Monday, November 23, 2015

Dinosaur Nursery Chalkboards

I loved the whale chalkboard I made for Lucky's nursery, and I knew that if I ever had a second child I'd want to do something similar with a different theme.  Well we're expecting our next child and before even finding out the sex of the child I knew that I wanted to have a dinosaur themed nursery.

We chose paint in purple, Campground (green) and Dark Grey for the chalkboard.  The vision is to have a Brontosaurus body on the lowest (green) chalk board and then have the neck go through the purple with the head on the top (gray) board.  The shade of gray is the same one that we used on Lucky's whale, so there is some cohesion on the project.

I couldn't remember what size canvas I used for Lucky's version, but thankfully I had the blog post so I was able to look back at the pictures to discover we used 9x12 canvases.  (See!  The reasons to document everything in my "lab notebook" are really helpful when you want to reproduce something!)

This green is going to need more than one coat.  The Orange and Black from the Halloween display were much thicker after the first coat!  

Funny enough, I'm working on this dino decor exactly one year after I made Lucky's whale chalkboard.  While working on this post I got a Timehop of me painting the backgrounds of the original chalkboards.  I had no idea 1 year ago I'd have such an important WIP on the way!  I'm really hoping that the purple and dark gray are darker than this green, after the second coat it is still super streaky.

It took 3-4 coats of each of the colors to get even coats.  It felt like this took forever because I was running up and down stairs on different days to try to get this completed.  Finally I was able to add the chalkboard paint coats, the first vertical and the second horizontal.  Once this dries I'll be ready to start attempting my dinosaur design!

I know that I want to draw a Brontosaurus (there are other names for this type of creature, some may be more accurate for this sauropod, but this is the one that comes to mind the fastest.)  I want the head on the top panel, the neck extending in the middle and the body on the first.  I just have to figure out how I'm going to line up the silhouette.  This vision of the dinosaur print was the whole inspiration for the dinosaur nursery, an inspiration I had upon finishing up Lucky's whale print.

Chalk can wipe off, right?  How hard can that be?  Well I had a chalkboard for Lucky's first birthday and the chalk pen didn't wipe off as easily as I would have hoped.  Something about the alcohol in it makes it stick more.  I decided to attempt the first outline in real chalk so that I could have an easier time erasing if needed.

Unfortunately I accidentally deleted the first sketch of the dinosaur off of my camera so I can't share it with you, but the normal chalk stick wiped off really easily so I could get the shape I wanted.  The tail took me a few tries, but the head and legs only took one correction.

With these canvas chalkboards, you really do want a chalk pen to do any substantial drawing or writing.  You can't use enough pressure with a chalk stick to make a dark line, let alone fill it in!  I could have extended my brontosaurus head higher up on the purple board but I didn't want the neck to become even more comical than it is.  There is no way this tiny tail could balance that neck!  To help fill out the space I added a sun since this baby boogaloo is my sunshine boy.

Isn't she cute?  I am so happy that I was able to create the vision that I had in my head.  This was much harder than the whale chalkboard because for that project I had something to work from, this image started out in my brain.  I may do some design work, but I wouldn't consider myself an artist so this is quite an accomplishment for me.

I really liked how the hanging ribbon turned out from the Trick or Treat, Smell my Feet! canvas, so I purchased some 5/8" ribbon and cut two 1.5 yard strips and glued them to the back of the canvas with elmer's glue.

Since we're working on hanging things up (finally) in Lucky's room, too, I also added some fun polkadot ribbon to the Whale chalkboards.  This will be MUCH easier to hang up and we won't have to use tick tack to keep it on the walls like before.  

I can't wait to keep working on little Boogaloo's nursery!  Please let me know if you have any fun Dinosaur Nursery ideas!