For some strange reason, I have a ‘thing’ for scrolls.
I should say, I have a thing for painting scrolls. It’s not that my house is full of scrolly decor. At least, I don’t think so. I might have to look around now and doublecheck that.
Before I’d even painted the first coat of white paint on my desk, I was trying to come up with some design pattern for it. Even after deciding on scrolls, I still had to figure out how I would add detailing to the scrolls, which I planned to make bold and large on the desk.
My first choices were also the most obvious, because I’ve painted so many of them.
This was one of my first attempts. Would you believe that this painting was originally painted in rust tones? Yep. Scrape off the white and grey and there’s a ton of rusty colors under there. (Don’t even ask why I repainted all.of.these.details in grey. All I can say is Ugh.)
This was one of my largest paintings, at least on canvas. We hung it on a foyer wall that was two stories high. Painting it was nothing compared to hanging this puppy. Um, can you say “scaffold”? Because apparently the thought never occurred to us at the time. Geez.
While I’d like to think I did most of those neoclassic paintings early in my career, nope, this fleur de lis was done a year or so ago.
I painted it for a class that I never taught. sigh. One of these days, I will get back to teaching!
At any rate, my natural tendency was to paint the scrolls on the desk with a dimensional detail . . . and I actually started out that way by thinning the paint with water to get a translucent effect.
For some reason though, I actually listened this time to that little voice in my head.
That little voice.
As opposed to all the others. (hahaha. I couldn’t resist.)
No, you know the inner voice I’m talking about, the one that we ignore the majority of the time and then wonder why we didn’t listen to it after some catastrophic occurrence in our life happens?
Or maybe just a minor occurrence.
I listened to her this time and she told me to keep googling, to keep looking for something . . . different. Something fun. Something . . . fresh.
I think I threw “contemporary” somewhere in the search box.
If you type “different”, “fun”, and “fresh”, there’s no telling what Google Images will come up with.
But I’m guessing it’ll make you say “ewwww”.
Instead of “ooooo”.
This one made me say “oooo”. Or pretty close to it. It was ‘almost’ there. But I kept trying to imagine it on a large desk top and even though I loved the idea of large dusty turquoise Provence swirls on top of a clean palette of Pure White, I also wanted detail somehow.
And then I saw these . . .
These were better than “oooo”. Better even than “ahhh”.
These were “cue The Choir” good.
Different? yes. Fun? check. Fresh? I think they possibly could be fresh, especially if each swirl is a foot or so in diameter.
This is the top of the desk, painted with just Provence with Pure White details. No shading. No highlighting. No blending.
Someone wrote this about them,
“an organic feel, like they’re almost splashing“.
I like that very much.
It’s a totally different way of looking at scrolls for me. Which, I won’t lie, was kinda difficult.
But I like a challenge so I definitely want to paint some more of them.
In the meantime, some of you asked about the scroll pattern so I made them for you to download.
This was my original sketch, that I intended on making dimensional with highlighting and shading.
This is the pattern revised for the top of the desk.
And the side of the desk pattern.
And another pattern that didn’t make the cut but maybe someone’ll like it.
If you want to make the patterns oversized like I did – and you don’t trust your own freehand skills – take them either to an office supply store or a blueprint copy place. Figure out how large you want the design first, and then tell them. They should be able to enlarge it to the right size, or ’tile’ it if it’s too large for a standard oversized paper.
Towards the end of my wall mural painting days, this is the only way I worked – sketch the pattern, measure the wall, take it to a blueprinter to enlarge. Then transfer it and paint it in. Saved me hours and hours of work!
Have fun with your scrolls or swirls or whatever you call them. I’d love to see whatever you use them for too!