This easy DIY fall porch leaner was so much fun to create! Let me give you the steps so you can create one for yourself:)
First off, fall is my favorite time of year to be inspired to paint. What about you? I just planted some mums in my flower beds and I can't wait for the leaves to start changing. I feel blessed to live by the White Mountains. So excited to go Leaf peeping this year!
Sunflowers are so fun to paint and completely represent The Fall season. That's why I chose these big bright yellow sunflowers to put on my porch leaner sign.
Feel free to copy my design or put your own spin on it. One of my Creative Warriors members put her own spin by adding stems, leaves and a pumpkin. I'm so proud of her and it looks fantastic!
*Pine board, I got mine at Lowes for only $8 & cut it in 1/2 & made 2!! (One I sold & this one's for me:)
*Apple Barrel paints. I get these low cost craft paints right at Walmart. You can use any type you might have on hand like Deco Art for example. Colors I used; white, black, burnt umber, nutmeg (basically a light & dark brown) bright yellow, a tiny bit of co bright red & I mixed my own orange with yellow & red but you can use an orange paint if you have one on hand.
*Brushes; 2'' flat, 1" flat, #6 round, medium sized bristle & a detailed.
*Jar with water (since I'm using acrylic paints)
*Palette, I like to use the foam dinner plates so my paint can stay separated easily.
*Paper towels, to wipe your brushes.
*Blow-dryer, optional. I like to paint fast, so this speeds up my drying time.
As you can see from the photos, I painted sunflowers with falling leaves. Like I said, feel free to use my design for yourself or you can mix it up like one of my members did and put your own spin on it. I started painting this porch leaner on a live video. My viewers had amazing creative ideas! If you'd like to watch, it may help to get your creative juices flowing. You can check it out right HERE.
1. Paint your entire board black with your wide flat 2" brush. Make sure this is dried completely before the next step. You don't want black mixing in with your flowers.
2. Use your white & 1" flat brush to under paint your flowers & leaves. This is an important step considering we are painting on a black surface. We want to make sure our beautiful fall colors pop! Underpainting these subjects first, it will make your colors look brilliant. It will look weird at first considering all your flowers and leaves will be white but when you paint on the colors you'll be amazed!
Placement of the flowers and leaves are up to you. As you can see I don't show the entire sunflowers but paint them on each sides of the wood. You might want to paint more of a cluster of sunflowers at the top or the bottom of your porch leaner. Or you could paint the entire flower showing.
The leaves I spaced apart going down the entire board. You could also congregate yours more the top and then spread them out as they go down the board. Just giving you some other ideas!
*Painting the shape of the middle of the flower is easy. Use your 1 inch flat brush load with paint and make a half circle.
For the pedals I used the same brush but twisted it at the ends to make the petals pointy. Start from the middle of the flower, drag out & twist. Sometimes this can be tricky to get a pointy and on your pedals. If so use your round brush to get that spot.
*For the shape of the leaves I used the round brush. As you can see I created two different shapes and put them in various spots on the porch leaner.
I outlined the leaves first and then filled them in.
3. Add color. Once your subjects are painted white and dried, you can start painting them in with your color! I started with the middle of my sunflowers. Use the bristle brush load one side with dark-brown load the other side with light brown. Hold your brush straight up and down to the painting & tap it around in a half circle following the shape of the middle of your flower. (Make sure to cover all of the white underpainting).
To add the highlights in the middle of the flower, you can wait until that layer dries or paint wet-on-wet if you choose. Highlight color is easy. Just mix a little bit of white into your light brown paint, load your bristle brush and put on a few highlights in the center, as you can see in my photo.
*To color the pedals load bright yellow onto your 1 inch brush and create the same shape you did with the underpainting. It's okay to drag a little bit of brown from the middle of the flower, if it's still wet. (This gives a neat effect. You can see how I discovered this in my live video HERE).
*Add some low light tones to your pedals by using the round brush and some yellow orange. Basically you want to just use a little darker yellow. So I put a little bit of red into my yellow and swiped that on to my pedals.
*Leaf colors. For the one that’s shaped more round I used bright red and the round brush to fill it in. For the one that looks more Oak Leaf shaped, I used orange and also filled that in with the round brush.
*Highlights your leaves. For the red leaves I put a dab of white into red, so it's a dark pink & I use this color on my round brush to swipe some spots on the leaves.
For the orange ones you can make a highlight color with an orange yellow, basically a little lighter orange than what your leaf is, or you can use red orange to put some low light strokes in.
*Add details to your leaves by using the detailed brush to add veins. The color I used for the orange ones were dark brown in orange mixed together. For the red leaves I mixed red with a tiny bit of cobalt blue.
Yay you did it! I would love to see your painting:) You could paint this on a canvas if you don't have a board to paint on. I've done both and they look great!!
4. Optional, put a saying or quote onto your porch leaner. I Used a small angled brush & my detailed with white to write "Hello Fall". I just free handed this but you could use a stencil if you have one. I did have to put 2 coats of white onto the lettering, once again because of the black background & we want the letters to pop.
5. Varnish, seal, your painting especially if you are putting it outside. I varnished mine with Liquitex gloss medium. I also really love the Liquitex gloss medium varnish. These 2 mediums are what I use to seal my canvas paintings as well. I do know other have had success by using the Min-wax varnish, you can get at Lowes or your local hardware store. The Min-wax is for wood.
6. Put out in front of your house and make your neighbors jealous lol! You could always keep one & sell one like I did;) For more info on how to sell your paintings consider joining Creative Warriors.
I hope you enjoyed this step by step blog post on how you can create your own Fall Porch Leaner sign! Please let me know in the comments if you will give it a try:)
Have fun creating!!