I think I'll scan them before I varnish them... I'm slightly nervous about eating off them instead of hanging them up, but we really do need placemats and it's why I made them.
Here's what the mat looked like when I was stripping it. The blog post tutorial had me sand off the veneer, then quickly run water over the picture surface and let it sit for ten minutes before scraping. I had to run the water several times while I scraped, but the mats I'd sanded down more were easier to soak because the water could get down to the picture paper.
After they dried, I gave the surface another light sanding to give the surface a bit of tooth. I sketched out the picture in white pencil, and then started blocking in the colours with house paint. (It's kind of odd - and fun - painting out of big buckets of paint, I'm used to more expensive little artist tubes.)
One thing I discovered while I was doing the alligator picture: my Pentel brush pen would only draw on some paint surfaces and not on others. It handled the Dulux Nutmeg White beautifully, but won't sit at all on the Pepper Red or Berry Smoothie pink, and I get mixed results with the other colours. (I think the 'easycare washable' kitchen and bathroom paints repel the ink more than the standard wall paints.) I could get around this by using black paint instead of ink, but I like the control the brush pen gives me. So for the fox picture, I left intentional gaps between the colours to let the ink go straight to the wood.
And here's the final version! I'll let it dry for several days so I don't accidentally smear anything with the varnish.
Here's the varnish I used on the merchant chest and that I'm currently adding to the table, a coat every day. Fingers crossed it will work well for the mats.
Here's the first placemat I did, I think it's inspired quite a lot by Dutch artist Dick Bruna's pictures, with a bit of Lettuce, from my comic book Vern and Lettuce. I'm also looking through Kate Hindley's illustrations for a new picture book called The Queen's Wardrobe, and it has some lovely coat collars and hats.
And a dapper alligator. (Stuart thought it was a wolf, so maybe I have maxed out artistic liberties on how an alligator looks.)
This worm is very Richard Scarry-inspired, but his tail looks a bit more like a willy than I meant to make it look. (Oh well.)
Still looks like a willy.