This year's Sunflower Art, Food & Wine Festival street banner is inspired by reproductions of vintage wallpaper.  I love the look of antique wallpaper designs and I decided to create a background design using a carved stamp.  I found a fleur de lis pattern, copied it and carved a rubber stamp of the design.  My students are currently completing a printmaking unit so all the supplies are spread out all over my classroom.

 I want a neutral color scheme for the background so after I stretched and taped down the banner I started applying an umber, olive green and yellow ochre mix.  I hope to create a digitized image on top of the background using dark brown values.  I'm still not sure what the focal point, subject matter is going to be but I'd like to take a photo of a local cowboy.

Today I found time to charge the carved design and print it on the dried background.  I decided to use an off white acrylic paint instead of printing ink.  This way I can go over it with acrylic paint after it dries and wash out some of the color.  I carefully measured the size of the stamp and the background to try and line everything up - math is never the fun part!

The stamp is now in place and drying.  I plan to sponge out the bright white so it looks dingy and worn.

I love doing this project each year.  Finished banners are to be hung up and down our main street in a couple of weeks to promote the upcoming festival.  Banners will be auctioned off during the event.


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