Gabrielle’s Belt

“Tampa’s Comic-Con Is More Than Meets The Eye”
(excerpt from last year’s coverage of this HUGE event:

Harry Potter, Elsa and Star Wars, Oh My!

The 2016 Tampa Comic-Con kicked off with a “nerdtastic” start on day one of the three- day convention. With almost 50,000 people in attendance last year, comic-con staff is expecting closer to 60,000 people to come out this weekend.

Though for many who are not comic and sci-fi lovers, the name “comic-con” can come off as a tad bit misleading. While the convention does feature everyone’s favorite comic book characters, it engages other elements that should capture the eye of any casual fan.

Enter, 2017 Comic-Con and My Cosplay Client:

Well, this year I participated in the 2017 Comic-Con by embellishing Gabrielle’s famed belt from Zena, Warrior Princess which aired from 1995-2001.

Short synopsis/background info:

Xena, a mighty Warrior Princess with a dark past, sets out to redeem herself. She is joined by small town bard, Gabrielle. Together they journey the ancient world and fight for the greater good against ruthless Warlords and Gods.

So, how to paint iconic Gabrielle’s belt on pleather?

I am a big fan of Golden Acrylics, so of course I turned to the Dick Blick Golden Acrylics information page. I learned the following:

  • Thoroughly wipe the pleather with isopropyl alcohol to remove grease, dirts, etc.
  • Draw lines and shapes with a soft pencil
  • Mix acrylic paint with fabric paint medium for flexibility. I used GAC-900.
  • Paint away

This is the color scheme Michelle (future Gabrielle) and I chose, based on the rest of her garb: cadmium red light, payne’s gray and green. Surprisingly the paint adheres well. If I made mistakes I used a a Q-tip to carefully remove them.

After that dried I texted Michelle an image. She liked the work. I wanted her to LOVE it. So after checking out the images of Gabrielle I’d printed on my HP Laser printer (a huge help to my research) I decided to glaze over the colors with white. This is not a traditional approach. I studied white acrylic glazing, finding that Zinc White is transparent, as opposed to Titanium White. I tried Zinc White. Meh. Not much change. So bravely I blended Titanium White with the GAC and hit the Cadmium Red Light areas especially. You can see the more weathered results. The Gabrielle of the mid ’90s would approve of the new colors.

When using these techniques, have the alcohol ready. You can always catch mistakes before the paint dries.

Then relax with a beverage of your choice. Mine was Fat Tire.




Posted in Artists, Designers