Brenda says:

 “I love using the DecoArt Media acrylic paints which come in a variety of translucent, semi translucent and opaque colours. They are artist quality with a high pigment ratio.

My favourite way to use the paints is to layer them to achieve tonal effects that are random yet rich in colour. I mostly ensure these layers are dry before adding the next layer, but the translucents are beautiful when blended slightly. When combined with other techniques, they create fabulous distressed results that emulate watercolours with the advantage of being permanent.

If you add the mediums into the equation, the world is your oyster with regards to creating mixed media effects. In creating my canvas background, I have used the paints and mediums with die-cuts to get a very textured look. I allowed the watery paints to move around on the canvas and drip before drying to add extra interest. The addition of stamping helps to create even more depth and dimension”

Stamps Brenda used...

  • Tim Holtz: Ultimate Grunge; Ledger Script; Classics #1; Leaf Blueprint Framelits; Love You Framelits

Other materials...


  • Tim Holtz die: Tag Collection Framelits; Chevron Frameworks
  • Distress ink: Ground Espresso
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic paint: Pyrrole Red; Pyrrole Orange; Yellow Oxide; Titanium White;
    Burnt Umber; Sap Green; Yellow Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Misters: Yellow; Red; Primary Magenta; White
  • DecoArt Media Medium: White Gesso; Matte Medium; White Modeling Paste; White Crackle Paste;
    Crackle Glaze
  • 8 x 10 Canvas
  • Wooden ornate frame
  • American seam binding
  • Paper flowers
  • Hessian
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Wire Pin; Muse Token; Photobooth Photo
  • Natural foliage
  • Natural fibre
  • Microbead berries


Step-by-step… Building Mixed Media Layers












1 Prime canvas with white gesso. Die cut the chevron die twice, cut up and adhere to canvas with Matte Medium.   2 Squeeze dots of paint onto craft mat. Using a water spritzer and baby wipe, gently wipe thinned paints over canvas.











3 Add contrast with stamps and black ink. Use stamps without a block so that you get random parts and shapes rather than uniform stamps.   Create more texture by randomly applying modelling paste through a stencil. Or substitute with Crackle Paste.











Create a masterboard by brayering red and white, then yellow and white, with a wash of orange and red. Cut two different tags, text stamp and add Crackle Paste through a stencil.   6 Using Media Misters, spritz and dab each layer to get the colour level you want. Let the colours move around. Dry each layer before adding the next.











Use a brayer to highlight raised areas with white gesso. White is a great neutraliser and adding it creates depth to the colour tones.   8 To complement the added collage layers and achieve a sepia effect, add watery Burnt Umber paint with a brush, spritz it and dry. Repeat.










 Add a little more stamping and highlight textured areas again with white gesso using a brush if the brown paint has taken over too much.  


To finish the project: If the background stamping seems too prominent, dab on a gesso wash to tone it down. Paint and use Crackle Glaze on the frame. Colour the seam binding and stamp and die-cut the leaves from another masterboard of colours. Finish by adhering the collage elements to the canvas and blend Ground Espresso Distress ink around the edge.

This project was first published in the October 2016 issue of Craft Stamper magazine