Tole and Decorative Painting Newsletter

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Newsletter October 2000

October 2000

Hi Everybody,

Well, the fall color show is upon us here in New England, not quite at it's peak yet but promising to be spectacular. I spent the day today doing something I haven't done since I was a kid - collecting leaves. For painting color reference, of course :-)

Here's another computer trick useful for decorative painters: Learn how to use your graphics or paint program, if you don't know how already.

I personally use PaintShop Pro, but there are many others that work equally well. Most PCs come with Microsoft Paint, and this will work too.

Open a line drawing in your paint program and use the flood fill tool to fill in colors, experimenting until you get just the right combination of colors for your palette.

There are many useful tools in these programs if you'll take the time to learn how to use them: Use the Magic Wand or Select tool to select out a portion of your drawing and then use the Color Adjust tools to adjust brightness, contrast or hue. Use the Magic Wand or Select tool again to select a portion of your drawing and then use the Drop Shadow or Cutout tools to give your drawing some depth. Experiment with the tools and have fun with them.

Once you're satisfied with the color palette in your drawing, print it out and use this as a guide to mixing colors when you're painting.

Additional Tricks you can do with your paint program:

Have a painting finished and wonder how it would look with an overall grey wash? Scan your painting and open the image in your graphics program. Learn how to Add a Layer and then flood fill that layer with a grey at, say, 30% or 40% opacity, and watch how it transforms your painting into a soft pastel palette. Experiment with the colors and opacity percentage until you have it just right.

As mentioned in last month's newsletter, you can also scan an image of a finished painting and then change the image to greyscale to determine where value changes are needed, which is much easier to determine without the distraction of color.

Warning: This is addictive. Once you learn to use your paint program and discover the endless possibilities, be sure you don't get so absorbed that you forget to actually paint!


If you have a Tip of the Month you'd like to share, please email us.   If your tip is used, full credit is given, including a link to your website if you have one.


Linda Coulter has put up a great online resource for information about color, including Color Basics, Color Trends, Color Mixing, Color Schemes and a Color Glossary.

One of the feature stories on this site, "How to Match Color" is one of the most straightforward, easy-to-understand articles on color mixing I've ever seen, so if you're just starting out with color mixing, be sure not to miss this article.


If you have or have found a website you feel would be useful for decorative painters, please email us.  If your recommendation is used, full credit will be given, including your website address if you have one.


By popular demand, we've added a page of quotes, sayings, proverbs and expressions in a variety of categories suitable for painters. We'll be adding to this page regularly and welcome your suggestions, as well:

If you're a pattern packet designer and would like to market your designs through Tole Expressions, please email us for our submission guidelines.

We've added a new tutorial this month, "Basic One Stroke Roses." These are the little "quickie" roses that can fancy up almost any project.

We had a lot of positive feedback last month on the free scarecrow pattern and hope you will like the one for this month, as well. It's called "Pastel Partridge":

(Note: If you've been to this page before, or any of the others listed in this newsletter, you may have to hit "refresh" or "reload" on your browser to view the updated content.)



We've added several new pages in our books section:

Decorative Furniture Painting

Painting Gourds

Painting Floorcloths

Painting Videos



Put this one on your Christmas Wish List, folks! This book is jam packed with miniature projects, including trinket boxes, nesting dolls, switch plates, cream-and sugar sets, brooches and many other projects perfect for gift giving. Be sure to check it out!


Until next time, have a Happy Halloween
and Happy Painting!



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