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DecoArt Mixed Media Blog

Young Love Canvas Board

by: Candy Colwell
February 9, 2016

Young Love Canvas Board

It’s February and while there is a chill in the air, our hearts are filled with warm thoughts of loved ones as Valentine’s Day approaches. I have been experimenting with combining mixed media and vintage pieces. I must say I love the look so much that I created this sweet little “young love” canvas board in honor of Valentine’s Day. This is an easy to make project that could be used on its own or a framed piece. It even be used to create a lovely Valentine card front if you use heavy cardstock. So pull out your DecoArt Media products and some other items I will list below and let’s get started. You will find the sweet vintage little boy and girl image on my blog at: Since I was working on a 5” x 7” canvas board, I made my little couple measure 4 ¾” tall. That measurement is from the bottom of the boy’s shoe to the top of the girl’s head.

Items needed :

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Red
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Modeling Paste - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Yellow Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Metallic Gold
  • 5
  • Heart Stencil
  • Doily Stencil
  • Palette Knife
  • Lace Scraps
  • Stampers Anonymous Ledger Script Stamp
  • Card Stock Scraps
  • Vintage Image
  • Mini Pearls
  • Glossy Accents
  • Watercolor Crayons
  • Baby Wipes
  • Detailer Water Brush
  • Spray Sealer
  • Paper Towels
  • Assorted Brushes
  • Adhesive Pop Dots
  • 1/8
  • Scissors

Instructions :

Tear cardstock in approximately a 5” x 7” piece and glue to the canvas board using DecoArt Media Matte Medium and a paint brush. Also brush over the cardstock to seal it. Let air dry or gently heat set. Immediately wash out the brush whenever you are using Matte Medium.

Lay the heart stencil in place to the right of center of the canvas and tape in place. Lay the doily stencil over the top of the heart stencil and tape in place. 

Using a palette knife, scrape DecoArt Media Modeling Paste over the combined stencils. Remove the stencils and immediately wash them. Let the Modeling Paste air dry. 

Here is the result of what you will get from overlapping the stencils; a lovely lacy heart!

Cut or tear various scrap cardstock pieces and layer them on the canvas in a couple of places. Use odd numbered pieces to do this. Then glue them in place using either a glue stick or DecoArt Matte Medium and a paint brush. Then seal the layered scrap pieces by brushing over them with Matte Medium. Gently heat set or air dry.

Here is what your canvas will look like at this point.

Cut out the vintage children and lay them on the canvas to get a feel for where they will be placed and what your background may still need.

Remove the children from the canvas and begin to add some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic colors to the background. Begin by using a baby whip and Yellow Oxide randomly around the perimeter of the canvas boards and light swipes in the center of the canvas. 

Now add a combination of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff mixed with Quinacridone Red using a baby wipe. Dab the color over the heart to fill in the area. Also randomly add a bit of the pink color to the perimeter of the background to pick up the color from the roses in the cardstock. 

To add contrast, put a bit of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff on your finger and randomly swipe it onto more of the interior of the canvas board.

Here is a look at your background at this point. 

Using a dry paper towel, lightly brush DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff over the raised areas of the stenciled heart.

Use your finger to add DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber to a script stamp. Randomly stamp portions of the stamp onto the background. Do not use a stamp block, just press it in place and lift it up for a more random look. Immediately was the paint off of the stamp.

Add 1/8” Scor Tape around the perimeter of the heart so that you can add the vintage lace. 

Press the lace in place and using your finger, add a little more color to the lace to blend it into your background. Use light touches of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide followed by light touches of Titan Buff. 

Brush DecoArt Media Matte Medium under the lace and then completely cover the lace to glue and seal the lace to the background. Also add a piece of lace at the bottom of the canvas to “ground” the little couple. Repeat the steps done on the heart to distress and set the lace. Let air dry or gently heat set. 

Add tiny pearls to the lace using Glossy Accents in the tiny center holes of the lace. Let dry.

To subtly add shine and elegance to the piece, use your finger and add light touches of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold over the raised center portion of the heart and light swipes over random areas of the canvas, particularly over the Titan Buff swiped areas.

Seal the vintage little boy and girl by brushing a generous amount of DecoArt Matte Medium over them. Let air dry or gently heat set.

Colorize the little boy and girl using Neocolor II Watercolor crayons and a water brush. Because the watercolor crayons are water reactive, spray a sealer over the boy and girl to set the color.

To add warmth and a more vintage, distressed look to the little boy and girl, use an almost dry paper towel and add light touches of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide over areas of them. 

Add adhesive pop dots to the backside of the children and press them into place on the canvas board.

To pull your Valentine project together and sort of frame it, add light touches of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber to just the perimeter edge of the canvas board by swiping it with your finger. That instantly defines the area, adds a more distressed edge and pulls all of your colors and script stamping together.

Your Valentine work of art is complete! Again, this could easily be done on a piece of watercolor paper or heavy cardstock as your base instead of a canvas board if you wanted to create a Valentine card.

Be sure to visit Creativity Is Contagious for more projects and to learn more about Candy Colwell.


This is so gorgeous! I absolutely love the vintage photo of the children as well as the fabulous tutorial! I really feel I can create this myself with the fabulous DecoArt products!

Susan Mostek

February 9, 2016

Oh my Candy - this is EXQUISITE. That heart with the dainty lace is STUNNING added to your LUSCIOUS background. And those children... precious. You enhanced them PERFECTLY. This is just BREATHTAKING. Awed. j.


February 9, 2016

The image of the little couple is adorable but your canvas is gorgeous. I love how you did the double stenciling, I have not done that before but will now! The lace is so beautiful with the lovely pearls too. I just love everything about this gorgeous project... xxx

Anne R

February 10, 2016

What a wonderful canvas Candy and a great tutorial, thanks so much for sharing it (and for sharing that adorable image, those kids are too cute!) Deb xo

Deb ~ Paxton Valley Folk Art

February 11, 2016

Oh my giddy aunt! This is such a gorgeous collage, I don't know where to start. The vintage lace, the incredible doily/heart, the wonderful colorized's just sublime in every way. Candy is one of my all time favorite artists, and this gorgeous canvas inspires me!!!


February 18, 2016

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