Saturday, 22 February 2014

My first" Distressed Sign" workshop.

                                                                                                                                             Photo courtesy of Brian Batista

After years of thinking and talking about it, I finally decided to put together a Distressed Sign workshop. With the help of my good friend Doug Swinton, who owns Swinton's Art Supplies, it became a reality. I felt there may be an interest with people wanting to learn some of the scenic techniques I've picked up working as a sign painter / scenic artist, for the film industry over the years. With the rising popularity of hand lettering, it seems everyone and their dog is jumping on the bandwagon to hold sign painting workshops. Although I'm sure they can be fun, I don't think you'll learn more than just the basics of hand lettering in a day or two. What they will give you is an insight to the process, brushes and materials, and techniques, used in sign painting. From there, it's up to the students to follow thru on their own. 

I wanted to do a class that would take someone with little, or no sign experience , and have them create something they can take home with them. We decided to make it a 2 day workshop. Day One would cover the basics, layout / brushes / paint and materials.  Day Two would cover transferring their layout to the board / lettering, and the best part...wrecking their signs, but hey, that's what the workshop was all about. I didn't want to waste a lot of time on practicing strokes and such, as that gets old real quick. That's also something they can practice on their own. The focus of the workshop was to create a distressed sign, not to paint the perfect sign. I also wanted them to have something to take home to hang on their wall.

I decided to limit the class size to 10 students, which in the end, turned out to be the perfect size. Because this was going to be my first workshop, I felt it was important to make sure I had time for a one on one with each student. That way no one would feel left behind. As luck would have it, the class sold out.  They were such a enthusiastic group, they even took their layouts home to work on. Probably not something I would have done with my Saturday night. I also brought a wide selection of brushes and paints to the class, along with a few finished signs so they could see the finished product.  I find most people starting are unsure of what type of  brushes  to use / what kinds of paints and substrates to use, and where to find them. So I  put together a small workshop booklet that covered brush practice, layout rules, color combinations, and where to get suppliers. For the workshop, we would be using water based paints, and the proper brushes for use with the paints. I also spent some time covered oil based paints, such as One Shot and Ronan paints,  different types of brushes used, and which ones to use on what surfaces. One of the big high-lites of the class was letting them loose on the electro-pouncer, only two got zapped. All in all, everyone seem to really enjoy the workshop, and the best part was they all took home a finished sign. Due to the interest, and buzz from the class, we've decided to do another workshop in early July or August.  Here's just a few pictures from the class, I can't say how much I enjoyed sharing my information with such a talented group of people. I  look forward to doing it again.

Playing with the paint.

Starting the aging process

You could hear a pin drop, everyone was so focused on their project.

Step one. Painting the sign.

The most important part is enjoying yourself.

And I think they did.

Can you say "Focused"

                                           Photo courtesy of Brian Batista

                                                                                                                                                       Photo courtesy of Brian Batista

The happy class at the end of the workshop.
Thanks for taking the time to drop by. If you have an interest in attending one of the workshops, just drop me a line. I'll make sure to let you know when and where. Also, watch for my new upcoming video blogs.