Wednesday, 15 November 2017


Happy Fall Y'all!

I'm back with a new Autumnal Art Journal Spread using images from a magazine, the fabulous DecoArt Media Line products, Andy Skinner's amazing stamps and lovely little grey board accent pieces from Tando Creative.  Working magazine images into your own original art work is not only challenging, it's also a lot of fun.

You can find some of the most beautiful pictures that can be used in your art pieces out of magazines and calendars!  Be sure to tear out and save those lovely treasures because you never know when you'll wish you had them.  I found an entire "Country" magazine full of gorgeous autumn pictures.  Those plus the colorful falling leaves in our area were my inspiration for these pages.

Here are the supplies you will need for this style of art journal pages:

  • DecoArt Media White Gesso
  • DecoArt Media Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cadmium Orange Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Diarylide Yellow
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Primary Yellow
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Viridian 
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Yellow Green Light
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze
  • DecoArt Liquid Glass
  • Andy Skinner Nature Stamp Set
  • Book Plates
  • Mini People
Miscellaneous Supplies
  • Paint brushes
  • Book for art journal spread
  • Magazine or calendar images
  • Acrylic block for stamping
  • Permanent Brown and Black Ink
  • Sponge or something to dab paint onto surface
  • Computer generated verse
  • Permanent Black Ink Pen
  • Autumn leaves
  • Heat tool
  • 1/4" Double Sided Adhesive Tape
Time to get into creative mode!

Begin by painting DecoArt Media White Gesso over the surface of your art journal pages.  These pages happen to be in a paper children's book that I have been altering into an art journal.  Heat set or let air dry. You can go heavy or light on the gesso; depending on the opaqueness of the background you desire.

Cut our your magazine images and secure them to the pages using DecoArt Media Matte Medium.  Matte Medium works as a transparent glue and sealer.  Apply the Matte Medium to the page surface lay the image in place.  Brayer or smooth out the air bubbles then brush over the image with Matte Medium to seal it.  This way, when you add paint to or around the images, they are protected and excess paint can easily be wiped away.

Here are the pages at this point.  They look strange but now the magic begins to happen as you bring everything together using DecoArt Media paints.

Choose colors that will blend and compliment the magazine images. Water down the paints to produce almost a watercolor effect. Brush the paint on and wipe away any excess.  Heat set.  Continue this process until you achieve the look you want.  The first layer was done using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cadmium Orange Hue.

Next I brushed on the almost watercolor effect to the background using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Diarylide Yellow.  Also use a small brush and touch the leaves with the watery acrylic colors to further enhance them. You can do this since you've sealed the paper with DecoArt Matte Medium.

Here are the pages at this stage.  I also added some green on the pages using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Viridian and Yellow Green Light in the leaves of the trees and along the ground on the left page to create balance.

Andy Skinner's Nature Stamp Set is amazing! At least for me, it's THE PERFECT set to add all sorts of detail to these pages.  From it's rustic wooden fence to the geese flying south, the stamped images really add so much to these pages!  

I began with this fence piece.  I inked the stamp first with a dark brown permanent ink and then tapped the stamp with permament black ink.  I used an acrylic block to ensure a good image.  I stamped to the left and overlapped that fence pole every time I stamped the fence image across the art journal spread.

Just look at the depth something that simple adds to this piece!!  LOVE IT!

Now to add more autumnal folliage to the background.  I stamped this beautiful tree using a dark brown permanent ink.

Next, use a small brush, water down the acrylic paints again and then lightly blot and brush colors that are complimentary to the leaves on the magazine image.  I also love how some of the original text from the children's book is showing through! 

Time to finish the background to compliment the ground on the opposite page.  Using DecoArt's Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff, Primary Yellow and Burnt Umber, I blotted color onto the surface using a sponge and then a small almost dry brush to create the streaks.  

Using yet another of Andy's beautiful stamps from this set, I stamped the old barn into the background then lightly painted over it. Again, with an almost watercolor paint, they translucency of the paints gives a bit of color but allows all of the detail from the stamp to show through.  

Here are the pages at this point.  Notice the geese flying south for the winter?  They were also added using permanent black ink and yes, they are also in this Andy Skinner stamp set!  The tree, the barn, the fence and the geese ... all used on these pages and I love what they add to the scene!

A large bookplate from Tando was painted with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold followed by a healthy coating of DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze.  Let the Crackle Glaze and ALL DecoArt Media Crackle products air dry to achieve the truly beautiful crackle effect!

I rubbed over the crackled book plate with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey and wiped away the excess.  I painted the two mini people using the Paynes Grey and glued them in place using DecoArt Liquid Glass.

Next, I glued some real leaves from my yard randomly around the perimeter of the pages using DecoArt Media Matte Medium.  First to glue them in place and then I brushed over them to seal them. 

As I was watching the autumn leaves gently floating to the ground one day, it struck me how similiar we are to the leaves.  In a philosophical moment for this art journal spread, I created this poem, computer generated the verse to fit the page, printed it out, cut it apart and glued it in place using double sided tape.  I highlighted the edges of the leaves and the poem using a permanent black ink pen.

Here is a closeup of the left page.

Here is a closeup of the right page.  I also added a black swipe of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey around the perimeter of the art journal pages to "frame" them and draw everything together.

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out these pages.  I hope that you've learned something new about a product or a technique. Even if you're not a fabulous sketch artist, you can incorporate beautiful images into your art journal pages using magazine images!  It's so easy to blend them into your pages and make them work perfectly!

May you all have a blessed holiday season!

About the Artist:  Candy Colwell

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

ATC simple Background technique

Hello and thanks for stopping by, Mark here with a little tutorial for making quick and easy backgrounds using the Decoart Media Fluids.
I have been a big fan of Atc's for years now as they appeal to my inner child who collected all manner of stickers and trading cards. Not only are they fun to make and trade they are also a perfect way to try out new techniques without working full scale.
For this post I have used Atc blanks in mdf and grey board ( I prefer working on the thicker substrates as they hold up so much better than the traditional thick stamping card stock and when finished just feel more substantial and special some how.

Start by painting the Atc with a couple of coats of Tinting Base to give a nice white base to work from.

Apply a couple of drops of Media fluid to a craft sheet and squidge ( technical term ) the Atc face down into the paint, Wiggle it around a little and carefully pull the Atc away from the craft sheet, this will create a nice textured pattern to the surface of the paint.

Repeat with more colours.

You can mop up the excess paint with additional Atc's so nothing goes to waste.

Using the tinting base or some of the Titan buff added to different colours will help lighten the darker colours and turn the translucent colours opaque.

sliding the Atc or tag around in the paint will help blend the colours together. when building up the different layers its some times necessary to let each coat dry first to avoid muddying the colours to much.
Also keep in mind if stamping with black ink the background needs to be kept on the lighter side other wise the image you stamp may not show up very well.

Keep adding layers of colour until you are happy with the results. To keep the colours on the brighter side use slightly less paint and dry between layers

To get a more muted finish try applying the different colours whilst the previous stage is still a little wet and by mixing in a little bit of the tinting base to tone down or lighten the colours.

This back ground was done by adding several colours to the craft sheet at the same time with a little squidging ( technical term ) and wiggling in the pant.
Stamp choice can be important and I have found with some of the stronger backgrounds stamps with a lot of fine detail and open space can get lost a little, finding a stamp that has a lot of inked rubber works well.

Stamp the image with a fresh or juicy archival ink pad.
I have used lots of Andy's stamps that are available from Stampendous for My Atc's and tag and once stamped they have been finished with a Gloss Varnish as I really wanted the colours to pop.
I finish the outside edge of the Atc's with a black Copic and some of the edges have been distressed with Archival Ink.

I finished the Heart Atc off by nailing several panel pins into it.

As always a huge thank you for stopping by. xxx.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017


Welcome to your DOOM! ... DOOMSDAY CLOCK, that is!

This clock was created using an 8" x 8" canvas, an assortment of fabulous DecoArt Products, Andy Skinner's wonderful stamps from Stampendous, amazing Greyboard embellishments from Tando Creative and other bits of this and that.

Here are the items needed for this project and then we'll get started on how it all came together!

  • Decoart Media Modeling Paste
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Vermilion
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Diarylide Yellow
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Qujinacridone Gold
  • DecoArt Metallic Lustre Champagne Ice
  • DecoArt Metallic Lustre Iced Espresso
  • DecoArt Liquid Glass
  • Andy Skinner Stencil - Alphabet Spaghetti
  • Andy Skinner Stamp - Birds and Bones
  • Andy Skinner Stamp - Toxic
  • Andy Skinner Stamp - Industrial
  • Andy Skinner Stamp - Steampunk
  • Tando Creative Clock Faces - Small
  • Tando Creative Gate - Large Wrought Iron
  • Tando Creative Plate, Gears and Cogs from Andy Skinner's Industrial Elements 
Miscellaneous Supplies
  • Palette Knife
  • Craft Mat
  • Paint Brushes
  • Sponge
  • Paper Towels or items with textured surface
  • Permanent Black Ink
  • Clear Embossing Powder
  • Heat Tool
  • Embossing Ink Pad
  • Small Numerals "13" - in this case, metal
  • Little Metal Hinges
  • Small Brads and Washers (optional)
  • Scrap Piece of Hard Plastic
  • Scrap Chain and Jump Rings
  • Scrap Piece of Black Chipboard
  • Orange and Black Tinsel Garland

Now for the fun part .... CREATING the idea in your head and bringing it to LIFE!

Begin with a black 8" x 8" canvas with thick sides. Lay Andy's Alphabet Spaghetti Stencil over the entire canvas front and wipe DecoArt Media Modeling Paste over the entire surface using a palette knife. Lift the stencil and let the Modeling Paste air dry or gently heat set it. Immediately wash the stencil and the palette knife.

Brush over the entire canvas using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black. Let air dry or gently heat set. You can already see the wonderful texture just from the stencil!

Now it'a all about the layers!  Use a sponge or something that provides random texture and stamping. Add DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Vermilion randomly over the surface of the front and sides of the canvas. Let air dry or gently heat set. 

Next add a little "pop" with another textured item to apply the paint. In this case, used a patterned paper towel and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Diarylide Yellow Paint randomly pressed onto the canvas top and sides. Let air dry or gently heat set.

Yet another layer of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paint! This time Titanium White that is simply randomly wiped over the surface of the canvas to really pop those engraved letters. 

And to bring that orange back out, one more layer of Vermilion randomly added to the surface using the sponge again.  The inset picture is what the canvas will look like at this point.

Now let's introduce another layer with Andy Skinner's peeled paint stamp from his Industrial Stamp Set and Steampunk text from his Steampunk Stamp Set. These are such versatile stamps! I love them and use them a lot on backgrounds. I stamped using Permanent Black Ink followed with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold. Be sure to clean you stamp immediately afterwards!  The gold really pops in the light.

I edged the canvas with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black using my finger.  This really defines the space and "frames" the canvas for the next steps.

Brush all of the Tando Creative Greyboard pieces with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold. Let dry or gently heat set.

To give them more of a sheen and metallic looking surface, use your finger and randomly apply first Metallic Lustre Champagne Ice then the darker Espresso Ice over the Metallic Gold. Notice the difference in this photo when just the lighter Champagne Ice has been added?  Buff out the pieces.

Pat an Embossing Ink Pad over the entire surface of the pieces. Add Clear Embossing Powder over the surface.  Remove the excess powder and heat set until the surface becomes shiny and lifts up a little bit.  Let the pieces cool down before the next step.

Using Andy's peeled paint stamp again, randomly stamp the image over all of the clear embossed pieces using Black Permanent Ink.  Gently heat set.

Also add a little shadowing and "age" to the pieces using your finger and gently wiping DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black over the surfaces and around the edges to better define them.  Glue the "13" in place using DecoArt Liquid Glass.

Measure down about 2 1/4" from the top of the canvas and attach a metal hinge on each side of the canvas.  These will hold the Tando Creative Wrought Iron Gate in place so that it can swing open and shut. I temporarily attached the gates with Double Sided Tape but then hot glued them permanently in place. (The Wrought Iron Gate is one piece so it also have to be cut up the middle to allow for two gates).

I computer generated the word "DOOMSDAY" to fit inside of the "metal" plate. Then I glued it in place using DecoArt Liquid Glass.  Next I filled the center of the plate with the Liquid Glass which dries clear, leaving an old window appearance over the word. The plate and bolts were left over pieces from Andy Skinner's Industrial Elements set.

Stamp the skeleton and the words "TOXIC and CAUTION and the Hazard Sign onto a piece of White Stamping Paper using Black Permanent Ink. I stamped the words again and the skeleton arms and head twice. I used the extra heads on the skeleton's chains. The arms were cut so that I could joint them onto the body and the words were used to make danger signs for the inside and outside of the gates. Next I patted them completely with the Embossing Ink Pad, sprinkled them with Clear Embossing Powder and gently heat set them to make them shiny and more sturdy.

Now for the clock "guts" for the reverse side of the canvas!  I first painted each of these gears with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold, followed by random additions of Metallic Silver, then Quinacridone Gold for a rusty look followed by Cobalt Teal Hue for a bit of a patina look.  Finally, I edged them all with Carbon Black using my finger for a bit more depth and "age".

The were arranged onto a piece of clear sturdy plastic and glued in place using DecoArt Liquid Glass.  It dries clear!  Next I attached the plastic piece onto the back side of the canvas using DecoArt Liquid Glass.

I added a piece of orange and black tinsel garland around the perimeter of the plastic to finish off the back of the clock. 

I jointed the skeleton's arms to the body so that they could move as clock hands would move. Next I added Jump Rings and chains to his arms.  On the bottom jump rings, I attached the stamped skeleton heads. You can see those in the final pictures.  Notice how the "DOOMSDAY" window dried clear in the plate? Love that Liquid Glass!

The words were cut out and added to a piece of black chipboard. They were glued in place using DecoArt Liquid Glass. Here is the finished clock with the gates closed.

And here is is with the gates open!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope this has inspired you to do some last minute holiday creating!  SO MUCH FUN with these outstanding products! 

Happy Halloween Everyone!

About the Artist:  Candy Colwell