How to go from sketch to finished painting? –part 1 – Documenting a Church to Youth Centre Art project.

How do you change a church hall into a teen friendly social club? This how we’re doing it!

Our local Youth group needs help to counteract the look of churchy building where it’s moving to.  To help create a youth friendly feel, the working party have made 4 panels to cover the windows. I’ve been asked to decorate one as inspiration and the youth are going to be encouraged to decorate the rest. The panels are 6 feet high by 5 feet wide, a big project!

So, this is my “canvas”!

Undecorated board

Scary isn’t it!

Stage 1


The brief was for the design to appeal to young people i.e that it should be “Cool” sorry “kl”. It also needs to be accepted by the church.

OK, I need to find out:

1) What is the “in thing” with teenagers nowadays?

2) What would the church be willing to accept

In addition I need to consider

3)My budget is zero! So I’m relying mainly on freebies of household wall paint for the large areas and acrylics- Galleria system 3 – for the details. And anything I feel inclined to donate.

4)Where will it hang? In this case – quite high so needs to be visible from a distance.

So, back to first question- What is the average teenager interested in? TV programmes, computer games, Manga, Steam Punk or something else? I did some research into Manga and Steam Punk and decided they might be OK for a targeted group e.g. teenage boys who played lots of games. But it might not suit a generic youth group. The trouble is, it’s been a long, long, long time since I was a teenager!

Then my thoughts went to gaming consoles either the controllers or buttons. Would the buttons be better? As they weren’t going to be specific to one company – can’t be advertising, not in a church. (No, that wouldn’t do at all!)  I finally remembered the recent ipod adverts with figures dancing and that a silhouette would look quite effective from a distance. I’d also thought about urban text styles such as found here

Stage 2

After playing around with these themes and ideas for most of yesterday, I finally came up with the following thumbnail sketch. (Some of the detail has been lost in the photograph.)


My plan was to stick with a bright colour, green was my first choice, and paint the rest of the design in black keeping lots of visual pattern – a distressed look.

Stage 3

Next I roughly pencilled in the design and painted the background.

As with many projects subtle things change between the design and the execution. Well they do with me as I think of refinements with the design or sometimes just change my mind. Which is why I’ve now gone for blue as the background colour. Purely from the practical point of view – there wasn’t enough green but plenty of blue and red – I preferred the blue. So this is the work so far. I’m letting it dry tonight and will continue the project tomorrow!

Base coat Completed basecoat

As usual I’ve practically obliterated all the preliminary marks. It looks a bit like a snow spirit dancing against a frozen sky.

So, that’s my progress so far. Tune in tomorrow to see the next exciting instalment. It’ll be as exciting as watching paint dry!

About CathyReadArt

Artist creating abstract art using mixed media. I believe there should be beauty in art, but sometimes it takes an artist to show others what is truly beautiful.
This entry was posted in project, thumbnail, Wall panel. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How to go from sketch to finished painting? –part 1 – Documenting a Church to Youth Centre Art project.

  1. Pingback: How to go from sketch to finished painting?–part 2 –Transferring the Thumbnail to the board. « Cat2read's Blog

  2. Pingback: How to go from sketch to finished painting?–part 3 –Hand painting circles, the hard way. « Cat2read's Blog

  3. Pingback: How to go from sketch to finished painting – Part 6 – chess board pattern « Cat2read's Blog

  4. Pingback: Self-motivation – from sketch to completed artwork – struggles to keep going for eternity! « Cat2read's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s