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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Playing With Paint Techniques Art Journal For DecoArt

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by.  I have an art journal project to share with you today that I made for the DecoArt Blogger Outreach program.  DecoArt very generously sent me these wonderful products (DecoArt Metallic Lustre Wax, DecoArt Media Antiquing Cream, Crackle Paste and Liquid Glass and DecoArt Americana Triple Thick Gloss Glaze);

and I combined them with the DecoArt Media Acrylic paints and mediums I already had in my stash, along with Eileen Hull's Passport die, to make this Playing With Paint Techniques art journal.

I've lots of step out photos on how I created it so grab a glass of iced tea and a comfy chair and read on for my how to.

Two covers and the journal spine were die cut from Sizzix Mat Board using Eileen Hull's Passport die and three signatures were cut with the same die, each containing two pages of mixed media paper and one page of 140 lb cold press watercolour paper.

The two covers and the spine were given a coat of DecoArt Media Gesso front and back.  I also painted one of the mixed media paper signature pages with gesso at the same time.

Both gesso'ed covers were then painted front and back with washes of diluted DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic paints in Green Gold and Cobalt Teal Hue.  The washes and dips into the diluted paint were repeated several times, drying in between each layer of paint.

A dilute wash of Primary Cyan was then brayered onto one side of each of the covers, repeating as necessary until I was happy with the coverage.

A piece of tissue paper was stamped with a script stamp from my stash with Vintage Photo Archival ink and then the word 'paint' was stamped with Black Soot Archival ink with some individual alphabet stamps.

The stamped tissue paper was adhered to the front cover with DecoArt Americana Matte Varnish and diluted washes of Green Gold and Cobalt Teal Hue were brayered over the whole cover once the varnish had dried to marry the stamped tissue paper into the background.

I wanted to frame the stamped tissue paper on the cover but was afraid that a die cut frame would make joining the journal spine to the front cover difficult.  So I decided instead to use the negative die cut from the Ornate Frame #2 die as a stencil and applied DecoArt Media Crackle Paste through it.

The Crackle Paste was tinted slightly with some Green Gold Media Fluid Acrylic paint before applying it and I then gently wiped back any of the Crackle Paste from the left edge of the cover that infringed on the area where the journal spine was going to be attached.

After the Crackle Paste frame had dried and crackled, I gave the whole cover another diluted brayered wash of Primary Cyan Media Fluid Acrylic paint.

And then DecoArt Media Antiquing Cream in Raw Umber was applied over the frame to emphasize all of those lovely cracks.  A Chocolate Zig marker was used to shade around the edges of the crackled frame inside and out.

The inside of the frame was then covered with a coat of DecoArt Americana Triple Thick Gloss Glaze (this stuff is fabulous!) and once it had dried I realized that my poor frame was looking a bit bare.  So I decided to add some 'paint pots' filled with the three main colours that I had used to colour the cover.

I sketched out some paint cans and resized them on the computer and printed them out on some plain copy paper.  The outside of the pots were painted with Paynes Grey that was mixed with some Media Tinting Base to make a steel grey colour and the pots were then filled with Primary Cyan, Green Gold and Cobalt Teal Hue Media Fluid Acrylics.

The pots were fussy cut and adhered to the bottom of the frame and another coat of Triple Thick Gloss Glaze was added over the inside of the frame again.

 I also added some touches of DecoArt Metallic Lustre wax in Champagne Ice to the frame here and there.  You can catch glimpses of the wax on the frame in the picture above as well as see the amazing gloss finish from the Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.

I needed a way to keep my art journal closed so decided to alter an old paint brush and tie a bit of Crinkle Ribbon around it for a closure.  A small paint brush was cut down to size and I used a pencil sharpener and an emory board to taper the cut end.  The brush was coated with gesso and when dry the handle was painted with Green Gold Media Fluid Acrylic paint.  The ferrule of the brush was given a rust paint treatment courtesy of Andy Skinner (click here to see Andy's video for the technique and a complete supply list) and I painted the brush tip with Primary Cyan and then dipped it in Triple Thick Gloss Glaze so it would look wet.  Quite a pile of products for one little brush but it turned out pretty cute!

With the front cover finished, the journal spine was painted and dipped with dilute washes of Primary Cyan and Green Gold Media Fluid Acrylics and then aged with the Media Antiquing Cream.  After the paint had dried, the outside edges were stamped with a Wendy Vecchi Remnants Of Art stamp and Ground Espresso Archival ink.

The back cover was inspired by a beautiful canvas created by Brenda Brown for DecoArt.  I loved the use of the glass cabochons but didn't have any cabochons in my stash small enough for use on my journal.  So I added some dots of DecoArt Media Liquid Glass here and there on the back cover, tapping them slightly while still wet to flatten them out a bit and it worked perfectly to make some faux glass cabochons!  Stenciling with Media Gesso through some sequin waste followed along with random stamping using a Bubbles stamp from Finnabair and Forget-Me-Not Archival ink.

Dilute washes and drips of Cobalt Teal Hue and Primary Cyan Media Fluid Acrylics were applied after the gesso had dried.

And then a final wash of diluted Titanium White DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic paint was applied to the back cover along with some spatters.  A hole was punched and a grommet applied so that another piece of Crinkle Ribbon could be added for my journal closure.

Then it was on to the inside of the front cover which had already been painted with Green Gold and Cobalt Teal Hue paint.  I wanted to try Andy Skinner's Mega Crackle technique so started by adding some torn strips of Symphony Tissue Tape here and there and then added a coat of DecoArt Weathered Wood (yes, that is an ANCIENT bottle of Weathered Wood LOL!).

After the Weathered Wood had dried, I tinted Media Crackle Paste with Yellow Green Light and Primary Cyan Media Fluid Acrylics and applied it over the inside of the front cover with a paint brush.  Immediately the cracks started to appear but I set it aside to dry thoroughly on it's own (a very hard task for me as I am very impatient!).

After the Crackle Paste had dried I had lovely large cracks and you could see some of the text on the tissue tape through them which was exactly what I was hoping would happen!  But more layers are always better in my world so I used the tried and true vaseline resist technique (click here if you are unfamiliar with this technique for a how to) to add a further chippy paint layer overtop of the mega-crackle.

Then it was on to the inside of the back cover (congratulations if you are still with me, this is one long post!).  I wanted to echo what I had done on the inside of the front cover with the Tissue Tape so added some random strips of Symphony and Elements tape to the inside of the back cover.

Diluted washes of Green Gold and Primary Cyan followed but it was looking a bit to bright for me so I added a wash of Titan Buff and Titanium White to tone it down a bit.

Some stamping with Black Soot Archival ink and stamps from Tim Holtz's Noble Gent stamp set were added along with a pocket for storing some manila tags made with a vintage post card image from my stash.

I also added some DecoArt Metallic Lustre wax to the stamped rays with an old paint brush, just coating the brush with the wax and tapping it onto the stamped rays and then burnishing the wax with a soft cloth for that beautiful glow.

I've just created my paint techniques art journal so don't have many pages completed yet but I'll quickly share a couple with you.  I wanted to try some more of Andy Skinner's painted rust techniques so die cut some gears with the Gadget Gears die and embossed more gears with the Steampunk Texture Fades folder onto chipboard.  I used Andy's Easy Rust Painting Technique #2 on the die cut gears and his Easy Rust Painting Technique #3 on the embossed gears.  Click the links to view Andy's videos for the how to's and a complete supply list.

One of the mixed media paper signature pages was painted with Prussian Blue Hue Media Fluid acrylic paint and then was stenciled with Carbon Black through the Mini Gears Layering stencil.  After the black paint had dried, the stencil was replaced and the whole page covered with Media Gesso which was then daubed off while it was still wet with a damp paper towel.

The rusted gears and embossed panel were then glued onto the stenciled background and I wrote a little note to remind myself where I found these techniques for future reference.

I had some of the tinted Crackle Paste left over from the front cover so I painted it onto another page in the mixed media paper signature and left it to crack.  The paste was fairly thin in places so I didn't get too much crackle but it was a good learning experience to find out how thick the paste needs to be applied.

I added more Antiquing Cream to emphasize what crackle I did have and then just did some stamping and stenciling (with Andy Skinner's Old Film and Route 66 stencils and a Forever In Time stamp) for some interest.

Here are a few close up pics of the finished art journal, I am really pleased with how it turned out and had a lot of fun playing with my new DecoArt supplies!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by today and apologies for the length of this post but I wanted to share with you all the fun that I had making my art journal.  A big thank you again to DecoArt for their generosity and I do hope that you like how I've made use of your wonderful products, I can't wait to do more experimenting!  Have a great week everyone and as always, happy creating!

Deb xo


  1. WOW, this is amazing. You really have an eye for this sort of thing. You make it all sound so easy too.

  2. Wow, Deb, this is SO impressive! So many great art techniques are involved with this terrific art journal. I have never ventured into most of those techniques, so I was studying carefully everything involved here. The journal turned out so amazing looking!

  3. Oh Deb, I just adore this! What an awesome job you've done and I have to say that green is so refreshing and appreciated! Hugs, Autumn

  4. Fabulous Deb, love the greens and aqua and the fabulous texture you added. Isn't the crackle just the best. Lovely piece. Tracy x

  5. So many wonderful techniques have been crammed into this amazing journal. Love it, a super post.
    Julie x

  6. Super duper tutorial Deb and such a gorgeous book! Thanks for using my die- it is looking like a million bucks in your inky hands :-)

  7. I love this post. Like Julie said, so many techniques in project. Very inspiring.

  8. Oh my gosh Deb this is truly amazing with so many incredible layers and techniques. I just adore how everything has come together in those bright zingy colours, you've used the DecoArt products brilliantly and produced a magnificent journal. Thanks for the shout out xxx

  9. Great post, brilliant project. Happy crafting, Angela xXx

  10. I love this little journal! super fun! =)

  11. Ooh this is fabulous! Thank you for the tutorial. Love the bright colours and the paint brush closure is an inspired idea! xxx

  12. wow !!!! Love your passport die Debs xx Amazing details both inside and out......Fabulous

    Huge hugs
    Annie xx

  13. Love this! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial. I would love to try this. I have the die (YEA!) now I just need the mixed media paints. You are extremely talented!

  14. Wow - so many great paint effects - love that crackle frame, and the fabulous rusty gears. Gorgeous little passport journal - I have this die, and now that I'm home I'm determined to make use of it!
    Alison x


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