Drawing With Oil Bars

Drawing With Oil Bars

Like butter. That is exactly what I said when I started drawing using these wonderful bars. The smell reminds me of my days in the halls of the art building, where the musty scent of linseed oil wafts together with printmaking inks and smoking kilns. The days I spent in Scotland working with these bars still make my heart leap with joy. I can’t wait to share these through the upcoming workshop at MAKE next Tuesday, September 8! This is truly a drawing workshop…where we work through some of your favorite subjects (bring photos, pictures, printouts for drawing prompts and inspirations) Introducing the oil bars with the charcoal and graphite allows so much room for movement, mind-changes, adjustments and learning. The depth of the images grows more beautiful as the surface is worked with pencil and rag and palette knife… Come discover your artist within…beginners and advanced will love this class! Learn basic drawing techniques and get to take them to the next level…or bring an experienced drawing hand and see how this medium adds to your technique! For more information about this wonderful workshop go HERE off to...

The Red, White & Blue Monogram

There it was, the box waiting for me.  New paint. Not just new paint, but a new type of paint, filled with the promise of new colors, chalky finish, and oh-so-many possibilities! Freshness, possibilities, makeovers, new looks. All this awaits in the box of new paint! The box is open, new designs are forming and the Fourth of July is calling! I was inspired to create a patriotic sign that would be fun for the fourth, but could also decorate year-round. Pulling from my studio stash of boards, I found an MDF board in a 20″ x 12″ size just perfect for a rectangular sign. I base coated in the wonderful new Chalky Finish Paint from Decoart, then selected the beautiful Legacy blue and Romance red for the next steps in the project. I laid out the center circle and banding, then traced out the chevron stripes from my stencil. Painting the chevron stripes in the Rouge was a snap, since the paint was so creamy. After taping and painting the bottom three inch band with blue, I pulled out some simple alphabet stencils to do the bottom lettering. I laid the wording out with a pencil for spacing, then stenciled American Made in Primitive Chalky finish paint. While I had that color on my brush, I also painted the center of the circle.   When completely dry, I grabbed my 100 grit sandpaper and distressed away. My hand lettering finished off the sign with a little fun personalization.  I was so excited about this project, I invited a few friends to the studio to share the paint fun. I...

Words for Me & My Friends

  Finding myself the proud owner of several vintage scrabble games, I pondered what creative idea I could do…obviously, I could challenge all my family members to a giant scrabble round robin (the 1986 version of Words with friends!) But maybe, just maybe, there might be a way to use the game boards for superior scrabble domination preparation, also known as… “WORD OF THE DAY” (said with echoes and a guy flying over it with a flapping cape)  SO the flying cape won! I grabbed some 16″ MDF blocks I had in the studio and started base coating them, one red, one bright blue. Pulling a stencil from the lot stacked on my shelf, I quickly stenciled a pattern in one shade deeper around the edge. Perfection is not the goal, for so little will be seen, so just let the brush & paint fly (you know, like that cape!) I then grabbed the boards, and liberally applied glue to the backs, pressing down centered on the board. A first coat of chalkboard paint was applied freehand to the board, followed by two more coats for great coverage. For a good finish, I added two coats of Decoart’s Americana satin varnish all over the board and the edges Out came the carpet tacks as decoration and a little extra staying power for the board, then distressed all over lightly …added a hanger (and a secret-flying-word-learning cape) Happy & I know it, so I clapped my hands and hung it up for lots of fun! Stay tuned for the next post to see what I did with the box top!!...

Resolution… Remember!

When New Year’s rolls around, talks of resolutions & promises engage most discussions. Have you made yours? What do you want to change/add in/take out for 2014? What big life-altering, scale-number changing, triathlon-completing, goal-gaining choice are you going to make? Well, this cute little crafty encourager helps keep your goals easy, accomplishable using… The resolution board!   A simple and easy project to propel you forward in 2014, or at least be a cute little craft you can check off and feel you already completed a crafting resolution accomplishment for the year & be done! I have lots of wood scraps around the studio, but these could easily be found at your local DIY center, or perhaps you garage! I cut a leftover piece of wooden molding into 8″ lengths. I grabbed a few of my favorite Americana colors, and base coated the scraps, allowing to dry, then distressing with rough sandpaper. Finding tiny wooden clothespins handy, I painted those in contrasting colors. At this point I did wish I had tiny little hands as well as a tiny little brush, or even a few elves looking for extra work after the end of the Christmas season, but the job still was accomplished effectively. A quick hint for drying the tiny clips to keep them from being painted shut – pin into a glass jar until dry then remove the pins were glued on and i grabbed my collection of whatnots to decorate the tops: from old jewelry to cabinet knobs to metal scrapbooking embellishments. After gluing on the chosen finds and letting dry, I stapled a bit of...

Alphabet Song

My three year old loves, no LOVES, singing  the ABC song I mean LOVES singing it! All the time, down the halls, at bed time, in the car, at church, in the store A, B, C, D, E, F, G… So when I happened upon these adorable ABC stickers at the Dollar store I knew in a flash what I had to create! I rushed home (as the ABC tune wafted from the backseat) and found some old wood begging to be recycled in the storage shed, brushed a quick coat of black latex enamel (I highly recommend Decoart’s Gloss enamels!), taking extra care to be sloppy and haphazard in the brushstrokes in other words, take your brush and only apply sporadically to the surface, pulling up quickly to leave ‘brushstroke tails’ that reveal the wood beneath When dry, I placed each brightly colored consonant and vowel dollar store sticker across the surface, spacing somewhat evenly I did not measure, nor mark out,(in the hopes of) creating a hand-painted sign feel I grabbed a handy can of white spray paint and sprayed a quick coat I used spray paint here, as I wanted a light, uneven coating on the surface that would be easy to sand and distress when dry, I carefully peeled up each letter, revealing the darker distressed imprint below After distressing with a few strokes of the sandpaper, I added a couple hangers, a burlap ribbon, and found an empty nail on the wall A B C D E F G H I J K LMNOP Q R S T U & V W X Y...

A Quick Painting Tip

Need a quick update to a frame, piece of furniture, a whatnot or whatever? Well, grab a candle… If you want a distressed finish, with a contrasting color showing, the wax in the candle will act as a perfect resist to the paint. Any paint that is layered atop the candle wax can be easily rubbed off with a fine, or high-grit sandpaper or steel wool.  A little elbow grease (and it will only be a little bit if you let the wax do the work for you ) and you will have a beautiful contrasting, distressed...