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New Mixed Media Painting - DecoArt Media

Today I have a new mixed media painting to share. It was so much fun to get back to this after weeks of traveling and craziness with holidays and work and classes... I finally had a chance to relax and do one of the projects that's been floating around in my head!

Background for this project: early last month I was contacted to see if I would be interested in playing with some new products. Um... yes!!! So when I got back from Thanksgiving, there was a wonderful and extremely generous box from DecoArt waiting for me with lots of cool products from their DecoArt Media line for me to play with. It was like Christmas came early! They have lots of professional quality fluid acrylic paints (including irridescent,) mediums, shimmer sprays, antiquing creams, and more! I have to admit, before I was asked to do this, I didn't even realize that they had a line of mixed media art supplies!

So... my job - to do a project using their products with stencils to share. Here's my disclosure - all paints and mediums were provided to me by DecoArt, but projects, thoughts, and opinions are all my own.

That said, here's my painting and a quick overview of the steps to complete it and what I used for each part.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting by Gwen Lafleur
I started with a plain 18x18 canvas and mixed up a few colors of DecoArt Media fluid acrylics with their tinting base to start the underpainting.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 1 by Gwen Lafleur
DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 1 by Gwen LafleurThen I used the untinted fluid acrylics to start building layers of color. The paints are mostly translucent, which works well to get lots of layers, but you have to be patient.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 3 by Gwen LafleurI have to say, I was super impressed with the quality of the paints. I'm pretty picky about my paints, but these are really good and I'll keep using them for sure!

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 5 by Gwen LafleurBetween the Tinting Medium and the transparency of the paints, I was able to get lots of different gradations of color just by mixing and layering. And I love how vibrant they are! They have a nice finish too. I also took some of the white DecoArt Media Shimmer Mist and spritzed it across the flowers to get a little softness and lots of white dots. I really liked how thick and opaque it was, but you have to be careful because it comes out in a pretty heavy stream rather than a mist.

After I got the main images down, I brought out my stencils to get some pattern on the vase. I used the Stitch a Circle stencil by Maria McGuire with some Pthalo Turquoise fluid acrylics. (Just a hint - the trick to stenciling with the thinner paints is to keep your brush almost dry - don't load it with paint - and then build up layers so that the paint doesn't spread under the stencil.) I also put some of the acrylics in fine line applicator bottles so I could add some dots.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 4 by Gwen LafleurYou can also see above where I used some of the DecoArt Media Sand Texture Paste in the background. I also used some of their Ultra Matte Varnish to collage some pieces of torn patterned paper and maps onto the background. I wanted to get some additional texture into the background and this worked perfectly!

For the vase, after everything was dry I went over the entire area with a thick coat of Crackle Glaze and let it dry. Then I used some dark brown Antiquing Cream and rubbed it in so that you could really see the cracks. I love the effect! (See the close-ups below for a better look.)

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Step 6 by Gwen Lafleur I used a few different colors of turquoise and green fluid acrylics to work my way around the painting putting in the background. You can see where the Texture Sand Paste is because it grabs the paint and makes it a tad darker and you get the rougher texture.

Once the background was dry, I took the River Rocks Stencil by Mary Beth Shaw and some Pthalo Turquoise fluid acrylics to add a bit more to the background. To finish it off, I mixed some glitter and microbeads with some of the Ultra Matte Varnish and spread them in a few places to get a bit of sparkle. It might have been a bit of overkill, but I've always liked lots of "stuff" in my work, and this was definitely no exception!

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting by Gwen Lafleur
Here are a few close-ups so that you can see how vibrant the paints are and how the crackle glaze and texture paste turned out.

DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Close-up 1 by Gwen Lafleur
DecoArt Media and StencilGirl Painting Close-up 1 by Gwen Lafleur

I just want to say a HUGE thank you to DecoArt for sending me their wonderful products to work with! I have to say, there wasn't anything I didn't like, and that's being totally honest. Their Media paints and mediums are very nice and the results were excellent. I definitely feel like they're pretty comparable to some of the higher-end professional paints but without the price tag; I'm excited to keep playing with them!

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