When you think of creating a hand-lettering project, do you ever consider the surface you’re using? Often, I see lettering techniques practiced in art journals and sketchbooks, and sometimes on three-dimensional art such as jewelry embellishments. It’s becoming more common, however, to discover beautiful lettering styles on wall art that offers motivational quotes or happy messages.
If you’re ready to take your lettering to a new surface, then allow me to introduce you to Emily Cromwell and the first of her mini-series of Lettering Lessons. This month, Emily teaches you how to beautifully write one of your favorite quotes using acrylic paint on clay board. Of course, there are some tips and tricks that will make it easier for you to complete this project, so click here to download the Lettering Lesson. In the meantime, here’s what Emily has to tell us.
“Clay board is a fun surface to paint on because it is incredibly smooth and takes paint beautifully,” Emily says. “Because it is so smooth, lettering on it is a breeze and you will want to do it again and again. I am going to show you how to hand letter with acrylic paint, and how to add a decorative scene or decorative elements to enhance the lettering to create a unique piece of art.”
Emily goes on to explain step by step how to prime the clay board and create a textured background with paint, plan your text, and then complete the project with acrylic paint. Of course, this download includes a companion video so you can see some of the techniques in real time.
Emily’s Extra Inspiration: “If you have a hard time lettering with acrylic paints, have no fear; there are other options. You can always use a Sharpie® or an artist pen to letter your favorite quote. This method allows you more control over your lettering. If you use a pen or marker, leave the background unpainted so that the artist pen or Sharpie doesn’t fight with the texture of the paint. Instead, create a fun border around your lettering.”
I held a brief Q&A with Emily recently, and here’s what she had to tell us!
Cherie: Is there a specific reason you began using acrylic paint on clay board for lettering? What did you learn as you began experimenting with it? What do you wish you knew when you began?
Emily: I prefer to use clay board over canvas because I love the smoothness that it offers. The reason I use acrylic paint as opposed to any other medium is because I love the ease of working with acrylics, especially the fluid and lighter body ones. There are so many color choices with acrylics and I definitely think that’s another thing that drew me in. I have two big bins filled to the brim with different colors of acrylic paints! As I began experimenting with acrylic on clay board, I realized how much easier it was to paint on the board than canvas. I just never liked the texture of canvas, so switching over to something smooth was a big thing for me.
I wish I had known that the board was able to handle all sorts of different mediums in addition to acrylic paint. I later started using the board as my base for doing mixed-media artwork.
Cherie: Once your acrylic on clay board project is finished, do you normally display it? Give it as a gift?
Emily: Once it’s done, I typically end up giving it to someone (usually my mom!). Otherwise, I display it in my studio to add even more color to the space. Some other options would be to donate the work of art to a hospital to brighten up a patient’s room, visit a nursing home and give it to a resident, or give it out as a random act of kindness to someone you pass on the street–the possibilities are endless! And if you’re really feeling adventurous, try selling your work! People love to buy things that they can tell the artist had fun making!
This is such a fun way to do something unique with your favorite lettering styles! You could download the Lettering Lesson now and use what you learn about painting on clay board to start creating personalized gifts for when the holidays circle back around.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
Happy art making,
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