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Happy Halloween

Alas it comes but once a year, Happiest of Halloween’s to all you boos and ghouls! Here is a selection of small (about 1x2foot each) chalkboards featuring some of our favorite scariest treats.

These small boards generally take between 30 and 60 minutes from start to finish. They are a fun way to try new color markers and paints as well as new styles of lettering.

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Floral Signage: Spring Blooms

It’s that time of year at TJs: Ranunculus season! We are lucky to get these beautiful flowers in store for a limited time each year. As we have recently updated our floral department signage with my new illustrated signs for each variety of bloom, I just had to make these signs for the ranunculus.

Made from card stock and permanent marker

These signs will be laminated and then have the price written over the laminate. Then they will be clipped to the individual buckets. Ranunculus come in a variety of colors, and these signs reflect some of the variation in the blooms.

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Watercolor Exercise

I am always on the look out for “new” techniques for art making. When I was in college (many years ago) we used a lot of masking fluid for ink drawings in my illustration classes. I decided to try using masking fluid again with some of my lettering.

Watercolor lends itself to masking fluid well. Both are not incredibly easy mediums to control, but they are useful to use together. Watercolor is of course very fluid and the masking fluid can stop the paints from bleeding too much.

I lettered this quote on paper first using masking fluid and made the perimeter out of masking fluid. I let the fluid dry while I decided on the landscape drawing. I then painted over the lettering with watercolor. Once the watercolors dried, I was able to peel the masking fluid off. It turned out pretty well for a small sample. I will probably go over the lettering with a layer of white gouache paint or paint marker.

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Cheeseboard Signage: Work in Progress

I was asked to create signage for our cheese department. There are many ways to “build a cheese board” and sometimes those choices can be overwhelming. I tried to make a fun sign that could guide customers and work with any budget.

The tools of the trade
Nearly finished, some chalk lines erased

As you can see, I am working directly on this farmhouse-style wooden paddle (purchased at Michael’s craft store) using Posca brand paint markers. These markers are the best markers for what I do, in my opinion. They come in a range of sizes and colors and they have replaceable nibs.

For every painted sign of any size, I always do a preliminary sketch on paper and sketch out the design using white chalk. As the paint drys and I get further through the design, I wipe away the chalk while the paint stays in place.

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Say Cheese Please

I wanted to share a new personal favorite display sign. We recently got these new crunchy snacks a lot like flaming hot corn snacks of another brand. I love the look of the packaging and really wanted to try making a display that had a true 3-D look.

We did not have a lot of time to make a wild and crazy display with papier-mâché or other materials, but I was able to pull off a 3-D style that really popped using paper, foam core, and sharpie and paint markers.

My biggest illustrative skill is using bold lines for a classic illustration look that blends well with the TJ’s style. I’m very pleased with how this display turned out. As a bonus, customers really seem to enjoy the look which really is the most important part. I have heard people say that the sign was the big reason that they decided to try these chips out!

Artwork, Illustration, pink toe press, Typography

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year with a fun new postcard design! This is part of a new set of postcards I recently made available in my Etsy Shop! Cards are glossy on the front and matte on the back for easy writing. Just add postage and drop in the mail…they also make fun artwork for your home or office…and fit perfectly in a 4x6inch frame. tequil_postcard

Illustration, Inspiration, Typography

Typography Illustration: Do Your Best

Hand-Lettering is a BIIIG part of my life. It seems like every day I have a new lettering project that I am working on. Some projects are client-driven, while others are ones that I take on myself. This illustration was an exercise in not only doing the work, but documenting it and photographing the steps.

I chose the phrase “do your best” for this illustration because I want to encourage others to strive to do the best they can do with their art.

I wanted to show my followers on Instagram the steps I take in completing the inking of a typographic piece. I always start with a pencil sketch. I generally use mechanical pencils for their precise line and easy erasing.

Once the lines are finalized, I go over them with ink. I use a variety of pen sizes and types.do_ur_best1

Start to finish: counter-clockwise from top left.

I wait a short while for the ink to dry and then use a soft, white eraser to erase the pencil lines. This is sometimes the hardest part! Be careful to let the ink dry, though, as it can smear and ruin your drawing!

do_ur_best2

I added stippling after adding the bold ink outline.

After the ink has dried, you can add other embellishments like hatching, cross hatching, or stippling to add contrast. I think I will color this piece, but I will leave that for another time!

 

Artwork, New Artwork, Painting, Typography

A Record-Breaking NEW Project!

An ornate hand-painted letter “A”

Well, I’m not actually breaking records, I’m painting on them… As you all know, I love typography and I have an interest in traditional sign painting.

Vinyl Love: Record Artwork "A"
A close up.

This is my newest project: An ornate hand-painted capital “A” on an old record.  I painted this last night using acrylic inks on a record that was primed with a matte black spray-paint (the paints don’t adhere well to the vinyl alone). I love it when bright colors come together well on a black background, and I feel I pulled it off here. I can see myself making many, many more of these…