America Sign

Uncle Sam & Signs

I find inspiration every where…from craft stores and magazines to catalogs and of course Pinterest. Through all of my boards, I search and look for ideas that I can change up and create using surfaces or products that we carry here at the Artist’s Club. Sometimes an ideas sparks and uses a something in a different way…and that is exactly how this Uncle Sam came to be. A rough idea I found on Pinterest turned into this fun collection of three projects that uses just two surfaces, our Large Blocks Set of 4 (#62824) and our Narrow Rectangle Grooved Board (#62936).

Here is what you will need to complete this grouping of projects:

DecoArt Americana Acrylics:
Uniform Blue
Light Buttermilk
Country Red
Raw Sienna
Terra Coral
Lamp Black
Antique White
Black Plum
Snow White
Midnite Blue
French Grey Blue
Neons Fiery Red

Additional Supplies:
Large Blocks Set of 4
Narrow Rectangle Grooved Board
Assorted Wood Stars
Wood Glue
Falling Stars Background Stencil
Soft Grip Embossing & Stylus Set of 3
Papillon 7 Piece Starter Set
Papillon 5 Piece Deerfoot Set
Acrylic Sealer Finisher Matte Spray

First, let’s start with Uncle Sam, I chose to use the side of the Grooved Board that didn’t have the actual grooves. He was so much fun to paint and his dimensional hat brim (used from the Large Blocks set of 4) was a fun little addition. I used the wood block for the brim to decide how far down I wanted his hat to go, then I drew along the top and bottom of the brim marking the narrow board. Then using the brim again, I lined it up along the edge of the board and drew a line down creating the first stripe, I continued this across the piece until I had all five stripes drawn. I then sketched the face shape on trying to keep it centered with the middle stripe. Once you have the face shape, it is time to sketch the shape of the beard…you can design your beard to go to a point or rounded like mine, the choice is up to you.

After all your design is sketched on, it is time to paint the stripes. First I taped off the white stripe sections so that I could paint the red stripes. Make sure to press down really good along the edge that you will paint along. Red stripes are Country Red, let dry and repeat with a second coat. Let dry slightly and then remove the tape and let the stripes continue to dry. When the red stripes are completely dry, tape them off so that you can paint the white stripes with Light Buttermilk. This will also take two coats. Carefully remove the tape and let the stripes dry. Paint the wood piece for the hat brim Country Red.

While the stripes are drying, you can easily move on to painting other parts of Uncle Sam:

Face – Mocha
Beard – Light Buttermilk
Shirt – Uniform Blue

Shade around the outside of the face, and along where the hat brim will be glued on with Raw Sienna. Lightly sketch in a nose and then shade around the entire shape with Raw Sienna. Once the shading is dry, and a floated highlight across the top of the nose with Terra Coral, the add a comma stroke for a highlight with Snow White. Brush on some cheeks with Terra Coral and a highlighter brush, finish with a small highlight dot of Snow White on each cheek. The eyes are ovals that are Lamp Black with highlight dots of Snow White (I used the back end of paint brush for these). Add accent dots and eyelashes with Lamp Black. With Antique White, shade around the beard next to the face, under the hat brim and along the outside edge continuing down to along where the beard and shirt meet. Highlight the center of the beard with Snow White. Add some wisps of hair and eyebrows with Light Buttermilk. Stencil stars on the shirt with Light Buttermilk. Shade all around the outside of the shirt and under the beard with Deep Midnight Blue. Highlight here and there between the stars with French Grey Blue.

Shade the top and bottom of the red stripes and all around the edges of the brim with Black Plum. Highlight the centers with Neons Fiery Red. Shade the white stripes at the top and bottom with Antique White, highlight the centers with Snow White.

Outline the stripes and around the face and nose with Lamp Black for a finishing touch. Glue the hat brim in place, varnish and enjoy.

Once I had Uncle Sam designed, I knew I needed to use up the rest of the wood in the Large Blocks Set of 4…so once again, seeing an idea on Pinterest, I found a quick and easy Uncle Sam Hat. For this project, I didn’t do any shading and highlighting, but you could easily do that if you want to.

Paint the smaller block with Uniform Blue. I used the size of the smaller block to measure the stripes on the hat, just like I did to create the stripes on the hat in the above Uncle Sam project. Tape off the white stripe and paint the red stripes with Country Red. This may take two coats for desired coverage. Let dry completely before taping the red stripes off to paint the white stripes with Light Buttermilk. Paint one of the wooden stars Light Buttermilk. I chose to hand write the words, “let freedom ring”, but you could type them out on a computer or use a stencil if you prefer. Line the stripes with Lamp Black. Once everything is dry, glue the blue hat brim in place.

This “America” sign is just a simple sign to help practice your lettering on…mine isn’t perfect, I may go over it again to try and smooth things out a bit more. The last wood block is painted with Deep Midnight Blue and the lettering is Snow White. For this one, I chose to type it out on the computer using the “Americana” font and then traced it onto my wood piece and hand lettered it…I didn’t have a lettering stencil that had the correct size of letters I needed, but if you have one in your stash, by all means you can use it.

Finish all of the pieces with varnish and enjoy all summer long. You can drill holes into the corners of the hat on Uncle Sam and add wire and a patriotic bow for easier hanging if you would prefer.

Happy Painting!

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