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hand painted images for puzzles or wall plaques

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  • hand painted images for puzzles or wall plaques

    Some of the members here had shown an interest in learning how to make a hand painted image for puzzles and/or wall plaques.

    I have developed a way to make this easier than many of you may think. Follow me through a few steps and you'll soon see what I mean.
    First, you're going to need a few things. You'll need a selection of brushes. These can be inexpensive nylon brushes of various sizes. Nothing too big. You'll also need a selection of acrylic craft paints. Small sizes will be fine, in an assortment of whatever colors you prefer. Just be sure to get at least the primary colors, some black, and some white. You'll need something to clean your brushes, too. Acrylic craft paint cleans up with mild soap and water. Use an old bowl for your water. This water will also be used for making washes (thinning down your paint). You'll understand this better in just a short while...just bare with me.

    Now, I am going to start out with something very simple, just to show you how easy this really is. Don't be afraid to try this. You can do it.

    Gluing your image to a 1/4 inch piece of plywood that is the same size makes it much easier to paint.

    You'll only need 4 colors to get started. The 2 primary colors are white and whatever shade of brown you decide on...a medium brown works best (I used Teddy Bear Brown from Folk Art, but just make sure it's a medium brown and not too dark). The other two colors will depend on your choice of eye color. I used a light green and gold.

    The first image is an image I chose because it is basically a 2 color and purple, not counting the white lettering, which will not change. Take a look...

    The next image is after I converted it to grayscale, or black and white. You may have to adjust your settings when you do this so the image is not too light. It must be dark enough to maintain the undertones of gray and black.

    Next, you are all ready to begin painting. This so easy you may not believe you've done it when you are finished. are going to have to make some decisions here. Namely, how dark you want the image of the wolf. Here's what you do...take some of the medium brown paint and move it aside so that you can add some water to it without disturbing your main pile. Take some water on your brush and add it to your small pile of brown paint...not too much...just enough to begin to thin it down. What you are looking for is something of the consistency of ink...not too thin, but not thick enough that when you apply it you completely cover your image. You should be able to "see through" your paint.
    Keeping your brush damp, begin to add color to your image. Look at my third image to see what I mean. Add a bit of the wash to those areas that you prefer to have darker. Try to avoid painting white areas.

    The fourth image is more of the same technique using your paint as a wash rather than actual paint.

    Now, the eye color is another matter of preference. I used green and gold.

    Take your primary eye color (mine was green) and carefully paint in the eye. While it is still damp, take your secondary color and make a quick, thin swipe at the bottom of the eye, then use a very small amount of water to blend the two together. Just take your time and work with it until you are satisfied.

    Always keep your brush clean and damp. When using this technique, never have your paint too thick until you become more accomplished.

    Now, the background can be done using the same technique in whatever color(s) you want. I just didn't do it yet so you could get a better idea of what I was trying to say.

    Once you learn to do this there are many other images that you could use for the same purpose. If you're a puzzler, cut it...or you could just use is it as a wall plaque, which I will probably do with this one.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by bubbantenn; 01-31-2012, 06:10 PM.
    "Live as though Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow."

  • #2
    The finished project, background painted

    Here is the finished project. I just use the same brown and gold I used for the image, playing them back and forth until I was satisfied.

    I hope some of you try this technique. You really can do it.
    Attached Files
    "Live as though Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow."


    • #3
      I just now realized that water color paints would probably work well with this technique, too. I'm not sure of their cost, but acrylic craft paints are fairly inexpensive, which is why I use them.
      "Live as though Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow."


      • #4
        Thanks Buba., Nice tutorial.
        Pacifism is great, as long as everyone is participating.


        The Southern Arizona Woodturners Association
        Desert Woodcrafters
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        • #5
          You're welcome. I guess it is more of a tutorial, isn't it? I just didn't know where to put it.

          I've looked and this is probably as good a forum as any for your tutorial. Thank you for sharing. Personally, it is still way over my level of skills for painting.
          Last edited by wood-n-things; 02-01-2012, 10:57 AM.
          "Live as though Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow."


          • #6
            Hey Bubba this is sooo cool! Thanks for sharing it with us! I'm just wondering if the paper don't get "wobbly"...? Hope this makes sence, and what glue did you used?

            Visit Frieke's gallery

            Don't let the pain of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.


            • #7
              What a really cool idea, Bubba! Just a suggestion, I would glue it on 1/8 bb, then mount it on old (aged) wood, with an inch or two of the old wood showing around the edges of the picture. Like barn wood kind of thing. That old tractor would look really good on it.
              What do you think, Bubba?


              • #8
                That is a great tutorial Bubba. Even I have enough artistic talent to try that. Have you tried printing the image on water color paper? I know it's expensive but it is made for that technique. It comes in many different weights (of paper) and can be found in any art supply store and craft places like Michael's. It's only drawback might be that the print might be a bit fuzzy and not as sharp as you would like.

                A day without sawdust is a day without sunshine.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by frieke View Post
                  Hey Bubba this is sooo cool! Thanks for sharing it with us! I'm just wondering if the paper don't get "wobbly"...? Hope this makes sence, and what glue did you used?
                  Frieke, if you mean by "wobble" does the paper wrinkle up from the wet paint and water, the answer is a yes and no.
                  If you try to paint the image before it's mounted to a piece of wood, the answer is yes, it will wrinkle. Otherwise, no...the glue I use, which is Mod Podge, holds the image tight to the wood. After I paint the image I cover it with another coat of Mod Podge (matte, not glossy) to protect it.
                  Hope this answered your questions.

                  Last edited by bubbantenn; 02-10-2012, 06:40 PM. Reason: spelling
                  "Live as though Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow."


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