Please be my instructor...........

AlritythenJanuary 15, 2002

I am still steadfast in my efforts to teach myself how to decorative paint. Did One stroke, doing pretty good. But I was getting a little overconfident, and am trying to take on paint projects that are not one stroke. I bought a pattern book with beautiful things to paint, (mostly buildings in garden settings), and I cant get the hang of it from the simplified paint instructions in the front of the book.

The shading is throwing me off I would try to one-stroke it, but to me the effect is no where near as subtle as what is shown in the book. And I like to learn different ways to do things. Is this shading the same as floating? Or am I misunderstanding? If so, I wicked water on half the brush, and the color on the other (not much) and worked it in. But by the time I got to the end of the board I was shading, the water end was a very diluted color that left a shadow on the uncolored side. (Did I make sense??). This has happened just about every time, and I am getting frustrated.

Could some kind person PuHLEEZ take the time out to help explain some methods to me? I looked in 2 decorative painting books at michaels, and shading is usually done on leaves and flowers with double loaded brushes and paints. Neither one explained shading ie floating ie (whatever) or I guess I just didnt get to that part before the clerk said, "you gonna buy that or just stand there and read it".

Thanks for any input.


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I will do the best I can. after you base coat look at your project and imagine a light source coming in from one direction. now your float is actually hilighting and shading. hilight is your light color shade is just your dark color.have your lt. color to brighten that spot and your shade is to darken that spot. use a float brush and I dip brush in water and dab most the water off by running it across my index finger then dip coner of brush in paint gentle stroke your brush forward across some freezer paper or wax paper to blend it , but I only go one stroke on my paper then as you start to highlite or shade remember to lay brush on surface press down so brush goes flat and glide smooth across the area to float.most of the time you will run out of paint before you go full length, but just reload and start where you left off and smooth the start and go learn to float w/ lots of practice. I have a begginer book I will try to email it to you as soon as I can. It is a real easy one.never go back and forth when you float or you lose the float, after it dries it's always lighter.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2002 at 1:00AM
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One thing you have to remember is that One Stroke is done wet-on-wet unlike tradional decorative painting. As you continue to paint you're going to find that even floating your colors is just one more way to shade and highlight. Some artists put one color completely on top of another to shade. But that's another post! lol

To Float, dip one corner of a Flat or Angular brush in the paint color being used for your shading or highlighting, and the other corner in water or Floating Medium. Pretty much the same thing you would do if loading your brush for One Stroke. If you are a first time painter I would suggest using the Floating Medium and maybe thinning your paint a little for consistency and smooth flow. The medium will keep your paint brush wetter longer so you can finish your strokes.

After loading your brush make a few practice strokes on your palette to work the paint across your brush into the water/medium. As Okla gal mentioned, when doing your shading & highlighting on your work piece move in one direction only in a smooth motion. As you stroke and push down on the brush the paint and the water/medium should gently blend together causing your paint to thin out into the medium making the graduated color you need for shading or highlighting. It takes practice!

Boy, you'd think with all of us seasoned painters here something like this would be easy to explain! lol

Some great books for beginners on basics of painting are Pat Olson's Anyone Can Paint series. She covers ALL the basics. And Priscilla Hauser explains everything to a tee in her books - both artists books are very well written and easy to understand. And both artists take you through all the basics again in most of their books.

For now you might want to go to these sites I like to refer to as Painting 101

Good luck and welcome to the world of decorative painting!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2002 at 2:28AM
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