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DecoArt Mixed Media Blog

Abstract Painting with a Surprise Twist

by: Joi@RR Schultz
March 7, 2017

Abstract Painting with a Surprise Twist

This painting done entirely with DecoArt products is on a 50”x70” canvas. It was meant to be an abstract but ended up with a huge surprise. See if you can find the surprise as you look at the pictures. 

Items needed :

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Diarylide Yellow
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Gold
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Dark Grey Value 3
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Sienna
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Translucent White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Metallic Gold
  • DecoArt Media Misters - Shimmer White
  • DecoArt Media Misters - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Misters - Shimmer Turquoise
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - Black
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Modeling Paste - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - White Tinting Base
  • Americana Stencils 8.5x11 - Jacobean Floral
  • Andy Skinner Stencils 12x3 - Shedded
  • Assorted Brushes
  • Stampendous - Toxic Stamp Set
  • Dare2BArtzy - Totally Tracy Texture Stamp Set
  • Palette Knife

Instructions :

Gesso Your Canvas.

Use gesso to paint the first coat of paint both in black and white. There is no specific goal or design… just began to apply gesso all over your canvas.

Begin to play.

You can have specific colors and shapes in mind or just be random. In this case, the “play” was random but colors were planned. Metallic Gold, Diarylide Yellow and a black mister were used to form fun patterns on the canvas. 

Apply some texture.

Shortly after adding the paint, I applied modeling paste. I enjoy seeing the modeling paste capture the colors beneath it. If you want to keep your modeling paste white – let the first paint layer dry completely. 

Step Back and View Your Project

It’s important to walk away at times and decide your next step. 

Add Stamps and Stencils

The stamps were done randomly with permanent ink. The stencil was done with modeling paste and a palette knife. 

Continue to add more paint, more layers to your canvas.

Add another stencil or even more paint.

It’s important to just keep working until you feel satisfied. In this case the Jacobean stencil with modeling paste just seemed the right fit! Along with some drips and more drops – just continuing to “play”.

Rotate your canvas. You might find a SURPRISE!

In the photo you see below… I knew I was getting close to being done but it just didn’t feel finished. I walked away. Came back and rotated the canvas.

When I stepped back and looked – I knew the canvas flip was the answer!

Here is before and after the rotation. Can you see the “boy” at the top and the “roots” at the bottom?

He was just THERE and it was thrilling!

Varnish Your Creation with the DecoArt Varnish of your choice.

Close-ups of Textures on the finished piece.

Thanks, bunches for the opportunity to share my ‘surprise’ with you. Over the years, I have tried many types of paints. This painting would not be nearly as high quality without these fabulous DecoArt Media products. I hope you will try “playing” with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics and find your own surprise. Xj.

Be sure to visit Joi@RR for more projects and to learn more about Joi@RR Schultz.


Joi, this is fantastic! Wow, what moods and gorgeous depth you created on this stunning canvas. I'm in awe! Hugs, Autumn


March 7, 2017

50" x 70" is huge Joi!! What a gorgeous painting you have created, I just love the wonderful colours and textures you have created - and how amazing to create a boy without even knowing - fantastic work!! Anne x

Anne R

March 7, 2017

Joi, I am extremely impressed by the depth you achieved in this painting. The close up shots show so much detail! I'm jealous of your finished canvas and hope that one day I can get to your level. Thanks for sharing. Connie


March 7, 2017

Wow Joi I just love watching your creative processes and how you bring your art to life. This is an amazing finished canvas and I love how you flipped it and found something extra to it. Brilliant. Xxx

Brenda Brown

March 8, 2017

Brilliant canvas....loved seeing your way of adding the layers....I couldn't see the boy, though. Must be not looking right;)!!!

Lizzy Hill

March 8, 2017

What a wonderful piece of art, Joi! I love your boy and I saw him almost instantly (even before I read the post)! To me there's a glacier to the left and the roots reaching deep down add a wonderful new level of interpretation too! Love your painting to bits! Claudia xxx


March 8, 2017

Loved seeing your creative process. Love your abstract piece , great textures and layers. Tracy x

Tracy Evans

March 8, 2017

Beautiful and I also see leaves and a tulip flower.

Nancy Lockner

March 8, 2017

Oh my giddy aunt Joi I can see him ... loving the colours and all the layers ...stunning work of art! Xxxx

Tracy Easson

March 8, 2017

JOI!! I just love your work, brilliant! <3

Gail Bishop

March 8, 2017

Fabulous Joi! I love seeing your process and that canvas is HuGE! I feel inspired to give it a go x

Jennie Atkinson

March 8, 2017

Joi Gorgeous painting, love the colours... I also could not see the boy.

Susan Sollinger

March 9, 2017

So awesome. Love how this turned out.


March 9, 2017

How lovely this canvas is.

Kathy Gledsdale

March 9, 2017

Joi, this is so fun. I love how you are able to see fabulous surprises just by turning the canvas. Beautiful work, my friend. xo

Barbara Rankin

March 9, 2017

Joi this is stunning, love the colours and layers and texture, and flipping it was inspired. Love your art. Xxx

Nikki K

March 9, 2017

What a treat to see your comments. From my heart - thank you all so much. YOU and DecoArt keep my inspired. Hugs, joi


March 11, 2017

OMG! This is totally awesome! I love how by just rotating it you get a totally different vision!! Perfection! TFS!

barb macaskill

March 13, 2017

So very cool!!!


March 13, 2017

WOW! Lifting my jaw back up. This is everything I admire in art & mixed media. What a superb piece (& so large?). You are extremely talented. C


March 14, 2017

Wow! That's one big canvas! Amazing how it changed from step to step, colors, moods, feelings. Stunning finished piece, surprise and all, with so much textures to look at!


March 17, 2017

This is so cool! Ha ha! I LOVE the surprise :-)

Kate Crane

April 25, 2017

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