Our custom painter Thea not only does our custom painting and samples but she also designs all of our classes. She is a wealth of pottery painting information and we asked her to give us tips and tricks of the trade! Her first one, involves a pencil and a couple of lines!

Many times, we hear the comment “Oh, I could never do that” when someone is looking at one of our sample pieces and our answer is almost always “It’s easier then you think!” One way to make it easy is to simply break down the design into pieces.

Let me show you an easy way to tackle a large, complicated piece with outstanding results. Take this Old Time Cookie Jar. I wanted to have lots of different images on the piece, so that I could feature all kinds of dogs, lots of colors, and even a few names.

Begin by splitting the jar in half horizontally with a regular #2 pencil, and then do the same thing only going in a vertical direction. Since this particular piece is rather round, I divided it a second time vertically so that I had more even sized spaces. We now have several small areas to paint instead of one intimidating and very daunting large piece of pottery.

Mix up the design. Use pure color in some spaces, then maybe patterns in others. If you have a main image in mind, use the #2 pencil to sketch it in first, and then work out from there. Remember that the #2 pencil completely burns off in the kiln, so feel free to experiment until you are ready to paint. You can even write in each square what you want to paint there! Once you have it broken down into small spaces, you will be surprised at how easy it is and how cute the end result will be!