Choose a project

The final result of your painting is affected from the beginning by choosing a well-made wooden item.  Study it from all angles since the form of the piece becomes part of the design.  

It is best to choose wooden pieces that do not have knots or much strong graining in the wood.  A strong wood grain will show even if painted with a solid background color.  The rosemaling design will fight with the natural graining design and the finished project will appear busy and confused.

Prepare a project

Once chosen, good preparation of the wooden item is vital to the quality of the finished piece of rosemaling.

After the object is chosen, fill any dents, cracks, or nail holes with a good wood filler.  Sand the object well working with the grain of the wood.   Start with coarse sandpaper if necessary, but use fine sandpaper before completing the sanding process.

Apply the background paints with a brush and let it dry.  Then sand carefully with fine sandpaper between each layer of background paint.  Do this as often as needed to get complete coverage of the item.  We get a smoother finish by applying more thin coats of paint rather than a thicker one.

Prepare all surfaces on the object equally well.  This enhances the feel, look, and value of your painting.

Design a Project

Choosing or making a design for each project is important.  The design should enhance the object.  It is helpful to use some of the characteristics of the object as a starting point for the design.  The open space in and around the design is also part of the design and important.

Sometimes it is impossible to find a prepared design that is appropriate for each piece.  Then it is important to know how to draw a new design.

I start drawing by marking the center of the surface horizontally and vertically and sketching a line within which I want to keep my design.  I determine where I want the root of the design to be and begin with my ‘C’ and ‘S’ strokes gracefully flowing from that point.  I fill in with flower forms.  I know that I do not need to have all the details sketched in because as the brush paints the project some things may change.  This is good!

Finishing a Project

After the rosemaling is completed and the project is dry, it is best to apply a finish.  Remove all sketching lines before giving one or two coats of a satin varnish.  It is important to know that your varnish is compatible with the background color as well as the rosemaling paints.  Let this dry. 

Using your Project

Whether you have painted a useful item or a purely decorative one, be sure to keep it in a safe, dry place.  The item can have water run over it and be quickly dried with a towel or wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Most of all enjoy your finished project!!  Be proud of what you have done!!

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