Just Do It!

Christie Marshall
You Can Do It Yourself!

"On the subject of, "I don't have an artistic bone in my body"... I beg to differ!

For some reason, I have always been artistic, but also hands on. My mother tells the story that as a young child, I would say, "NO! I do it my...self!"  And this is so true, I am an inborn do-it-myselfer! So maybe, just maybe that artistic ingredient that seems so illusive to people, is really all about confidence. A willingness to try, experiment and try again; eventually ending up in the success category!

Throughout the training I have received as an artist, one thing my teachers always stressed was that anyone can be an artist! I do believe that some of us have more natural ability; but by adding the willingness to try and then practice, diligent practice, anyone can be artistic.

So with that encouragement, lets move forward to the project!"

Do it with Heart! 

Hand Painted Garden Pots
Materials Needed:
  1.  Craft Paints - any brand in your choice of colors
  2.  Newspaper or something disposable to protect your working surface
  3. Terra Cotta Pot - your choice of size
  4. Artist Paint Brushes - various sizes (small for detail, large for large fill, medium for medium fill)
  5. Lazy Susan
  6. Plastic Baggies - sandwich size, fold over variety works best 
  7. Picture and/or sketch of what you would like to have painted on the pot 
  8. Large container for water to rinse out brushes as you work
  9. Paper towels
I use a TV Tray for easy access
1. Applying the background texture
If the pot is not new, wash it thoroughly and let dry. Choose the color you want to use for the texture. Place a plastic baggie over your hand and squeeze a few drops of paint on the top. Crumple and smear the paint around on the baggie. Hold the pot upside down with your hand inside the pot. Then ... carefully at first until you get the feel of what will happen ... dab the paint onto a spot on the side of the pot. Notice how the dabs are random and varied in size. Continue to dab the baggy with paint around the pot, until you get a nice texture all around, adding more paint, crumpling the baggie as needed. As you work you will get used to the effect and adjust as you like. Don't be concerned if you get dabs that are too big or uneven, because you can easily paint a design or object over that later. Remember, this is only the background texture, a little bit of irregularity will not be noticed. After this color dries, you can add more texture in a different color if you would like.

2. Painting the Stripes
Choose the color you would like to use for the stripes. Place your pot in the very center of your Lazy Susan and spin it to check how centered it is (a little off center is okay). Squirt out a dab of paint on the foam disposable plate for easy access. Load your large brush with the color you have chosen. Gently start to spin the pot and simultaneously touch the loaded paint brush to the pot where you have decided you would like the stripe. See the strip forming! As you gently spin the pot with one hand, secure the hand holding the paint brush in a comfortable way so you get as much stability as possible. I try to rest my arm or pinkie on the surface or edge of the table. You will figure out what works for you. Continue spinning and painting until you are satisified with the stripe, then move on to a second stripe. Vary the widths or colors of the stripes for variety.

3. Painting the Top Band
After the stripes have dried, choose the color you want for the top band. Load the large brush with paint and paint the top band. I paint the top band fully around to the inside of the pot to where the dirt fill line is. This creates a 3-D design. (You can also add stripes or designs inside the top band for an interesting effect.) You can use the spin technique for the edges of the top band on the outside and inside of the pot. Apply a second layer for longevity and let dry.

4. Painting your Designs
Now you can add your own designs over the texture and stripes! Use your imagination and remember to just do it! It is only a pot... if you do not like it, there is very little lost. Block out the main colors first, let dry, add more color, let dry, then apply the details. Try simple objects for your first attempts. You will be surprised how adorable even simple objects look on the finished product! Don't to forget to add your signature, and you are done! (You can touch it up or add to it any time.)

Plant something in your new pot and put it in a place that you can admire, or give it as a handmade gift! Every time you see it, congratulate yourself on a job well done! Add this into your arsenal of abilities!