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Artist Spotlightmeet the Mixed Media
by: Candy Colwell
December 1, 2015
With the fast approaching Christmas season, memories of Christmases past come flooding back. The smell of real pine Christmas trees dripping with tinsel, the softly glowing large Christmas bulbs, Christmas cookies baking in the oven and stockings hung on the fireplace in their anticipation of Santa Claus’ Christmas Eve visit. I want to preserve these memories for my grandchildren. In doing this, I have created a “Grandchildren’s Christmas tree” in our home and every year, I intend to add a new handmade ornament for each child. Someday these ornaments will be theirs to put on their Christmas trees to share with their families. The ornaments are dated, featuring each child on each of their Christmases. Perhaps you would like to start your own children’s tree for your children or grandchildren. What more precious gift than something you’ve made to preserve these special moments in their lives? DecoArt products are perfect for this! Join me in this tutorial and see how easy it is to create your own special Christmas memories …
Begin with two blank paper mache ornaments and brush them completely with DecoArt Media White Gesso. Let dry or heat set.
Randomly brush some DecoArt Media Crackle Paste around the edges and onto the top and bottom surfaces of the ornaments. Let air dry.
On the BACKSIDES of the ornaments, lay down a stencil and using a palette knife, scrape DecoArt Media Modeling Paste over the stencil leaving and embossed image. Let air dry.
Add a bit more DecoArt Media Crackle Paste around the edges and open sections of the backsides of the ornaments once the Modeling Paste has dried. Let air dry.
Brush a light coat of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff over the entire ornament to give it a soft, vintage feeling. Air dry or gently heat set.
Size a photograph and print it out using an ink jet printer onto regular copy paper. (If there are letters on your picture, be sure to reverse the image before printing.) Cut the photo to fit. Brush a generous amount (like spreading mayonnaise on bread) of DecoArt Media Matte Medium onto the FRONT of the ornament. Smooth out the Matte Medium and press the printed image face down onto the surface of the ornament. Burnish the photo in place using a bone folder and let dry for several hours or overnight.
Spritz the photos with water and gently begin to rub off the paper using a gentle circular motion. Keep lightly wetting and rubbing the surface until the paper has been removed, leaving the photo image transferred to the ornament.
Here you can see the crackling that still shows through the transferred image on the Titan Buff background.
Seal the photographs with a light coat of DecoArt Media Ultra-Matte Varnish.
Paint over the surface of the first ornament with a mixture of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff and Cerulean Blue with a touch of water to create a soft icy blue background to compliment the raised snowflakes. Do not paint over the photograph, only blending in the color around it and also on the sides of back of the ornament.
For a different technique, wipe over the surface of the second ornament using a baby wipe and a mixture of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Pyrrole Red and Titan Buff with a touch of water. Do not paint over the surface of the photograph, only blend the color around the photograph and on all sides and back of the ornament.
For an iridescent, festive look, lightly brush DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Interference Blue over the blue areas of the ornament.
Repeat the last step on the second ornament only use DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Interference Magenta over the red areas of the ornament.
Lightly tape a stencil in place over the photograph and using a palette knife, scrape DecoArt Media Modeling Paste through the snowflakes stencil onto the top of the ornament. Be careful not to cover up important areas of the photograph. This will give even more interest and depth to your ornament. Let air dry.
Repeat the last step for this ornament using the Festive stencil to emboss pine cones and fir branches onto the front of the ornament. Let air dry.
Here is an example of one of the ornaments with the Modeling Paste snowflakes added to the top of the ornament.
Add more color to the ornament by brushing a mixture of Titanium White, Cerulean Blue, a touch of water and Interference Blue over the newly added snowflakes and blending them into the rest of the ornament, including the sides and backside of the ornament.
Using a small piece from a makeup sponge, barely tap DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver on top of the raised snowflakes all over the ornament to give them more definition.
Brush another layer of DecoArt Media Ultra-Matte Varnish over the ornament to seal and protect it.
To give the ornaments more of a nostalgic, vintage feeling, use your finger and lightly add small touches of first DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to the ornament; particularly on the edges and sides and randomly on the front and back surfaces. Then repeat this step using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber mixed with a little water. Lightly heat set.
To really add that vintage holiday feeling, I added Silver around the perimeter of the ornament and on top of all of the raised snowflakes using my DecoArt Craft Twinkles Silver Writer. I started with the front side, let it dry and then repeat on the backside of the ornament. Do not heat set, let air dry.
On the second ornament, create a “wash” out of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold and water and then using your fingers, wipe the color onto the back and sides of the ornament. Wipe off excess with a paper towel or soft cloth. You are going for a vintage, iridescent sort of glow. Also add the gold wash around the edges of the front of the ornament, blending it into the edges of the photograph.
As was done on the first ornament, use a small piece of a makeup sponge and lightly tap the raised areas of the stenciled images with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber on the pine cones and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Phthalo Green-Blue on the pine needles. Do this on the front and back of the ornament. Let air dry or gently heat set.
Paint detail on the raised images of the second ornament using DecoArt’s Fluid Acrylics Colors: Phthalo Green-blue on leaves and needles and Cadmium Red Hue on the berries. Let air dry or gently heat set.
Here is a photograph of the second ornament as it is progressing.
For that vintage festive look, use a small brush and add DecoArt Craft Twinkles to the edges and also the raised areas of this ornament. I used Champagne for the pine cones and stems, Christmas Green on the pine needles and holly leaves and Christmas Red on the berries. Let air dry. (You could also use DecoArt’s Craft Twinkle writers for this step but I did not have those colors in the Writers, only in the paint.)
For the finishing touches...
Hot glue trim around the edges of the ornaments. For both, I gathered some vintage lace and glued it onto the edges of both ornaments. Then I chose a different trim to glue on top of the lace for each ornament. The snowflake ornament received this braided cream trim and the pine ornament received a gold tinsel trim. Hot glue in place and let set.
I hot glued a small light blue bow, “Merry Christmas” and some small snowflakes that had been lightly coated with Silver Craft Twinkles onto the top of the snowflake ornament.
I hot glued miniature poinsettias, pine cones and berries on top of the pine ornament.
Here is a photograph of the trims that were added to both ornaments. These are so pretty and vintage looking. The tinsel and the Stickles will catch the lights from the Christmas tree!
Dating the ornaments is a snap! Just use Alpha Parts and tap the black tops with a mixture of first DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold followed by Metallic Silver. Let air dry.
Glue the numbers in place using hot glue. Finally, add Champagne or Silver Craft Twinkle Acrylic Paint to the top of each number with a small brush or Writer and let dry.
All finished, ready to hang on the tree and enjoy for years to come!
Be sure to visit Creativity Is Contagious for more projects and to learn more about Candy Colwell.