more art projects

As you can see from this post, I like to decorate the house with many of my own creations, rather than more generic store-bought items. 

For the space below, I’ve always imagined a wooden Roycroft ‘welcome’ sign, but, alas, they don’t make them in the proper dimensions.  They tend to be rectangular, and I have a small one over our porch door.  However, I knew I needed something larger and more square for the space above the door to the basement, so I took matters into my own hands.  After re-doing my upstairs office (where I’m now sitting!!), I ended up with an unused cork board, and immediately came up with the idea to simply design my own.

I bought heavy, textured card stock at Hobby Lobby, then painted my own sign and tacked it to the board.  I added some pretty cards I’d already had on display on another cork board (there are multiple in this house), and plan to continue filling in the gaps as I find/receive appropriate cards.

On this same trip to Hobby Lobby, I also picked up some canvasses for two more projects.

No. 1: The Laundry Room

In the blog post linked above, I had already painted something for the laundry room, but wasn’t completely happy with the placement.  I really wanted something that said, ‘laundry.’  Or, ‘clean,’ or something like that.  I did, however, like the vertical design and thought I’d stick with that. I began sketching.

For this, and all my other painting projects, I used an acrylic paint set similar to this one.  I like that it comes with a variety of colors, and I can mix to create more.  I usually dilute the paint with a little water.

For the background, I found Abstract acrylic paint in silver with a metallic finish at our local art supply store, MUSEjar.  I love the finish, but I wasn’t thrilled with how the brushstrokes came out, especially toward the bottom of the piece. It’s mostly because of how the light reflects off of it, but overall I’m happy with how it turned out.

I loved adding detail to the flowers!

No. 2: The Master Bathroom

I knew I wanted two small pieces to hang over our towel racks, but didn’t want them to stand out very much from the wall.  I figured verses about ‘love’ would be fun, since we’ll see them every day.

I used a new product this time, called masking fluid.  I had to watch a YouTube video about how to use it, and I think it works better with watercolors than acrylic.  (Which would make sense, as all I could find was it being used with watercolors!)  It’s purpose is to allow you to paint over areas you’d like to remain white, and then simply remove the (dried) fluid afterward.  It’s handy for painting a background and leaving spaces for things to paint later, like a tree branch or bird.

While I didn’t actually remove the fluid (more on that in a minute), I loved that it created a ‘3 D effect’ and gave my script some texture:

First, I painted the masking fluid over my pencil, in a thick application.  After it dried, I painted the entire canvas with a light cream color (which turned out pink–NOT GOOD), then a cornflower blue (which turned out to be too dark–NOT GOOD), and then went over it in white.  Finally, it was right.  Then, I attempted to remove the masking fluid, only to realize that it wasn’t removing the top layer of acrylic very well, and I was going to end up with a big mess and ruined project if I forced it.  So, I turned lemons into lemonade and simply painted the words on top, thus getting an even better effect than I’d anticipated.  I added a white border for a little flair and hung them up as soon as they were dry.

I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, especially after the masking fluid debacle and poor first color choice.  The nice thing about paint?  You can just paint over your mistakes!

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