Monday, June 13, 2011

Spots or Stripes?! A Painting Tutorial - Part 1

I had planned to already have this post up first thing this morning. Which would have been easy peasy if I had written it this weekend like I had intended. .....bbbuuuuutt That didn't happen. I have excuses! Wanna hear them!? I finished up a Tutu skirt and Daisy Do corset top to take pictures of (I had to make the corset top pattern, which takes a little time!), I had to run a few errands (like grocery shopping), I cooked breakfast on Saturday morning for my family then spent the rest of the day with them, I spent a little time at the machine on Sunday during the day, but also cooked a super yummy dinner (creamy potato and corn soup with chicken. YUM!! I'll have to share the "recipe" sometime!), and then last night I was hit with inspiration and set to work cutting out (but not yet sewing) a small line I'm calling "Americana" that will be ready to ship out and be received in time for the 4th of July. PHEW. Sooooo... Yeah. Plenty of excuses! Now that the excuse section is out of the way I'm going to dive into the tutorial. I'm making this a two part tutorial. Mostly because of all of the pictures! :-)
I found this picture at Goodwill for super cheap:
The picture is nothing to write home about. It's super thin board of some kind (particle board probably) surrounding styrofoam. So while it looks big and chunky, it's pretty light!
These are the necessary supplies:
A nice variety of paint colors (acrylic would be best)

Stencil of your choosing (We used two different circles stencils that I made)

1" painters tape

You will also need:
Paint brushes
Something to put paint in (paint pallet, paper plate, little condiment cups, clean baby food jars, Dixie cups, whatever you feel like using!)
Clothing you do NOT mind getting paint all over - for your child AND YOU!
Optional supplies:
Other widths of painters tape
Exacto Knife
Circle sponge brushes or whatever shape foam stamps you want to use
Paint pen or permanent market
First squirt a generous amount of whatever background color you would like. We decided a medium grey would be best so that our circle colors would stand out nicely.
Let your child spread the paint around your canvas of choosing with a nice wide/fat brush. If they are very young they might need help spreading it out evenly, and getting it onto the entire surface.
Notice her shirt and pants? Yes, we like to do painting projects around here!
We usually paint not only the entire face of the surface, but the sides as well. I would definitely suggest doing this with paintings you do with young ones since they are likely to be sloppy and get paint all over the sides anyway!
Let the paint completely dry!! This should not take very long if the paint was spread out thick enough to cover the picture underneath, but thin enough that it's drying in some places as you finish painting others. In the time it took Xarry to go rinse the paint brush, and me to mix up some fun new colors the paint was nearly dry. There was just enough time for Xarry to go inside and get a couple more paintbrushes that I forgot to bring outside.

Neat textured frame on the picture!
Once the paint is completely dry it's time to whip out the painters tape! Since our picture had a textured border, and Xarry wanted to keep the texture as-is, we taped off the "frame" part of the picture first. Once the outside "frame" was taped off I put strips of tape going across the canvas randomly. I did NOT measure how far apart I was putting the tape.
After putting down a couple strips Xarry asked if one could be "all crooked." So the rest of the strips of tape were all which ways of wonky.
Border taped off plus some random lines

Wonky lines added too!
Next take your stencil (If you're using one...or two) and draw draw draw draw draw those shapes!

Use a pencil to trace out the shapes.

Older kids can definitely get in on this step!
 Use a pencil to trace out the shapes. Do NOT use a finely sharpened pencil...but also not one that's super dull. If the pencil is too sharp you'll be too likely to poke your canvas (if you're using actual canvas) and if it's too dulled down the line ends up fat. Make sure to press VERY LIGHTLY!!! Even going across the tape lines. If you press too hard then the lines end up dark, even under where the tape is will be a visible line where you traced out the pattern.
See the circles?! They are kinda hard to see. But believe it or not, they were done too dark! We pressed too hard.
And now.... take a break! Even if you aren't following along with the tutorial today and both parts are already me. Take a break now! Your back, hand, and eyes need it!! Your child probably does too.
I can't wait to share the rest of the tutorial with you tomorrow! Stay tuned!

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