Sunday, December 30, 2007

Painted panel

My daughter Nina came across some discarded ceiling fan blades by the recycling bin on our building and brought them home, thinking they might be fun to paint. Before painting, the blades had to be sanded since they were painted most likely with oil based paint.

Not having any transfer paper on hand, I made a sheet of graphite paper to transfer the drawing to the wood blade. Using a soft leaded pencil (a 6B) I covered a blank sheet of paper with graphite holding the pencil on its side to get more coverage. I taped my drawing to the panel on one side and slipped the graphite paper face down on the board under the drawing. Then I traced over the lines of my drawing with a hard lead pencil transferring the drawing to the board.

The gold background was painted first with the color Quinacridone Gold fluid acrylic watered down to a thin wash and applied with a soft bamboo brush in multiple glazing coats building up the color on the outside edges of the panel. I used textile paints and Golden fluid acrylics for the rest of the painting.

I used two different painting techniques to paint this panel. You can see the robins breast is painted using red with white, mixing shades of pink for the gradation. The wings on each bird were painted by using one color (brown for the robin) and painting thin washes to create the gradation form light to dark. It is important for each wash to dry before applying the next. Usually the paint dries rather quickly unless it is humid and then the process can be sped up with a quick hit with a blow dryer. The robins head, wings and tail were painted with brown washes and then a thin blue wash was painted over the whole thing.

The yellow birds wings were painted mainly with washes in brown paint and Sap Green fluid acrylic then painted over with a wash of lemon yellow.


  1. Hello there,

    I stop by from time to time to see what lovely thing you've done lately. I just wanted to say how much I admire your work, and that I enjoy this blog.


  2. I LOVE these ! Recycling at it's very finest. Your work, as always, cheers and amazes me. Bravo!

  3. For moment I almost thought you were painting skateboards! They look great, interesting shape. You could probably do skateboards too, but would have to get a little more extreme with it, hehe.

  4. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Since I discovered your site I can't help checking out your art work, you are so talented. If ever in Austin please have a workshop on painting techniques on fabric. I just love your work. Are you mounting those decorated blades on a fan?

  5. my husband asked if I was painting skateboards at first too, LOL

    Delsol, I would love to have an excuse to come back to Austin! I used to live there, and love it. There have been a few factors in my life right now that have made me hesitant to put class/workshop info out there to the public. I am hoping to be able to do that this next year. when i do, I will post a note on the blog.

    I am going to paint the fan blades just as solo pieces, besides I think my daughter wants to paint a few too. I do love the size and shape, oh and I can't forget the holes already there for hanging, lol.

  6. this is gorgeous darling!
    way to go Nina for trash picking the blades~


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