Upcycling: Folk art – Tole painting on metal jug

Tole painting, Folk art decoration Folk art daisy

Despite the intense heat of the last few days, I did manage to produce a small item of decorative art. An old metal jug/watering can needed a facelift.  A simple daisy flower painted with a technique of using progressively lighter overlaying shades of acrylic gouache, some blended dry brushed leaves and some flyspecking with a toothbrush and diluted warm white paint and voila…. it has a new functional life with a new look! This is a simple way to decorate items around the home.

For best results, it is best to lay down a base coat of good acrylic low sheen paint first, so that your decorative paint will ‘key’ adhere successfully.

If you aren’t familiar with a dry brush technique, it is as it says: using a dry brush that is loaded with acrylic paint ( no water ) and skimmed over a darker surface to create highlights that enhance a dimensional appearance. The leaves are painted in this manner with a dark green base and then warm white is added to the green colour to create progressively lighter tones on the parts of the leaf where the light source would hit. This creates a curved effect. A darker shade on the opposite side of the vein defines the shadowed area.

The overlay technique is outlined below in a previous post which I have reproduced below:

(slightly different flower but the technique is the same)

Daisies are based in grey and then warm white is progressively added to the grey, then a final layer of warm white to highlight the petal.

A shadow is created by shading with a washy blue-black colour near the centre.

Stipple the centres with a round hog’s hair or stiff deerfoot brush, with yellow oxide and burnt sienna. Detail dots are in these colours plus warm white.

Simple but effective pot for the top of the fire place, or a small watering can for my indoor plants.

Something decorative to ponder about.

Overlay Technique

A quick but effective way to decorate a small object is by painting a simple garland of hand-painted flowers. “Oh! But I am not a painter I hear you say!!” Well, that’s ok, because you don’t need any specific skills for this technique. It is VERY forgiving! And it does not have to be perfect.

1. Prep Base with colour of choice

2. Trace outline or guidelines

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3. Using your chosen dark colour, (in the example: Paynes Grey/Dark Blue) stroke in the petals with shape-following/comma strokes, beginning at the outside of the flower and pulling the strokes towards the centre, using a synthetic/sable round brush in size 3 or 4, depending on how big you want the petals.

*If you know how to do ‘comma’ strokes, use them, but a fine tapered tip near the centre of the petal is not necessary. So don’t stress. If you need more help in forming the strokes: see linked articles below.

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4. Load a round or filbert synthetic brush (hogs hair or sable brushes don’t work so well here), with Warm White, or a light contrasting colour.

NB: In this technique, you do not wet the brush, or if you do dip it in the water jar, squeeze out most of the moisture, on some kitchen paper towel.

5. Begin to gently stroke in some colour, on top of the already existing blue colour, pulling just the top half of the brush over each petal, starting at the outer edge. Lift off completely before reaching the end of the petal, so that the darker blue colour will still show towards the centre. The dark colour then acts as your shadowed area, and the white is the highlighted area of the petal. This gives your flower more of a three-dimensional look.

6. Continue adding layers of warm white in this dry brush technique until you are happy with the effect.

Caution: It is always easy to dry brush additional highlight into the petals, if there is not enough, however, removing it if you have put on too much to begin with is extremely difficult and messy. **** If this happens, just re-do your basecoat of dark blue again, and start from #4.

7. If need be, use a brighter white, in an even smaller area near the very edge of the petal, to create ever more of a highlight.  Watch the leaf that has the turn-back, as this leaf will be in more shadow than the others, and as such, still retains most of the blue shade. flowercentre

8. Paint the centre with a ‘stipple’ effect, in a c shape, leaving the centre in the dark blue colour. The highlight colours I used include: gold oxide, yellow and white on the very highest edge. The ‘stipple’ effect is sort of like dot, dot dotting, the colour in just with the very tip of the brush. You can use an older brush for this, or a round hogs hair brush, as it is not so imperative to have a fine point.

In this example, I also used the same dry brush technique for painting the leaves: Using a pine green colour for the base, and adding progressively more yellow to the green to get a lighter colour, using this as my dry brushed highlight.

Paper mache box

Related Articles:

how-to-paint-comma-strokes-beginner-folk-art-painting-tutorial/

folk-art-step-by-step-guide

 

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Tutorial ‘Upcycle’ an “Environmentally-friendly” Bag to a Stylish Tote

Upcycled Green Bag ( in red)

When we think Green bags, what comes to mind? Those ugly, bland ones in garish colours, with some corporate log stamped all over it, offering fresh promotions to someone other than you. They might be practical, but more often, ugly. Or they get dirty and you can’t erase the marks, no matter what detergent you use.

Furthermore, I am inclined to prefer to drink my own ‘home-grown’, filtered water, rather than tap water, at my workplace, and thus, carry several drinking flasks to work, which becomes unwieldy in a regular handbag. My local, liquor store carry-bags have several interior compartments that are just perfect for holding bottles of wine, or, in my case, stainless steel drink flasks. Normally I carry 2-3 of these water flasks, which clank around noisily as I walk, and get dented or scratched in a normal tote bag.

However, carrying Liquor store carry bags into work each day, gives out the wrong message to my colleagues. “Look at her: she just can’t keep out of the Liquor store!!” I could almost hear it whispered about in the corridors of my workplace, each day. There had to be a better approach, I thought.

Solution: “Upcycle” the ‘green’ bags, by adding a pretty fabric cover which is machine washable. This gives me the chance to use some pretty fabric from my stash and get a stylish tote bag in the process. Here is how I did it:

Step 1

Grab some iron-on batting or interfacing, and a piece of pretty fabric (slightly larger than the bag’s measurements) or two, that is if you want to add a pocket on the outside to hold keys, phone etc etc.

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Step 2

Try out a few combinations until you are happy with the contrast of fabrics and colour schemes. Keep in mind they should complement the colour of the green bag itself.

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Step 3

Cut a piece of interfacing the dimensions of the bag. Now cut the fabric to fit the bag not forgetting to add a 1/4 inch hem allowance on all sides. I find it works better if I iron the hem allowance under, before I sew it. Tacking also helps keep the fabric in place. It will be impossible to sew the complete four sides of the bag, with the machine, as the bag is already assembled. So some hand sewing will be required in those places that your sewing machine foot cannot reach.

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Step 4

If you are attaching a pocket, cut, trim and hem before you sew the fabric to the front and or back of the bag. Iron on the interfacing etc…. you already know how to do this….

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Sewing in progress.

Tip: Use a strong/thick needle for sewing this bag. They make them tough and that will break a #80/90 gauge sewing needle.

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Step 5

Repeat on the back side of the bag. As I said, use a strong/thick needle for sewing this bag. They make them tough and it will break a #80/90 gauge sewing needle.

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Step 6 (optional)

The pocket looked  a bit plain, so I added a heart motif applique, for contrast.

That’s it…. all done, and I do like to take this everywhere now. Holding my lunch and water allowance for each and every work day. The bag fits in at the workplace in a way the Liquor shop carry- bag did not!!!

I hope this gives you some ideas to ponder about.

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Faux Finish – Marble DIY Tutorial

blog pictures 019Ever wanted marble but could not afford it?

You can with this simple faux finish.

 

 

This project was originally a Dutch traditional painting with a dark orange background and the colours I had chosen, just weren’t working. So I revamped the project and decided to opt for something very simple like this:

 

 

To create your own faux marble finish:

1. Timber or MDF piece, sealed and prepped with a dark orange brown background paint.

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2. Mix a light green colour with some cream yellow, dark green, and white if necessary.

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3. Base coat over the top with the *light grayish green, and while wet, wet a sponge and pat over the piece. Note that this picture does not really show the correct colour.

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4. Lay a piece of kitchen or Glad wrap over the top and stretch and move around, then scrunching in a ball and dab it over the surface. This will lift some of the light green coat, revealing some of the background underneath in a haphazard way, that looks natural.

5. Dab on some light yellow and dark green, and even a little  Prussian blue on different sections of the damp sponge and pat here and there over the surface.

6. Use the scrunched glad wrap ball to soften any harsh lines from the sponge. You want it to blend gradually.

 

5. Dab on some light yellow and dark green, and even a little  Prussian blue on different sections of the damp sponge and pat here and there over the surface.

6. Use the scrunched glad wrap ball to soften any harsh lines from the sponge. You want it to blend gradually.

7. Let dry

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8. Drag a feather through warm white acrylic colour and pull across surface in wavy lines to simulate the cracks of colour in marble.

I used one from my pet cockatoo. ( NOte: It had fallen out, I did not pull it out!!!)

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You can also use a fine liner brush if you don’t have a feather.blog pictures 013

 

9. Soften with a mop brush or scrunched wrap ball if necessary.

* I don’t use retarder, which extends the open time of the paint, but if you are having trouble with it drying before you can manipulate the finish with the glad wrap ball, then either mix retarder into the surface of the light green paint, use retarder on the sponge as you paint.

Now you can decorate the rest of the project. Varnish as desired in the usual way. I use either spray or brush on.

N. B. If you want to decorate on top of the marble faux finish, a protective coat of sealer/clear glaze medium is advised.

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The completed faux marble finish

I will continue a tutorial on decorating the outer rim next time. Any questions, don’t ponder,  just ask!