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Painted Scrolls on Ceiling Beams

The rustic charm of painted scrolls on ceiling beams needs no introduction. This decorative accent is a delightful addition to any country room. And though beams are common elements in rustic interiors rarely do I see them used as a focal point for decorative applications. French Country lends itself to this type of stylized treatments. It is a blending of the attention for detail with the desire to beautify all things that makes this application appropriately Country French. 

Color Essentials

Fundimentals of color. It will set you free!

Using color at home or in the office - for paintings, furniture or any artistic challenge - takes a good eye, a little know how, and a creative imagination. Create custom color schemes and color effects in your home or office. Learn how to use the best base color, create a glaze, mixing colors, and more.

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Step 1:

First I measure the width and length of a beam to properly scale my scroll pattern. 


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Step 2:

The scroll pattern can be scaled to the proper width using a photo copier. Next I illustrate the outline of the scrolls using a sheet of tracing paper and black pen.


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Step 3:

Using the transfer method described on page XX, I trace out my scroll pattern directly onto the beam.

If you are applying the pattern to a painted beam, as in this instance, you can use homemade transfer paper or colored transfer paper purchased from your local art supply store. If you have a wooded beam that you wish to paint you’ll find that white transfer paper will be best suited for this type of project.


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Step 4:

I’ll outline the shapes first using a blend of Raw Umber, Ultramarine Blue and White. 


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Step 5:

. Now I’ll fill in the forms using an ochre colored wash of Raw Siene mixed with Raw Umber.


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Step 6:

I add a secondary shadow line to establish the 3-dimentional quality to the scroll pattern. This color blend consists of Raw Umber with a hint of Raw Siene.


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Step 7:

Next I introduce additional color accents into the leaves of my scroll pattern. Mixing Sap Green with Raw Siene I apply this using a No. 3 brush.


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Step 8:

The last element I want to distinguish will be the four petal floral motif. I mix a blend of Raw Umber, Raw Siene and Cadmium Red Medium together and loosely apply this color to the motif. 


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Step 8:

A light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper will soften the scroll and add a worn appearance.

A light antique glaze can be applied over the painted scrolls to further enhance the aged appearance. Mix Raw Umber and Burnt Siene together in a loose, watery solution. Liberally apply this to the painted areas and then dab and wipe with a clean rag removing most of the antique glaze. The remaining color should provide a lightly textured antique appearance over the decorative scroll pattern.


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