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Need Advise On Painting/Shading Cutouts...


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Got my Patterns from winfield for my Jesus,Mary&Joseph. I'm really excited about starting. I have a few ?'s since all of you have been so kind to me.

1- On the patterns in the area's(i.e. hair,gowns, flesh) there seems to be some type of transitional shading. For instance, to make the hair look wavy, to make wrinkles in flesh, wrinkles in a gown. The painting instructions don't cover that aspect of finish work.

2- Would it be best to cut out around the edge of the pattern, or use transfer paper and not cut anything off the patterns.

I am including a few photos to help out with the understanding. Many thanks to all.

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#2 Use transfer paper. I never mess with my patterns. I use the transfer paper and outline the outer edge of the pattern, cut out, prime and then trace the inside of the pattern.

#1 shading is key to a great looking cut out. Use a shade of paint slightly darker (for lighter base) lighter for darker base. I use an angle brush. Remember this will be seen from a distance not on the wall of your living room, so you can be a little liberal with mistakes. Put some paint on a pad. ( I use a piece of cardboard covered w/ wax paper). Dip the wider angle of the brush and drag thru the paint - the wider end of the brush will have paint, the small end of the brush will not. Now just run the brush along the lines between the colors. Think of a natural shade. i will also then rub the paint with a finger to achieve the shade. Go for it, you can alway paint over your mistakes.

As for paint, I use acrylics from Michales or AC Moore. They are inexpensive and you can get a wide variety of colors and suprisingly go a long way. Finish with Minwax Poly - satin finish - couple coats -- steel wool between coats. Clear chalk the edges to add water intrusion protection.

post some pics of work in progress!!

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I agree with the use of transfer paper. I always prime the board before tracing and cutting out. That way, I can trace the entire pattern at once. After they are cut out, I fill in the cut edges of the plywood and prime the cut edge. As far as shading, I can't offer any advice there; once I cut them out, my wife takes over and does all the painting. When finished, she gives them back to me so I can coat them with polyurethane.

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I've been doing a bit of work lately and learned something new for myself. I had been tooting the advantages of the reverse saber saw blade which reduces the splintering on the top of the plywood while cutting but it leaves a lot to be desired when handling because of all the spinters on the back side. While doing my latest cutouts, I tried the 18-20 teeth per inch scroll saw blades and have been having a lot smoother cut on the front as well as the back side of the plyood. Much less sanding. I've been converted.

Don't cut the patterns if you can help it. If the sheet has parts that need to be cutout and attached to the main pattern, draw or xerox them out on a blank sheet of paper and attach the copy. I was very fortunate to have worked in a computer room. We used these rolls of ribbons on our impact printers that were about 14 inches wide and 30 ft long. They work great and they were free. However the old impact printers have pretty much fallen by the wayside. Might be worth checking a paper supply house that stocks printer ribbons and see if they still carry the ribbons.

Edited by Joel
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Welcome to PC! I have quite a few plywood cutouts in my display (two trains - one over 65' long) and I would like to add my 2 cents worth.

I am not sure that i would like my cutouts sealed in w/ poly. I simply use the right paint (Menards - exterior grade trim paint, high gloss)and several coats of primer. I also seal all of the edges after cutting the patterns out. It makes the display piece stand up much better especially with the weather situation here (in Wisconsin ?!? please!).

I haven't had to repaint anything for at least seven years unless I want to change out the lights, like now (I'm changing from incandesent to led)

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I can't help you much as for shading but my sister did alot of painting at 1 time.For shading she swore by Donna Dewberry's One Stroke technique craft book.Here is an auction on ebay you can check out http://cgi.ebay.com/Donna-Dewberry-One-Stroke-Christmas-Time-Book-/320596975447?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aa5119f57#ht_7200wt_1709

Here is another search for supplies & DVD how to's

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=donna+dewberry+dvd&_frs=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m359

My sister also sold alot of these books on ebay.If you are interested I could see if she has some to sell right now.Most of her books are in excellent condition.

Good Luck & hope this helps!!!

BTW Welcome to PC!

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Poly has always seemed to yellow on me with age, that's why I use the Minwax. Mike, as for the gloss paint, don't you fine that the cut out will have a glare from the lighting source? This is a reason I use satin finish. A fine tooth blade is a must as noted above. I will also round the edges slightly.

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Another question for anyone: What do the interior lines of the patterns represent? Are they a reference point for painting, crucial for depth or what? Are they even necessary to transfer to the wood? Many thanks.

Back tracking here a little bit ... I whole heartedly agree on others opions: Don't cut your pattern, trace it onto your wood.

If this is your first cut out project, WOW!

Now, onto your question:

The interior lines are indeed reference points for painting. These reference lines come in handy while doing shading as well.

Remember one thing while working on your project, patterns are only suggestions.

If there is something you would like a different color, just change the color. If there is something you would like a different shape, do it. If you want your finished project to have more depth, make it 3-D. Trace a part of the pattern onto another piece of wood and make another layer. Take a look at the "flat" Toy Shop I made into a 3-D project. http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php/18544-Gingerbread-Toy-Shop The Toy Shop was my 3rd project.

Happy painting

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Here's a link to a great tutorial for painting wooden figures: http://www.landolights.com/main/content/view/62/39/ I believe the person who made the tutorial is a Planet Christmas member, but I dont know who it is.

Two years ago, my Mom painted the penguin building an igloo scene. We primed the wood first, then used the full sheet (4x8ft) of transfer paper to copy the paper pattern onto the wood. We used a roto-zip cutter to actually cut the wood, and didnt have much trouble with splintering. We used the exact color the instructions recommended.

As mentioned by others here, viewing up close, the painting looks rather amateurish. I thought I was going to be disappointed. However, when the penguin & igloo was placed near the house and viewed from the street, AND at night with the ambient lights from the display rather than a spotlight, the effect was really good and I was more than pleasantly surprised. The black color for outlining gave lots of depth to the figures. The lines you refer to give the illusion of depth to the figures.

I am NOT a painter, but I have also seen these kind of wooden figures airbrushed rather than painted with a brush. The effect is really great. I intend to invest in an airbrush setup and instruction video after I get my regular lights converted to LED's.

Good luck!

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This link is to the multiple video's from Michaels (craft store) showing a specialized painting technique called "one stroke painting". You load a brush with several colors of paint and with one stroke you have both the color and shading. The technique seems easy, and the multiple videos show lots of variations and how to do it easily as well as demos of several products to make painting easier.

http://www.michaels.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Michaels-Site/default/Search-ShowContent?fdid=tipstechniques-craftpainting-videos

I think it may be an especially useful technique for those like ME who are amateurs at painting and get more on my skin and my clothes than the project when simply taking the lid off the paint can...Soooo glad when latex paint was invented!!!

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That compressor is extra large enough to supply air brushes. Be sure to match the manufacturers recommended air brush supply pressure. You may want to start at less than the 30 psi stated in the advertisement, then work up to the pressure that works best for you and the paint you choose. The supply pressure may be different for different paints and/or thicknesses of paints. I didn't see a hose in the air brush package. You'll want a small, light, flexible hose at the air brush end. Having a large, inflexible hose is a real pain in the rear end when you're trying to paint for extended periods.

Good Luck,

Terry

Edited by strrchristmas
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Another question for anyone: I just put on a coat of Kilz 2 Latex Int/Ext primer(blue&wht label) on my ply and used 3/4 of the can on one side because it was transparent(only brought a qt because the can said coverage on raw wood was about 250 sq ft). Called the manufacturer and they said it will happen because the initial coat will soak in. So he said to apply a second coat and no more. Ok, so I run to walmart, and they are out of the quarts, so I decided to get the other Kilz Premium(gold&wht label) in a gallon knowing I have the gingerbread people to do. I had asked the kilz people when I can safely trace&cut my wood, and he said 48hrs:confused:. I had asked when I could paint over the primer, and he said seven days:confused:. I was always under the impression that primer is workable in all facets after overnight drying? It does not mention anything on the can about seven days for topcoating. Wow, do I really need to wait the 48&seven days? This sounds a bit off the wall, or is it me? Thanks everyone.

Don

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I let my primer dry 1-2 days and I use Kilz all the time. After two coats of primer I put on one coat of white exterior paint also. Once it's dry -overnight and even in a few hours I just trace my pattern and start painting. I have done pieces within 24-48 hours and I surely have never waited 7 days!

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