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Limiting Your Color Palette

By: Diane Salter
August 15, 2017

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Limiting Your Color Palette
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I'm a color person when it comes to art-making--lots of it--more is more for me.  But sometimes when you begin a project too many choices can be overwhelming, as in my case.  After wondering a while  what I wanted to make for the DecoArt blog, I decided to challenge myself with  using just 3 colors for my project, which helped me begin to bring my piece together. My 3 colors were there in front of me, so I just started making some art, not having to think if I needed anymore.  The colors I chose were Titan Buff, Rose Gold, and a dark brown.  I ended up loving the end result.

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Rose Gold
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Glaze - Clear
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium
  • Americana Spray Sealers/Finishes 12oz - Americana Matte Spray
  • 6 x 12 Birch cradle board with deep edges (1 1/2")
  • Permanent dark brown stamp pad
  • Assorted Brushes
  • Brayer
  • Found Objects
  • E6000
  • Embellishments
  • Book Pages


Begin by adhering cut up book pages to the front and sides of the cradle board with DecoArt Matte Medium using a brayer to get all of the air bubbles out.  Cover the top of the pages also with the matte medium to seal them before proceeding to the next step--let dry.

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Next cover everything, including the sides,  with a layer of the Titan Buff lightly with a dry paintbrush and a brayer--wiping some away in spots with a paper towel while the paint is still wet to expose some of the text.

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Next layer--add some lace in random areas on the surface, using the matte medium to adhere it--to the top and bottom of the lace.  When dry,  add a light layer of titan buff with a dry paintbrush--loosely skimming over the texture of the lace--let dry.

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Next step--apply DecoArt Crackle Glaze to random spots of the surface, including the sides, and let dry.  Take the Metallic Lustre and rub over the glazed parts to expose the cracks and also in the non-glazed spots of the surface and sides.  This was the first time that I used  Metallic Lustre--I applied it with my finger and then buffed it out with a cloth--I LOVE IT!   After you're happy with the results, take the brown permanent stamp pad and apply it along the sides and also to the lace  which will give the piece an aged look

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When all is dry, spray the entire surface and sides with either a satin or matte varnish--set aside.  Now is the time to create your story.  It's not hard for me, since I'm addicted to flea markets, and I have plenty of items to rummage through to find just the right ones that I'd like to use.  I chose some old hardware (my favorite), lace, a doll head and some jewelry embellishments and burlap flowers (which were bought at the local craft store).

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Using the same 3 colors that you used for the cradle board paint the items that you decide to use for your piece, if desired.  First, paint them with the Titan Buff (let dry),  and then rubbing in the Rose Gold  Metallic Lustre, followed by the brown ink stamp pad--in the same manner that the cradle board was made.  When all is dry, spray with the varnish.

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The best way to attach heavy pieces is by wiring them down to the surface.  I drilled holes in the board for the heavy hinge to wire down, and I also applied Apoxie Sculpt to the back of the hinge to secure it. Apoxie Sculpt is a 2-part clay type of adhesive ( mixed together in the same manner as epoxy).  Once dry, it's solid and very secure for heavier items. I screwed the door plate down and hid the screws by covering them with pearl heads.  This is why it's good to use a deep-sided wood board if you need to screw items down.  I finished by adding some of my other embellishments for enhancing the design.

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Mixed media is a wonderful way to create art--the possibilities are endless, which is a good thing, but there are times when it can become confusing.  When this happens, try limiting your choices of mediums and paint colors.  I found that this way helped me very much when I started to have a bit of an artist's block.  I usually like more, but this time, less was more.

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Be sure to visit My Art Journal  for more projects and to learn more about Diane Salter.


I can IMAGINE this EXQUISITE project in a Victorian Historical Romance book! They would describe it as a BEAUTIFULLY made gift using actual items from the person - lockets, lace, pearls etc as a memorial. It's just ELEGANTLY CHARMING and LOVELY Diane. Makes me want to get my lace out!!! Wonderful use of these awesome DecoArt products. GREAT INSPIRATION. Xj.


August 15, 2017

Oh Diane, I love your end result! However, you made the process so clear, that I think I like that the most! I've never made an assemblage mixed media work of art, but I think that I can give this one a go... Limiting the palette makes this project very approachable. Thank you so for this great tutorial😊


August 16, 2017

This is super lovely. I love the vintage feel, all the hardware, and the colors are so soft and delicate. You have inspired me to make one. LOL TFS

Barbara Rankin

August 17, 2017

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