Textures with Prills in an African Mask

Textures with Prills in an African Mask2017-12-27T11:25:35-04:00

Project Description

USArtQuest's Prill Frills Blog HopTo celebrate the launch of USArtQuest’s newest embellishment, Prills, they’re hosting a blog hop!  If you’ve come here from Sally Lynn MacDonald’s blog, then you’re in the right place. To start the hop from the beginning, please go to the USArtQuest blog.

Become a follower of each blog and leave a comment on each blog to be entered to win Prills blog candy! One winner will win 6 jars of Prills!

The winner will be picked on Saturday, March 17, 2012 at midnight EST, so be sure to enter before then. The winner will be posted on the USArtQuest blog on Sunday, March 18, 2012.

Now on to the project… You can enlarge the photo of the mask by clicking on it. It’s a great way to really see the textures.

Mask on Bamboo Mat

Prills from USArtQuestWhen I first saw Prills, I was fascinated by their texture and colors. They immediately reminded me of Dippin’ Dots ice cream. I’m sure you’ve seen them—the little balls of frozen goodness? But Prills are much smaller and in a variety of sizes. They have a wonderful pearlescent sheen and come in 42 colors!

I started to think about all the wonderful textures you could achieve with USArtQuest products:

Four Textures - Close Up
  • Gildenglitz Leafing Metal – tissue thin with a brilliant metallic shine and gorgeous natural colors. It’s the gold on the right side of this photo.
  • Mica D’Lights – sparkling bits of mica with a touch of glitter. Very fine – just a notch or two above being a powder – very organic. It’s the red, copper, light blue and blue in the photo.
  • Mica Flakes – like D’Lights, only slightly chunkier. In the photo, the silver is small mica flakes.
  • Prills – tiny round balls in different sizes, instead of flat or chunky. Fantastic colors. Prills are the green and black “dots” in the photo.


I wanted a project that would showcase all four materials and let me leverage the different textures—from flat leafing to bumpy prills. An African mask came to mind. I’ve seen fantastic examples made with beads and shells. Why not duplicate that effect with USArtQuest embellishments? So, off I went.

African Mask from coloring bookI found a free download of a coloring book with great images representing Africa, including masks and selected one I liked. I love detailed work, so I decided to make my mask about 5″ tall.

Mask Materials and Color PlanUsing Make The Cut! software, I converted the image to a cut file for my Zing electronic cutting machine. I knew I wanted to cut out the silhouette from black “leather-like” paper and cut out pieces of Cut-Bond-Create to adhere the Leafing Metal, Mica D’Lights and Mica Flakes. I drew the design on the silhouette by putting a chalk pencil in the Zing. I love that I can use anything I can hold in my hands in the blade holder of the Zing! I used a printed copy of the design to mark what material/color would go in each area of the mask.

Mask with Cut Bond Create and Metal LeafingUsing the Zing, I cut out the silhouette of the mask and cut pieces from Cut-Bond-Create to adhere to the mask.  This would give me adhesive areas I could use for the lightweight materials (Leafing Metal, Mica D’Lights and Mica Flakes). Some areas were so tiny, it was easier to use Duo Adhesive. For example, the small circles at the top of the mask and in the bottom of the earrings. I applied dots of Duo Adhesive, waited until it was dry and then added Leafing Metal.  Check out my homemade burnishing tool! It’s a piece of shop vac filter glued to the bottom of a child’s block.

Mask with Prills appliedI applied the Prills using Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA) Matte.  I used a #4 Round Brush to “paint” PPA in the areas and then poured on the Prills. These little guys can roll around a bit, so I found it easier to work inside a tray. I also used an anti-static powder pillow on the tray and piece before I began working with the Prills. Wait a couple of seconds for the Prills to stick to the PPA, tap off the excess and pour it back in to the Prills bottle and move on to the next color.

Mask with PPA painted into areasYou can see how the PPA was “painted” into areas so the Prills could be applied color by color.

After the Leafing Metal, Mica D’Lights, Mica Flakes and Prills were applied, I decided to add a few shells to really give the mask an African feel. They were easy to attach. I just used the paint brush to apply a little PPA to the back and placed them on the silhouette.

I’m really happy with the finished mask. I love how there are 5 different textures (from Leafing Metal to shells) and how each reflects the light differently. I encourage you to explore all the textures possible with USArtQuest embellishments and see what you can create.

Now back to the hop….

USArtQuest 2012 Design TeamThe next stop on your blog hop is Lea Cioci’s blog, CreativeLea’s Infinite Journey. Enjoy your hop and good luck!

Happy Crafting!



  1. Sandra Strait March 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    This mask is just awesome!

  2. Lyneen March 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    WOW…. that is totally amazing… thanks for sharing.

  3. Kristi March 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Joe, this is over the top amazing! So totally cool. Love all the texture and interest!

  4. Jo Zeckner March 11, 2012 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Joe—-Your mask is absolutely amazing!! Thanks for the close ups and enlargements of the details so we could really see the texture of the new PRILLS. I didn't realize how the difference in the sizes make the 3-D effect even more beautiful.

    • Joe Rotella March 12, 2012 at 5:00 am - Reply

      Hi Jo! I love the variety of sizes you get with Prills. It's such a different look than what you get things like micro beads. Thanks for hopping!

  5. Sue March 12, 2012 at 3:45 am - Reply

    Oh Joe! This is a fabulous project. I'm really impressed with how you have 'showcased' Prills. I would definitely want them after seeing your project…if I didn't have a few rolling around already. Thank you Joe.

    • Joe Rotella March 12, 2012 at 5:01 am - Reply

      Thanks!! They certainly do roll! LOL! But working in the little tray made it a breeze to scoop 'em up and move on to the next color. Those jars may look tiny, but they go a long way!

  6. Carole Lassak March 12, 2012 at 4:43 am - Reply

    This is another incredible piece!! Your talent is amazing.

  7. Amanda March 12, 2012 at 4:52 am - Reply

    WOW! That is amazing – I love the mask and the texture you achieved with the Prills !

  8. Terri Sproul March 12, 2012 at 6:01 am - Reply


  9. Barbara Moore March 12, 2012 at 7:13 am - Reply

    You did an incredible job on this project Joe! Great example of using the Prills.

    Hugs XX


  10. Molly Walsh March 12, 2012 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Very nice. Beautiful work Joe.

  11. Lea March 12, 2012 at 7:25 am - Reply

    ooooooooo I so adore this Joe! You have me sold on a zing 3x's over!!!! I love how perfectly the Prills are put into place, the design of the mask is soooo perfect!!! This is so cool.

  12. Viki B March 12, 2012 at 7:39 am - Reply

    I love the mask! It was great of you to showcase all the different products in the piece so we could get a feel for them.

  13. Nancy Curry March 12, 2012 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Love the mask idea….and yes, the texture products by USArtQuest are second to none. The new Prills are a great addition.

  14. cheryl lindsay March 12, 2012 at 10:30 am - Reply


    Your work is always wonderful!!! and I love what you have done with this new product!

  15. Becky Thackston March 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    LOVE!!! amazing work

  16. annkrier March 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    I love YOUR mask…. colorful and organic. It is great use for the prills.

  17. Jayme F March 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I really Love this mask! What a great idea using all the different textures. A truly amazing job! Thank you for sharing.

  18. Shirley Wheeler March 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Another perfectly executed art piece. I love the composition and flow, not to mention ALL the different products you used seamlessly on the mask! Simply Perfect! :0)

  19. Charlotte Schleue Zw March 13, 2012 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Yes, I really can see the texture much better on your project. I like the fact that the Prills are not all the same size. TFS. Great project!

  20. Susan M. Brown (sbar March 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    Joe – I love your mask! This is so ornate and decorative…like you brought it back from a Safari. Great tip to put you work in the tray to apply prills…then pour away back into the bottle. Great project ; )

  21. JANIS March 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm - Reply




  22. Pam Hornschu March 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Fabulous mask! It's like a paint-by-number, but to the 100th power! So much texture, color, and sheen! Love the finishing touch of the shell on the forehead!

  23. Francineb March 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Fabulous project. That mask is simply awesome. Great job with the prills.

  24. Vickie Kertz March 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Great project. When you enlarge the picture you can really see all the wonderful detail.

  25. Judy Tomer March 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Love the mask!

  26. Ronny March 15, 2012 at 5:04 am - Reply

    Fantastic mask. So interesting to see the totaly different ways to use the Prills.

  27. Vicky Schmidt March 16, 2012 at 5:40 am - Reply

    Great mask. the colors you used are perfect. you are right that do look like the dots ice cream.

    Vicky Schmidt

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