Saturday, July 13, 2013

A cute sign project, step by step

During my recent vacation, I was hanging out at my sister's place in New Jersey for a few days and the weather had turned overcast and stormy -- meaning we were pretty much stuck inside. So, we decided to work on an art project together.

Mimi had bought a wooden sign last summer in Vermont and had hung it over a doorway in her kitchen. The sign reads "Bromley," the name of the mountain community where we have spent several great family vacations, not to mention of her 3-year-old long-haired dachshund.

Here is a photo of the sign at the beginning (sitting on a beige rug):

Upon first seeing it, I had remarked that it might be fun to paint it in a colorful, fun way.  Since Mimi had already mentioned that she was thinking about painting her kitchen to liven up the boring beige walls, we decided to go to a local hardware store to pick up some paint samples.  In addition to picking out strips of possible colors, we also bought several sample bottles of the paint colors and some small brushes, to use for putting paint swatches on the wall as well as to create the sign. We also bought white and black paint to use for background/ accents/mixing. 

I had an idea in my head, but needed some inspiration for particulars, so I did an image search online and found a series of cute wall art "words" by the pop artist Romero Britto. These served both as a guideline for the general design as well as providing ideas for decorative details.

I started by drawing out the letter separations and curved sectioning in pencil, so each letter would be outlined and also contain two basic background colors. Like so:

The sign was then painted with white as a primer, and allowed to dry. Luckily, the pencil marks showed through the white so we could use these as a guide when painting the letters the various colors, which we had chosen based on their potential as the new kitchen wall color.

We used several colors as is, and created a couple of other colors by mixing shades with white and/or black, to create 14 basic "sections":

Then, the challenging part began! It took a few hours to decorate all the sections (including a couple of "oops" -- where we had to repaint a section and start over). 

When the sign was dry enough, I painted the black outline and curved lines demarcating the letters, which made the sign "pop" and also created a 3-D effect. That took another hour or so of painstaking work! 

Here is the final version, and I must say I'm pretty pleased with the results. (Mimi was thrilled!)

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