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  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg

Bee Kind

by Vera Collier 2021

I found this arrow plaque at our local Dollar Tree, but some of the big craft store chains might carry them too. It measures 12” long. If you can’t find one, the design could be resized or painted on a different surface. Cupboard Distributing carries a wood arrow, but it is about 2” longer. To accommodate that size, you would need to enlarge the pattern by 120%. Studio R12 has several sizes of the Be Kind stencil. The 6 x 8” one will work for a 12” long surface. If you are painting this on a larger arrow or surface you may want to order the next size up.



12” wood arrow plaque from Dollar Tree


Decoart Americana

Burnt Sienna

Lamp Black

Mustard Seed

Wedgewood Blue

Titanium White


10/0 liner

3/4” wash

#6 round

#4 or 6 oval dry brush

1/2” angular shader or your favorite shading brush

Small mop brush

Stencil brush


Decoart Multi-Purpose Sealer

Decoart DuraClear Matte varnish

Stencil STCL1510_2 (6 x 8”) available from Studio R12

Tim Holtz honeycomb stencil available from Cupboard Distributing

Palette paper

Tracing paper

Black and white or yellow graphite paper


Sand, seal, and sand the plaque. With the 3/4” wash, basecoat the plaque with 2 or 3 coats Wedgewood Blue, sanding between coats. Mix a small amount of Titanium White into the Wedgewood Blue to make a slightly lighter shade. Using the Honeycomb stencil, randomly stencil the honeycomb design here and there on the plaque.

Painting instructions:

Trace the bee onto the board (and the lettering if you are not using a stencil). Basecoat the body of the bee with Mustard Seed and the head with Lamp Black.

Using the 1/2” angular shaded, shade the bee body on the left-hand side with a sideloaded float of Burnt Sienna. While you have the angular shader out, paint a sideloaded float of Titanium White around each wing, putting the stronger color to the outside of the wing. Use the mop brush to soften the float in the center of each wing. once dry, use the 10/0 liner and Titanium White to paint a fine white line around each wing.

The stripes and the stinger on the bee body are painted with Lamp Black. Once the paint is dry, take the oval drybrush and Titanium White to drybrush a highlight just right of center on the bee’s body. Add a stronger highlight with a thin line of Titanium White down the center of the dry brushed highlight.

Using white or yellow graphite, trace the face details on the bee. The eyes are Titanium White (I just dotted them on with the larger tip of my stylus). Allow the white to dry, then add smaller Lamp Black dots. The nose is a small oval of Burnt Sienna and the mouth and eyebrows are painted on with Titanium White and the 10/0 liner.

The antennae are painted with Lamp Black using the 10/0 liner. Add dots on the ends with the end of your stylus.

Place the stencil on the right side of the arrow and using the stencil brush, stencil the words for “be kind”. The stencil on has one “e”. You can use it as it is, or do as I did and use two “e’s” to make the word “bee”. Simply move the stencil over to stencil a second “e”. When finished with the stenciling, use the 10/0 liner and thinned Titanium White to add drop shadow lines to the left of each letter.

If you are painting the lettering, use a #2 round to paint the letters, then add the drop shadow lines as noted above.

Finally, apply several coats of Dura Clear Matte varnish to both sides of the arrow.

If you plan to hang up the arrow, drill holes where indicated on the pattern and add a wire hanger.



Pattern and Photos ©2021 Vera Collier

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