Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Little Thanksgiving Picture For you From Me

Don't you love getting free things. I made this picture to share. The watercolour background is already done, all you need to do is print it and frame it. Happy Thanksgiving.

I started this little picture a while ago, but alas some things no matter how simple they are sometimes take longer than we expect to complete. Especially when you are like me and find too many little things to do,
they then start to get stressful when you start to realize you are not going to get most of them done.  The graphic for this picture came from Karen at the Graphic Fairy,

This is the original print. There are so many to choose from, it is hard narrowing your choice down to one. I opted for this beautiful bird drawn in ink and adorned with calligraphy flourishes. I only wish I had the time to do this myself, but the beautiful graphic that Karen has supplied takes the bite out of not doing it myself. My pens will have to wait until it is time to sign Christmas cards again this year. No one before this has known but I practice different calligraphy alphabets while posting my yearly Christmas list. The quote is one I found and thought most appropriate for who I am as a person. First I used Photomonkey as my editing program and I found I did not have enough control to make it the size I wanted. When I printed the picture, it came out all cut off at the edges. Unfortunately I have not kept the first try for you to see. Now I am not putting Photomonkey down, I use it all of the time to edit my pictures. It is quick and easy to use, no lessons required, but I found to do something a little more technical, it just did not do the job. I have now downloaded a one month trial for Adobe Photoshop. It was harder to use, I had to look things up online as I went. I also had to watch many YouTube video’s to get what I wanted. I have so much to learn with Photoshop, but it is such an awesome program. I am not going into many details of what I did on Photoshop as I did not keep notes. My daughter Trina was here while I was doing this and she was a huge help, as she always is with anything computer.  I am going to give you two options to download of my Thanksgiving Picture. 

The first is in basic white with verse. I have included it this way so that you can choose to embellish yours in your own way if you choose. The second I have used my art supplies to create an antiqued sign ready to frame and hang. 

The steps taken to get to this point after editing were as follows. I printed a copy of the print on card stock.  I used white as that is what I have. I buy white card stock in reams, (500 sheets), as it can be used for signs, pictures and cards. If you start with white, you can do anything with it. Next I pulled out my little mini field palette of water colour paints. 

This is all I needed to create the background I wanted. My little set of watercolour paints are by Sakura and they are a pocket field sketch box. They were a gift from my youngest daughter, who also loves to paint. The same year she gave me the field sketch box of water colour paints, I gave her a big set of water colour paints. We must have been in the same vibe that year, only we were in a different budget allowance. You do not have a lot of colours in a field box, but you have everything you need if you know how to mix your colours. I used a mix of golden yellow, rust and green to paint the background. Because I was using card stock and not water colour paper I had to be careful not to get the paper too wet. Regular paper cannot stand up to many watercolour techniques. I simply painted a horizontal pattern across the paper using a wet brush until I reached my desired finish. I did not premoisten the paper. I had to let everything dry before I could do anymore. Unfortunately I had just enough time to fold a load of towels from the dryer, and put on another load of laundry. I even had time to clean the bathroom sinks and toilets with their daily quick scrub. This was just enough time for the paper and paints to almost dry. I was a little impatient so I pulled out my trusty old hair dryer to finish the job. I do not use my hair dryer that I use for my hair, I have a little travel dryer that I have had for years. They get pretty mucked up if you use your regular hairdryer.  Besides I did not want to do anymore housework while I had art on my mind. 

The next step was to take my chalks to add some antiquing around the edges of my picture. The set I use are Kaiser Colour Pearlescent Chalks. They are acid free and non-toxic. I used a small sponge applicator to apply the chalk to the outer edges of the picture. I find I also use my hand to blend the chalks as I do not like them to have any rough edges. I used a charcoal colour to obtain the finish I was looking for. In some places I added more and some I used less. To make it look antique the edge would not be straight across, so lots of dips and curves are the order of the day. When I was done and I was happy with how the picture looked, I gave it a quick and light spray of hairspray to set the colour. I did not have any finishing spray and hairspray is the next best thing. I had to turn the picture right side down on a paper surface and I used my regular iron to flatten out the finished picture. Do not iron from the right side as this will smudge your picture. And this is what I ended up with. 

I have attached a PDF of the painted picture free for you to download for your Thanksgiving décor at the end of my post. 
I also finished my frame. I started with a dollar store plastic 8 x 10 black frame. I painted it with two coats of Annie Sloan Chateau Grey. I then gave it a light sanding, which exposed some of the original black. I finished the frame with a light coat of Cottage Paint Raw Umber Wax, number #LL8033. The dark wax was the perfect finish. I painted on a light coat all over the frame. I gave it a few moments to dry and then I buffed it to a nice finish. When they are put together, they are a perfect match. In the future I may look at a larger frame with a mat, but this is quick and inexpensive. 

I do not know about you but my Thanksgiving décor budget is not usually too high. The most important thing is to wish you my friends and my readers a very happy Thanksgiving. Take the time this weekend to reflect on what you are most thankful for. Even those with nothing have something to be thankful for. Sometimes we just need to take the time to think about what it is we are thankful time. With the busy lives we live these days sometimes we forget to take the time to remember. 


Have the Happiest of Harvest Dinners 

Click Here to download the original white copy
and Click here to download the Finished Watercolour Copy 

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