Since we live in Virginia, we chose some of Virginia's most famous presidents.
Step 1: Planning and Preparation
2. Measure the area the presidents will displayed.
3. Sketch the presidents. At this point, we scanned in the rough sketches so we could composite the correct sizes and proportions in Photoshop. Then we printed the composites so we could create final drawings using tracing paper.
3A. OPTIONAL - Rescan the drawings and rendered them in Illustrator. This part was only completely necessary for future use in our online Flash Christmas cards - However, this also allowed us to print out color comps with a grid overlay, which made it easier to redraw on the plywood and to use as a guide while painting.
4. Go to Home Depot to get the large plywood sheets and painting supplies. We didn't have a big enough car to transport the 8x4 foot plywood but no worries - Home Depot will rent you a huge truck for an hour at a cost of $20. Enough space to get your crap home and time to return the truck. The plywood sheets cost about $7 apiece. We needed to buy new brushes and paint and a dropcloth, but you don't need a ton of paint for this so you might be able to make do with what you have around. You need more white than anything else. Also get black and the three primary colors for mixing all the colors you need.