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  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg

HAPPY 4th!

by Vera Collier 2021

Make the fourth more magical with this fun and whimsical design!



Rectangle plaque approximately 9” x 12”. I found mine at Dollar Tree®. It was decorated on the front, but I flipped it over and used the backside. You could also look at your favorite online shop or craft store for similar boards.


Decoart® Americana

DA052 Avocado Green

DA064 Burnt Umber

DA065 Dark Chocolate

DA166 Deep Midnight Blue

DA044 Desert Turquoise

DA171 Driftwood

DA132 Hauser Medium Green

DA219 Heritage Brick

DA163 Honey Brown

DA067 Lamp Black

DA01 Snow White

DA155 Soft Black

DA036 True Blue

DA02 White Wash

DA304 Zinc


10/0 liner

#2 round

#6 round

#4 dry brush

Small Deerfoot or scruffy brush

Chip brush (available at hardware and paint stores)

(For more info...

1/2” and 3/4” angular shaders or your favorite shading brushes

Small mop brush

Miscellaneous Supplies:

Decoart® Multi-Purpose Sealer

Decoart® DuraClear Matte Varnish

Krylon® Workable Fixative

Chalk pencil or white colored pencil

Palette paper

Tracing paper

Black and white or yellow graphite paper


Apply a coat of sealer to the surface. Sand lightly.

To do the weathered wood background, basecoat your surface with several coats of Zinc. Use the chip brush randomly brush on Dark Chocolate, Driftwood, and Desert Turquoise. Use a light touch, you want to see the brush strokes and the Zinc background showing through. I went back and forth with my colors until I was happy with the results. Allow to dry, then go back over the entire surface with thinned White Wash. While it is still wet, wipe it back with a soft cloth. This will tone down the other colors, while still showing the brush strokes.

Sideload a large angular shader (3/4”) and shade the ends of the “boards” with Soft Black. Using a liner brush paint the lines separating the boards. I’ve had good luck with just running my liner brush along the edge of a ruler. If any of the lines get a little wobbly or thicker in places, those are good spots to add a knot-hole. Finally, using the liner brush, paint random thin lines coming in from the ends of the boards. Vary these in length.

Using Lamp Black and the large end of a stylus, dot the nails on the boards. I added some watered-down Heritage Brick and Soft Black “rust” marks coming down from the nails. It’s up to you if you want to include that or not.

Painting instructions:

Trace the pattern onto tracing paper, then, using graphite paper, transfer the design to the board. Transfer only the basic shapes, we’ll add the details after base coating.

Basecoat as follows:

Truck - Desert Turquoise

Banner - Lamp Black

Basket - Honey Brown

Blanket - Snow White

Flag - Snow White

Back of driver’s seat (visible through the truck window) - Heritage Brick

Steering Wheel - Lamp Black

Tires - Lamp Black

Whitewalls - Snow White

Hubcaps, running board, and bumpers - Zinc

Trace the details.

Shade the truck with A sideload of True Blue. Shade under the lip on the bed, where the tailgate meets the back of the truck, on the bed where it meets the edge of the door, around the fenders, and around the tablecloth hanging over the side of the bed.

Highlight the truck with Bahama Blue. Highlight the top of the hood, top of the fenders, the roof of the cab, and the edge of the truck bed.

Paint the insides of the wheel wells, above the tires, with Zinc.

The running board, bumpers, and hubcaps are shaded with Lamp Black and highlighted with Snow White. Also, highlight the front of the tires with a sideload of Snow White.

Make a wash with water and Snow White and brush on the driver’s side window. Add thin, diagonal lines to indicate the reflection of the glass.

The antenna is painted with Zinc, the headlight is Honey Brown with a Zinc frame, the taillight is Heritage Brick. The hinges on the truck door and door handle are Lamp Black. Brush mix a little Zinc with Snow White and use this to highlight the handle.

If you haven’t already done so, track the star on the truck door and base with Snow White.

The flag and the star are painted the same way. The blue field is painted with Deep Midnight Blue and the stripes are Heritage Brick. Shade the flag on the left and right sides with a sideload of Deep Midnight Blue. Dry brush some Snow White vertically down the center of the flag. The stars are simply dotted on with the smaller end of a stylus.

The plaid on the blanket is painted with Heritage Brick and Deep Midnight Blue. The Heritage Brick lines are painted with a #2 round and the Deep Midnight Blue lines are very painted with a 10/0 liner.

Shade the basket with Burnt Umber. Shade beneath the rim, on the inside part of the handle where it meets the top of the basket, along the bottom and the two sides. Using a very small Deerfoot brush or a scruffy brush, stipple in some Medium Hauser Green coming out of the top of the basket. Then, with the 10/0 liner and Avocado Green, paint flower stems spilling from the basket. I also added some leaves here and thereby simply smushing the tip of the liner brush along the stems. These are so little, you just need the suggestion of some leaves on the stems. With the end of a stylus add Desert Turquoise and Heritage Brick dot flowers on the stems.

Shade beneath the truck with a sideload of Soft Black.

The number 4 is painted with Heritage Brick and shaded with Soft Black. The dots are done with the end of your stylus and Snow White.

The “th” is painted with Deep Midnight Blue and highlighted down the centers with Desert Turquoise.

The flourish beneath the “th” is Snow White and a thin line of Deep Midnight Blue underneath.

You can do the lettering on the banner with either a chalk pencil or a White-colored pencil. Just remember that if you use chalk, you will need to set it by spraying lightly with Workable Fixative.

Using the Micron pen, add all your detail lines. The basketweave on the basket, outline the truck, etc. Follow the pictures and you can do as much or as little as you please.

Once the liner work is done, mist your piece with a workable fixative or spray sealer to set the linework. Then apply a couple of coats of varnish.

Enjoy your 4th of July!





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