Friday, December 20, 2013

When Life Gives You….

Cherries !

I saw a great interiors photo of a beautiful kitchen last week and it had in it a cute sign that said Cherries on it.  I decided I would like one for my kitchen.  So I set about to do a prototype sign and work out my composition options, colour palette, and so on.

I have been wanting to integrate typography into my art, but free hand efforts have not looked how I want….so decided to use some form of an image transfer on this sign to get the composition of the letters as I liked before hand painting the lettering in my colour palette.  And last week I was in the middle of doing some experimentation with image transfer techniques and was timing and comparing the use of them, before teaching a variety of methods in a new workshop Brocante in the Barossa NEW Image Transfer on Chalk Paint ™ Workshop in January and March.  So I used an image transfer of the lettering onto the board (and did a time trial on it too).

First, I did a trawl online to see Cherries signs and motifs I liked.  I did not copy these, but definitely was inspired by fruits of the trawl.  I combined elements inspired from a number of sources into my design.  Then, I created the actual motif lettering in Microsoft Word, using WordArt feature, trying a number of fonts and shaping to the word before I found one I liked.  I used a pale colour, because I intended to paint over it all.  Then, printing the word art in reverse (mirror image), I  used Annie Sloan's Decoupage Glue/Varnish to apply the word "CHERRIES" to a board painted in Chalk Paint ™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan (colour of ground is Old White).

I began to paint over the lettering by hand and used Chalk Paint ™ by Annie Sloan in Primer Red, Emperor's Silk and a bit of Graphite for a little shadowing effect on the letters.  This took awhile and it does have a hand painted look to it.  I was as steady as I could though and used small taklon (4 and 6) flat and bright paint brushes for the painting work.

Then with small (2 and 4) bristle brushes, I used Antibes Green, and a more emerald looking mix of Antibes and Florence to create some leaves around the lettering.  I did leaves free hand.  I put in some shadows with  Graphite, so the lettering would stand out more and to give the leaves a look of part shadiness.  I used the darker red Primer Red to paint on some clusters of cherries amidst the foliage.  Emperor's Silk is a brighter red and was used for the brighter parts of the cherries, along with it mixed with a very bit of Old White (to make a quite bright warm pink).  To complete the cherries, I lightly put in some Old White highlights where the light would dance on the cherries.

To finish my prototype sign, I used Annie Sloan Soft Wax, first in Clear, then in Dark.  I gave the sign a bit of distressing with sandpaper.  And I rubbed back a bit of the dark wax, especially on the white bits around the letters, to brighten it up.

I like the sign.  I want to make a bigger one and will be planning that.  My immediate design dilemma:  How big should the sign for the kitchen be ?!

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