Saturday, January 30, 2010

Transforming the Bedroom - Part 7 - The Finale!

I don't believe it! Two and a half weeks after I started the bedroom transformation, the painting is finally complete!

Stems and tendrils have been added, using Plaid FolkArt Thicket #924 and a script liner brush.

Now, to move the furniture back in!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Transforming the Bedroom - Part 6 - Dragonflies

I love dragonflies and wanted to add some to the frieze. We have many varieties of dragonflies here, but I think the most beautiful are the widow skimmers.

If I had wanted generic decorative dragonflies, I could have used a stamp or stencil. But, I wanted widow skimmers!
These are the tools I took up the ladder with me.
The paints are:
Plaid FolkArt Light Blue #402
Plaid FolkArt Artists Pigment Burnt Umber #462
Plaid FolkArt Metallic Silver Sterlling #662
Plaid FolkArt Metallic Pearl White # 659
I have 4 brushes:
#6 Filbert
#3 Sable
1/4 Royal Aqualon Whisp
5/0 Sable

First I transfer the dragonfly outline to the wall. I have a photograph of the dragonfly printed out on plain printer paper. I taped the photograph to the wall. I slipped a plain piece of paper under the photo, and a piece of graphite paper under the plain paper. This give me a 'sandwich' of photo/plain paper/graphite paper/wall. The slip of plain paper keeps my impression from being quite so dark and difficult to cover. Using a fine tip pen or pencil, trace over the main lines of the dragonfly.

Next, paint the wing tips and slight colorless bands between the blue and brown sections. I used silver paint and the filbert brush.

Here I have painted the head with burnt umber (a dark, reddish brown). The tail has been painted light blue. I used the #3 brush here. Both the silver and light blue have now been over-painted with the metallic pearl white, using the filbert brush.

The light blue and burnt umber have been added to the wings, using the filbert brush. Immediately after applying paint to each section, I blended it with the Wisp brush.

A fine umber line has been added to the tail, and the blue spots added to the head. Both were done using the #3 sable brush.

This is the finished dragonfly. I cleaned up the wing edges by trimming around them with the 5/0 brush loaded with wall paint. I applied a tiny bit of the umber to the wing tips with the Wisp brush, but it does not show in this photo. It does show up in the photo at the top of the page.

This is how the dragonfly looks among the roses.

The dragonfly is life sized!
Next...adding stems and tendrils to the flowers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Transforming the Bedroom - Part 5 - Fairies

I have added 5 fairies to my walls.

I started with a stencil by Dressler Stencils, but decided against using it. I just sketched the fairy on paper, then transferred it to the wall with graphite paper and painted it.

I used two sable brushes, #3 and #5/0.

For the fairy body, I used FolkArt Acrylic Skintone #949, FolkArt Buckskin Brown #418, Apple Barrel Burnt Sienna and FolkArt Metallic Peach Pearl #674.

The wings are Folk Art Metallic Plum #668 and FolkArt Metallic Rose Pearl # 673.

Her hair is the Apple Barrel Burnt Sienna. Her little bottom has a blush of the FolkArt Metallic Rose Pearl.

Next, I think I'll be adding a few widow skimmer dragonflies.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spinning Blues

Yesterday I took a break from painting and attended the meeting of my handspinning guild, Peachtree Handspinners. This is such a great, talented group of people; I am always so inspired by their work.

Since this meeting was a 'social spin', meaning we just visited and played with our spinning wheels, I needed to take along some yummy fiber to spin. I dug through my stash and found two pounds of blue wool and white mohair that needed a trip through the drum carder. If I wanted the colors to be more blended, I could run it through the carder again. But, I think I like it this way.

Here is the result of my date with the carder. If I had to name this color, it would have to be "My New Blue Jeans".

This is how it it is spinning up. Newly carded fiber is a delight to spin. It drafts so easily, it almost spins itself.

Well, I'm off to practice painting fairies and dragonflies, before I actually paint them on my walls.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Transforming the Bedroom - Part 4

Now the fun part begins! Today I'm adding the roses to my frieze.

I'm using Plaid's Decorator Blocks. I'm not sure if they still make them, but they can usually be found on ebay. They no longer make the glaze paint for them.

You can see an article about this product on Plaid's web page:

Since the glaze paint is no longer available, I had to devise my own. Here are the tools I took with me up the ladder:

In my tray, I have two brushes, one to load the red paint, one for the green.
The paints are Liquitex Glazing Medium, Plaid Folk Art #958 Christmas Red, Plaid Folk Art #924 Thicket, and Plaid #901 Wicker White.
I also have a small cup of water, paper towels, and Plaid Decorator Blocks. The blocks are Plaid's # 53211 Roses Roses.
The pallet is a simple foam plate.

Each block is a foam stamp cut in the shape of part of the design. There are 3 leaves, 1 open rose, 1 partially open bud, and 1 small bud.

Put a small amount of glaze medium, green paint, and red paint on the pallet. (Once I began, I decided to not use the white paint.)

To begin, dip a slightly damp brush into the glaze medium, then into the paint. Mix them together on the brush. Then apply the paint to the Decorator Block.

Apply the block to the wall, and press firmly. Remove, choose another location, and press the block to the wall again. Each impression will be somewhat lighter than the previous one.

I'm glad I took my own advice, and started on the least obvious wall. I think this first part looks too heavy and over worked.

I like the second wall much better.

This is a close up of the second wall.

The first ten feet took about two hours. It should speed up a bit as I progress around the room. I have to take a break about every two hours...that's about as long as I can hang off the ladder at one time.
After I've done all the stamping, I'll go back with a liner brush and paint a few stems and tendrils.
Later I'll be adding other elements...fairies, dragonflies and birds are the current contenders.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Transforming the Bedroom - Part 3

Today I begin painting the frieze.

This is my critical supervisor, Mattie the Great Pyrenees.

I begin by stenciling lattice just below the ceiling. I'm using an ergonomic stencil brush, which is easier to hold for long periods of time. This part of the project will take about three hours.

The stencil I'm using is a a one-part stencil. Some stencils are applied in layers, with separate stencils. This one is much simpler to use.

You'll want to start in the part of the room which is least noticeable as you enter the room. I usually start at the corner nearest the entry door. Your room may have a better starting point. Remember that the beginning and end of your stenciling pay not perfectly align when you reach the end. So, you want that point to be the least obvious place you can find.

As I head up the ladder, these are the tools I take with me.

I have a roll of special stencil tape. You could probably also use any low tack (blue) painters tape. The small bottle contains alcohol, which will dissolve paint in the case of a horrible mistake. (I did not need to use it! Be careful with it, because it can also remove your base paint.) The Q-Tips are for correcting small mistakes, such as smudging along the edges. The rag is for cleaning up larger smudges. I like microfiber cloths for this. My tools are contained in a very old paint tray, which fits onto the top of my ladder. None of my newer trays fit!

Stenciling is easy! All you have to do is apply the paint through the holes. If you have a new pot of stencil paint, you will need to use a paper towel to remove the film from the top of the paint. I like to use the cream type stencil paint. You could also use acrylic craft paint, but it is messier and is more likely to seep beneath the stencil.

Dab the tip of your brush into the stencil paint. You don't want to use very much. Using a swirling motion, apply the paint through the holes of the stencil. When I stencil, my goal is to apply the paint in a uniformly non-uniform manner. I want some areas a bit darker, some with the base coat showing through. But, I want this non-pattern to be fairly consistent throughout the project. This faux-shading will lend depth to your project.

This is the beginning of the stencil work.

A closer view.

When you come to a corner, form the stencil to the corner. This part is a bit fiddly. You may have to use your fingers to push the stencil against the corner as you apply the paint.

This is where my beginning and ending points met. You'll notice they don't match up perfectly. If I weren't doing more to this frieze, I'd want to make them blend better. But I'll be adding several more elements, which will conceal this area.

I'll let this dry a few days.
Next up...painting flowers...stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Transforming the Bedroom - Part 2 - Feather Paint

Today I applied the decorative feather duster painting to the bedroom walls.

You will find many feather duster tutorials online. I think mine is much simpler than most.

Buy at least two cheap feather dusters. I found mine at Big Lots several years ago for 69 cents each. You will not be able to re-use'll be lucky to complete the job using only one.

I like to use a paint that is just barely darker than the rolled wall color. In this case, I am using Behr White Peach (Satin) as the base wall color, and Glidden Chemise Pink (Flat) for the feather painting. This gives a very subtle effect, and looks rather like damask fabric.

To paint my room, which is approximately 13' x 15' x 8' high, I used approximately 1 cup of paint. I started with a quart of paint, and still have most of it!

Keep a damp cloth handy.

Pour the paint into a paint tray. Enough to cover the bottom of the tray well about 1/2".

Dip the tip of the feather duster into the paint. Blot it a time or two on the flat part of the tray.

You might want to practice on a piece of cardboard, first. If you're confident, you still might want to start in the least noticeable corner of the room, or where a large piece of furniture will conceal your first effort.

Once you start, try to keep going.

When using a color similar to the wall color, you will need very good light to see where you have painted. I used the room's overhead light as well as a floor lamp (shade removed) with 3 100 watt bulbs. I moved the lamp as I progressed around the room.

Apply the paint to the wall, holding the feather duster straight in front of you. This method is something like sponge painting, but much easier and far less messy.

Dab the paint on the wall. Dab, remove, turn the duster, dab again. Turning the duster will keep you from having the same imprint over and over. I can usually make about 10-15 imprints before I need to load the duster again.

This was difficult to is not really this dark!

Work quickly, without over-thinking the process. The more pressure you apply, the larger and mushier the imprint will be. If you make an imprint you really don't like, wipe it off immediately with a damp cloth (assuming you're not painting over flat paint).

You will also want to keep your damp cloth handy to remove any imprints from the trim.

You move very quickly with this method. I was able to feather paint this room in just over an hour.

When you finish, check to see if you missed any large areas.

Because you're using very little paint on the duster, this is a very tidy process. I don't use a drop cloth, but you might want to. Because you have the nice long handle on the feather duster, you'll get very little paint on your hands.

Next.... painting lattice for the border, using a stencil.... stay tuned...

Transforming the Bedroom

Long Time, No Post!

Winter has come to the Deep South! Ice and snow has been on the ground for nearly a event almost unheard of in the southern limits of the metro Atlanta area. My patio still has a sheet of ice across skating, anyone?

So, I've decided to take this time to paint my bedroom. When I moved to this house, all the downstairs rooms were painted a dark beige/brown/taupe sort of color...think Steelecase file cabinet. Very dark, very ugly!

This photo shows the paint chip against the ugly walls.
Here you can see what a difference a little paint will make!

Four coats of paint later, I've finished rolling Behr's 'White Peach' on the walls.
Today I will use a feather duster to add a bit of visual texture with a shade of paint just a bit darker and in a flat finish instead of satin.
After that, I'll be painting a border near the ceiling. Stay tuned for progress reports!