Thursday, 25 May 2017


Hello everyone!  I am Candy Colwell from Springfield, Missouri in the USA.  I am so thrilled and excited to be a part of Andy Skinner's Creative Design Team.  The ideas and art churning in these talented creative minds is beyond amazing!

For my first creation I decided to get a little quirky using a variety of Andy's incredible products from the DecoArt Line, innovative chipboard pieces from Tando Creative and some of Andy's amazing stamps from Stampendous.

I began with Andy's very cool Ministry of Mixology Book Kit and Zipper from Tando Creative.  The book kit is full of chipboard pieces including the book covers, tons of gears, cogs and bolts.  

I began with the basic book kit and figured out my basic design.  I also decided to use a goofy photograph of Albert Einstein that I would image transfer onto my cover.  So, in this picture, you see the project from it's beginning to it's end.  Now let's explore the steps in creating it.

I began by first painting a coat of DecoArt Media White Gesso over the entire cover.  When dry, I randomly added DecoArt Media White Crackle Paint around some of the edges and let it dry naturally. 

*It's important that you do not heat dry any of the DecoArt Crackle Products!  Let them air dry.

I sized and printed out an image of Albert Einstein using a BLACK AND WHITE LASER PRINTER.  This ink creates better transfers than an inkjet printer. I drew around where the face would be so that I would keep that area smooth and white underneath the face.

Next I brushed over the surface of the book (minus where the face would be) with DecoArt Relic Chalky Finish Paint.  I wiped off the excess leaving this very cool matte finish mottled surface.

I added some of DecoArt's new Vintage Effect Washes to the surface:  first Patina followed by Silver.  Finally I added a little Vintage Effect Black around the edges and in the center area around where the face would go for shadowing.  These washes create a very cool subtle coloring as you can see in the photograph.

Next I applied some of Andy's very cool Stampendous stamps randomly to the cover.  These stamps are from Andy's Steampunk, Industrial, Toxic and Unexplained sets.  I used permanent black ink.

To do the image transfer, you need to reverse the image when you print it.  Then cut it out and paint the reverse side of the image with DecoArt Media Tinting Base.  Paint the back side of the image three times, letting each layer dry thoroughly.  Be sure that you are also including the outside edges of the image when painting on the Tinting Base.  It also works very well if the surface you are going to apply the image to is also white but it doesn't have to be.  

When completely dry, brush a generous amount of DecoArt Media Matte Medium onto the book cover surface as well as the back side of the image.  Be sure you are covering the outside edges of the image as well.  Lay the image in place and burnish it to remove all air bubbles and ensure complete contact with the book surface.  Let dry thoroughly.  I let it dry overnight.

Wet a sponge with water and completely moisten the image.  Then using gentle strokes and circular motions, begin removing the paper from the backside of the image.  Do not press hard, just be patient and continue wetting and working the sponge over the surface of the image until the paper backing is removed.  Once completed, brush over the surface of the entire cover with DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish or Matte Medium to seal the surface.  Heat set or air dry.

Now to begin colorizing the image ...

The paper is sealed so you can work on giving your image some "life".  I began by mixing DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Primary Cyan and Cerulean Blue to give Einstein blue eyes.

Next I created a skin tone wash using DecoArt Media Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide and Quinacridone Burnt Orange mixed with a bit of water.  I continued to add layers of this color until I'd reached the skin tone I liked.  You can also create shadowing and richer tones on the face by adding more of one color than the other and less water.  Since the paper is sealed, you can use a damp brush to move the color and wipe away the excess without it soaking into the paper image.  I added more Quinacridone Burnt Orange to create some color in the cheeks, lips and on the tongue. 

I used DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Translucent White to highlight the hair and mustache.  Translucent White is perfect because it is not opaque so you are able to still see the printed image underneath.

Here is the finished image!  Isn't it awesome??
Seal again by brushing DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish or Matte Medium over the book surface and let dry or gently heat set.

Now to move on to the next technique I want to share with you ... rusted "metal" gears.

I laid out my design so that I have a feeling where everything would finally be glued in place.  The zipper was painted with DecoArt's Multi Surface Metallic Champagne Paint on the teeth and black on the outside.  I later weathered the zipper with some of the paints I'm about to share with you to tone it down a bit. 

As you can see in this picture, the chipboard gears, cogs and bolts are pretty bland.  Let's let the "magic" begin!!

There are lots of different rusting techniques. I tend to like things with a patina look and a bit grungy and weathered.  Here is how I achieve this look....

First I paint each piece with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver for a good base.

For comparison, on the left is DecoArt's Media Fluid Acrylic Metallic Silver.  It's a great color but has much more of a matte finish to it.  On the right is DecoArt's Multi Surface Metallic Silver.  It's an awesome color with silver flecks in the paint as well as a shinier finish.  Both are wonderful just depends on the finish you are looking for.

Next, using my fingers, I add random areas of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black to dull the silver and age the "metal".

To keep the "metal" feel going, I randomly add areas of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Gold on the pieces.  I always use my fingers with doing this because I feel like I can control where and how much of the paint I want added to an area.

Next layer is DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff.  This layer adds texture and also is a base for the patina layer that is coming up.  I love the Titan Buff because it also can take on the appearance of calcified deposits on the patina "metal".

Now for the "rusty" part!  A layer of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Quinacridone Gold is added.  This stuff rocks!  I love it for so many different techniques.

And finally ... the patina finish.  I simply dab DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Blue Green Light on top and intentionally let it rise and bubble if possible.  

So from drab grey to color rusted patina "metal" in a few easy steps using DecoArt Media products!

Now to put everything together!  I had some very cool chain in my art stash so I added it to the book cover.  I glued the pieces in place using DecoArt Media Liquid Glass.  It dries clear and works as a glue and a sealer.  I allowed some areas of the chain to hang and swing freely on the book cover.

I rubbed a bit more of the DecoArt Champagne Multi Surface Metallic paint on random areas of the cover; especially over the cut out "Mixology 101" area to highlight it.

The little glass bottle and brushes in this picture were blued in place using DecoArt Liquid Glass and then secured with a little wire wrapping.  The brushes were made by adding cut bristles from a craft brush onto a painted stick then secured in place with come silver metal tape.  I then dipped the bristles in various colors of paint and glued the brushes in the glass bottle.  There is also vintage silver glass mixed in with Liquid Glass in the bottom of the bottle for color.

And here is the completed cover ... so fun to do and really not difficult!  Just follow the easy steps and have some fun with this.

Here are all of the products used in this piece:

  • DecoArt Media White Gesso
  • DecoArt Media White Crackle Paint
  • DecoArt Media Tinting Base
  • DecoArt Media Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics: Primary Cyan, Cerulean Blue, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Translucent White, Metallic Silver, Metallic Gold, Carbon Black, Titan Buff, Quinacridone Gold, Blue Green Light
  • DecoArt Media Liquid Glass
  • DecoArt Multi Surface Metallic Champagne Paint
  • DecoArt Relic Chalky Finish Paint
  • DecoArt Vintage Effect Wash:  Patina, Silver, Black

  • Tando Creative Ministry Of Mixology Book Kit, Zips-set of 2

  • Stampendous Stamps:  Unexplained, Toxic, Steampunk, Industrial

  • Pencil
  • Craft Mat
  • Random chain and jump rings
  • Little glass bottle
  • Printed laser image to transfer
  • Black permanent ink

About Candy:

I began this creative journey years ago, loving all things vintage and a bit edgy.  I finally got completely hooked into mixed media when Andy Skinner came on the scene with his "master of illusion" techniques and DecoArt's amazing products.  I am so honored to be a part of DecoArt's International Media Design Team and now Andy Skinner's Creative Team. To call it a dream come true would be an understatement!

I love teaching, experimenting and sharing ideas and techniques through classes and blogging.  Thank you for letting me be a part of your creative journey! 


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Steampunk Grunge


Hi everyone I am so honoured that Andy invited me to be a part of this Awesomely talented team. For my first creation I decided to create a Steampunk Grunge piece. I have used a lot of techniques for this piece all learnt from Andy in his online courses and attending his classes at The Ministry of Mixology.
Base coat a canvas board  with media white gesso. Once dry apply a mix of Cobalt Teal Hue and Cobalt Turquoise Hue fluid acrylics. When dry cover the whole board with a thick coat of media crackle paste with a palette knife and  leave to dry overnight. ( don't heat dry as it will not crack properly).
Then apply washes of  Cobalt Teal Hue and Quinacrodone Gold fluid acrylics building up the layers until  happy. Apply Prussian Blue Hue fluid acrylic to the edges and then a final wash of Carbon Black fluid acrylic all over to knock back the colour. Then apply two coats of  media Matte Varnish to seal.
Butterfly Base and Top.

 I cut the butterfly on my scan n cut and gave the base of the butterfly washes of Prussian Blue Hue and Transparent Yellow Oxide fluid acrylics. When dry  stamp with Andy's scratch stamp from the Toxic set with potting soil archival ink.
The top part of the butterfly was given Andy's Easy Rust Painting technique. Then spattered with media patina antiquing cream.
Base coat the bookplate from Andy's Industrial Elements set with Raw Umber fluid acrylic and dry. Apply hair clay around the edges and the keyhole to act as a resist. Apply media crackle paint and allow to dry. Once dry wipe back with a baby wipe around edges to reveal base colour leaning a distressed finish. Apply a wash of Quinacrodone Gold fluid acrylic. Stanp with black archival ink using stamp from Andy's Steampunk set.. Give bolts and washers from Andy's Industial Elements set the same rust technique as the butterfly and glue to the top and bottom of the bookplate.
Cog and Centrepiece.
Stamp a Large cog from the Industrial elements set with the text stamp from Andy's Steampunk set with media matte Medium. Once dry apply a coat of neat Quinacrodone Gold fluid acrylic. The matte medium acts as a resist.
Base coat a chipboard circle with media tinting base , stamp the eye from Andy's Handle with Care set with black archival ink. Paint the iris with media turquoise shimmer mister. Apply a coat of one step crackle and when dry apply media black antiquing cream and wipe back with a baby wipe. Base coat one of the large washers from the industrial set with Prussian Blue Hue fluid acrylic, followed by a coat of Turquoise interference paint. Then glue the pieces together.
Large Tag.
Using a sheet of Tando Creative 12x12 chipboard cut a large tag. Apply media modelling paste through Andy's Timewarp stencil. Once dry apply Andy's Faux Copper technique by base coating with Payne's Grey fluid acrylic. When dry apply media Patina antiquing cream then wipe back with a baby wipe and buff to a shine.
Finishing touches.
Stamp over the canvas board using stamps from Andy's Steampunk and Unexplained sets  with black and potting soil archival ink. Finally glue and layer up all elements onto canvas board.
Hope you have enjoyed this post today and I would love to hear what you think.
Fiona x
Products used.
Media Fluid Acrylics, Cobalt Teal Hue, Cobalt Turquoise Hue, Prussian Blue Hue, Quinacrodone Gold  Carbon black
Media Misters Turquoise Shimmer.
Media Antiquing Creams Black and Patina.
Media Modelling paste and White Gesso One step Crackle.
12x12 chipboard sheets. Andy's  Industrial Elements Set.
Andy's Stamp sets Unexplained, Handle with care, Toxic and Steampunk.
Andy's Stencils Timewarp.
Archival Ink Pads Potting Soil and Black.
About Fiona.
I am a full time cardiology nurse living in the UK. My creative journey started many years ago. I have a passion for all things mixed media since being introduced to the DecoArt range by Andy Skinner in his online workshops and am totally hooked. I love exploring new techniques to create interest and texture in my work. The grungier the better. Looking forward to this creative journey.



Instagram :-



Saturday, 13 May 2017

Grungy Chic Up Cycled Wine Crate

Thank you for stopping by, Mark here with my first make for the new Andy Skinner DT and wow what an honour to be part of this amazing team, Thank you Andy for inviting me along.

For my first make I have decided to go down the up cycling route and heavily distress a wine crate that was given to me a little while back.

This is how the crate started life,
I started with layers of Decoart Chalky Finish paint sanding back between layers to get a nice naturally distressed finish, added some extra detail with some of Andy's Decoart Stencils as well as stencils from the Chalky Finish Line.
To start with the aged and grungy process I used the dark cream wax's wiping off the excess wax almost straight away to leave a dark stained finish.
Additional distressing was added using Decoart Media Fluids, Quinacridrone Gold and Carbon Black added as colour washes.
The whole crate was given a coat of Decoart Decor Satin Varnish and the handles were added to finish off.

Thank you for stopping by and having a look, keep popping back as we share more creations from the new Design Team.
 xxx. M.