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by: Candy Colwell
December 8, 2015
Christmas is my favorite time of year to create vintage home décor pieces. I love old vintage Christmas postcards with Santa on them. But they are so small. So, I have tried to recreate a dimensional old vintage Christmas postcard that can either be placed in a frame or let sitting among other Christmas home décor pieces to create a vintage vignette. Using an old Christmas Ideals cover from 1946 and combining it with DecoArt products, I have brought this vintage Santa and his reindeer to life! This is an easy project to do and even if you’re not the best painter on the planet, you can do this project!
In preparation for this canvas; begin by sizing the Christmas Ideals 1946 cover, found on Candy's blog, to fit your canvas. In this case, a 5” x 7” canvas. Print out one copy of the cover to refer to when placing your images on the canvas. Photo edit by cropping the entire cover to just Santa and the reindeer and put them on a separate page to be printed out. Include two or three Santas and a couple of the reindeer, in case you accidently cut off something you didn’t mean to. Print out a copy of this page and set aside and begin working on your canvas background.
Cover a 5x7 canvas with DecoArt Media White Gesso. It can either be brushed on or scraped on with a palette knife. In this case, I scraped the gesso on first and then smoothed it out just a little bit with a brush. Let dry.
Create a wintery sky with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic colors Titanium White, Cerulean Blue and Prussian Blue Hue. Add just a touch of water to the brush as you are working (when mixing colors or brushing on the canvas). Begin with the darkest color (Prussian Blue Hue) at the top of the canvas and begin brushing back and forth across the canvas. On a palette or work surface, begin mixing the Prussian Blue Hue and Cerulean Blue together. Then continue brushing across the canvas, blending the two shades of blue as you work. Mix Titanium White with the Cerulean Blue on a work surface, add a touch of water and continue blending and brushing the blues across the canvas, advancing toward the bottom of the canvas. Finally, end with almost just Titanium White at the bottom of the canvas. Continue to brush and blend until you are happy with your background. Let dry.
Brush DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Interference Blue to the area of the canvas background where the star’s light will shine down onto the town. Interference Blue gives an iridescence that will add a “heavenly light” to the night sky.
Gently tape the Christmas Ideals cover to the canvas and using white transfer paper on the dark sky areas and black transfer paper on the white areas of your canvas, use a pencil and trace over the lines of the little town in the background, the little houses to the right of Santa’s chimney, the roof line of the house that the chimney is sitting on. These items will be painted onto the canvas and it is easier if you have some sort of guidelines for placement of these images
Here is a photograph of the transferred images from the copy paper to the canvas.
Using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics, recreate the little town, the houses to the right and the snowy rooftop onto the canvas.
The colors used to create the houses were a combination of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics. The basic houses were a mixture of Burnt Sienna and Titan Buff. Burnt Umber was added for shadowing. Yellow Oxide was used for the lights in the windows. Titanium White was used for the snowy rooftops and also almost dry brushed around the little houses to better define the snow. A slight amount of Carbon black was mixed with Titanium White to create the snowy shadows on the rooftop.
To age the canvas a little bit, I gently and randomly brushed a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acryics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide around the perimeter of the canvas and on some of the snowy areas to dim the white snow just a bit. Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide is a semi transparent paint that is perfect for instantly aging pieces.
Add stars, particularly the one brightly shining star in the sky by using a stylus and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White. Let dry.
Here is the copy of the Santas and reindeer printed earlier and left sitting until now. Carefully cut out one of the Santas sitting on the chimney. This will be your base piece that will be added to the canvas. Taking another Santa, cut out the foot and leg portion up to and including the belt. Then cut out the arm and hand that is holding Santa’s bag. Finally cut out Santa’s hat and the holly piece that is in front of Santa’s bag. These items will be enhanced and layered on top of the original Santa and chimney cut out. Also cut out the reindeer to be applied to the canvas later.
Brush a generous amount of DecoArt Media Matte Medium onto the fur areas of the CUTOUT Santa’s outfit (working with one furry piece at a time). Crumble the flocking and sprinkle it heavily over the Matte Medium area. Lightly press down on the flocking, turn the piece over and shake off the excess flock. Repeat this for all furry areas of Santa’s outfit and hat. When finished, set aside to thoroughly dry.
Brush DecoArt Media Matte Medium onto the canvas and lay the base Santa and chimney cut out in place on the snowy rooftop. Press into place and then brush more Matte Medium over Santa and the chimney to seal it in place. Do the same thing for the reindeer to the left of Santa and the chimney. Set aside to dry.
Once completely dry, brush a coat of DecoArt Media Ultra-Matte Varnish over the top of the canvas to seal it. Let dry. Then glue and add dimension to the extra Santa arm, leg and hat in place on the canvas. Glue the upper portion of the belt and side of the arm next to the bag down onto the canvas.
Using a “junk” paint brush, apply DecoArt Media Modeling Paste to the snowy rooftop in the foreground of the canvas. This will add texture and depth to the canvas.
Using a small brush, apply DecoArt Craft Twinkles Acrylic Paint in Crystal to the rooftops of the small houses, the bright shining star, a small amount coming down from the star to the sleepy town below, the rooftops on the little houses to the right of Santa on the rooftop, the snow on the chimney, the rooftop with the Modeling Paste on it and randomly on some of the toys in Santa’s Bag.
Carefully emboss “Merry Christmas” onto the canvas using an embossing ink pad, a Merry Christmas Stamp and Queen’s Gold embossing powder. Brush away any excess powder from the letters BEFORE heat setting.
I added a light amount of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White around the edges of the entire canvas followed by just a touch of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold just along the edge and sides of the canvas. This “frames” the scene and adds a bit more of a vintage feeling.
Now your vintage canvas is complete. Doesn’t it resemble those old vintage Christmas postcards only this one is even better because it is dimensional and large enough for everyone to enjoy!
Merry Christmas Everyone! Happy Crafting!
Be sure to visit Creativity Is Contagious for more projects and to learn more about Candy Colwell.