American Plaque

American Plaque

Use a blank plaque and create a vintage American design.

What you need

Wood plaque
Tack cloth


Here is the pattern for this project: American line pattern.

Paints – Delta Ceramcoat
Black 2506
Queen Anne’s Lace 2017
Blueberry 2513
Tomato Spice 2098
Santa’s Flesh 2472
Medium Flesh 2126
Dark Flesh 2127
Dark Brown 2053
Gleams Metallic Gold 2600
(or Accent Metallic Brite Gold 547)

Delta Ceramcoat is the brand used by this artist and is provided to you as a guideline,
however you can use any craft paints to complete this project

assorted flat shaders,
sizes #4 to #10
#2 flat shader or filbert #8 round
#0 liner
small old scruffy round brush

Surface: I used a 14″T x 6″W wood plaque, The actual painting surface area of this project is about 12″T x 5-1/2″W and would be suitable for many surfaces – just enlarge or reduce the line drawing on a copy machine (or in your graphics program) to fit any surface you choose.

Right-click (or click and hold for Mac users) on the line drawing at the bottom of this page and save it to your hard drive. Open the image in any graphics program or browser and print. This should print out the correct size for the project. Repeat the same process for the image of the finished plaque if desired for reference.

Sand and remove dust with a tack cloth. Base coat the plaque with Queen Anne’s Lace.

Transfer the design to the plaque, including the stars and stripes in the dress; the folds in the dress and the lettering on the ribbons will be added later.

Base coating
Using appropriate sized flat shaders, base coat all areas first, before doing any further shading or highlighting.

Base coat the two ribbons, the skirt and the blue sleeve with Blueberry. Here you can either paint around the stars, letting the base coat color show through, or you can paint the dress solid and add the stars later with Queen Anne’s Lace, although it will likely take several coats to cover the Blueberry.

Paint the red stripes in the blouse and below the skirt using Tomato Spice. Again, the Queen Anne’s Lace you used to base coat the plaque will show through as the “white” stripes in these areas.

Base coat her face, neck, chest, arms and feet with a 3:1 mix of Santa’s Flesh and Medium Flesh.

Base coat her hair and the covers of the books using Dark Brown. Base coat the sword, the handle and trays of the scales, her headpiece and the pages of the books with Accent Brite Gold.

Skirt and Ribbons

Now transfer the folds in the dress to your wood piece. If you base coated the entire skirt with Blueberry, rather than painting around the stars, now is the time to add the stars with Queen Anne’s Lace. Using various flat shaders (small for the smaller folds in the dress, larger shaders for the wider folds in the dress and the ribbons) side-loaded with a 1:1 mix of Blueberry and White, highlight all of the folds in the dress where indicated in the photo. Load the brush lightly and place several coats for an even blend. Using a large shader and the same mix, highlight each side of the front portions of the ribbons. To get a wide, even blend for the ribbon, you can “walk” your brush in toward the middle of the ribbon. Use a wet brush with very little paint and allow to dry completely between layers. If desired, you can accentuate the highlights even further with a thin sideload of White.

For the shaded areas of the folds in the dress, use an appropriate sized flat shader sideloaded with Black. Repeat if necessary. Also shade the folds in the ribbons with a sideload of black. Thicken your paint slightly and, using a small round brush, paint in the darker “loops” in the skirt.

Blouse and Bottom of Skirt

Using a small round or flat brush, paint the stripes in the blouse and bottom of the skirt using Tomato Spice. It may require more than one coat to cover. Using a thin sideload of Black, shade along the folds in the blouse and this portion of the skirt. Using the same brush, shade along the inside portions of her striped sleeve and along the right side of her blouse. Shade the waistline by placing a reverse or back-to-back float of black. Thicken your paint slightly and, using a small round or flat brush, paint the darker “loop” at the bottom of the skirt.

Gold Accents
Using appropriate sized flat shaders sideloaded with Dark Brown, add the shading to all of the gold accents. The light source in this painting is UPPER LEFT REAR, so your shading will go on the right side of the sword, the underside of the scale handle and the right side of the scale trays. To create some depth to the trays and give them their bowl-like appearance, using the same sideloaded shader, shade along the inside upper left of each tray, as shown in the photo. Shade along the left side of the gold accents on the books and, using a very small shader (#2) add some definition to the leaves in her headpiece. You can also add her belt and the chains on the scales now using a liner brush and the Accent Brite Gold. Use a little thinned Dark Brown on a liner brush to add the appearance of pages to the books.

Skin Tones
Using a flat shader sideloaded with Medium Flesh, shade her skin tones along the top of her blouse, the right side of her face and neck, under her chin, along the RIGHT side of the left arm and along the LEFT side of the right arm, as well as her feet just below her skirt. You can add some definition to her fingers and toes using some thinned Dark Brown on a small liner brush.

Hair and Book Shading
Using a #8 or #10 flat shader sideloaded with black, shade along the bottom of her hair on each side and on the left side of the book cover. Rinse your brush, sideload with Queen Anne’s lace and add some highlights to her hair where indicated in the photo.

Re-trace the details of her face from your pattern. Shade along the left side of her nose with Medium Flesh using a #2 flat shader or filbert and add her nostril with Medium Flesh on a small liner brush. Shade around her eyes with your #2 shader and Medium Flesh. You should begin to see her face taking on some dimension; if not, repeat the shading using Dark Flesh. Add the whites of her eyes with Queen Anne’s Lace on a liner brush. Add blue irises using your 1:1 mix of White and Blueberry, then add a dot of black for her pupils. Using thinned Dark Brown on a #0 liner, outline her eyes and add her eyebrows. Again, you may need to repeat this step to add definition to her eyes. Using your liner brush loaded with Tomato Spice, paint in her lips, then add a glossy highlight with the Queen Anne’s Lace. Using an old scruffy small round or flat brush, add the “rose” to her cheeks using Tomato Spice. Note: Your brush should have VERY LITTLE paint in it. Now, using the same brush and the same dry brush technique, add some highlight to her forehead and chin using Queen Anne’s Lace.

Lettering Trace the lettering from your pattern onto the ribbons and, using a #0 liner and Queen Anne’s Lace, add the lettering. You can also touch up any stars or stripes in her dress that may need touching up.

And VOILA! She’s finished. Allow to dry overnight and spray with two coats of a satin-finish or matte spray varnish, allowing for ample drying time between coats.

This project was contributed by Tole Expressions for more free decorative painting projects and supplies please visit their website.


  1. Wolflover008 says

    Cool, but it needs to be a little simpler.

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