My studio work takes me in so many directions! Chalkboards have become very popular for signage at weddings and for stores. (See my chalkboard post for my daughters wedding.) This past week my church requested that I letter on a 9′ chalkboard to bring home a scripture verse that was the focus of the international IF: Gathering 2018, telecast at Riverwest Church….as well as many others across the country and world. I was given a script version that the conference had designed, but decided to take things a step further and design my own. Below is a picture of the finished work. Beyond that, I will describe how I created the artwork including the tools and materials that I used. This one took me about 7 hours to create.
Since I have been creating designs since about 1980, I’ve learned that I have to sketch out an idea first. It went from a very rough pencil sketch on copy paper to an actual size template on brown butcher paper. I then taped the brown copy to the chalkboard.
Some people chalk the backside of the paper to transfer, but because this was so large, I used white Saral paper, a transfer paper that I use for many projects. Although you can’t see it, it’s taped behind the brown paper. My happy discovery was that the white lines were as easily wiped away as the chalk lines. Below is a picture of some of the supplies that I used. Chalkista markers….with the pointed tip (they had a great rating online, but I found that with this large board, the rounded tip wore down on the white. The Jumbo Bistro white marker was helpful for the larger areas, the smaller markers for detail. Also pictured: scissors, pencil, artists tape, rulers, white Saral Transfer Paper in roll form. I also used NuPastels for some of the color. It smudges quite a bit, but gave me a soft effect on the berries and leaves. The Dover book of Banners, Ribbons & Scrolls is a handy resource that I had on hand. I was grateful for the article that colleague Kathrine Malmsten wrote for Bound & Lettered, Volume 15, No. 1 , Chalkboards Aren’t Just for Classrooms Anymore!, as it helped me zero in on the process and materials.
Below is a picture of the piece, in progress, once I transferred the outline to the chalkboard. (This was a handmade chalkboard made by Jenna Gilchrist’s husband, painted with chalkboard paint). If you look closely, you can see the white lines on the bottom half of the chalkboard.
And here is another little quickie tent sign that was lettered for the event.
The design was well enough received that I made it into an art print in three colors, plus a greeting card. You can order from my website…. Fan into Flame. Below are pictures of the new art print and greeting card color options. Since I lettered this one on my drawing board, there are some variations from the original.