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Looney Signs - sign kit box


My new sign kit box was in need of tickling up a bit and the theme I wanted to do was based around cartooning and simple illustration which I have not had a lot of experience in. Ah well, give it a go.

This ex Army ammo box was started here in studio and I got the horse head pic up to the stage you see here in the first photo at Letterheads but ran out of time to progress further. All the paints used here are again my trusty Resene Lumbersider Testpots and are waterbased.

The next weekend was "Lets Paint", so here we go...

Photo 01:
Shows a creamy double coated circle section as the first white undercoat was a bit weak as you can see. I need a good base for my red later on.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Photo 02:
Now doesn't this look "wrong", the Resene Royal Heath colour looks odd but I have plans for this as you will see next. This was brushed on.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Photo 03:
With a simple mask protecting the "Looney Signs" lettering I sprayed Resene Pompadour around the box edges to create a nice faded glow. Easy stuff if you be careful and be mindful of the unmasked horse head.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Photo 04:
Now I remembered to mask out the horse head and brushed in 1 coat of Resene Guardsman Red to get ready for the next step. I de-masked the N and S here to see if the colours look good together.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Photo 05:
This took a bit of thinking about but this de-mask shows the successive masks I did using Application Tape. I started with the smaller inner circle and sprayed a made up orange colour around the mask edge to give it that glow. It was just a matter of repeating the next two rings as soon as the previous was dry. Don't forget you can help drying by using your heat gun, but not too close okay!

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Photo 06:
This pic shows a better close up for you of the masking and its removal. The mask is all hand cut on the box, I will be adding black pinlines later on.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Photo 07:
Aha... the fun bit where you remove all the masks and see how it's all shaping up.... yeah, I'm happy with that.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Photo 08:
I wasn't entirely happy with the hair colour on the horse head so re-did that and also added in the bottom neck area that wasn't painted at all. There is a little bit of paint bleed around those letters but who cares, we'll fix that later.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Photo 09:
Here we go, all done and I must say, I'm stoked at how this came out. Those two wood strips will get painted out and made to look like "cartoon timber" and then it will sit well with this bit of fun. In hindsight (whoa... that word again) I could have made my lettering blend stronger. I was too subtle with the colour change and it shows up here in this pic. More orange in the top area next time. Those black lines and shades really make this project "ping".

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

If you attempt anything like this remember that if you use harmonious colours that sit well together, you will always have a neat bit of art for your friends and clients to admire. If in doubt just buy a few "Looney Tunes" cartoon books and use as reference.

We're not finished yet. This is one side and top of my box and I want to add more.

Box End Photo 01:
I have a very cool "Rocketeer" comic book and this girl looked like something I could paint.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Box End Photo 02:
I made a colour transparency and projected the image onto the box end that already had 1 coat of primer undercoat in place. I pencil traced the obvious outline and worked in a simple 2 colour green blend by brush.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Box End Photo 03:
Working off a colour print out I started ticking in the colours and stepping my way around the different elements. I have no experience in this sort of illustration and was sweating a bit about how strong my tonal colours were, bearing in mind that these paints dry darker than what you see when it's wet. Turns out that two of my tones were too subtle when I was finished. I have not re-painted these because the end result was just fine.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Box End Photo 04:
Wow, I was really REALLY pleased with the end result here. I love this sort of art that the late Dave Stevens did (and was famous for).

The thing here to watch out for as the dark colours (in this case the dark blue in her hair) hide the black lines later when you turn on the projector again to use as a guide as to where you're gonna paint those black lines.

I stopped, yeah I did, and waited until night time and the darkness was a huge help to see the projected image.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Box End Photo 05:
Here's the box as it sits now. I am so enjoying this project and will keep you posted as I get inspired to carry on with another pic, graphic or lettering.

Decorating a signwriter's new sign kit box

Signwriter: Jeff Harvey

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