How to Paint an Easy Christmas Sweater Painting

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9-12-2017, 23:00
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As sure as Christmas comes, theme sweaters, sweatshirts and vests appear over-loaded with holiday imagery. Thrift stores sell vintage 1980’s sweaters, people hold "Ugly Sweater" gatherings and enjoy the quirky festivity the sweaters inspire. New ones can be purchased at discount department stores. The sweaters display an array of holiday items: decorated trees, angels, candy canes and almost any other festive thing you can imagine. If you like the idea of ugly sweaters, but don’t want to own and wear one, here is a way be involved with the trend. This project is great for artists of all ages and it is sure to be a hit as a group activity.

Steps

  1. Set a piece of watercolor paper in either orientation. Decide if you want to show one, two or three sweaters. If you make two, you might include a long-sleeved sweater and a sleeveless vest.
  2. Look at some actual sweaters for ideas. Or, Google: Ugly Christmas Sweaters.
  3. Discuss ugly sweaters. If you are working with a group, ask participants to tell about ugly sweaters; Who owned one?, Where it came from?, How often has it been worn? What reactions did the wearer get? Ask the person to describe it.
  4. Draw the outline of the sweater of your choice on the watercolor paper in pencil. Make the sweater(s) large enough to almost fill the space.
  5. Get ideas flowing and decide on your theme for the decorations you will be putting on the sweater. You will be using stickers for the graphics, so buy a pack of stickers that represent some of your favorite things. As to theme, get whatever interests you. Or try something new and different that will just be ugly. If in doubt, Christmas stickers are always a good choice.
  6. Divide the space within the sweater into 7-8 shapes, using a pencil to draw the lines. Draw around the sweaters own design lines, the neckline (“V“ or rounded), cuffs and bottom.
  7. Paint the shapes on the sweaters with watercolor. Any color goes, but often the Christmas classic of primary red and primary green are highlighted on a sweater. Anything goes, though, remember it is an “ugly” sweater you are aiming to make.
    • Remember that there are many shade of red and green. On a scrap of paper, try out various shades and variations of the two classic colors.
    • Other winning color combinations are colors found opposite each other on the color wheel: violet and yellow, or blue and orange.
    • Dilute any color for weak shades of that color. Red diluted is pink, blue is "baby" blue, violet becomes lavender, etc. This will give you more color options. Any color is fine, it is an ugly sweater you are doing. Paint all the spaces and let the paint dry, using a hair dryer, if you wish.
  8. Refine the design by outlining it in black marker.
  9. Let the designing begin by using stickers to fill in the spaces. Use as many or as few as you wish.
    • Do repeat patterns around the neck, wrists and waistline of the sweater.
    • Add glitter glue, felt self-stick-on images, glitter and jewels.
    • There is no limit to how much you decorate the sweaters. Think of this slogan: “A lot is never enough.” When it comes to ugly sweaters, let yourself go and pile on the embellishments.
  10. Hang this art representation of an ugly sweater in a prominent place for all to appreciate. Write comments people make about it on note paper and when you take the art piece down, tape the comments to the back to remember in years to come the reactions to it.

Tips

  • Cut out the sweater, paint the back, punch a hole at the top and hang it as an ornament.
  • Add a background for a scene with ugly sweaters as the prominent feature.

Things You'll Need

  • Watercolor paper, a heavy stock, any size
  • Watercolor paints and brushes
  • Pencil, eraser
  • Sharpie markers, or other colored markers optional
  • A book of pictorial stickers
  • Glitter glue, glitter, felt stickers, etc.
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