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! 



  1. This made me smile so much Candy, it is brilliant! Albert Einstein never looked so good - the skin tones look so realistic and the patina on the cogs is superb!! I love the way the zipper surrounds the focal point and the brushes you crafted look amazing... a wonderful piece of art... Anne xx

  2. Brilliantly conceived and created Candy, thanks so much for such brilliant inspiration xxx

    1. Hey Brenda! I hope that ankle is healing properly! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.

  3. GENIUS. GENIUS. GENIUS......... GENIUS. Both him and YOU Candy. Absolutely DELIGHTFUL and FABULOUS. Xj.

    1. Joi, I love your positive energy, girl! You know how to make someone feel so good! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  4. Your artwork is always delicious eye candy! Love all the details on this.
    Just brilliant!

    1. Hi Gaby!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH, my talented friend!! ❤️

  5. Absolutely amazing, Candy! What a clever and gorgeous project! DecoArt is lucky to have you!

    1. Thank you Susan! You are so sweet!! Miss you, girl!

  6. Love it. So fun and quirky. Great tutorial Candy x

  7. Gorgeous Candy, loving the green tones on the cogs, really lifts the whole design . Love the zipper showcasing the focal image, clever idea . Love this Candy. Tracy x

    1. Tracy, you are so talented!!! I thank you so much for your always wonderfully positive comments!! ❤️

  8. You rocked this candy! Awesome work xx

    1. Awww!!!! Thank you Kaz! Coming from you, I consider this a huge compliment!!

  9. I told you I'd be back ... GIRLFRIEND this is so amazing.. those crackles are yummy, patina technique wow... the whole "composition " is crazy awesome !

  10. Love this idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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