Uncommon Materials to draw or paint with

Do you paint with acrylics and salt? Watercolours and red wine? Tea and pencils? Inks and lemon? Then this is the right place for you!

The Uncommon Materials February 2012 How-To: Midori Furze
 - Artwork with make-up products

Ina Mar Ina Mar 176 posts
Midori Furze is a Japanese-born, currently residing in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. She has been painting professionally for four years and has already had several solo exhibitions as well as participations in collective exhibitions. She creates origami artwork, oil and acrylic paintings, mixed media artwork, but also uses an uncommon material: make-up products! That way she upcycles old lipstick, maskara, eye-liner, foundation, eye shadows… In 2009, Midori and fellow artist Angela van Boxtel, organized workshops and an exhibition with make-up artwork (portraits). The project was called “Make up Your Mind – Lipstick Girls series”.

This month we are proud to welcome Midori as the contributor of the monthly How-To of our Uncommon Materials to draw or paint with group!

Some related links that you might want to check:


Midori Furze Midori Furze 182 posts

Artwork with make-up products by Midori Furze

(Midori Furze interviewed by Ina Mar)

Angelina the lipstick girl by Midori Furze

When we were little, we watched our mums putting make-up on their faces in front of the mirror. It looked very interesting, but we were not allowed to play with lipstick.

We may have memories of times when we played with make-up and our mums found out. Or perhaps the situation was reversed, and we were the mothers who terrified to see our children with expensive red lipstick on their hands.

You may have some old lipstick in your drawers. They’re too good to throw away, but the colours aren’t right for you any longer or they’re too old to put on your face….

Why don’t you use it in a different way and draw something with them?

Let’s up-cycle old make-up products and have fun with them!


What kinds of different make-up products do you use?
Mainly lipstick, eyeliners, eye shadows, blush. I also used nail polish, glitter, lip liners, mascara…I experiment with anything in a drawer.

Are these your own make-up products or do you buy them especially in order to use them for art?
I started with my own old lipstick. After I did some workshops, I’ve got some donations from people who heard about my workshops and supported me.

When did you start using make-up products?


How did the idea occur to you to use make-up products?
In 2008, Creativemums Network contacted me and asked if I could run a workshop using lipsticks. I liked recycling conceptional projects. So I started drawing portraits with lipsticks. It was fun playing with them. Well, I wasn’t allowed to play with my mother’s make-ups when I was little. When I had my own lipstick, it was too expensive to waste it.
Lipstick is similar to oil sticks but creamier and smells good.

Can you explain a little more about your technique or procedure?
Lipstick is limited in colour range. So it is a tonal exercise drawing. Use white paper and add mid tones and dark tones. Or use light brown paper and add light tones and dark tones. Here is my example using white paper.

Image Make up Your Mind – using make-up products by Midori Furze

RedBubble Journal How I draw a Lipstick Girl Step by step by Midori Furze

Why did you choose to make artworks with an uncommon material?

I believe that you don’t have to have “Art materials” from the art supply shop to start creating artwork. Stepping out of the square box may release your spirit light and free and happy. Just look around you and think how to make artwork from something in front of you. You don’t draw on paper. You can draw picture with split milk or sugar on a table. Peel the orange to make some animal shapes.

Maryline – the lipstick girl by Midori Furze

Have you already had any exhibitions with make-up artworks or any publications?
In 2009, the local newspaper, Manly Daily had interviewed me about my workshop.
I made “Make up Your Mind” group on RedBubble with some RB artists, Angela and Geogie and organised a real exhibition in Manly during the Manly Arts Festival 09. We invited Some RB artists to the exhibition. The Art magazine, “Fine art & decorative Painting” contacted me and published my article.
In 2010, I was selected Warringah Art Prize – Waste to Art section with “Lipstick Girl”.

Give one last useful advice to artists you would like to experiment with this material!
You can’t fix the mistake but don’t be afraid. Simply enjoy drawing with it.

Guide for Drawing a Faceby Midori Furze

More of Midori’s Lipstick Girls series

Ina Mar Ina Mar 176 posts

Thank you so much for this wonderful contribution! Thank you for this thorough description of your materials and procedure!
Midori, you are absolutely right, you don’t have to buy art supplies to start creating art. Experimenting with everyday material may sometimes result to very interesting and original artwork. On top of that, recycling materials that are of no use any more gives us artists the lightness to create freely without the fear of spoiling expensive materials.
As Dianne Ilka, our last contributor, has said: “I love the idea of using simple materials because you really have nothing to loose, yet you may just gain a wonderful artwork. I often find that with expensive materials, people are often less inclined to just experiment for the fun of it because they don’t want to waste their art supplies.” (The Uncommon Materials January 2012 How-To: Dianne Ilka – Painting with coffee)

I think that what you do with make-up products is called UPCYCLING rather than just recycling, because you give a new, better notion to an old object, you create a new use for a “useless” material.

Midori, I am really happy that you have had success, workshops, exhibitions and publications with your uncommon materials’ artworks. This gives us all the strength to continue experimenting and creating!

© Angela L Walker © Angela L Walker 870 posts

WOW! This is amazing to me!

I have tons of old lipstick that I can’t wear because (after menopause) I’ve acquired an allergy to orris root and break out terribly whenever I try to wear them, You are absolutely right, they were too expensive to just throw away so I have a box full. After reading your how-to, Midori, I think I’ll give lipstick and eye shadow creations a try.

Thank you so much for taking time to do this in so much detail, I really appreciate it! Thanks also to you, Ina… for helping your artists grow and experiment! :)

Ina Mar Ina Mar 176 posts

Angela, thank you so much for your supportive and encouraging words! It is always great to hear that one of our group members’ how-tos inspired someone! I think some experimented with wax too after your inspiring waxy recipe for a colorful collage !

Dianne  Ilka Dianne Ilka 963 posts

Another fantastic article! Great work. I may just have to give this a try too :)

Midori Furze Midori Furze 182 posts

Thank you so much for your wonderful work, Ina!!
I am happy to see the interview is up on RedBubble!!
Thank you for Angela and Dianne for your comments. I also enjoyed reading your interview with Ina.
Happy drawing!!

Ina Mar Ina Mar 176 posts

This is the 2009 article of the Manly Daily about the “Make up Your Mind” workshop, where Midori Furze shared her techniques with over 70 mothers and daughters, who created wonderful artworks using old make up products,.

Cindy Schnackel Cindy Schnackel 5024 posts

Cool work and great use of the product!