Tuesday 6 December 2016

Quick Mixed Media Background Tutorial

Once in a while Tracy Weinzapfel and I have a virtual painting session via video link-up in order to come up with ideas for Dare 2 Create. Normally we set a theme and/or colour palette as our starting point. The rules for this week were to get texture by applying the background paint with a palette knife only, I also used the Phthalo family of paints for the background.

Step by Step

1. Apply a thin coat of white DecoArt Media Gesso to your substrate. This is just to prime the surface and stop the paint from being absorbed too much but it will be covered with texture so there is no need to be even or neat - just slap on a quick layer!

2. Mix DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic colours with gesso for texture, apply with a palette knife or a credit card with very little pressure using vertical strokes. I have used these 3 colours: Phthalo Green Blue. Phthalo Blue. Cobalt Teal Hue (Tip: I cut some of my credit cards into pieces; it's useful to have different sizes for different sized substrates and also to create different effects).

3. Once dry, lightly skim the surface witha palette knife using white gesso - keep it light so that it just picks up on the peaks of the texture.

4. Stamp with a stamp of your choice using a permenant black ink

5, Add a little water to your brush and apply a thin coat of Media Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide.

6. Side load a flat brush with Media Dark Grey Value 3 and float around the edges.
Once dry repeat with Quinacridone Gold.

7. Seal with two coats of DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

8. I finally applied a generous coat of Americana One Step Crackle, once dry I applied Media Black Antiquing Cream, dried and wiped back to leave the cream in the cracks. (If I am honest I like it better before the crackle but we have to experiment!)

To finish off I embellished with some of the cogs from my Tando Industrial set, a rub-on (my own printed design) and a stencilled word detail.

Products used:
  • Andy Skinner Industrial Elements
  • Tando Creative Mixed Media Tag
  • Printed rub-on

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic colours used:
  • Phthalo Green Blue
  • Phthalo Blue
  • Cobalt Teal Hue
  • Dark Grey Value 3
  • Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
  • Quinacridone Gold
DecoArt Mediums used:
  • Media White Gesso
  • Media Ultra Matte Varnish
  • Americana One Step Crackle
  • Media Black Antiquing Cream
Hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. If you have a go at following it, I'd love to see what you make so do share either below in a comment or on Facebook.


  1. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial Andy, the result is fabulous! x

  2. Fabulous tutorial, Andy. Love experimenting with the DecoArt products. It is so much fun, and you always come up with something new. TFS

  3. I like it with the crackle :) x

  4. This is brilliant. Shall give it a try after Christmas when I have more time. Great tutorial. Thank you fir sharing this.

  5. Thank you for the tutorial Andy. Beautiful work.

  6. Love the tutorial Andy! Thanks so much!

  7. Thamk you so much for the tutorial. Love it!!!!

  8. Thank you for this great tutorial.

  9. I haven't tried the One Step Crackle Andy but it will have to be really good to win my away from my adored Media crackles!!! Nevertheless - your project is really nice. Love the way your background went together with the Media colors and then the gesso. Love the word CERTAINTY - makes me think that once you secured that big bold bolt in the center and added 3 smaller - it was CERTAIN all is well! Such is life - security equals certainty... at times! j.


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