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live, love & laugh slate
by Alicia Balestracci, OSCI

By Alicia Balestracci, OSCI
Slate Plaque, Available in Most Craft Stores
FolkArt Acrylic Colors
- 901 Wicker White
- 924 Thicket
- 432 Sunflower
- 736 School Bus Yellow
- 434 Berry Wine
- 761 Plum Chiffon
- 964 Midnight
FolkArt ONE Stroke Brushes
-2 Flat
-6 Flat
-8 Flat
-10 Flat
-Script Liner Brush
Additional Supplies
-Rubbing Alcohol
-Cotton Balls
-Paper Towels
-Brush/Water Basin
-773 Folk-Art Lacquer Sealer Spray, Matte Finish
-868 FolkArt Floating Medium
To clean the slate of any oily residue that could keep the paints from adhering, wipe surface clean with cotton and alcohol.
(Refer to color worksheet throughout)
ONE Stroke Leaves:
Double load the #10 flat brush with Thicket and Sunflower. Lay bristles over flat, press down and pivot on your Sunflower side. As you are pivoting, begin leading the Thicket side outwards to the leaf tip, slowly raising your brush back up onto its chisel edge. TIP: If you immediately start to pivot as you press your bristles flat you will get more of a rounded leaf bottom instead of a flat squared-edge bottom.
5-Petal Wildflowers:
Double load the #10 flat brush with Wicker White and School Bus Yellow. With your Wicker White to the outer edge, press the bristles flat and begin to wiggle back and forth, pivoting on the School Bus Yellow. Wiggle up and down slightly unevenly so the outer petal edge will be a bit jagged. Paint five of these petals going around, meeting in the center. Overlap flowers to add some dimension. You can then paint a few single and double petals coming out and away from the main flowers to imitate trailing flowers.
Tear Drop Petals:
Double load the #10 flat brush the same as above with Wicker White and School Bus Yellow. Start on the chisel edge, laying the bristles over and pressing down. Pivot on the School Bus Yellow, leaning your brush handle back towards that color letting the Wicker White edge flare out as you turn your brush and then start to rise back up onto your chisel edge. You can do a few of these as you would for the trailing flower effect mentioned above, tucking into various spots amongst leaves and other flowers, using less pressure and getting smaller strokes as you go out.
Stalk Filler Flowers:
Double load the #6 flat brush with Berry Wine and Wicker White (later using Plum Chiffon and Wicker White). Paint your filler flowers by touching your chisel edge to the surface, with Wicker White always facing in towards the stalk. Lean brush slightly while making a short pulling motion and lifting. Touch, lean, pull and lift. Work your way down from the tip of the stalk to where itís tucked into the previously painted flowers and leaves. After you work with the Berry Wine and Wicker White, do some of these in Plum Chiffon and Wicker White. TIP: Stagger the placement down the stalk slightly so they are not at the same height across from each other. If you don't it will look like little bird tracks going up. Also, don't forget to put some "touch, lean and pull" strokes going down across the middle of the stalk, leaning inwards from the left and then from the right as you work your way down. This is so it doesn't look like the same V or W pattern going downwards.
Shadow Leaves:
At this point you can add transparent shadow leaves by loading the #8 flat brush with the same leaf colors used for the regular leaves, Thicket and Sunflower. After you've loaded your brush, wipe it all off with a paper towel. Dip your now "dirty" brush straight up and down one time into the Floating Medium and swipe it back and forth on a clean section of your palette, loading it with the Floating Medium. This will make a transparent green color. Just as instructed for the regular leaves, make a few ONE Stroke shadow leaves in various places amongst the previously painted leaves. This will give a subtle look of whispy fullness and dimension to your project without being too hard or obvious. Remember, less is more, and you can add more later if necessary.
Double load the #6 flat brush with Midnight and Wicker White. With Midnight to the outside, lay your bristles over, press down, pivoting on the Wicker White side as you roll the brush handle with your fingers, making a circle/berry on your surface. You can also make these by making two "C" strokes facing each other, as shown on the color worksheet, and overlapping them in the center of the berry. To make the little burst berry skin effect, load the #2 flat brush with Wicker White. Gently swipe one edge of the brush along the side of the Midnight paint puddle. This is how you load the tiny brushes, but you only need a hint of Midnight paint color for this. With the brush handle straight up and down and Wicker White to the outside, dab going in a circle, pivoting on the Midnight color, much like a clock, dab at the 1 O'clock, 2 O'clock, etc. as seen on the color worksheet, until you've completely gone all the way around. You may need to make some more of an oval shape than round depending on what you think looks best. Don't be afraid to add a bit more Wicker White to your brush if you feel you need a stronger white color around the edge.
Using the liner brush, load with some inky Wicker White paint and freehand the letters used on the pattern sheet or print out letters on your computer and transfer them onto the project with transfer paper. The dots on the letters are made using the brush handle tip and Sunflower paint.
After paint has dried and cured a day or so, you can protect your project design by spraying on some clear FolkArt Lacquer Sealer in several light mists.
Design created by Alicia Balestracci
BIOGRAPHY??Alicia Balestracci has lived and traveled through many states, from Alaska to Florida, but calls Pine Mountain, Georgia home. She's married with three young daughters and when not being mommy and wife and "office manager" to her husband Stuart's home-office based plumbing business, she's painting, creating jewelry, working on her websites for both of these ventures, gardening, or out teaching classes in Columbus or LaGrange, GA.
She's been painting ONE Stroke on her own since 1996, before she and her family went online a few years later and realized there was a whole ONE Stroke world to explore! Once online, she met many others like herself learning ONE Stroke painting and with the persuasion of these new-found friends, she eventually attended Donna's ONE Stroke Certification class in Charlotte, NC (April 2001) with some of those same online friends! Those that got to know each other beforehand and attended the Charlotte class together dubbed themselves the "Charlotte Websters". Since certification over two years ago, Alicia has been teaching privately and publicly, as well as painting in local area homes and businesses and on windows and cars, among other things. She says she truly enjoys it all, but prefers to "paint big" the most since it gives her the most freedom and enjoys painting unexpected surfaces. One of her goals is to find someone with a newer model white or yellow VW Bug that would be willing to let her paint on their car!
She says her greatest achievements so far in her painting career have been getting her ONE Stroke Certified Instructor title and getting published twice previously in gallery of The Stroking Earlier this year she was even surprised when graced with the honorable mention Humanitarian Award from the Dewberrys and ONE Stroke for services she rendered to her oldest daughter's elementary school where she painted a garden mural at no charge. She wanted them to have something better to look at than old file cabinet walls in their office and hoped to leave her daughter memories to smile about everyday when she'd pass by it. She hopes to one day go back and add some more to it with the help of her daughter, who she introduced to ONE Stroke last year.??Her future plans are uncertain as life is dictated by children and the family's home based businesses, but with her love for "painting big" she'd like to attend Donna's Wall and Furniture Certification class as well as the Faux Finish Certification so she can become more familiar with certain aspects. Like she tells her students, it's something to work for!?
Alicia Balestracci, OSCI, can be reached at:
Pine Mountain, GA 31822