Last week, Plaid corporate employees were able to participate in a very fun event which was a real treat! On Thursday, we conducted our monthly Lunch n Learn event and we were thrilled to have a special guest celebrity of the craft world come share her talents with us. Our celebrity instructor was none other than Priscilla Hauser!
She has been working helping to buid the craft industry for years. Priscilla is known as America's first and foremost teacher promoting decorative painting at Priscilla's Little Red Tole House in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a matter of fact, Priscilla organized and formed The National Society of Tole and Decorative Painters in 1972 to motivate interest and spread the appreciation of decorative painting as an art form. Today this organization is known as the Society of Decorative Painters.
Through the years, Priscilla has taught and accredited thousands of decorative painters through her accreditation program becoming Priscilla Hauser Accredited Teachers who then helped her spread the love of decorative painting. She is known thoughout the world because Priscilla has authored hundreds of books and publications and has taught both nationally and internationally for years.
One of the many highlights of Priscilla's career happened in January this year when CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) honored Priscilla at an evening banquet and presented her with a lifetime achievement award and inducted her in the CHA Hall of Fame!
Priscilla and Plaid have enjoyed and shared a friendship and working relationship for years and we were thrilled to have her working with us in our corporate offices last week. Let me now share with you our quick and easy project Priscilla taught us .... A cluster of blue grapes and a grape leaf painted on FolkArt Chalkboard paint!
We gathered our supplies:
• 6” x 6” wood canvas panel – prepared with FolkArt Chalkboard Black
• FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints – Magenta
• FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints – Wicker White
• FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints – Fresh Cut Grass
• FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints – Thicket
• FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints – Ink Spot
• FolkArt Blending Gel
• Brushes: 3/4" Flat Brush, No. 10 / 12 Flat Brush, No. 1 Liner Brush
• Miscellaneous: Brush basin or container for water, Paper towels, Foam plates, White chalk, Grape pattern, Stylus or dead ballpoint pen, Fine grit sandpaper
Let's begin ... Quickly remove the label on the wood canvas panel and begin basecoating it with FolkArt Chalkboard Black. I used a 3/4" flat brush to paint, however, you can also use a 1" foam applicator. Paint one even application and allow to dry.
The chalkboard paint will raise the grain of the wood, like waterbase paints will. I wanted my painted chalkboard surface smooth, so I sanded it smooth with fine grit sandpaper; then repainted the surface one more application and let it dry.
Did you know that a painted chalkboard surface MUST be conditioned before use? Yes, it MUST! If you do not condition the painted chalkboard before writing or doodling, whatever is written first when erased will always appear as a ghost of what was first written. (Example: if you did not condition your surface and wrote "Menu" at the top and then erased it, you will always see a ghost halo of the word "Menu") So every painted chalkboard surface should be conditioned. And that is so easy to do ... simply take a piece of white chalk and mark over the entire surface like this ....
Then wipe it clean with a paper towel. That's all there is to conditioning a painted chalkboard surafce! I told you it was easy!
Next before painting, a line drawn pattern is transferred which makes it easier. (you will find the pattern at the end of this blog post.) When painting, you now have an idea where to paint the leaf and cluster of grapes! Perfect for beginner painters! Transferring a pattern is easy, I chalked the backside of my tracing paper pattern and with chalk side down, I positioned the pattern where I wanted it and retraced the lines using a stylus but you can use a dead ballpoint pen too!
Now, let's get to the fun part ... Using your flat brush loaded with Fresh Cut Grass, quickly paint the grape leaf following the transferred pattern lines. Don't worry if you still see a little of the black chalkboard, this is only an undercoat.
Paint the undercoat of the grape cluster at this time too. Mix a medium blue using Wicker White and Ink Spot. Load a 5/8" dauber by dabbing into the medium blue mixture on your palette, tap on a clean spot on your palette to evenly distribute the paint. To this medium blue loaded dauber add a highlight on one edge by dabbing one small edge into the puddle of Wicker White. Tap on a clean spot to even load the dauber. Paint one grape at a time; touch the dauber where desired and slightly twist in one direction then lift. You will see a medium value blue grape with a white highlighted edge as shown below. TIP: You will be painting from the back of the cluster towards the top of the cluster.
While the grapes are drying, repaint the leaf with a small, even amount of Blending Gel. Continue working while the Blending Gel is still wet; add a touch of Thicket to the base of the leaf by patting it on and allowing it to dry. This will begin shading the leaf. TIP: If desired, you may deepen the shading with an additional coat when dry. Mix a lighter value blue by adding a touch of Ink Spot to Wicker White. Load your dauber with this mixture and continue adding light value grapes.
I apologize for this photo. For some reason when Priscilla painted then snapped the photo to send me, the color was off. However, it is easy to see that the grapes are beginning to take shape and so is the shaded leaf.
Still using the dauber, add just a tiny touch of Magenta to a small portion along the rim. Be sure the color is blended well on the dauber. Paint a blended Magenta blush on a few grapes using the same dauber technique. (Touch straight down and slightly twist). Add a few Fresh Cut Grass blushes to the grapes too. Using Wicker White and the flat brush, highlights were added to the right side of the grape leaf too. Be sure to paint a light coat of Blending Gel on the leaf first so that you can move and blend the Wicker White into the Fresh Cut Grass.
To paint the curlicures, mix Fresh Cut Grass with a touch of Wicker White to create a lighter value green. Thin this mixture with water and load the liner brush. Holding your brush straight up at a 90 degree angle to your surface, allow the tip of the brush to touch the surface and freely swirl the brush around creating circles in opposite directions!
One last touch Priscilla shared with everyone is how to flyspeck ... it was fun to watch everyone's face when she pulled out a toothbrush! Load the bristles of an old toothbrush with thinned paint. She used Fresh Cut Grass and a touch of Wicker White which had been thinned with a little water. Run the bristles across your finger or thumb and small flecks of color will fall onto your painted suface as an accent. It adds a small finishing touch!
And here is the finished grape cluster! Isn't it fun to think that this painted project was accomplished with the use of daubers? Of course with the chalkboard painted surface, a chalked message or list of your favorite wines: Pinot Noir, Chardannay, Zinfandel ... should be added to personalize!
And as promised ... Priscilla's pattern:
Everyone at Plaid so LOVED our time spent with Priscilla. She is a doll and meant to be enjoyed by all! I wish I could have had each one of you in the class along with us! Check out Plaidonline.com soon to find a couple video painting lessons she created with us that are perfect for a beginner interested in learning how to paint!