by Colleen Reitz, OSCI
STRAWBERRY FLOOR CLOTH
This is an intermediate project, which combines One Stroke painting with Decorative Painting. This is perfect for someone who is seeking new techniques and a more challenging project.
FolkArt Artists’ Pigment:
Burnt Carmine #686
Burnt Umber #462
Napthol Crimson #435
Raw Sienna #452
Pure Orange #628
Yellow Ochre #917
Yellow Light #918
Berry Wine #434
Italian Sage #467
Midnight Blue #964
Olive Green #449
Olive Green Dark #234
School Bus Yellow #736
Wicker White #901
Wrought Iron #925
Floating Medium #868
#2 script liner
Scruffy-mini and medium
#8 Langnickel 5005
Langnickel Bringle Blender
Murphy’s Oil Soap
Scotch Magic Tape
Plaid Sponge Painters
Fredrix 2 x 3 Floor Cloth Primed
Preparation of Surface:
You will notice that one side of the floor cloth is primed white. This is the side we will be working with. Unroll the floor cloth and lay it flat for a day so it will straighten out.
Before we jump into this project I know the instructions seem very long. I am trying to be very detailed about each step so you understand what to do. It will probably take you longer to read my instructions than to paint your piece, but at least you will understand what you are doing! So lets dive in and have fun!
SLF- side load float
Using floating medium to help achieve a shade/ highlight by loading float in brush then picking up the color on one corner and blending.
Dry Brush-Pick up a small amount of paint then brush most of it off on a paper towel to remove excess paint. You then brush back and forth on the surface to achieve the desired highlight.
DL- Double load
Two colors blended on your brush to create a shade and highlight at the same time.
I use Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean my brushes and it works great! Give it a try you will not be disappointed.
Load your ¾ flat or sponge painter with wicker white and basecoat Area C the center of the cloth, just to clean it up a bit. We will be making a 4-inch border on the cloth so bring the white close to the edge but not all the way.
Take your T-Square and measure 4 inches from the outside of the cloth in. Use magic tape to outline the inside of the white center. I will refer to this part of the border as Area B. Try to use one solid piece of tape to ensure a straight line. Burnish the tapeline using your palette knife and your pointer finger and rub along the edge of the tape. You will notice the tape becomes very transparent without any filmy area, that’s how you know you have a good seal and bleeding through is unlikely to happen. Use scissors to help cut the tape at the end. Load your sponge painter or ¾ flat with Italian Sage and basecoat Area B. Area A will be a 1 ½ inch border so again you do not have to come all the way out to the edge with the paint. This will need 2-3 coats. When you are sure you will not require any more paint pull the tape off slowly and always pull towards the paint.
When Area B is completely dry measure 1 ½ inches in from the outside of the floor cloth, Area A, with your T-Square. Using magic tape, burnish the border of Area A. Remember to use a palette knife and rub along the line for a secure seal. Basecoat Area A with Olive Green, 2-3 coats. When dry lift tape towards painted area.
WHEW! The hard part is over! Now lets start having some fun!!! LOL
If you feel uncomfortable trying this freehand now is the time to transfer your pattern of the basket on the floor cloth. I would like you to try this without the pattern so you can amaze yourselves at what you are capable of. Remember, if you make a mistake we can easily go over it to fix it or add a pretty leaf or flower over it! NO ONE will ever know but you!
Load Raw Sienna on the ¾ flat and basecoat the basket and handle. Basecoat the inside of handle with Burnt Umber. Load your ¾ flat with floating medium and pick up a touch of Burnt Umber on the corner, work it out on your palette. Float a shade on the bottom and sides of basket and inside the handle with Burnt Umber.
SLF Yellow Ochre for a highlight on the top of the handle. Using a #8 Lang nickel dry brush Taffy on the top of handle for an added highlight.
DL Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna on your ¾ flat and pick up a touch of Taffy on the Raw Sienna side and begin to make vertical weaves on basket using your chisel edge to pull all strokes. Refer to basket illustration for placement. Keep picking up more paint on each corner to make strokes. You do not have to blend the paint often. By picking up paint on each corner you get a nice combination of color. After you make the vertical weaves begin the horizontal weaves. One stroke to the first vertical weave, the next stroke to the second vertical weave. Always cross over a vertical weave except the first and last stroke which will be short. Pull all strokes leading with Taffy.
Dry brush or SLF a shade of Burnt Umber using a ¾ flat under and around the basket. Also do this inside the basket handle to add depth.
DL medium scruffy with Basil and Olive Green Dark and pounce moss in basket. Come down on the sides of the basket, up around the handle and down alittle in the center. This is an opportunity to cover any parts of the basket that may not have come out the way you wanted. When complete, pick up alittle Taffy on the Basil side and pounce a highlight on the moss.
DL mini scruffy with School Bus Yellow and Burnt Umber and pounce Daisy Centers on the basket. Keep the brown side on the bottom of daisy. Wipe off brush and pick up a little Yellow light and pounce a highlight on the daisy top. Load a #6 filbert with wicker white and make daisy petals, pulling towards the center of daisy. Refer to daisy illustration for further details. Use the small end of the stylus and dip into Burnt Umber and make small dots around the daisy center. Repeat using Yellow Light.
Load #8 flat with Napthol Crimson and make strawberries. Put them wherever you like. See illustration on shape. SLF a shade of burnt carmine with the #8 flat. Keep the shade towards the bottom of the strawberry; depending on which way the strawberry is tilted the shade could be on different sides. SLF a highlight with #8 using Pure Orange (opposite side of shade). Dry brush wicker white using a #4 flat on strawberry to add a little highlight on the top of strawberry. With inky white load a 6/0 liner to make crisscross pattern on strawberry. Load #2 liner with black and make small seeds inside of crisscross shapes. Do this by touching your brush down and pulling up. Use a little water if the paint is too thick. The seeds do not need to be in every crisscross. When you are done use the same brush and pull through School Bus Yellow and add a few highlights on the seeds sporadically.
Load #8 with Berry Wine and make the oval shape for the berries. Do the same with Midnight. Next DL #8 with Berry Wine and Wicker White and make C strokes on the oval to create berries. Do the same with Midnight and Wicker White. See illustration.
DL #6 with Basil and Olive Green and make one stroke leaves on strawberries and berries.
Leaves in Basket:
Load #8 with Wrought Iron and add leaves in the basket. Pull your stems in immediately. Load #2 with Basil and make veins in leaves simply by pulling each vein very gently. They do not have to look identical; this will make them look more natural.
Load #2 with inky wrought iron and connect berries and strawberries in basket and make curly q’s.
Vine in Border:
Now we are ready to make the vine around the outside of the floor cloth. Load #12 with Burnt Umber, dip into floating medium, blend back in puddle then begin to make your first vine. This should be one continuous vine curving up and down. Repeat the steps above using Raw Sienna. Make sure the vines cross over each other in a continuous flowing motion. DL Yellow Ochre and Taffy. Pick up floating medium and create the last vine. See illustration.
Using the #2 liner and inky Burnt Umber, holding your brush at the top, come out of the bottom corner and make a very loose, branch like vine. You want this to be shaky. By holding the brush at the top you have less control over it, which makes the twig a lot easier to make.
Leaves on Vine and Twig:
DL #8 with Basil and Olive Green and make one stroke leaves on the vine. Do not add too many leaves, just 2-3 in one spot and move up a few inches and do another 2-3. When you get to the twig coming out of the corner just add a few leaves here and there. Keep it open. Do NOT pull stems into leaves on Twig.
Berries on Vine:
Create berry clusters by DL a stylus or the end of your brush with Berry Wine and Wicker White and create groups of 3 berries around the vine.
With inky Burnt Umber add curly q’s around the vine and twig.
Now we are going to speckle the floor cloth. Using fan brush water down wrought iron until it is inky. Take an old brush and hold the bristles in your hand. We will use the handle to tap the fan brush. After picking up paint tap out before going to your project. DO THIS FIRST TO GET RID OF THE LOOSE PAINT!!! When you see you have nice dots coming off of your brush go to your floor cloth and begin to speckle it. Remember, each time you pick up paint to tap it first on your palette.
If you choose to antique your piece you can do it now, as long as the cloth is completely dry. Use a damp sponge and a little antique medium and work it into your cloth. Remember the more you rub the lighter the antique will be.
Last but not least, SIGN and date your beautiful cloth! Do not forget to brush on at least 3 coats of varnish to ensure daily wear and tear on your cloth will not damage your work. I recommend a fresh coat of varnish yearly.