Sunday, 4 October 2015


Just a quick share today of an art journal page I did inspired by the whimsical characters of Tim Burton and my Dreamweavers forest stencil.

I had bought this stencil two years ago and never used it....don't ask me why. Now I can't stop. There will be another project and tutorial on October 7th using this stencil and some more (selfmade ones using some of Tim Holtz' fabulous Halloween dies) , where I have taken the theme and background technique a bit further...but for now it is just a little share of a bit of spooky fun.

Obviously one of the little ghosts is! Poor little guy!

You may already have spotted some of the dies I have used on this journal page....yes, they are the Sizzix Decorative Strip die "Halloween Shadows" (the two little dudes and the owl) and On the Edge die "Graveyard". In this case I made die cuts from white cardstock and drew on them with a fine tip black Faber Castell PITT artist pen before I glued them in place with matte medium.

The forest background was done by first covering the journal page with black and dark grey acrylic paint (which I applied with wide rough brush strokes) and later stencilling on some medium white, beige and orange paint with a stipple brush - creating the "space in between the trees" and the sun.  I also painted on some additional trees and the arch shape on top with a soft brush and black acrylic paint.

Once they were glued in place the tombstones' and ghosts' edges that face the sun's spot were given some shades of the same orange to help blend them in with the scenery (using a fine tip soft brush and diluted paint).

For a finishing touch I  stamped a quote onto a piece of grey-ish card with black archival ink, cut it out and glued it on with matte medium. Then I shaded around the outlines with a black soot Distress marker while the medium was still a bit tacky to the touch so I could smudge the drawn lines with my fingertip.

Hope you like it and are having a great Halloween-ish crafty time too!
Claudia xxx

Thursday, 1 October 2015

"Haunted" - DecoArt media Challenge!

Hi and servus!

Today I have something exciting to share with you - not only my haunted house I made but also the reason why I made it:

the start of the  
"Halloween HAUNTS: ​
Zombies, Goblins, Witches... OH MY!" 
DecoArt media challenge!!! 


From today until Ocotober 28th there is the chance to win one of two fantastic DecoArt media prize packages by entering a Halloween project via the  DecoArt Mixed Media Blog! Andy Skinner himself will judge and select the two winners from all the entries that followed the theme and they will be announced on October 30th. So why not join in the fun and have a happy messy Halloween crafting time! Just look what DecoArt will be giving away to them!

Throughout the month DecoArt will be sharing blog posts with awesome Halloween tutorials from the DecoArt Mixed Media DT members! So make sure you don't miss them and get some heavy doses of Halloween mixed media inspiration!


My project for today is a witches house I created by altering an already sawn into shape wood block of about 6 '' height.

It's a very spooky place to be and the three inhabitants are well known for their witchcraft and insidious ways of tricking unsuspecting trespassers!

For altering my wooden house I used:

- a wooden house block (bought at a home decorating store)
- DecoArt media fluid acrylics: Titan Buff, Yellow Oxide, Green Gold, Diarylide Yellow, Quinacridone Violet, Raw Umber, Carbon Black, English Red Oxide, Cadmium Red Hue, Pyrrole Orange,
- DecoArt media white Gesso
- DecoArt media Matte Medium
- DecoArt media white Modelling Paste
- DecoArt media Antiquing Cream "Raw Umber"
- DecoArt media Mister "Red"

- DecoArt Traditions: Blue Grey
- DecoArt Metallic Lustre "Radiant Red"
- a water soluble black pencil
- a variety of soft brushes
- a stipple brush
- small cut'n dry foam piece
- a foam pad
- a spray bottle with water
- a small palette knife
- a palette for mixing paints and creating washes on
- word stickers
- collage papers (Spellbinders - Susan Lenart Kazmer's Ephemera Papers, Tim Holtz "Laboratoire" Paper Stash, colour copy of some glass and dolls eyes )
- forest stencil (from Dreamweaver)
- left over branch die cuts
- a black permanent fine tip marker
- Distress marker "ground espresso"
- some small pieces of corrugated card or rough fabric (for adding texture)
- optional: rubber stamps with texture patterns and black archival stamping ink

And here's how I did it:

First I painted the whole house white using white Gesso. After that had dried I glued on some music sheet scraps and torn pieces of corrugated card using Matte Medium.

(for larger view click on the images)

Then I applied a thin coat of white Modelling paste to the roof with a palette knife and scraped in the roof tiles using the rear end of a thin brush. I let that air dry thoroughly (=left it for a whole day) because the next step would require the use of water on it.

I toned in the glued on paper pieces by painting the whole house over with a layer of diluted white Gesso.

The roof was painted by first spraying on a heavy coat of water and then applying diluted paint with a soft brush here and there. I started with a lighter (Pyrrole) orange and then went from Cadmium Red to English Red Oxide. For a finish I dabbed on some Raw Umber and sprayed on some more water to create drip lines that ran down the sides of the house.

Once that had dried I scraped on some Raw Umber and Blue Grey. On one side of the house I covered the whole area with rough brush strokes of Raw Umber and Blue Grey - that was the side I wanted to stencil my forest on (sorry - I forgot to take an image of that side before the stencilling).

Using a stipple brush, white Gesso and my forest stencil I created my "forest at the back of the house".

The other sides of the house were given a palette knife and paints treatment:

I used Titan Buff, Yellow Oxide, Green Gold, Diarylide Yellow and Quinacridone Violet. Because the house looked too bright, I toned it down with a wash of Raw Umber Antiquing Cream. The good thing about the Antiquing Creams is that you can always wipe off with some spots, add, wipe off again, add again...until you like the outcome.

Next I started adding my cut out images, die cut branches and "spooky snippets" with Matte Medium and a soft brush.

I made sure I also painted a thin coat of the Matte Medium on top of the glued on ephemera so I could shade them in and do some "smudging" on them with my Distress marker and water soluble black pencil.

After that it was time to apply some Raw Umber acrylic paint around the edges. I used a small foam pad as it creates a lightly smudged effect. The darkened edges help draw the focus in and create a visual "frame".

The forest at the back of the house was given some colour treatment as well: I scraped on tiny amounts of acrylic paint with my smallest palette knife and also sprinkled on some dots of Red from my DecoArt Mister and sprayed some water on top to create drip lines (my son had stated that my "Halloween creation lacked some blood").

I also stamped on a spider and some crackle texture for more depth and roughly painted on a fence with loose brush strokes.

The windows still needed their window frames, so I painted them on with English Red Oxide and a fine tip brush. (the curtains were some left overs from rub ons I had almost forgotten about).

To finish my piece up I added some word stickers and shaded in all my glued on elements. I did so by drawing thin outlines around them with a Distress marker and smudged the lines with my fingertip while still wet. At other spots I drew thin outlines (or circles) with a black water soluble pencil and activated the lines with a water loaded thin brush.

To add a little bling to the roof I applied some Metallic Lustre "Radiant Red" in some spots using my fingertip.

My house was finished! 

I hope you like it and am desperately looking forward to see what you will come up with for our fantastic DecoArt Mixed Media "Haunted" Challenge!

Hugs and happy crafting, 

I am linking my project to the following challenges:

Simon Says Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Haunted Design House - The Nights are Drawing In
The Corrosive Challenge Blog - Halloween Bingo (diagonal line: witch - free - colour black (black trees, word tiles, branches, witches hats and clothing, fence and stamping)
Love to Create - Challenge 20 - Anything Mixed Media 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

More Faces

Now that I have found a great way that works perfectly for me when it comes to doing portraits I can't stop (not sure though if you can really say something like that after two

So here she comes:

I have again first roughly sketched the shades with a soft brush and walnut ink solution before I went in with a brown colour pencil and then finished it with a dark brown brush tip Faber Castell PITT artist pen.

I have taken steps images to show the process.

First positioning of the shady areas, lips and eyes. 

 Drawing with the brown colour pencil.

Shading in the hair.

Adding some walnut ink stains and doing some small corrections with white Gesso.

If you haven't seen Kim Dellow's fab "Show Your Face" community where everyone is free to join in and get inspired and/or share his own painted, drawn,...mixed media faces, I highly recommend you check it out.

It is really fascinating seeing all the different inspired approaches to portraying!

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia xxx

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