Practice Materials

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Jon_Green
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Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 4:58 pm

Practice Materials

Post by Jon_Green » Mon May 06, 2013 5:08 pm

Howdy folks! I'm new to the forum and to sign painting. I've been doing some pinstriping of sorts for a couple years and decided to "branch out".

One thing that's proving to be difficult is the choice of paint and surface to practice on. I've tried various methods including 1 Shot on a black white painted metal sign and it seems the letters come out crisp using this method,
but any time I use 1 Shot, there's a helluva clean up afterwards. So, I've experimented with some water based squeeze-bottle paint on clear film and the results have been less than satisfactory, due to my grey quill puffing up from the water based paint and less paint adhesion. I've also tried the 1 Shot on cheap poster board from the drug store and that isn't really great either.

What then, are the best materials to use for ease of clean up as well as quality of brush stroke? Should I be practicing with 1 Shot or is there a better paint. Water-based options? Please recommend any specific brands.

By the way, I'm working out of the Dick Bird book, which I like and only focusing on the Floodstroke for now!

Thanks!
Jon

Mike Jackson
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Re: Practice Materials

Post by Mike Jackson » Mon May 06, 2013 6:32 pm

Hi Jon,
Welcome to the forum!

I learned with OneShot and Ronan lettering enamels using gray quills, usually painting on enamel coated old real estate sign blanks. Cheap and available.
I'd say this is still the best way to go, but times are changing.

Also, people use(d) poster paint on paper. Some of those were oil based, but most were water based painted with red sable brushes. Now there are synthetic brushes that work fine with water based paints. Good quality showcard paint was loaded with pigment and still made to flow out of the brushes. Rich Art comes to mind. Lettering with off the shelf acrylic house paint probably won't work out well for you. There is usually too much filler and not enough pigment.

For wall lettering, many have switched to water based paints. Fitches and Cutters still work on rough walls.

On glass, oil based paints may still be the best option, lettered wtih softer brown quills.

Good luck,
Mike Jackson

Of course, other people here will likely offer differing opinions on this topic.
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons

Jon_Green
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Practice Materials

Post by Jon_Green » Mon May 06, 2013 7:25 pm

Hi, and thanks for the info, Mike!

Are you referring to these colors? http://www.richartcolor.com/index.php/p ... mpera.html
Mike Jackson wrote:Hi Jon,
Welcome to the forum!

I learned with OneShot and Ronan lettering enamels using gray quills, usually painting on enamel coated old real estate sign blanks. Cheap and available.
I'd say this is still the best way to go, but times are changing.

Also, people use(d) poster paint on paper. Some of those were oil based, but most were water based painted with red sable brushes. Now there are synthetic brushes that work fine with water based paints. Good quality showcard paint was loaded with pigment and still made to flow out of the brushes. Rich Art comes to mind. Lettering with off the shelf acrylic house paint probably won't work out well for you. There is usually too much filler and not enough pigment.

For wall lettering, many have switched to water based paints. Fitches and Cutters still work on rough walls.

On glass, oil based paints may still be the best option, lettered wtih softer brown quills.

Good luck,
Mike Jackson

Of course, other people here will likely offer differing opinions on this topic.

Doug Bernhardt
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Re: Practice Materials

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Mon May 06, 2013 9:08 pm

Mike was probably referring to a waterbased "guauche" like paint they make/made at one time....used gallons of it. I believe you can still buy guauche in small jars at any art store,and will need to use the sable brushes (incredibly difficult to find). The advice is sound...stick to the 1-shot on pre-prepared panels as they are cheap and ready to use. Best wishes in your endevours.

Robare M. Novou
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Re: Practice Materials

Post by Robare M. Novou » Mon May 06, 2013 10:04 pm

Grey Quill in water based paint...now there's your problem.

Quills are for oil based paint.

Sables are for water based paint.

And don't forget your speedball book for learning the correct strokes.

I seem to remember this site having some lettering how-to's.

RMN
What's On Your Book Shelf ?

http://www.milwaukeesignworks.com

Jon_Green
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Practice Materials

Post by Jon_Green » Tue May 07, 2013 12:16 am

McLogan, the sign and screenprinting supply company, told me that Ronin aquacoat paint would work well with Grey Squirrel Quills. Is that not true? Should I go find a Sable instead for the Ronin?

I was practicing with 1 shot on a black sign and, yes, this seems to be the best. Maybe the Ronins will be ok too and less toxic. Hmm.
Robare M. Novou wrote:Grey Quill in water based paint...now there's your problem.

Quills are for oil based paint.

Sables are for water based paint.

And don't forget your speedball book for learning the correct strokes.

I seem to remember this site having some lettering how-to's.

RMN

Robare M. Novou
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Re: Practice Materials

Post by Robare M. Novou » Tue May 07, 2013 12:51 am

It's Ronan, not Ronin.

Here is the link to Ronan's website, specifically about the paint you mentioned. For application It does say "brush, roll, or spray"...just not specific on what type of "brush" to use.

http://www.ronanpaints.com/graphic.htm

I think the advise you were given on using a grey quill in or with a water based paint is wrong....what would you clean the brush out with.? Mineral Spirits or Water.

You already said your brush was puffing up from the water based paint...what more proof do you need that you shouldn't use quills in water based paint.

RMN
What's On Your Book Shelf ?

http://www.milwaukeesignworks.com

Jon_Green
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Practice Materials

Post by Jon_Green » Tue May 07, 2013 10:18 am

OK, sorrrrry about the spelling and thanks for the "advise"!
Robare M. Novou wrote:It's Ronan, not Ronin.

Here is the link to Ronan's website, specifically about the paint you mentioned. For application It does say "brush, roll, or spray"...just not specific on what type of "brush" to use.

http://www.ronanpaints.com/graphic.htm

I think the advise you were given on using a grey quill in or with a water based paint is wrong....what would you clean the brush out with.? Mineral Spirits or Water.

You already said your brush was puffing up from the water based paint...what more proof do you need that you shouldn't use quills in water based paint.

RMN

Mike Jackson
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Re: Practice Materials

Post by Mike Jackson » Tue May 07, 2013 2:28 pm

Jon,
Ronan makes both the Aqua Coat (acrylic, water based) paints and regular lettering enamels and bulletin enamels.

Normally, when you see the word enamel, it will be oil based and you thin with turps or mineral spirits. Occasionally, you will see house paint called Acrylic Enamel. Rest assured that will be a water based product. Same for the "Aqua" coat names.

I'd suggest getting a few gray quills in sizes from about a 2, 4, 6 and 8 and a couple of quarts of One Shot lettering enamel. You'll learn with those products how paint should flow off the brush and onto a painted panel. After that, it is just a matter of adjusting brushes to go with the different kinds of paints. I never liked lettering with any kind of acrylic paints. After you get a feel of the strokes on a metal surface, try it on glass. Things will react differently for a while.

A gray quill in water based paint will not work the same as the same brush in an enamel paint. Some people are using synthetic brushes for both, however.
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons

Jon_Green
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Practice Materials

Post by Jon_Green » Tue May 07, 2013 4:52 pm

Ok, well, I'll procede with caution with the information given to me.
I do have faith in a guy at a sign supply place, but we'll see...He said the Ronan Aquacoat behaves
very similarly to 1 shot.
I'll let you guys know how it goes with the Ronan and Grey quills.
Mike Jackson wrote:Jon,
Ronan makes both the Aqua Coat (acrylic, water based) paints and regular lettering enamels and bulletin enamels.

Normally, when you see the word enamel, it will be oil based and you thin with turps or mineral spirits. Occasionally, you will see house paint called Acrylic Enamel. Rest assured that will be a water based product. Same for the "Aqua" coat names.

I'd suggest getting a few gray quills in sizes from about a 2, 4, 6 and 8 and a couple of quarts of One Shot lettering enamel. You'll learn with those products how paint should flow off the brush and onto a painted panel. After that, it is just a matter of adjusting brushes to go with the different kinds of paints. I never liked lettering with any kind of acrylic paints. After you get a feel of the strokes on a metal surface, try it on glass. Things will react differently for a while.

A gray quill in water based paint will not work the same as the same brush in an enamel paint. Some people are using synthetic brushes for both, however.

Mike Jackson
Site Admin
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:02 pm
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Re: Practice Materials

Post by Mike Jackson » Tue May 07, 2013 9:25 pm

Jon,
The guy at the sign supply store has probably never painted a sign. The fact he sold you a gray quill and a water based paint might be a red flag. You are going to get advice here from people that have been painting signs for 20, 30, and 40 years that might be of more benefit to you.

No matter what you do, consider all of it a necessary step in the learning curve. Robare caught the issue of your gray quill swelling up. Guess how he knows!

Good luck,
Mike Jackson
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons

Jon_Green
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Practice Materials

Post by Jon_Green » Thu May 09, 2013 12:59 pm

Yup. Sure enough, the grey quill puffs up with the Ronan Aquacote.

You told me so!

:(


Mike Jackson wrote:Jon,
The guy at the sign supply store has probably never painted a sign. The fact he sold you a gray quill and a water based paint might be a red flag. You are going to get advice here from people that have been painting signs for 20, 30, and 40 years that might be of more benefit to you.

No matter what you do, consider all of it a necessary step in the learning curve. Robare caught the issue of your gray quill swelling up. Guess how he knows!

Good luck,
Mike Jackson

Kayla Wade
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 12:03 am
Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Practice Materials

Post by Kayla Wade » Wed May 15, 2013 12:21 am

Hi guys! I'm a newb also - Jon, I hope you don't mind me piggybacking on your thread.

I have a question about the real estate signs mentioned earlier. What are they, and how do you get them?
Full-bodied and easy to drink.

Tyler Tim
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:12 am

Re: Practice Materials

Post by Tyler Tim » Wed May 15, 2013 2:17 am

Kayla with the introduction of coroplast stake signs the old steel or aluminum panel signs have faded from use, kinda like milk bottles. Any smooth paint-able surface will work. Old glass windows can be used for practice and can be clean off rather easily. If you have a glass shop close to you stop in and ask after any tempered glass that have laying about... most times they will give a piece of it away for the hauling.
Sure I paint thing for my amusement and then offer them for sale. A brushslinger could whither en die from lack of creativity in this plastic town my horse threw a shoe in. :shock:

Kayla Wade
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Practice Materials

Post by Kayla Wade » Wed May 15, 2013 9:15 am

Thanks for the tip! I admit I've been a little nervous to try painting on glass so that would be good practice anyway.
Full-bodied and easy to drink.

Aaron Repath
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Re: Practice Materials

Post by Aaron Repath » Wed May 15, 2013 10:26 am

Get a razor scraper and you can clean off the glass after everything is dry. Scrape as best as you can (may take a couple of passes) and then wipe if off with a rag and some mineral spirits. Then you've got a clean slate all over again!

Mike Jackson
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Re: Practice Materials

Post by Mike Jackson » Wed May 15, 2013 10:28 am

Kayla,
You can order prepainted 18x24 metal sign panels at most sign supply outfits. They are usually painted white on both sides and are usually not too expensive. The other alternative is to find a real estate company that went out of business or changed their name and check into getting a few of the panels (probably for free), then roll a coat of white enamel on each side. You can practice all you want for little investment.
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
Vintage Ornamental Clip art
Jackson Hole, WY

Photography site:
Teton Images
Jackson Hole photography blog:
Best of the Tetons

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