Original sand and shells mural has water damage from roof to one wall corner at right of window blind: drip lines are seen behind paint. Customer had extensive damp repair carried out above ceiling and requested entire repaint of bathroom.
Renovation work:Repainting background tide lines.
Original mural ‘sand ripple’ lines were damaged from water stains behind emulsion paint, so the wall was re-rendered with a new emulsion coat. New outlines were painted as guidelines with a small decorating brush, copying from photos of original painting. The ocre colour dried darker than intended so was ‘knocked back’ paler with several more sponged layers of lighter tones, by blending the background emulsion with a paler ocre, and a pale grey.
Its a very small bathroom so only a few images were needed, copying the shells from the blind fabric print, against a textured ‘sand’ ground.
Marking out base lines: The original wall finish had been rough plastered and the edges of different depths of plaster surface were used as ‘tidelines’, which looked very natural due to the hand process of applying the plaster. However the new wall surface was not the same, so there was not the same guide.
To achieve the muted sand lines similar to the original effect, I used several applications of lighter and darker coloured cream and beige applied with a real coral reef sponge, for natural effect, until the wall appeared more like the original soft look. Some sections of ‘tide lines’ were painted out completely with background emulsion colour, to create a balanced texture.
Similar ideas with beach tide mark designs and shells can be commissioned at email@example.com
In the shady, narrow streets of old Agde, the second oldest port town in France, glorious yellow honeysuckle and roses climb and cascade down the walls of the houses. These are the ‘garden’ views enjoyed by other houses through their shuttered windows.
Shutters need preparing, to remove ingrained dirt after first cleaning, and stronger sanding where paint has become loose, due to heat and damp damage in the South of France. Hand sanding commenced on some shutters, revealing previous colours.
When metal ‘door furniture’ becomes very tarnished, or even rusty, they can be painted black with Hammerite or patent outdoor paint for France. Lay cloth around to avoid black splashes on new shutter coats. Unscrewing and removal is recommended before painting, if time allows; but if not, and screws set in hard, have wet cloth ready to wipe off shutter paint, if the brush marks the black metal.
First Paint Coats
Twelve shutters in all, both sides, two coats each = 48 coat sides! Ground floor shutters painted downstairs; bedroom balcony shutters left in situ; the others painted on the roof terrace.
Images for gardens and patio paintings can combine natural and geometric elements to create something akin to a garden ‘poem’. Nature is full of symmetry which creates a balanced pattern to the eye. Patterns from nature combined with geometric elements and abstracted background can form a balanced design pleasing to the eye.
More Ideas for Designs with Ferns
Unfurling spirals were used in the above garden art board.
These purple flowers would make a good accompaniment to the lime green ferns; the red grasses also at the side.
The lilac and violet colours contrast fantastically with the lime green ferns, (lilac works well in top artwork). Colour combinations with pattern, are the music of decorative balanced design.
The tin frog ornament adds an animist element. His rusty colouring with pale turquoise also compliments the ferns with their russet base stems. Rust can therefore become an important colour combining element. The frog is playing a saxophone, as if the ferns are unfurling to the music. This could become a new picture story theme in a new abstracted ‘musical frog with ferns’ design.
Paintings on recycled wood. A trip to the city dump finds recyclable backing boards, drawers & door panels from old furniture discards ~ perfect for garden and patio artworks.
From pink wild roses – to red rose hips – to red syrup
Collect rose hips and remove any stems. They could be chopped but I did not: the hips soon disintegrate on heating.
Put two litres of water in a large pan and bring to the boil. Throw in the chopped rose hips, bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for half an hour, stirring from time to time. (Note I didn’t chop them, but mashed after a while.)
Strain the mixture through a jelly bag. Alternatively, line a colander with a couple of layers of muslin and place over a large bowl. Tip in the rose hip mixture, and leave suspended over the bowl.
Note: the mixture is heavy, so the muslin bag needs suspending – I used a weighted bowl on a shelf . Leave until drips stop.
Muslin bag needs squeezing and twisting to force out syrup.
Pulp from straining will be boiled up again with water and the process repeated.
Set the strained juice aside and transfer the rose hip pulp back to the saucepan, along with another litre of boiling water. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat, infuse for another half an hour and strain as before.
Discard the pulp and combine the two lots of strained juice in a clean pan. Bring to the boil, and boil until the volume has decreased by half. Remove from the heat.
Add sugar (325gms per 500ml syrup) and stir until dissolved. Return to the stove, bring to the boil and boil hard for five minutes. Pour into warmed, sterilised jars or bottles and seal.
Recycled wooden circles, with geometric acrylic varnished painting decoration.
Pendulum ‘chime’ shells hang on knotted leather cords tied to metal rings on lower edge of wooden circles. Razor shells make a pleasant gentle mid-toned ‘clatter’ when moving.
Paint circles black with emulsion (water based paint).
Paint acrylic colour over, leaving border for another colour.
Paint ‘crackle-glaze’ solution (purchased).
When just about dry (not to dry), paint over gently with a large soft artist’s brush in a contrasting colour. Paint should not be too thick (i.e. not straight out of tubes), but mixed with water to a single cream consistency. Move brush carefully, and in a slightly blobbing like fashion, in circles, to avoid unbalanced marks and encourage circular markings. Water content and drying times, will determine how the crackle layer works.
Note: Crackle-glaze is unpredictable: practice with drying times of the glaze and water content of covering paint mix helps. If it does not crackle well, some sanding will produce a distressed surface, showing paint colour layers through.
Draw geometric designs in dark pencil: paint lines with ‘liner’ brush (a narrow and long brush head, which spreads to required width and holds the line evenly as paint is dragged along one side of pencil line. (no need for two pencil lines)
Spirals can be painted with just one stroke of an artist’s round brush, starting in the centre and sweeping in an ever increasing curve. (practice on paper before if needed)
Coat circles art in at least 3 layers of water based acrylic varnish for protection. It dries in 20 mins, but leave 2 hours between coats. Note: Long lasting oil based polyurethane varnish can be used as a fourth coat for outdoor protection. (16 hours drying time)
Screw metal ‘screw eyes’ into one edge of wooden circle.
Drill holes carefully into top of razor shells.
Lightly sand off any brown seaweed stuck to shells. (they are brittle and can break) Paint could also be rubbed into razor shell grain at this stage to tone in with wood.
Using thin leather cord (available in colours), attach to razor shells to screw eye rings. Metal wind chimes can be included, to nestle in the concave side of the shells, to increase the wind noise: also smaller shells can be tied on at the tops. Note: I found a clearer sound resulted form purely the razor shells alone.
Experiment with shell length and positions for ‘sound making’.
Use thick leather/suede strips to make hanging loops to hang onto trees, or hooks outside.
Circles are cut incrementally from squares; sawing and filing off 4 corner facets.