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At The Ronacher

By: Von Pappe II
June 30, 2016

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At The Ronacher
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Isn't it annoying when your printer cartridge runs out of certain colours and the prints you were aiming for turn out pale yellow-green-ish or purple? But do not despair – save these prints for later to turn them into lovely cabinet card style paintings by simply painting them over with Media fluid acrylics and a good crackle! (The Ronacher is an old renowned theater in Vienna and was built in the 1870's for the middle class and my gentleman has just enjoyed a wonderful evening there).

Items needed:

  • Americana DuraClear Varnishes 2oz - DuraClear Ultra Matte Varnish
  • Americana Decou-Page (Glue-Sealer-Finish) 2oz - Americana Decou-Page Matte
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Prussian Blue Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Sap Green
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Paste - White
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Patina Green
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - English Red Oxide
  • Soft Fine Tip Brush
  • Soft Wide Flat Brush
  • Print Of An Old Cabinet Card (or similar)
  • 6 inch by 4 inch Canvas Board
  • Palette Knife
  • Baby Wipes
  • Black Permanent Marker
  • Fine Tip Embossing Tool


Glue your print to the canvas board using DecoArt Matte Decou-Page. Make sure you cover the whole image and canvas board with it too. Use the permanent marker to trace the visible lines and outlines on the photograph.

Instruction #1 - ronacher step1
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Paint the person's shape with white Gesso. Apply a thicker coat to the suit and a diluted one to the face and hands. The white Gesso will add lovely texture and also make your paints appear brighter.

Instruction #2 - ronacher step2-001
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Using a palette knife, apply some white Media Crackle Paint around edges of the image and the white outer frame of the canvas board to hide the image's edges

Instruction #3 - ronacher step3
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Allow the Crackle Paint to dry naturally. It will create this lovely egg-shell like look.

Instruction #4 - ronacher step4
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Take some Prussian Blue and paint over the white Gesso for a first layer of paint. Try to already do some shading for more dimension. To do so, just imagine a source of light on the top right side of the object and apply darker shades of your colour to the areas that would not be lit by this light source (don't worry - you don't have to be very exact with this). Add some Raw Umber to a bit of Prussian Blue to paint the shoes, walking stick and mustache. 

Instruction #5 - ronacher step5
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Mix a little bit of English Red Oxide with some Titan Buff to create the skin tone for the face and hands. Mix at least two (better three) different shades of that skin tone to paint the shades and highlights on the face and fingers. 

Instruction #6 - ronacher step6
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Finish the face with some highlights with Titan Buff. 

Instruction #7 - ronacher step6 detail
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Now, take some Sap Green and apply over the blue areas. As the paint is semi-transparent, it will create a lovely blue-green tone with the Prussian Blue from underneath. You can also lightly dilute the Sap Green for a subtler effect. Paint the floor as well.

Instruction #8 - ronacher step7
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To fuse the silhouette with the background, add a bit of Sap Green around the outline with a fine tip brush and blend the paint directly on the canvas towards the background using clear water. Leave visible brushstrokes to enhance the impression of a portrait painting.

Instruction #9 - ronacher step8
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Instruction #10 - ronacher step8 detail
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Add the tiny buttons by using a fine tip embossing tool.

Instruction #11 - ronacher step9
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Appy a layer of Patina Green Antiquing Cream around the crackled border, leaving the painted area untreated. Let dry. Wipe back until content using a baby wipe. Then apply a mix of Carbon Black and Raw Umber Antiquing Creams around the outer edge. Let dry.

Instruction #12 - ronacher step10
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Instruction #13 - ronacher step11
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Wipe back the Antiquing Cream until you have created a darkened edge around the painting. This will draw the focus towards the center and focal element. 

Instruction #14 - ronacher step12
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Seal your painting with a coat of Ultra Matte Varnish to prevent the Antiquing Creams from being worn off during time.

Instruction #15 - ronacher step13
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Using a permanent black marker, add a title and date to your cabinet card style painting. You're done!

Instruction #16 - ronacher step14
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I hope you like my way of reusing messed up computer prints! Have fun creating your own collection of cabinet card style portrait paintings! 

Be sure to visit Von Pappe II  for more projects and to learn more about Claudia.


I am always amazed by your incredibly talented work Claudia and this time is no exception. I don't know where your ideas come from but I would seriously like to see inside your head and 'pick your brains' as the saying goes! You never cease to take my breath away. Thank you so much for your inspirational and awe inspiring work. Carol x

Carol Findon

June 30, 2016

Wow, wow, wow, Claudia this is a most fascinating post with brilliant ideas and results - love it xxxx

Brenda Brown

June 30, 2016

Thank you both so very much, Carol and Brenda! Your huge laud is more than I could ever wish for and it is also what fuels my urge to share techniques and ideas with creative minds like you! And be assured that your artwork is as inspiring to me as mine seems to be to you. ;) Hugs and wishes, Claudia xxx


June 30, 2016

Claudia, this is such a cool, cool process! Wow and the green looks great! TFS!


June 30, 2016

Oh wow - this is sooo DEBONAIR and ECCENTRICALLY LUSCIOUS Claudia. I loved seeing your step by step.... and you have totally inspired me too. Seeing your CREATIVITY totally made my day today. Just the boost I needed. Thanks bunches. Xj.


July 11, 2016

Look's like old picture ,great job color's are perfect !!!!Thank's for showing us way did it ...


August 24, 2016

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