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New freebie coloring page coming at ya! This pumpkin trio can be easily made into a simple fall craft to do with the kids or a fun way to zen out with some coloring!! Made to be printed at 8x10 inches - fits perfectly on standard sized printer paper (8.5"x11").

 
Fallcoloringsheet
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Don't forget to use the hashtag #getcreativewithjen and tag @jenniferschiano on instagram so I can share your creations!

 

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If you’re at all curious how I’ve made these little babies, I’d love to show you a little run down and behind the scenes on the process!

 
 

Here’s a list of materials and links :


  • Small Wood Slices

*A note on wood I’ve tried: so far I’ve purchased two different types, a bag 20 of birch pieces from Michaels (these are larger and much thicker) and a bag of 100 rosewood slices from Amazon. Overall I prefer the mini birch pieces. They were more consistent in surface quality while rosewood tended to be rougher and varied a lot. The thicker mini birch slices are honestly much easier to handle through out the entire magnet making process too.


  • 150 Grit Sandpaper

  • Transparent Gesso (I used Liquitex brand)

  • Paint brushes

  • Pencil

  • Micron pen (or other waterproof pen of choice)

  • Watercolor/gouache/acrylic

*you can use any of these mediums - I’ve been using mostly watercolors and gouache so far.

  • Spray varnish (this is the kind I'm currently using since its left over from other projects but any will do.)

  • Polyurethane varnish

  • Hot Glue/Gun

  • Neodymium magnets

 

Step One: SURFACE PREP // SANDING

Sand each piece front and back. A smooth surface is far easier to work on and looks way better in the end! The easiest method for me has been to lay the sand paper face up on my work surface and move the wood piece around in a circular motion, with even pressure applied. You will need to wipe off extra wood dust from surface to check the smoothness.


Step Two: SURFACE PREP // GESSO


Gesso prepares the woods surface for painting. It’s slightly textured and helps the paint stick to the wood. Don't forget to Shake well! Apply a layer of gesso to the best side of each piece using a paint brush. You could also use a foam brush to do the same. Allow it to dry (about an hour seems to be enough) and then lightly sand one last time to even the texture.


Here's a look at the surface difference between each stage of the wood prep process:


Step Three: DRAW YOUR DESIGNS AND PAINT!


Here comes the fun part!


Using a pencil, sketch out your designs!


Once satisfied, trace your pencil sketch with waterproof pen. If you'd rather not have visible pen lines, skip ahead and start painting!


I use .005 Micron pens, the fine tip allows me to get smaller lines and finer details. You can use whatever size suits your design needs. The pen tips can get eaten up by the surface of the wood depending on how well you've sanded the surface. Surface prep in this case is super important; by taking the time in the beginning to get a nice smooth surface, you will have a much easier time drawing and painting in the end. It will also save you on pens!




Once everything has been drawn out in pen to your satisfaction, get to painting!


If you're using watercolors like me, I recommend letting the pieces dry between washes of color.



Step Four: SPRAY VARNISH


After painting and letting your pieces dry once again, give the surfaces a good spray down with a can of spray varnish. You can get this at any art supply or craft store. The one I use is a UV Archival spray from Krylon (linked in the materials list), that I use for other art work as well. Make sure to follow the directions listed on the container and spray in a well ventilated area. I usually end up spraying 2 coats, I allow them to completely dry in between.


Step Five: POLYURETHANE VARNISH


Using a brush, apply a layer of polyurethane varnish to the front side of the wood pieces. Coat each piece twice, allowing them to dry in between. After the fronts are done,

apply the varnish to the backs in the same manner, applying twice. Make sure if you are using the mini birch slices, that you also coat the sides as well to help preserve the bark!


Step Six: MAGNETS

Using a hot glue gun, apply the magnets to the backs of each wood piece. Mind your fingers! I did get burned after applying too much glue and sticking on the magnet. If you'd like to avoid using hot glue all together, you can find magnets with 3M adhesive circles included. The magnets shown in the video below are not Neodymium magnets, these were flexible craft magnets I found at Michaels. They are larger, which makes them easier to handle but I ended up not liking them as much due to the difference in the magnet strength.


Head on over to the shop if you’re interested in purchasing one’s I’ve made or to commission some pet portrait magnets!

 

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Creating a chart, like the one below, is an excellent way to get acquainted with your paints and what colors you can create from them. It may also save you some money in the long run. No need to buy every color paint under the sun if you know how to mix your own!

 
 

Materials you’ll need:

  • Watercolor sheet or pad

  • Ruler

  • Pencil

  • Watercolor or Gouache**

  • Paint Brush

  • 2 cups for water

  • Palette or surface to mix on


**You can do this with any or all of your paints.I chose a select few from my Sennelier watercolor half pan set to work with.

Start off by measuring out the proper amount of columns and rows for the number of paints you are using. I chose 8 - so I've created 8 columns and 8 rows and they make one inch boxes to paint in. You don't have to be so exact with your measurements if you don't want to be, just be mindful of how much space you have on the paper and how many colors you're going to be using.


Leave space on the top and sides to write in the names of the colors you’re using and to leave a little dot swatch of the unmixed color for reference. Be sure to write them in the same order on each side.

Including the color names makes this a tool for future quick reference when mixing.. so hold on to this sheet! You're going to be surprised at the kinds of colors you can create.

The way to fill in each square is pretty simple! You're going to know which colors to use by reading which color columns and rows intersect in that space.

The colors that run diagonal down the middle from top left to bottom right, will all be the pure unmixed colors. I started by filling those squares in first with a good layer of paint and then worked my way down from left to right.


You're going to be creating a dark side and light side to your chart as well. I chose the bottom half as my light or more transparent and top as the dark or opaque. The only difference between the light and dark boxes is the amount of water used. Doing this will help you understand the range each color mixed can give you.

When mixing the colors, use equal parts of each. Be sure to clean your brush between each color and load your brush with clean water! Otherwise you'll end up with some muddy colors. Also change out your water if you notice your cleaning cup getting too dirty.

If you want to learn more about your paints and their color mixing possibilities, try making mixing charts for each color you have. I have specific color palettes I use a lot for my pet portraits so I’m planning on making a mixing chart with those! My goal is to add more depth to my painting and color usage! What would you like to explore?

 

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