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DecoArt Mixed Media Blog

Guest Designer Kate Crane: Mixed Media Box Frame

by: Kate Crane
August 18, 2015

Guest Designer Kate Crane: Mixed Media Box Frame

I just love colour and I also love layers, so the combination of DecoArt Tinting Base along with the Fluid Acrylics is a dream combination for me! I created this project on a wooden box frame, although it would work equally well on a variety of surfaces such as a canvas, or even an art journal page. When used with the highly pigmented colours of the Fluid Acrylics, the Tinting Base allows you to build up layer upon layer of glorious colour!

Items needed :

  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - White Tinting Base
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Red
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Yellow Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Hansa Yellow Medium
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Cobalt Teal Hue
  • DecoArt Media Misters - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Misters - Red
  • Ink Pads
  • Assorted Brushes
  • Pencil
  • Washi Tape
  • Junk for Stamping
  • Background Stamps
  • White Gel Pen
  • Wooden Base

Instructions :

Paint your chosen substrate with one or two layers of white gesso and allow to dry. Start by painting the Tinting Base in small areas and while wet add touches of your chosen colour in patches allowing it to blend with the base, and leaving plenty of white areas. Use your pencil, and the ‘wrong’ end of a paintbrush to draw doodles into the paint while still wet.

Build up the colour by adding more Fluid Acrylics tone-on-tone ie: red on red, blue on blue, until you have some lighter areas and some areas of deeper colour. If it looks a little too patchy try using your fingers to blend. Although initially scary, adding one or two areas of black really makes the other colours pop and adds a lot of depth. Start to add pattern and texture by stamping with any background stamps and an ink pad and also adding pattern with bottle lids with paint, and marks using the edge of your paintbrush. Anything goes! As long as you stick to the same colours you can keep building a busy background without it looking too cluttered.

Take the nozzle out of the spray bottle (carefully!) and use like a pen to write or draw patterns on your background.

Use a white gel pen to add doodles, scribbles, and to draw around the edge of patterns you have already created such as the black painted areas. Also add layered strips of coordinating washi tape in one or two random areas.

Use bottle lids of various sizes to add further pattern, sticking to the colours that you already have, not forgetting the black.

And finally, if you’re working on a box frame, don’t forget to continue the design around the edge.

Be sure to visit The Kathryn Wheel for more projects and to learn more about Kate Crane.


This is just so awesome! I love how happy it makes me feel just to look at it! The colors are vibrant. I love the randomness of the patterns. Very cool canvas.


August 19, 2015

Wonderful! Just the kind of look I would like to be able to get! Thank-you so much for sharing!

Pam Hall

August 19, 2015

Oh wow Kate - what a SUPER FABULOUS tutorial and INCREDIBLE canvas. Just so inspiring - wow - love this. j.


August 19, 2015

Awesome, I am going to try this


August 19, 2015

You make it look so easy, I'm gonna give it a try! These colors are awesome!

Stephanie Rodgers

August 19, 2015

Love , the colors and textures of your project!

Bonnie kitts

August 20, 2015

I love this! It's great to be able to use a different substrate too... The colours are stunning. It just makes me smile x


September 20, 2015

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