merriberri226November 24, 2007

Hey guys! I am new to this forum and was wondering if any of you could give me suggestions on learning some of this decorative and tole painting. I absolutely love the snowmen and Santas! Is it possible to learn from a book or should I look into classes? Where do you get the majority of your patterns from? What magazines would you suggest subscribing to?

I have always loved painting and crafting, and now that my fiancé is deployed, I am trying to keep myself busy, busy, busy to pass the time... so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! You all do such beautiful work! Hopefully, once I learn how to do it, I will be posting my creations also! I hope you all had a safe and joyous Thanksgiving!

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Hi! I'm very much in the learning stage, so I probably shouldn't be giving advice. But I can tell you that I had started painting on glass on my own, and then after being inspired by the work posted on this forum I bought some books by Kerry Trout, Donna Dewberry and others (probably more than I need, but I'm a book person) and two videos. I haven't watched the videos yet, but one is on the One-Stroke basic brush strokes and the other is a tole and decorative painting sampler. Got them on eBay. I've been using AC Moore's (and Michael's) weekly discount coupons to acquire some brushes and a practice pad. So I'm all set . . . all I have to do is sit down and paint! :-)

You sound wonderfully motivated. I'm sure you'll do a great job.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 9:21AM
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Welcome, Merri. We have some wonderful painters on this forum so I know you will get a lot of advice. I would suggest getting a few books, a few brushes and several bottles of acrylic paint and you are on your way. I have been painting for a really long time but really didn't know what I was doing so I started taking classes at a local craft shop. I also purchased books and tried painting on my own. I have to say that it sure made it easier to understand when you have someone in front of you showing you what to do - unless you can find a book that shows you the angle of the brush, how well the paint is blended, etc. We have so many wonderful decorative painting teachers out there and probably a few in your area.

Since you are just starting, I would get a couple of the Soft Grip brushes - a script or liner, a #12 flat or angle, they cost only $2.99 each at Michael's. Then get a couple of bottles of acrylic - Folk Art or Americana - less than $2 at Michaels and practice "brushing" so you can get the feel of the paint in the brush. You only need water and soap for clean up. I can't think of a book to purchase at the moment but I will go through what I have (4 file drawers full) to see if I can find one that would be a good starter.

Luvs is really good with the Donna Dewberry painting. Hopefully she will jump in to give you some advice shortly.
Good Luck,

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 11:06AM
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Hi and welcome! I'm sure everyone here wants you to just jump right in and get to painting. ha I'm a self taught painter but do hope to take some classes eventually so I can get as good as paintingfool! The books are great for patterns which you transfer on with graphite or carbon paper, then it's just like paint by number without the numbers. There are also a bunch of free patterns online that we've found that I'll try to bump up for you if you don't want to invest in books just yet. Luvs gave me the best tip ever in using alcohol and a qtip to erase mistakes and also great for cleaning your brushes, so keep that one in mind. You'll also want a clear spray sealer to protect your piece. My favorite place to shop for things to paint is my local Thrift store. Very inexpensive place for starter pieces to practice on. And remember thinned paint is better, you can always add another coat! Happy painting! ~Anj

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 12:04PM
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Of the books I bought, this is the one I would start with: Decorative Painting Made Easy, put out by Plaid, the Folk Art paint people. The instructions are very clear and beautifully illustrated, and I'm in love with the sunflower pattern.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 1:13PM
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Everyone has given you great suggestions. I agree with Painting Fool, if you can take a class, it is so helpful to have someone SHOW you how to properly load your brush, hold the brush, and make the strokes. They also will share lots of good tips that will be helpful--especially about shading and hi lighting. Try to find a small class where you can get some individual attention from the instructor.

The videos are also an excellent way to learn. Better than a book in my opinion. Do be aware that the One Stroke is NOT exactly the same as regular painting. For example--With One Stroke you really load allot of paint in the brush and load more than one color so you do the shading and hi lighting all at one time. While with regular painting, you base coat, then shade, then hi light.

I loved using the One Stroke videos, because I could rewind, and replay a section over and over until I "got it". Donna Dewberry is good about telling you how to load and hold your brush to make the strokes. One Stroke is quick and gives almost "instant gratification"so it might be fun for a beginner. You can grab a flower pot and have it looking beautiful in just a few minutes time!

Regular painting is very much like "color book painting". It doesn't really start to look pretty until you get to the part where you are adding the shading and detail work, but you can use it for many more patterns and get lots more details.

I get so excited when someone says they want to learn to paint. It is such a great creative outlet. Trust me, it is not hard, but you do get better the more you practice and learn. (And don't be too hard on yourself--it's only paint, you can wash it off if still wet, or sand it off if you just hate it and want to start over! We've all had those experiences!) ;o)

Do you know what kinds of things you would really love to paint? That info would help us recommend some patterns you might like.

Welcome to the forum, hope you keep coming here. We'd love to help all we can and will look forward to seeing your projects.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 2:24PM
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Thank you all so much for your great advice. I have worked on a few projects over the past couple of years, so I have about a million different folk art acrylics (i love them)... mainly painting unfinished wood products... but nothing nearly as good as what you guys have posted. I will post some of my creations in the next few days, any feedback would be great... I'm okay with constructive criticism as well as praises!

Luvs - I am interested in continuing to paint wood products (boxes, chests, chairs, sleds, plaques, etc.) as well as suitcases (i just picked up a fabulous one after being inspired by some of the posts I saw on here, mailboxes, old windows.... just about any material that inspires me. Any suggested patterns would be greatly appreciated! I love what i've seen of your work... really inspiring!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 4:25PM
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