Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cinematic Surprise

I was suffering from a bit of beader’s block recently, and I decided to try and find a little inspiration by watching a movie. It had to be something with plenty of visual appeal, preferably artistic, and something that had the potential to translate into beadwork.

Luckily, I have a pretty good collection of fantasy and sci-fi movies to choose from. I went over to the shelf, closed my eyes, and grabbed one at random. The film I chose was Constantine, a theological thriller based on the graphic novel Hellblazer.

The Inspiration:

It was very interesting to watch a favorite movie purely from an artistic perspective. I kept my mind and eyes open for images or ideas that I could use in beading, but I honestly expected to come up with something involving angels and demons, or perhaps ancient runes. I was completely surprised when a piece of artwork tucked into the background jumped out at me and said “I must be beaded!”

Constantine Artwork

I have tried to find any mention of where these Asian lanterns originated. With no audio commentary to give me a hint, I was left with Google. Unfortunately, no one else seems to know whose painting or photograph it is. Although I wasn’t able to get a closer look at the artwork, I was still thrilled by the combination of pinks, reds and browns.

The Beads:

Finding beads for this inspiration was fairly easy. I just happened to have a really great transparent seed bead mixture of assorted reds, pinks and tangerines. Because of the shiny quality of the transparents, I went with a deep brown iris mix and white Ceylon seed beads to round out the palette.

Lantern Beads

The Beadwork:

Although attempting to recreate the lanterns themselves would have been a fun challenge, it was really the colors in the image that caught my attention, so I wanted to do something really simple that would allow the red and brown to take center stage.

Asian Lantern Necklace

A simple spiral rope - one of my all time favorite stitches - seemed fitting enough, and I used a pattern of lines with the red and brown beads. The white sits in the background of the spiral core. I picked up the red beads mostly at random, though I occasionally threw back some of the more orange beads to keep the necklace looking as much like the lanterns as possible.


  1. Nice description of where you got the inspiration. I love to read posts like these! The colors evoke the feeling of the picture perfectly!

  2. Thank you! It was half luck that I had the perfect red/pink mixture to use. I say half luck, because if I wasn't so fussy about hoarding colors I like, I would probably have used them all up long ago!

  3. omg, I have been trying to find out the origin of that painting ever since I first watched that movie! No luck of course, I would buy a copy in a heartbeat. Love your work, thanks for the post

    1. I have been searching for that painting as well, also with no luck. If you should happen to find it please post the name and or artist name. If I should happen to find it forst I shall do the same. Thanks and happy hunting!


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