washes, etc.  Here's an old set of paintings on brooches:


More recently, I did a series of pendant beads using transfers of some of the paintings of faces:

These beads are the subject of one of my classes at the upcoming Bead & Button Show.  See how good it is to step away into something else once in a while?  Just remember to bring what you learn back into your clay work and it'll always be refreshed.