Ian’s Helmet!!

Warning – Image heavy, NSFW and fart humor…

Ta-Da!! Here’s the first bike helmet I’ve ever painted, thanks to Ian Nguyen, who trustingly volunteered his for this fun experiment!

Working is always easier when it begins with a great idea: Ian wanted his helmet to have two things: an old-fashioned tattooed lady, and a Kappa (See the Wiki link here). Kappa are creatures existing in Japanese folklore: mischievous water sprites resembling turtles, with the notable exception of having a special reservoir on their heads to hold water – to keep them alive when they venture far from their aquatic home – that, when spilled can hurt or even kill them! They also seem to love cucumbers:

Kappas have been used as a warning to children: “don’t go in too deep, or the kappa will get you!” Their activity ranges from mild to deadly: drownings have been blamed on them, as well as flatulence (you know how gassy turtles can get). Speaking of, here’s a rather interesting drawing I found: “Kappa Control Method,” ukiyo-e print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1881.In the first few sketches the kappa started out pretty scary, by the end gradually metamorphizing into a much more cuddly, round, sweet version.The final sketchAfter cleaning the helmet well with soap and water, the first step after sketching was to transfer the design. I’m sure there must have been easier ways, (transfer paper, prick and pounce) but being impatient I just freehanded it with a white charcoal pencil.

About one hour in – starting with the lightest colors and blocking in large areas:I used 1 shot Detailing paint – nasty, toxic stuff – but it dries solid, without the need for a topcoat! Awesome! I owe Greg Colligan {another crazy talented painter/tattoo artist) big time for letting me borrow his – the little cans cost about $9-$14 apiece and I didn’t even look at the prices for the big ones! Here are all the colors I used:Definitely paint outdoors if you can. After about three coats:All Finished!! I painted her obi-ties to wrap around the helmet to try and break up some of the black space and tie the whole design together.Of course I had to paint those teeny fingers and toes of hers!!

Yay!!  On another note, this morning Ian introduced me to Fuji Bakery,1502 145th Pl SE in Bellevue. Soooooo good!! Do go.

4 thoughts on “Ian’s Helmet!!

  1. You have chosen really nice colours 🙂 And the whole image looks really interesting with a bit of outline here and none at all there.

    Can’t wait for next helmets painted by you 🙂

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