Thursday, February 14, 2013

Craft Your Calendar: Paint February

Sometimes the best thing to do to beat the winter blues is to craft!  The next installment to my monthly calendar tutorial features a pretty hand-drawn picture that is sure to lighten your mood.  Since I've been learning a lot of painting techniques in my art class lately, I wanted to showcase the lovely world of watercolor.  Step-by-step below, I illustrate how to get started with painting in a simple and quick way by creating a wash, which is basically a light glaze of color.  For a quirky and creative spin, you can also apply white crayon beforehand to create a neat effect.  I hope you give painting a try—who knows, it could turn out to be your own hidden niche.

You really only need a few basic art materials for this project including the free printable February Template, watercolor paper, a white crayon, a set of watercolors, a watercolor palette for mixing, a paintbrush, a light source (a light box or a window works fine), water, and some paper towels.

1.  Print the template on regular printer-paper, and then cut a piece of watercolor paper to eight and one-half by eleven inches.  Layer the thicker paper over the template and trace over a light source using a white crayon.  This effect, while invisible at first, will create a waxy surface that will resist the water.

2.  Put some water in your paint and experiment by mixing colors to create neat shades and tints.  You don't want your paint consistency to be too thin or thick—somewhere in between works well.

3.  Using a paintbrush (I used a thick one to cover more area), cover you paper in a little water, so that the pores in the watercolor paper soak it up.  Then, paint over the paper, revealing the magic of the white crayon.  I suggest using a dark colored paint so that the white crayon will show though better.

4.  Fill in the detailed parts of the drawing with a smaller paintbrush. Next, dab over the white crayon using a paper towel to sop up any extra watercolor.  Let you calendar dry, and you're done!

5.  If you want to take full advantage of your leftover template, you can do a craft with it as well.  Using some thick markers, I colored my template, and put it in my school binder, to keep reminders for myself throughout the month.

If you enjoy watercolor, and have experimented with creating washes, try making a composition.  Above is the painting I made for my art class, which was the inspiration for this tutorial.  If you enjoyed this craft, don't forget to come by next month, and check out my calendar template for March.

Update: on the templates, I have left the days blank, so that his series can be used for many years to come!  Also, the names of the weeks have been omitted, so that any country can enjoy the calendar tutorials.  If you want, you can fill the blanks in by hand with a marker, to create the same effect as shown in the tutorial.

Happy Valentines day :)


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