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Looking to redecorate your home? Crafting for the holidays? Need a fun idea to do with the kids? We have craft ideas for all occasions and experience levels! From simple home decor projects to personalized giftable items, we are sure you will find projects that inspire. Be sure and share any projects you do with our products using #decoartprojects for a chance to be featured.

What is Santa Reading

November 2, 2017

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What is Santa Reading
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Santa? Reading? Hmmmm…the question is...what?

I think he is reading the elves a bedtime story. 

What do you think?

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Pyrrole Red
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Translucent White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Medium Grey Value 6
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Primary Magenta
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Violet
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Gold
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Sienna
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Metallic Gold
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Radiant Red
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Elegant Emerald
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Copper Kettle
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Iced Espresso
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Burnished Brass
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - Black
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Paste - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Liquid Glass
  • DecoArt Media Varnishes - Gloss Varnish
  • Andy Skinner Stencils 6x6 - Baroque
  • 22' by 22" Canvas
  • Assorted Brushes
  • Faber-Castell Artist Pitt Pens


Choose a substrate and apply gesso to the surface. As you apply gesso, add the color of your choice for a blended background.

In this painting – Medium Gray Value 6 was used with the white gesso. When dry, draw or stencil your design. 

Instruction #1 - Image141
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Begin painting – add layers. Honestly… I never expected to be able to paint a Santa face…or any face for that matter. But hey… it’s all about the layers.

I just kept painting one layer of paint after another and Santa finally started looking better. Another secret is using the WONDERFUL translucent fluid acrylic colors here and there. They just help the layers blend together so well.

Instruction #2 - Image241
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Take a break from Santa’s face and work a bit on his book!

What kind of book is it?  I know what you are thinking! Use the stencil of your choice with crackle paste. Allow it to air dry well. 

Instruction #3 - Image364
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When completely dry, begin adding color to your stenciled image. You can also add your first layer of paint to your book cover.

Here is a DecoArt Media video to help you paint the crackle paste similar to Santa’s book décor. 

Instruction #4 - Image434
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Once again, remember to layer your paint colors. Pick out 4 to 5 colors of paint and begin applying them to Santa’s book cover – just randomly.  It’s fun to use an old brush that’s bristles are rather beat up, and add the paint with a circular motion. 

Keep your brush a bit on the dry side, and blend your colors. DecoArt fluid acrylics are so lovely when blended because they produce so many different hues of the colors. In the photo below you will see the progression of the layered blending.

Instruction #5 - Image512
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Now back to Santa’s face.  Does his beard seem overwhelming?

Here is a hint: it’s just lines… layers of lines and layers of colors! Look at the close-up below and see all the various size and shapes of the lines that make up Santa’s beard.

Instruction #6 - Image669
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What kind of hat do you want Santa to wear? This one has a “night cap” style since I’m thinking He might be reading bedtime stories! Sketch in Santa’s hat and choose your color.  This Santa almost had a DecoArt Media Metallic Gold hat, but in the end, Pyrrole Red won out!

Instruction #7 - Image737
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Most fun of all… painting the fur on Santa’s hat. Paint the base of the fur with Titanium White. Find an old, small brush and, using your DecoArt Media White Gesso, dab on your fur – one spot at a time.  You can also add a little dash of Titan Buff if you want the fur to look a bit more ‘used’!

Instruction #8 - Image827
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Varnish your creation with the DecoArt Media Varnish of your choice. Here is Santa saying “Howdy” to you from his stop in Texas!

Instruction #9 - Image975
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DecoArt Media products are truly ideal for a canvas artist like myself. Best of all they are just as great for crafting projects. Best of all artistic worlds!


Wishing you and your family, as well as all my DecoArt family…A BLESSED and MERRY CHRISTMAS! Xj.

Instruction #10 - Image1066
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Be sure to visit Joi@RR  for more projects and to learn more about Joi@RR.


Joi, what a wonderful project! I love your Santa!! Great texture and what a fun approach to the season. hugs, Maura


November 2, 2017

Joi, your Santa canvas is incredible!!! Your attention to all the small details like his beard and eyebrows fascinates me, Santa looks so realistic. You have captured the whole essence of Christmas in this beautiful painting, the book is exquisite. Thank you SO much for sharing your process, it has been a joy to see! Anne xx

Anne R

November 3, 2017

Joi, you are so incredibly talented and that you share your gifts in tutorials with us makes me love you all the more! What an amazing project! Hugs, Autumn


November 7, 2017

Joi, you are such a talented lady, and I love walking through your process--it makes me feel as if I am there watching you paint! What an incredible canvas that shares the joy of Santa! I am left speechless by your attention to detail; the depth you've created makes it appear as if Santa where right here in front of me in person! Imagine that!!! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us! Hugs! Sara Emily

Sara Emily Barker

November 17, 2017

Oh Joi your Santa is just adorable, he has a beautiful face full of homely character and love. This painting is full of wonderful festive charm, love it xxx

Brenda Brown

November 25, 2017

Joi, it's so cute...😍 😍 😍 😍 Love Santa 🎅... Thank you


August 18, 2018

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