Discontinued DecoArt and the Dilemma…

This year DecoArt discontinued quite a few Americana Acrylic colors, some of my favorites.  I hear many comments about our beloved colors that will no longer be available.  At first I was really upset and refused to believe the rumors running rampant on Facebook.  When these rumors were confirmed, I decided to settle down and approach this as the creative artist I claim to be.

When I actually started analyzing these colors, I realized that many were so very close to other hues, that I was a bit surprised!  For example, I use Green Tea in almost all of my designs.  My next choice (if I didn’t have a bottle handy) was Limeade…guess what?…both were discontinued!  Well, take another look, Lemonade is almost identical and is just as lovely.  I always had the worst time finding a good Christmas red.  Too bright, too transparent, too orange, too blue, etc… until I found Antique Rose which was perfect.  I was more than a little saddened to see this wonderful color on the list.  I could either quit painting Christmas or find another color.  I tried the new Watermelon Slice.  I found out that it is absolutely beautiful!  I was so excited with the results that Antique Rose has become a distant memory.

13_Set2015__20336_1024x1024So, this is my conclusion:  We can let the discontinued colors become a black cloud over our painting world, or we can venture into the world of experimentation and look for substitutions or create mixes.  I am not a fan of mixes as I never can mix a second batch that will match.  I did find out that in my adventure of trying to find comparable colors, I have ended up with some pretty and impressive results!  This would have never happened if my tried and true had not been discontinued.  So, looking on the bright side, I say “Thank You” to DecoArt for pushing me outside my color comfort zone, forcing me to be a little more creative and becoming a better artist!  I encourage you to take that same journey with a fresh attitude and dabble with gusto!

These are some of the color substitutions that I would recommend.  I don’t stress out too much on being exact.  “Close” often will work out fine, don’t be too fussy, it’s more fun to relax & enjoy the artistic journey.  The first color in the list is discontinued and the second is my choice.  I have notated some of the bigger differences, such as the substitution colors are darker, lighter, etc… All paints are available at Cupboard Distributing at a great discount!  Click on this link: DecoArt Paint Savings

Discontinued Color

Replace with…

DAO5 Taffy Cream DA07 Moon Yellow
DAO21 Crimson Tide DA097 Rookwood (darker)
DAO26 Mauve DA162 Antique Mauve
DAO27 Gooseberry DA286 Terra Coral
DAO28 Raspberry DA276 Razzle Berry
DAO30 Spice Pink DA292 Coral Blush
DAO79 Brandy Wine DA097 Rookwood
DAO81 Colonial Green DA178 Blue Mist
DAO89 Cool Neutral DA319 Burlap
DAO96 Iron Oxide DA219 Heritage Brick
DA102 Medium Flesh DA025 Dusty Rose
DA135 Ice Blue DA149 Silver Sage
DA156 Antique Rose DA324 Watermelon Slice (beautiful!)
DA158 Antique Teal DA107 Teal Green (brighter)
DA162 Antique Mauve DA128 Deep Burgundy (darker)
DA177 Green Mist DA209 Arbor Green
DA184 French Vanilla DA309 Banana Cream (brighter) or DA03 Buttermilk (softer)
DA185 Light French Blue DA098 French Grey Blue (darker)
DA197 Violet Haze DA236 Grape Juice (darker)
DA198 Dried Basil Green DA187 Reindeer Moss Green
DA206 Limeade DA252 Lemonade
DA210 Soft Blue DA277 Spa Blue
DA213 Admiral Blue DA035 Navy Blue
DA218 Gingerbread DA062 Terra Cotta
DA220 Traditional Raw Umber DA130 Raw Umber (never could tell the diff!)
DA222 Traditional Raw Sienna DA093 Raw Sienna (ditto)
DA237 Soft Lilac DA211 Wisteria
DA258 Butter DA309 Banana Cream
DA279 Blue Haze Light DA178 Blue Mist (darker)
DA280 Autumn Red DA018 Country Red
DA281 Slate Green DA152 Shale Green
DA282 Green Tea DA252 Lemonade
DA295 Butterscotch DA194 Marigold
DA298 Purple Wave DA272 Purple Cow

Please note:  these are my “go to” choices.  They will be “close”, but if you want an exact match, the mixing chart is listed at:   Discontinued Paint Mixing Chart

Mixing Media

There is a huge difference between Mixed Media and mixing media.  I find that more and more I use different medias to enhance my traditional painting.  I have been painting with acrylic paints for many, many years.  I absolutely love using the acrylics to design and create, however, the more I dabble with other medias, the more excited I become.

When first asked to teach some classes using stamps with acrylic paint, I said “Sure, I would love to!”  What was I thinking??  I am not a rubber stamper and never really wanted to be.  The things we get ourselves in!  Well, long story short, after playing and dabbling with the stamps, I was amazed at the outcome.  I could stamp intricate scrolls and beautiful designs in a matter of seconds!  What would have taken me many hours to accomplish, I created in a snap.  Wow, the doors of creativity were flinging wide open.  Hmmm…maybe trying something new wasn’t so bad after all!

Stenciling is another craft that often has a bad reputation with traditional painters.  When I first started using stencils, I kept it secret.  What would people think of me if they knew I “cheated” and stenciled all the holly leaves instead of tracing and basing them?  Somehow, I realized that using other tools to make painting easier was not cheating, but painting “smarter”!  After all, who are “they” and who wrote the “rules”?

So, I now analyse all the stuff available at my fingertips for all kinds of techniques, textures and interesting results.  Sponges, texture tools, tissue, misters, burlap, liquid glass, decoupage, texture paste…the list goes on and on…  Painting has become so much more fun now that I feel free to think outside the box.  And you know what?…I think my designs are much more fun, fresh and exciting!!

These are my words of wisdom:  Let your imagination take you anywhere it can, inspiration has no limits and, you never know, you might end up with something you never imagined you could create!

Creative Painting 2015

photo 1OMG…where to start!  We left -9 temperatures (-25 with wind chill) to arrive in sunny Las Vegas

topping at 73 degrees.  That in itself was such a reprieve from the blustery cold Ohio winter.  I am always so amazed at how quickly one can acclimate to warmth.  I soon forgot about heavy winter coats, gloves, scarves, mittens…  It was so nice to just walk outside or ride with the windows down.

10978542_10155390071265045_8528951830959451818_n

Laurie and me having fun at the Special Event.

photo 4

Full house at the Vegas Special Event taught by Laurie Speltz and me!

photo 2

Full house at the Vegas Special Event taught by Laurie Speltz and me!

The  first day was the Special Event taught by Laurie Speltz and myself.  We had a sell-out class with 75 students.  I could tell by the enthusiasm and seriousness of the painters that they came to learn and have fun.  We painted fast and furious, learned many techniques and made many new friends.

Waiting for unload fun to begin…

10296559_10155391620065045_5690463806665094603_n

  Anxiously awaiting…

10011186_10155392664775045_2016972797076241540_n

  Will the piles and chaos never end???

1558594_10155398870350045_5494480987913453901_n

Cupboard Distributing is looking good!

Next was set up…and if you have never had the privilege of helping with a booth set up, let me tell you it is a tremendous undertaking.  Transforming boxes and boxes piled high into a magical and appealing booth takes time and energy.  The Cupboard Distributing team started early in the morning and worked until evening.  The finished results were perfect!  Thank you to Laura, Lindsey and Drake…we have the best employees!

1477501_10155400517610045_7703277598157466872_n

Center of attention and loving every minute of playing and visiting with painting friends!

We made a space in the center table for me to play and demo tools, brushes, mediums and answer questions.  It is always a treat to mingle with such talented painters.  I cherish all the kind comments and compliments.  One lady told me she was going through a difficult time in her life.  My patterns and designs helped her get through the tough times!  Imagine being able to do what you love and helping others at the same time!  How incredible is that?  This is what keeps me inspired when painting in the wee hours of the night!

11025809_10155399605180045_8685675809436223805_n

Rubbing shoulders with the stars…Gary Jenkins!

10440285_10155400512825045_573698742218473969_n

Stan Brown, my bestie!

photo

A rose between two thorns!!! LOL! Myself, Doxie Keller and Debbie Cole

The show floor is a great place to meet new friends, see old friends and rub shoulders with the stars.  Wish I would have had a little more time to take more pictures.  I was able to chat and catch up with my favorite designers, Doxie Keller, Debbie Cole, Kim Hogue, Sandy Strecker, Jaimie Mills Price, Della Wetterman, Tracy Moreau, Deb Antonik, Bobbie Campbell, Kathi Hanson, Janice miller, Glenice Moore, Ros Stallcup, Chris Thornton…the list goes on and on….  I was able to have fun with Gary Jenkins.  In addition to being extremely talented, he is a hoot!

Doxie Keller has the energy of five people and is an asset to our industry.  Her love for painting just keeps getting stronger.

TWB_7864-Edit

Tracy Weinzapfel DecoArt Helping Artist and a bundle of energy!

Original_Artwork

Some of Tracy’s amazing and colorful designs.

photo

Tracy “gearing up” for some Vegas fun!

10841790_404476403044941_4583635482857998325_o

Robert Warren sharing his magic!

I met Tracey Weinzapfel, a mixed media DecoArt Helping Artist.  She has a great eye for design, color and layout with a totally fresh outlook on creating with paint.  Her method of painting is funky and fun!  I was able to catch up with Robert Warren and watch his magic with a brush.

10897851_10155396423815045_5950646679217025671_n

The booth was packed almost the whole time!

11018905_10155399834240045_7744849836271003835_n

New DecoArt paint colors lasted only a short time. Like our attention-getting sign??

The atmosphere this year at the convention was electric.  The excitement, the enthusiasm, the energy was uplifting for all.  I love the camaraderie the shows create and always leave with many wonderful memories.  The long, weary drive back makes coming home wonderful.  The great thing about returning home is looking forward to the next convention!

PS. I do miss the sunshine and warm temps…Spring can’t come too soon!

DecoArt Courage

When DecoArt asks me to do a project for them, I always try to push my creativity in an unusual direction to provide a new look at traditional painting.  DecoArt’s Media Line is intriguing because it is so different and versatile.  Matisse once said “Creativity takes courage”.  I titled this “Courage” as it seemed to sum it up as I stared at the blank journal.  I wanted to design something totally new and unique.  Learning new techniques and using new paints and mediums can be overwhelming, however, the results are so amazing that they are almost magical!  This project is the Featured Video in DecoArt’s Decorative Painting Newsletter.IMG_7663

Because journals are so popular, I decided to use this as my surface.  Everyone can use a journal…kids, teens, adults…we all need to make lists, write short mementos, or just jot down ideas!  Journals are a perfect and thoughtful solution for any gift giving.  My daughter creates stunning journals just for her that anyone would be thrilled to have!

This technique is very loose which can be a little stressful.  I encourage you to relax and let the brush take you to fantastic places.  I had a professor in college that emphasized that the painting always reflects your feelings.  With that in mind, relax and enjoy the ride!  The process always takes you through the “ugly stage” before it arrives at the impressive results!

Click  to see the  short instructional video creative process from start to finish…

All supplies are available from Cupboard Distributing www.cdwood.com

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics

DecoArt Media Misters

Loew Cornell Brushes

DecoArt Media Mediums

Supplies

Instructions:  The design is painted on canvas paper, then adhered to the journal cover.  Coat 5” x 7” Canvas Paper with white gesso using small specialty sponge.  Allow to dry, lightly sand, wipe clean and repeat.

  1. Screenshot_01Starting with Turquoise Shimmer Mister, lightly spray top, left corner and ⅓ down left side.  Using Yellow Green Mister, spray from top right corner to bottom left corner.  Spritz a very light amount of Primary Magenta in the area of the pinecones.  While still wet, spray with White Screenshot_1Shimmer Mister to lighten.  Hold paper vertical and allow paint to “run” down page.  Lightly mist with water or alcohol using Mini Mister.  When drips are as desired, lay paper flat to dry.
  2. Screenshot_2Attach dictionary cling stamp to acrylic handle.  Using the Archival Ink Pad, coat stamp with black ink.  Stamp words randomly onto the background.  This does not need to be heavy or solid coverage.   Random and incomplete create more interest.
  3. Load oval wash with Burnt Umber and MaScreenshot_3tte Medium (50/50).  Using a slip slap motion, coat background area to tone down.
  4. Load toe of angle with Matte Medium and QBU to float across the bottom and part way up the right side.  Blend softly into background.
  5. Attach pinecone stamp to acrylic handle.  Coat stamp with black ink following instructions above and stamp image.  Allow to dry.
  6. Screenshot_4Load liner with Titanium White to paint first layer of pine branches.  Repeat with Sap Green and Turquoise Blue Hue.  Keep adding layers until branches are full.  Finish by adding a few qbo needles.  Keep these sparse, add solely for color interest.
  7. Load filbert with Matte Medium and Burnt Umber.  Wash over pinecones to tint.  Pick up Titanium White on dirty brush and press down to create the tips of pinecone layers.
  8. Load toe of angle with qbo and float around the outer edge of the pinecones and in between.  Without cleaning brush, repeat with Prussian Blue and finish by adding a light float of qbo.
  9. Load tip of filbert with a tan mix of Titanium White and Burnt Umber (50/50) to re-define the layers of the pinecone.  Load liner with Titanium White and highlight the top tips of the layers.
  10. To create the spatters, load round with a thinned mix of Prussian Blue and qbo.  Rap brush sharply onto another brush handle.  Always test on palette before spattering surface.  Spatter mostly around the outer edges.  Repeat with Titanium White, mostly in the darkest areas.Screenshot_6
  11. Trim paper to fit journal cover.  With oval wash, apply a layer of Matte Medium onto the cover.  Place painted canvas paper, smooth flat and seal with a top coat of Matte Medium.
  12. Using pad of finger, rub Titanium White around the outer edge (and spine) of the journal.  When dry, repeat with a touch of Sap Green.  If needed, add Burnt Umber.
  13. Screenshot_7With finger, rub a small amout of Ttianium White on the raised design of the metal frame.  When dry, tone down with a small rub of Sap Green.  Add a touch of qbo for interest in just a couple places.
  14. Varnish journal surface and metal frame with a coat of Soft Touch Varnish.
  15. To add the words, coat canvas paper with Gesso.  With oval wash, tint paper with Burnt Umber and Matte Medium (50/50).  Thin Sap Green with Matte Medium (50/50) to add a hint of color.  qbo may also be added.Screenshot_8
  16. Select word stamp of choice, coat with black ink and stamp onto the canvas paper.
  17. Cut word to fit metal frame and secure with adhesive.
  18. Cut fiber or ribbon and thread through the holes in the metal frame.  Allow enough length to tie.  Apply Quick Grip Adhesive onto the back of the frame and glue into place.
  19. Fill inside frame with Liquid Glass.

I am so impressed with the vibrancy of the Media paints.  It only takes a little to create rich, glowing colors.  Please visit Cupboard Distributing for more inspiration, information and for all supplies used for this project. www.cdwood.com  Email me with any questions  chris@cdwood.com

Postale Tissue Wrap…possibilities in a box!

If you haven’t played with the new Postale Tissue Wrap, you are missing out!  I am not sure what is is made of, however, the opaque tissue it is thin yet strong, it can be crinkled yet won’t crease (this means if it gets crumpled, it won’t be ruined), it can be torn straight or random pieces, it stores in a convenient box with a handy tear edge.  Each box contain a strip 12 inches wide by 15 feet long, so there is plenty for any project. 46_93181__26518.1416585851.1024.1024

Snowy Notes Pattern Packet by Chris Haughey

Snowy Notes Pattern Packet by Chris Haughey

I have used the tissue as a base or accent.  If using as a base, the end effect can be altered by painting a basecoat on the surface before adhering.  For a brighter look, basecoat with a light color such as an off-white ot light tan.  Using darker brown colors will tone down the print.  Reds, oranges or brighter colors will tint the tissue and create a fun effect.  To use the tissue as a base, adhere it directly onto a surface with decoupage. My favorite is DecoArt’s DecouPage Matte. Following manufacturer’s directions, simply apply a layer on the surface, place tissue, smooth to remove any wrinkles of bubbles and immediately apply a topcoat over tissue to seal.

(Get this pattern for only $7.50 on my website! »)

To use as an accent, cut or tear pieces to decoupage onto the project.  These pieces can be used as borders, accents or highlights.  Glazing can be added to tone down or mute the design to coordinate and bring it together.  Add shading around the edges for a cohesive look.  Stencil over top with paint or texture for interest.  The border design in the photo was created using Media Modeling Paste and Gothic Layering Stencil.  The possibilities are endless!

08_20042_8__33204.1405974652.1024.1024

Keys to Heaven by Chris Haughey Everyday Blessings Painting Book

Border

Border design using media Modeling Paste and Gothic Layering Stencil by Chris Haughey

I like to paint over the tissue, I often glaze over top of the print to mute the design.  Too much design can become too busy, distract and end up in chaos.  Mixing paint with Traditions Glazing Medium will create a transparent hue that tones down the design and allows the print to still be visible.

Using the tissue creates a lovely background that provides upscale interest and results in a high quality piece.  The tissue can be used alone or with paint to create a masterpiece.  This is a wonderful way to quickly produce stunning ornaments, decorative boxes, home decor, background magic and so much more.  Whether you are a paper crafter or painter, this tissue works well in both worlds.  What I love most is that the more I play with it, the more ways I can find to use it!   This such a trendy product, the possibilites are truly endless….

Time for Halloween Fun!

I love to decorate, and Halloween offers so many fun opportunities.  Whether you are a painter or not, this project is so simple that even the kids can join in for the creativity!  Be sure to watch the FREE video, click on the link below.

All you  need is a surface, Modeling Paste, palette knife, a few brushes, stencil (optional) and stone colored shades of paint.  I used a paper mache tombstone, which is inexpensive and nicely shaped.  Another option would be to cut a tombstone shape out of cardboard, wood or Styrofoam.

Just keep weather in mind if it is to be used outside.

Shatter Layering Stencil

Paper Mache Tombstone

Palette Knife

13-03562

Modeling Paste

 

 

 

 

 

The stone-like texture is easily applied using a palette knife.  Don’t let the end results fool you, it only takes a little to create the stoney texture.   I used the stencil to add the spider web.  Simply place the stencil and scrape over top with the Modeling Paste.  Just a thin layer is all that is needed for eerie results.


After the paste is applied and dry, the paint is applied.  This is where the magic begins.  Start with the darkest color first and coat the entire tombstone.  Next, layers of graduating colors (ending with the lightest color) are applied creating the faux stone effect.                           Watch as the stone evolves with each layer of color!

You can be creative with the epitaph as well.  I used “Anita Newbody” as a suggestion from my employee, Drake (thanks Drake!).  After all, there are some days that I feel like I need a “new body”!!

Click on the link and enjoy viewing the FREE video.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=JPgqPk4tYA8

All of the supplies, surfaces and paints are listed.  Let me know if you have any questions or comments.  I would love to see what you created.  I hope you have as much fun with this project as I did.  I am sure it will create many comments and attract alot of attention!

New Tool Alert…

03-11000

Angled Stylus

I love to find new tools that make my painting life easier.  I am excited to introduce you to the Angled Stylus!

Just as the name indicates, the tip is at an angle.  It is ergonomically designed to make holding it comfortable and easy to use.  With the traditional straight stylus, a crooked neck helps when directing the stylus to a perpendicular position to ensure round dots!  With the Angle Stylus, the visibility is awesome, control is perfect, easy on the wrist and neck!  Because you don’t have to struggle with keeping it perfectly straight, no oval dots, they will always be round!

I consider this a user-friendly tool.  With the comfort it provides, it is easy to control and use.  Best of all, it is only $.95!  Now that is a bang for your buck for sure!

I hope you watch this short video that shows the outstanding benefits of the Angled Stylus.  I think this is a tool that everyone needs in their stash.  I am sure it will be your choice when reaching for a stylus.