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DecoArt Mixed Media Blog

Live Laugh Love Fossil Canvas

by: Candy Colwell
February 23, 2017

Live Laugh Love Fossil Canvas

I could not wait to get my new Andy Skinner Fossil stencil. It finally arrived and I immediately went to work creating this very “earthy” 10” x 10” canvas. The stencil is a larger one; measuring 8” x 8”. But I love that because you can use the entire fossil, as I have done here or just portions of it on your creation.

This is definitely a showy home décor piece that was not difficult to make. Join me in this pictorial tutorial showing you how to make one for yourself!

Items needed :

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Cobalt Teal Hue
  • Andy Skinner Stencils 8x8 - Fossil
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Pyrrole Red
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Interference - Turquoise Interference
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Liquid Glass
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Texture Sand Paste
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Hansa Yellow Medium
  • 10" by 10" Canvas
  • Spray Water Bottle
  • Assorted Brushes
  • Palette Knife
  • Basil Wood Trim
  • Sponge
  • Stampendous Frantage Embossing Powder Aged Gold and Shabby Blue
  • Feathers
  • Copper Accents and Beads
  • Teal Beads and Stones
  • Brown Waxed Thread and Needle
  • Antique Button
  • Craft Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Pencil and Ruler
  • Embossing Ink Pad
  • Live Laugh Love Stamps
  • Tape

Instructions :

The only thing I knew when I started this canvas was that I was going to center the Fossil Stencil. So, while I could have created my background first and then stenciled over it, I really like the way this canvas turned out as I was experimenting throughout the process. For me, not having everything laid out first is the fun part of the journey!

Secure the Fossil Stencil to the center of the canvas. Using a palette knife, scrap DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste over the stencil, covering everything and removing the excess paste. Remove the stencil and immediately clean it. Let the Texture Sand Paste air dry.

This is how your canvas will look at this point.

For more dimension, replace the stencil over the dried texture paste and repeat step 1. Be sure to secure in place with tape. Let air dry. 

Mix DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff and DecoArt Media White Gesso together and brush over the entire canvas. 

While the canvas is drying, measure and cut the basil wood trim pieces to form a frame on the perimeter of the canvas. In this case, two sides measure 10” and the other two sides measure approximately 8 ¾”. Sand the edges. There are two separate pieces of wood for this trim; a plain underpiece to add height and a decorative piece that will be glued to the top of the plain piece.

Using DecoArt Liquid Glass, glue the two matching wood pieces together. Line all of the pieces up and cover them with a heavy book or object to secure them.

Mix DecoArt Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue and Titanium White with water to create a soft wash. Brush the color randomly onto the canvas. Then set the canvas up on one end and spritz with water to allow the paint to run into the crevasses of the fossil and down the canvas. Heat set the color. 

Mix together DecoArt Fluid Acrylics Pyrrole Red, Hansa Yellow Medium and Titan Buff to create a soft salmon color. Mix the paint with a little water as well; enough that will allow the paint to run down the canvas a little. Start at the top of the canvas and randomly make brush strokes with the salmon color. Spritz with a water bottle to aid in the dripping of the paint down the canvas. Repeat as necessary to get the look you desire. (The top of the canvas will be hidden under the wooden frame so don’t be concerned about the straight line you see now at the top of the canvas. You may also want to add more teal on top of some of the salmon areas. Simply repeat step 6 randomly over the top of the salmon color. Heat set the color. 

Do the same process at in steps 6 and 7 only this time, mix DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White with Interference Turquoise. Spritz with water as it is running down the canvas. Since the Interference Turquoise is a semi-transparent color, you may want to add a few random brush strokes of it onto the canvas and then spritz with water to add more of that subtle shimmer. Heat set the color.

Paint the joined wood accent pieces with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White. Let dry and set to the side.

Lay the Fossil Stencil back over the stenciled image on the canvas and secure with tape. To bring out more of the white on the fossil, use a sponge, dipping it into a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White paint and dab it over the surface of the fossil. Repeat until you have achieved the desired white effect.

This is how the canvas should appear at this point. 

Brush DecoArt Media Raw Umber Antiquing Cream over primarily the top and the sides of the wooden trim pieces. These can completely air dry or you can use a damp paper towel or cloth to remove the cream while still wet. Repeat this step until you achieve the desired antiquing effect. In this picture; you see the white wooden trim piece on the top, the wet and covered Antiquing Cream on the middle piece and the wiped and finished wood trim piece on the bottom. Dramatic difference! 

For this step, I added a bit of shimmer and texture by adding Stampendous Frantage Shabby Blue Embossing Powder randomly over the top of the stenciled fossil. Work in sections and simply dab an embossing ink pad randomly over the fossil. Sprinkle the embossing powder over the inked areas. Turn the canvas up on end and remove any excess embossing powder onto a piece of clean paper. This can then be returned to the bottle for later use. Brush away any excess powder with a dry paint brush and then heat set.

Using a small paint brush and almost dry brushing effect with the DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber paint, create depth and shadows randomly in the recessed areas of the fossil.  

I love this trick! Use the metallic looking Stampendous Aged Gold Embossing Powder to really accent and add texture and depth to random areas of the stenciled fossil. To do this, use DecoArt Media Liquid Glass and randomly add it to areas around the fossil that you really want to accentuate. While the Liquid Glass is still wet, pour the embossing powder directly over the wet Liquid Glass. Gently tamp down the embossing powder, turn the canvas up on end and remove any excess powder onto a piece of clean paper. Return the unused embossing powder to the jar to be used later. Now heat set the embossing powder and watch it turn metallic and also bubble up. It creates a very rustic and unbelievable texture. If you want to add more metallic color or create even higher areas of the embossing powder, simply add more Liquid Glass over the area you want to work with and repeat the process. It’s magic! 

This is what your fossil canvas will look like at this point. 

Lay the wooden trim piece in place; the longer pieces at the top and bottom of the canvas. Hot glue them in place and hold each one to make sure it is secure on the canvas.

Put a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber onto a craft mat and brayer it out. Then roll the brayer over the “Live, Laugh and Love” stamps. Stamp them onto a piece of stamping paper. 

Immediately pour Stampendous Frantage Aged Gold Embossing Powder over the wet paint. Clean your stamps and the brayer immediately. Then remove the excess powder from the stamped images, returning the excess to the jar, and heat set them. 

Cut out the stamped words, position them to the left of the canvas and glue them in place. Notice all of the texture that the Liquid Glass and embossing powders provide!

Create your own hanging beads and feathers designs to embellish the canvas. I used brown waxed thread to string my bead and metal accessories. When knotting the thread, it won’t come undone. I cut a long enough piece of thread to create hanging beads from both ends of it. Then I glued a feather at the very end by pushing it up into the bead. The glue I used was DecoArt Media Liquid Glass.

Once the thread had beads coming from either end, I used a needle and thread, came up from the back side of the canvas, captured the beaded thread, went back into the back of the canvas and tied the beads and feathers in place on the backside of the canvas. I added one more single stand of beads in the center and added a charm at the bottom instead of a feather. Again using the needle and threaded beads, I simply pushed the needle through the backside of the canvas and tied the thread in place on the back side of the canvas. 

Finally, I glued one more little brown feather (using DecoArt Media Liquid Glass) in place on the right side of the gathered beads.

All finished! I love pieces that freely dangle and move on art pieces. The light will catch the beads and the metallic embossed areas while air will move the delicate feathers.

Thanks so much for stopping by DecoArt’s Media Blog. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it’s inspired you to get out your DecoArt Media products and have some fun!

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


Wow Candy this is so gorgeous love the colors you used and the feathers and beads completes the piece for sure . Thanks for the easy step by step tutorial which I will refer to from time to time .


February 23, 2017

Candy, this is truly stunning! I love the way you added the warm red and yellow, they really make the Fossil 'pop'. and your 'dream catcher' feathers and beads just take the canvas to a whole other level. I love that you made your own frame too, it is the perfect finishing touch! xx

Anne R

February 24, 2017

Love this piece


February 24, 2017

Gorgeous textural piece Candy, this looks so tactile. I just want to reach out and touch it . Gorgeous backdrop too. Tracy x

Tracy Evans

February 24, 2017

Lovely work

Kathy Gledsdale

February 24, 2017

Creativity at it's best. Just BEAUTIFUL. Xj.


February 24, 2017

Stunning, love how you used embossing powder with liquid glass.

Jan Hill

February 25, 2017

Gorgeous textures and colours, and the weathered frame looks amazing. Great inspiration from Candy. Alison x


February 25, 2017

Gorgeous Candy! I love the background colors and the use of the Frantage! Excellent idea! xo

Jackie Neal

February 28, 2017

Love it!!!

Debbie Gregoire

March 23, 2017

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