Sunday, September 8, 2013

Adventures With Chalk Art

Uh oh. I have discovered a new time consuming hobby that I really enjoy. I blame Pintrest.

It started at hobby lobby. I picked up a chalkboard and chalk paint (less messy than chalk) for our little one's room. I wrote on it as soon as I got home and realized I was going to have to put a little more effort into it than I originally planned. So, I went to Pintrest, naturally! 

CLICK HERE for Crafty Hobby House Pinterest Chalkboard Art Page
I was so inspired, I thought I'd make a short "first attempt" tutorial. If you like to draw, this is a very fun thing to do-- but it is time consuming!

The first thing I did was practice with markers. I went online, downloaded free fonts and played around in word to get the letters I wanted. I free handed everything you see in the photos below, and was actually pretty pleased at how they turned out! Plus, it was kind of fun :)

Not too bad for a first try! I like the word "Logan" the best...

My freehand cursive is kind of awful, but it's good to practice, right?
So after I felt like I'd mastered that technique, it was on to the chalkboard!

I learned a few important lessons on my first attempt.

First, make sure to gather your items. I printed a few examples of what I thought I wanted to use for reference (bigger print is better!!). The other items you will need:
     1. Chalkboard
     2. Chalk or I used chalk paint (get one with a fine tip!)
     3. Wet wipes, or paper towels and a cup of water
     4. Toilet paper
     5. A ruler
     6. (not shown) Qtips and a small cup of water

Now the fun begins. I started with the word I knew was the fanciest. I traced out a basic "sketch" by TRYING to center the middle letter, and filled it in after. I made the mistake of filling in from the middle out. This means your hand will be touching the wet chalk paint unless you let it dry in between  If you are a righty, start right to left!

You WILL mess up. That is the beauty of a chalkboard! Tear off a very small piece of the wet wipe and VERY CAREFULLY wipe away. You will get white paint "smears" so make sure to use different sides of the wipe. Dry with a piece of toilet paper and don't try again until the board is totally dry. 

Okay the most important lesson after? Make sure you sketch ALL the words out first! I was lucky everything fit, but I should have sketched it all, THEN filled it in! On that note, I did use the ruler and put a very very faint line up top to keep me straight. And I re-wrote "home" like 100 times before I liked it! Oh- and make sure everything is FULLY DRY before moving on. I also used a piece of paper between my hand and the board, just in case. 

I started filling in the other letters.. that first "e" had to be redone 3 times also. Thank goodness for wet wipes. 

Ahh, the hardest part is done. Is it perfect? No. Is it WAY BETTER than how it started? YES :)

Now to add accents. Honestly, this is also a hard task for me, as I'm not a good "doodler". The finished product, while not very fancy, suited my needs just fine! I love it :)

Now I have to buy another chalkboard.. this has to stay up until little man is born, so I guess it's back to pinterest and hobby lobby.

So, give it a try! Start with markers and go from there! It won't be perfect.. and that's ok! I think of the imperfections as "character". 

Happy sketching!

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