First I want to say thankfully I did not have food poisoning!!!! It must have been a very bad case of the stomach bug but it did leave me drained . Then my oldest daughter has a bout of Diverticulitis and spends several hours in the ER. And yesterday and today GD is sick. However I think we will all recover.
Now supposing you have been over to Lindas blog and loved what you saw.You are primed and ready to paint. First gather your basic supplies--the paint called for, brushes, sand paper, tracing and graphite paper, something to hold water in and some varnish. And lastly your wood piece. Yipes now where does that come from!!!! Okay don't panic at this point you have options-maybe. If you've gotten a pattern book theres a good chance the artist has listed a resource where you can buy your desired piece. Most of them don't have time to cut their own wood so they simply hire someone else to do it. Just be prepared for sticker shock because most pieces are expensive. Now if you've used that free pattern Linda has posted you will have to find someone to cut your wood or learn to do it yourself.
Allright lets say you've got that wood piece and are ready to start. Stain your back with a water based stain and let dry then sand your piece ( front and back) lightly and wipe it clean with a soft cloth. Some people like to seal their wood first with a general sealer-not your varnish, but I love the way the different woods take paint so I never seal my wood. It's up to you on this step.( This only applies to the front of the piece. The stain will seal the back ). Use the tracing paper to copy your pattern and the graphite paper to lay under it ( on your wood piece) to copy it to the wood. If your wood is soft don't use a heavy hand or you'll emboss it!! Gentleness is the key. At this time only trace the main details (larger areas) and then apply a thin layer of paint, let dry, lightly sand and then apply another thin layer of paint. Now comes the fun part--all that detailing. This is where the part of you comes in. The designer knows that unless they have taught you you won't be able to paint exactly like them. And even if they did teach you you'll still develope your own style. That's what makes painting so fun. Most of it is you. Can't make berry vines-make squiggles. Eyes turn out silly-so what. Painting is suppose to be fun and it's about what you like. Shoot I rarely use the colors the designer does and I still hate that "aged look". Just put those details on however you'd like. With time you'll learn the ropes and soon be painting like a pro.
Now that your piece is completely dry you can varnish it. Varnish comes in brush on or spray. Either one is good but spray is quicker. One coat is enough if you plan to use indoors but for outdoor use apply several coats so your master piece will last. Now stand back and admire that creation-make sure you take a picture because you'll want to see how far you've come after a few years. Just never doubt yourself and don't let anyone else's bad opinion bug you either. Take it and move forward. You'll be glad you did.
This is just a brief detail of painting and getting started. Next time we will cover the supplies in detail.You can paint on a shoestring budget but the better supplies you can afford the better the end result. I just don't want you to back out at this stage. This is a new adventure and hopefully a life long hobby. It's also very relaxing so it's good for the ole body.
If you need some pictures of any of these steps just let me know and I'll get them on.Linda has some great pics on her blog and hopefully she'll be back up and running soon and will have some more goodies for you.