Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stall plaque by Alli Farkas Horse Portraits

Stall plaque, oil and acrylic on wood
A few weeks ago my friend Kim mentioned to me that she would like to have a large portrait some day, preferably as a wood stall plate. Well, we finally got it together after researching pre-cut wood surfaces and painting on wood, which I have not done before this project. It’s been a learning curve but it turned out to be quite a positive experience.

Kim likes knotty pine wood, and wanted the finish to be natural, not stained. So the finished piece has clear protective varnish on it. The lettering was a bit of a challenge. I decided to do it all by hand rather than try to cut a stencil or do any fancy laser work. I’m a craftsman, not a techie! I think the lettering looks pretty super–it’s all acrylic paint, even the gold drop shadow. If anyone is interested in using gold paint that looks like real gold, try Utrecht’s Artist Fluid Acrylics “True Gold”. The bottle was only about $4 and under the pigment list it says “true gold”! I have no idea, but it really does look like gold.

Even though the wood surface is sanded quite smooth, the brush resisted as it crossed the grain. I managed to get the lettering done but realized that painting the horse would be difficult on this surface. So I put three coats of sanded gesso on the oval where the horse’s drawing is and since that surface is pretty similar to the Aquabord™ I’ve been painting on for quite a while now, it felt fairly familiar even though I painted the horse with oils instead of watercolors.
The plaque itself is 19″ wide by 12″ high–made quite a statement when it was done!

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