Just a quick little how to paddle design.
First of all if you have not done any drawing or designing lately I would recommend that you get a piece of paper and draw out a few ideas of things that you would like on your paddle. Keep the design pretty basic. Mandalas are an easy formula to follow and look great. Equally any cartoon or line drawing will work also.
I would not recommend a big block of colour. I have a block of white beside the anchor. But I know the paint will scrape off the bank and river beds or beaches when launching and paddling over the summer. Try to come up with line designs and keep them more towards the shaft or centre of the paddle for longevity.
You need a good quality paint marker. I used uni Posca 1.8-2.5mm white.
Make sure you have a clean surface. My paddles are not new and have a good bit of wear and tear. I washed them first with hot soapy water and a sponge. Then a multi surface cleaner and to finish I used window cleaner. (I don’t know how necessary the last to steps were but did it anyway!)
I referenced pictures I had my phone and some drawings that I had from before. I drew directly onto the paddle with the marker.
If you are not so confident and would like to use a pencil to layout the design first, the paint will go over the pencil no problem. Equally you could use a stencil for the outline of the drawing.
Draw out all the bigger elements of the whole design first and then go back to add the finer details later.
I would recommend you do small sections at a time and allow them to dry fully. This will ensure fine lines and is less likely to smudge!
After you are happy with your design, give it a second coat with the paint marker and each line will really pop out.
These markers are available in all different colours and sizes. These are easy to order online or at your local art supply shop.
Nail polish remover will clean up any mistakes.
And that’s basically it!!
How To Paddle Design words and pictures: Niamh Cleary.