I make “subway” or typographic artwork on a fairly regular basis. I am not too precise about the process, which is why I love the, um, distressed look. Distressing artwork that is less than perfect covers a multitude of sins and makes it a “I meant to do that” finished product.
Here are a few examples of pieces that I have done previously.
Click any of these for instructions or tutorials on how to create the piece in the first place.
On virtually all of these pieces, I sand them and put a quick and easy “antique” wash that cuts down on the contrast while adding a soft sheen. And when I say easy, I mean easy.
I just did this piece for a fundraiser. See how I managed to get “love each other” kind of crooked? (Other is going up at a bit of an angle.) And the paint bled through here and there on the letters…. Lots of little things that are wrong. That’s where sanding the crap out of the piece comes in.
Once it looks distressed and vintage-y enough from the sander, it’s time to do the wash. The wash is nothing more than a little watered down gold acrylic paint.
|Don’t be jealous of my fabulous paintbrush. It may not be pretty, but it gets the job done. We’re old friends.
Apply the wash over the surface of the piece with a paintbrush. Once it’s covered with the wash, get a different, dry paintbrush (preferably a wide one) brush over the surface of the entire board with long, even strokes in one direction. (I usually do them horizontally.)
Anyhow, when it’s dry the piece looks worn and vintage instead of contrast-y and uneven.
So that’s it. No big secret, (other than I’m not really an artist.)
A sander and paint wash save the day!