Society for the Protection of Unwanted Objects Signpainting

This was my first time painting a piece of shop front signage, and weighing in at 40 characters it was a baptism of fire that took place over a couple of freezing days earlier this year. I thought it would be good to give a bit of insight into the process of creating a traditional hand-painted sign. 

 After figuring out the maths of fitting all those characters into a space 30cm x 3m, I drew out a full pattern by hand. Then I traced the lines of my pattern with a pounce wheel, a strange tool that looks like a miniature cowboy boot spur on the end of a scalpel, creating a line of tiny perforations around the design. 

The perforated pattern is then lined up on the painting surface before a white chalk-like powder is brushed over it, leaving behind the design ready for painting.

 

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Close-up of pounce pattern

Close-up of pounce pattern

First up was a coat of metallic gold for the letter body's. An alternative method for a gold look could have been to do a surface gild, using 24 carat gold-leaf, but with this number of characters it wouldn't have been particularly cost effective... 

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Excuse the out-of-focus shot, very cold hands by this point! 

Excuse the out-of-focus shot, very cold hands by this point! 

After finishing this first coat I came back the next day to apply a second coat of gold. Finally, I painted in the letter shadows, to give that faux 3D look which really makes the letters 'pop'. And after second coating the shadow the job was done, here's the final result:

The finished sign with the Society's inimitable owner James Castle

The finished sign with the Society's inimitable owner James Castle

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If you would like a traditional hand-painted sign for your business or a personal piece then contact me at: softcityclothing@gmail.com