For a while, at work, we were painting pieces for the dual purpose of not wasting the paper products and having a variety of examples to show people how techniques worked. First up was painting light over dark. I was going through a revisitation of an elephant
phase, and looked up Indian elephants and paisley designs. The mottled texture was created with a synthetic sponge using an Olive tone. The elepahant was painted primarily in Green Tea, with Cranberry, Passionate Plum, Just blue, Pacific Salmon and Blue Green details.
We moved onto large spaghetti bowls to demonstrate sgraffito. Which trust me, I can tell you already it's not something you want to try- you probably won't have the time or the patience to execute this technique. And it's a pain.
Sgraffito works by first painting a thick - about three but more is better - coats of glaze on a piece of bisque. My base coat was Olive. You then take a stylus [we use dental picks] and carve out a design. I wanted my things to match, so I stuck with the Elephant/Paisley theme. That's supposed to be a pomegranate in the middle. After the carving is done, you take a secondary color and glaze the piece again, paying particular attention to the carved areas.Again, the more coats the better because when you are done, you have to wipe off the secondary color, but not wipe so much that you remove all the glaze down to the bisque. The idea is that the secondary color fills in the carved out places in the first layer of glaze. The Blue Green paisley swirls were painted on later, as were the little blue dots around the rim.
I sponged the back of the bowl and glazed it to look like the plate. My wood furniture teacher in undergrad was very fond of encouraging us to do the unexpected, like putting a decorative paper on the underside of small boxes and drawers. It was the little details in overlooked places that made a piece really stand out.