My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design


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Some of my favorite Fall projects…

fallmantle
Happy Thanksgiving! My Fall mantle has become a mini gallery of some of my favorite Fall projects: sunflowers, Fall leaf, watercolor and ink leaves and the “give Thanks” Thanksgiving sign. I think tomorrow I need to start on some Winter/Christmas projects!

Enjoy your day with family and friends!
Eileen

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I’m thankful I finished this project!

givethanksfinal
I finally got around to finishing this. I started it back in the summer, when I painted the background for two signs. One sign became my “beach lover” sign, which I finished over a month ago. For this sign, I wasn’t sure what to do with it, what words to paint on it – Fall harvest? With Thanksgiving getting closer and closer, I decided on “give thanks.”

Two years ago Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning. My siblings, parents, cousins and my aunt were all affected by Superstorm Sandy. They all had major renovations to tackle and some of them couldn’t even live in their homes. Living 20 minutes away, our home was unaffected. So Thanksgiving 2012 was here at our house. We hosted around 40 people. I wasn’t stressed at all. I knew everyone would be happy, just being together in a warm, dry place. There was no need to sweat the small stuff. Although they suffered damage to their homes, everyone was safe and that was definitely reason to give thanks.

Technique:
I used the same technique for the lettering as last time. Using the side of the pencil, I quickly colored on the back of my printout. Then, I flipped the printout over and taped it to my sign. With firm pressure, I traced the letters on the printout, using a Nintendo DS stylus pen. I peeled the printout off and, using the light pencil marks and indentation as a guide, I painted the letters. After the letters were dry I added a little white for effect.

thanks1thanks1b    thanks2a thanks2thankspaintthanksalmost


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Beach Lover Wooden Sign

beachlover
I bought a piece of wood and had it cut into pieces at the hardware store. Using acrylic paints – teal and white – I added streaks of both and blended them, to get achieve a beachy, sun bleached look.

Wooden signs
I set up the lettering on the computer and outlined it. Last time around I cut custom stencils which was a lot of work. This time I found advice on hand lettering. I laid the printout on the wood and using a hard stylus pen (from my kid’s old DS), traced the outline of the letter. When I was finished I could see the outline impression on the wood.

Following the outline impression on the wood, I painted the letters black. When they were dry, I painted white steaks over the letters with a very dry brush to capture the distressed look. I’m happy with the results!

Click here to learn more about how I painted the background.


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Painting Wooden Signs

woodproject
Finally, I’m tackling a wood project! I’ve been interested in painting on wood, and creating handmade signs. It was surprisingly easy to walk in to Ace, pick out wood and ask them to cut it. And cheap!

I pulled out the hand sander, which made me feel like a pro, and gave the wood a light sanding. Then I added streaks of different colors and blended them, sometimes adding water to dilute a color. I wanted to create a bleached, weathered look.

wooda woodb wood woodc
I’m happy with how they came out. See how I added lettering to them here.


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Creating stencils for lettering a canvas

finalbythesea

I finished adding the lettering to my cabana stripes canvas! I played with the layout on the computer:
cabana letters computer
Then I figured out the sizing of the letters and printed them on cover stock. Using an exacto knife, I cut out the letters. When there was a shape inside a letter I left a thin connecting strip (like on the letter b).
stencils1 stencils2

Creating the stencils was easier than I thought it would be. The transparent white was a little too light, especially on the yellow. The letters didn’t pop enough, so I added the brownish glow around them. I’m happy with the end result. Finishing is such a great feeling!


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Irish Blessing pdf download and Citrasolv transfer info.

Irish Blessing Free Download. Info on Citrasolv transfers.
Download the Irish blessing pdf here: maytheroad and the mirror image here: maytheroadmirror.

When I read about Citrasolv on a blog (see below for link), I was very excited. The idea that I could design anything I wanted and transfer my artwork onto wood, without messy stencils and paint, was very appealing. I tracked Citrasolv down at a nearby nature food store. Then, the bottle of Citrasolv sat on my shelf, unused, for a year. So much for my excitement. Recently, I was trying to figure out what to do with a cool piece of wood I had come across. It was originally the top of a rickety plant stand and had a unique shape. I unscrewed the top and painted it green with accents of white. I knew I wanted it to be a sign of some kind, but for a while I didn’t know what to put on it. Inspiration struck, in the form of a friend’s Christmas card. I decided to dust off the Citrasolv and use it to transfer the Irish Blessing onto the wood.

green sign
I experimented with Citrasolv once and was pretty excited about the results. I set the poem up on the computer. I flipped it, so it was the mirror image, and printed it. To do a Citrasolv transfer you need a laser printer, not an inkjet. I positioned the printout on my sign, taped it down so it wouldn’t move, and applied the citrasolv to the back of the paper with a cotton ball. Using a spoon, I rubbed the back of the paper, trying to rub the entire poem.
citrasolv
Everything was going smoothly until…yuck. The words started to blur. The ink was bleeding. All the words were blurry. It was a mess. I was so disappointed. I cleaned it off and realized I had to touch up the paint before trying again.

First try:
blur

One my second try, things worked a little better. Only a few spots began to blur. Some areas came out light, because I didn’t adequately rub everything, but I like it, it gives it an aged look.

Tips for doing Citrasolv transfers

  • Use a laser printer
  • Don’t do the whole poem at once. It’s easier to work in sections.
  • Rub every section of your design.
  • Don’t use too much Citrasolv.
  • Raw wood works better than the smooth surface of acrylic paint.
    finalcitrasolv

For more on citrasolv transfer read the post that inspired me.