Sunday, January 6, 2013

JOY Sign

I read something another artist wrote,
and I wish I could remember where I read it
so I could give her credit for this:
Artists Either LOVE Lettering, or HATE Lettering!!
It's. Just. So. True.
I used to HATE Lettering!
But I'm okay with it now.
In fact, I LOVE it! 
Granted, I still have "Good Lettering" and
"Poor Lettering" days,
and sometimes, to my complete chagrin,
my lettering isn't spaced perfectly,
but I've found a few tricks
that work for me and I'm happy.
Here's a quick and easy project
for someone ready to practice their lettering:

It's a small word,
and the background is black,
so it's easy to disguise any errors.
Materials List:
*Wood Plank 8" long
(I had an old painted plank that I
cut into smaller pieces with my table saw)
*Acrylic Paints:
Black, Red, Green, White, Metallic Gold,
Extreme Glitter Red
Extreme Glitter Green
*Sanding Block
*Stencil (Swirls Design)
~ Pattern Supplies ~
*(Tracing Paper, Marker, Transfer Paper, Stylus) 
Power Drill and Wire for hanging

I borrowed a Cricut Cutting Machine
from one of my crafty girlfriends,
and I cut out my own alphabet "stencils" in two
sizes to use for making patterns.
Then I forgot to return the Cricut cutting machine.
How annoying am I?
So she picked it back up the last time
she visited my studio.
~ Thank you, L! Crafty Hugs!! ~

Here are basic instructions for making
a pattern: 

 First, I sketch my design onto white paper
with a pencil.
Next, I lay a piece of tracing paper over
my white paper drawing,
and use a Sharpie marker to
transfer clean lines to the tracing paper.
Bingo! Pattern.
~ Directions for JOY sign: ~
Paint the wood plank black.
Use a sanding block to lightly sand
across the surface of the plank. 
Because I used an old painted plank,
the previous paint color showed
through when I sanded lightly.
A few pieces had been previously painted
 white, and a few were red.
I used light colored transfer paper and
a stylus to transfer my pattern
to the painted plank.

I shaded around the left and lower
sides of each letter using black paint.
Since I sanded the surface of the
black painted plank, my shading with
black paint is subtle, but still shows up.

See??  Subtle.  But there.
I like. 

Next, I base coated the letters with red paint.
It took me two coats to achieve opacity.

After the red paint was dry,
I painted one coat of Extreme Glitter Red
over each of the letters.

Next, I sketched a few holly leaves
onto a piece of tracing paper.
This way, I could twist and turn the
pattern and still see my design underneath;
so I got a good idea of exactly
where I wanted to place the holly leaves.

I used transfer paper to add the leaves.
I painted the holly leaves green.
Next, I added a small amount of black
paint to my green puddle of paint
so that I could shade each of the leaves.
 With this same general idea in mind,
I added a small amount of white paint to
my green paint to make a lighter
shade of green, so I  could highlight the leaves.
You could use three shades of green
in the same family instead of adding the
black and white paint.
I'm a little unpredictable about that ~
sometimes I find the perfect shades and
sometimes its easier to create them.

I shaded behind the leaves
with black paint, so they would appear
to be attached to the front
of the letters. 

I painted a center stripe down each
holly leaf, and I shaded the "back" leaf
a little more heavily so it would
appear to be behind the other leaf.

Next, I added a coat of Extreme Glitter Green
to each of the leaves and allowed
it to dry completely.

I dipped the handle of one
of my paintbrushes into a puddle of red paint.

I dotted the berries onto the
leaves (see photo as a guide for placement).
To create same-sized dots,
dip your paintbrush handle into the paint
before dotting each time.
To create smaller dots,
dot two or three times before dipping
your paintbrush handle back into the paint.

I stenciled a few swirls onto the sides
of the plank with gold metallic paint,
and I highlighted each berry with a small
amount of white paint.
Finally, I coated the berries with
Extreme Glitter Red.

I outlined my letters with gold metallic paint.
Finally, and you'll just have to take my word
for this since I forgot to take a final pic,
I drilled holes in the top two corners of the plank
and threaded wire through the holes.
I curled the ends of the wire to
secure them and create a hanger,
and tied on a tulle bow.
I promise.
I'll upload a finished pic the next
time I'm out in my studio.
Hopefully tomorrow.
~ Before ~

 ~ Later ~
and, coming soon:
~ Finished! ~
Peace and Joy in Painting!!!

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