Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Shoes for FREE!!

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I love to test new products to see if they are really all they are cracked up to be.  When DecoArt’s new Patent Leather Paint arrived, I was not convinced that it would look all that great.  After all, how many times do you paint shoes, purses or belts??

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I looked in my closet and found a pair of brown sandals.  I really liked them, but rarely wear dark brown in the summertime. Determined to find out about the paint, I put the first layer on the leather straps.  Yuck, however, I did not except the first layer to cover perfectly.  So, I added a second coat, then a third.  At this point, I could see potential.  From experience, I know it is ALWAYS best to add several thin coats as opposed to a thick heavy layer.  This eliminates any lumps, bumps or ridges of thick paint.  One more coat…

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The last coat was beyond belief!  The sandals were smooth, and flexible, the color was stunning and, BEST OF ALL, they didn’t look hand painted.  These sandals look super expensive and very classy!  Check out my new “expensive” looking sandals!  sandals.jpg

So to recap, the new DecoArt Patent Leather paint comes in 13 amazing colors and can be used to refresh or restyle leather and leather-like surfaces with this high-gloss acrylic paint.  That means that it can be used not only for fashion accessories, but also for leather, or faux leather surfaces such as ottomans, chairs, cushions, etc… As well as used to embellish or add design to any of these surfaces!!!  In addition to being water based and non toxic, this paint is specially formulated to be flexible to prevent cracking or peeling.   My mind is absolutely swirling with all the possibilities that this unique paint offers!

DecoArt Patent Leather Paints available at Cupboard Distributing:  https://www.cdwood.com/collections/decoart-patent-leather-paints

Give it a rest…

I worked on a new design in January with great anticipation.  I wanted to create a rustic nativity scene on a weathered wood background.  I was pleased with the background and proceeded to work on the manger.  I kept the colors to a simple, earthy palette.  However, after I finished, it had much to be desired.  I set it aside to ponder on what to do.  I decided the small figures were lost with the busyness of the woodgrain.  At this point, re-painting the background wasn’t an option.

After a couple days, I added line work to make the figures more pronounced.  Outlining definitely helped, but the whole scene was very lacking.  I set it aside to mull over the next step.  I had two choices, either figure out how to salvage it or File 13!  At that time I was busy painting new designs for Vegas convention and a new book.  It was time to “give it a rest”.  My mind was filled with these new projects, however, the unfinished design was always lurking on my back burners.Penwork.jpg

After I returned from travel teaching and the Vegas convention, the huge task of getting my studio back in order loomed ahead.   I always need a few days after these long trips to rejuvenate and refresh.  Travel time is a great opportunity to plan new projects and gear up for the next round.  I pulled out the unfinished design and re-evaluated it.  It had good bones, but definitely lacked what I call that “POP” that takes it from ordinary to exciting.

Because I had nothing to loose, I opted to play with some stamping around the edges.  This was a huge improvement, but still needed more impact.  I used the white Uni-ball pen to enhance the stamping.  I was excited with the results…however…still needed more.  Sooooo…it was time again to “give it a rest”!Stamping.jpg

A couple weeks have passed and I focused my attentions again to finishing the piece. Today would be the day, either sink or swim!!  At this point, I knew that I needed to add a few more elements in the background and maybe some word art.  I had been jotting down different “sayings” and selected the one I wanted to use.  I added the background elements, painted the words, added a drop shadow and finished with some beautiful Glamour Dust.  I took a good look at the “finished” project and am quite pleased!Lettering.jpg

This whole process was unusual for me.  Normally, I “see” a design in my mind, sit down and paint it.  This one was quite obstinate!  However, we all need a challenge and I was determined to not give up.  Now that it is finished, I feel quite proud of myself for persevering, a little like Rocky!!

So, if you are painting a project and it just doesn’t seem to be cooperating, GIVE IT A REST!  Taking a break from a project doesn’t mean that you quit painting, it just means that you are switching gears.  While working on different designs, the brain can be analyzing and evaluating the problem child.  The satisfaction achieved is such a good feeling.  So remember, “giving it a rest”, isn’t giving up, it’s giving that creative energy time to figure it all out!

 

 

Is it still art??

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Much of the art that is trending today is a mix of many mediums.  The fresh new look is very appealing and I love the energy that it creates.   It is normal to see change in our decorative painting world and watch how fads evolve.  We live life in the fast lane which has a huge impact on fashion and art.


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Years ago, we had time to study, practice and learn strokework, color theory and composition.
Often it took weeks, blood, sweat and tears to create a single project.  Each project was a labor of love and a work of art!

As the years progressed, the tools, mediums and techniques were introduced to make our painting lives easier.  Instead of relying on practice and talent, we were offered new ways to achieve amazing results.  These wonderful tools were shunned at first and dubbed as “cheating”.  Remember the introduction of stencils into the “painting world?  Those who admitted they used stencils were referred to as “lazy or untalented”.

Now the resources that are available are overwhelming.  Not only can we use a multitude of mediums, we can combine them as well.  Instead of painting a rose, we can find a beautiful one and decoupage it!  Image Transfer allow us to create beautifully lettered words without stress.  04-pa1317-2.jpgStamps offer infinite and intricate variety.  We can add dimension, use markers, pens and even add fabric or cardboard.  No longer are we restricted to those rigid rules.

I love the freedom that today’s art provides.  It has taken a long time to allow myself to admit that I can’t paint a round circle.  04-pa1530.jpgI DO use stencils and I DO admit it!   I hate spending time working on lettering only to find out it still looks awful!  With awesome tools and tricks, I can paint and  create faster; and the results look better.  This allows me to spend more time creating and designing, which I love to do.

04-pa1525.JPGIf you are a traditional painter, I would encourage you to let your hair down, spread your wings and prepare yourself for a fun adventure.
Art is all about expression and creating.  04-pa1647.JPGSo, no matter if you are super talented, or if you can’t paint a straight line, if you have creativity, you can make art!
Art is color, composition, interest and expression.  Have fun, play and watch this amazing journey!

 

Who doesn’t like FREE???

DecoArt Media Give-away!

dask351-centered2017 is here and it’s time for fresh starts, new beginnings, trying something different, organizing, creating, and accomplishing many new and exciting projects!  To help you celebrate, Cupboard Distributing is offering a fantastic Media kit by DecoArt.  This fabulous kit will help get those creative juices flowing and help kick off your new year with pizzazz, bamm, pow and wow!!

I absolutely LOVE the Media line from DecoArt.  For those that are a little hesitant to invest into another line of paints, I would suggest a sampling.  So, if you aren’t the lucky winner of this awesome kit, here are a few of my favorite picks:

  1. Liquid Glass will give crystal clear dimension.  Perfect topping for berries, bubbles, eyeballs, dragonfly wings, etc…and with the precise tip, wonderful for adding texture.
  2. Matte Medium, I call it Magic Medium!  I use it for a varnish, decoupage, glazing medium, it is my most used “go to” jar!
  3. Quinacridone colors are rich, saturated color that explode on contact!  The Media Fluid Acrylics can be used in conjunction with regular acrylics, which means they will totally ramp up highlights to a new level. Plus, I love saying the name!!!
  4. Ultra Matte Varnish has the same sheen as acrylic paint.  I can varnish the surface to protect (I call this my safety net) and when dry, I can go back and paint on OR drybrush with excellent results!

All you need to do to enter this fabulous kit is make a comment on Cupboard Distributing facebook page on how much you love DecoArt, Cupboard Distributing, Pixelated Palette,…or me!!  To receive more chances to win like, comment or share with a friend!  https://www.facebook.com/CupboardDistributing/

Who wouldn’t want this fantastic set of pure inspiration.  Remember to comment, like and share to enter!  Contest starts Jan 15th and continues through the 21st.

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Ultra Fine Writer Tip

We always love when a new product hits the market that can make our creativity easier and, best of all, look better!  When DecoArt released the new Ultra Fine Writer Tip, I wasn’t sure it would be all that!  However, after actually using the tip, I was more than amazed. cdwood.com Ultra Fin Writer Tip.jpg

The tip is a perfect size for adding lettering, doodles, and fine lines to your projects.  It fits the 2 oz Americana acrylic bottles which makes it easy to switch colors.  Probably my favorite feature is the self-cleaning needle cap.  This prevents clogs from forming and makes it ready to use EVERY time.  I know from experience, if the clean up and maintenance is tedious, no matter how wonderful, I won’t use the product very often.  Because the tip is self cleaning, I know that whenever I want to use it, it will work!  That in itself is genius!  imgres.jpg

The first project I used the tip was  Owl Magic.  I had this fantastic owl face cling stamp, “Look Into My Eyes”, but wanted to do something more.

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I decided to stamp the face image using paint instead of ink and “try” the writer tip to create the rest of the body.  I probably should have tested the tip before starting the project, but if you know me, I usually just jump right in and figure it out as I go!  LOL, sometimes that gets me into trouble (big grin), however, the tip was so easy to use that there was no learning curve.  I was thrilled as the paint flowed evenly from the tip in a nice smooth line.  A few years ago I injured my thumb, so applying constant pressure was a little uncomfortable.  Even though the paint flowed easily, with this big project, my thumb was not holding up!   Soooo…I added a little water to the bottle to thin out the paint and…BINGO…problem solved!  The paint flowed much easier and I was able to continue without discomfort.

This is the first part of the design.  I basecoated the background a solid color to allow the lines to be strong and visible, almost like a coloring book page.  I stamped the owl face, then began “drawing” the rest of the body and adding details using the Ultra Fine Writer TipChris Haughey Owl Magic 2 (2).JPG

Even though I used acrylic paint, I approached this design as I would watercolor. I added washes and glazes of color for depth and intensity, allowing the background to glow through and create the brightness.  Small amounts of paint make a big difference!Chris Haughey Owl Magic 2 (1).JPG

The night sky and moon were added last.  This way no colors overlapped and there was no need to go back to do any touch ups.  A few stars and a little more linework complete the design.  Chris Haughey Owl Magic 3.JPG

The tips are inexpensive so it’s very affordable to purchase several.  To make my painting life a little easier, I have several tips that I have dedicated to specific colors.  Because I know that I will use certain colors often, I have a tips for: Payne’s Grey, Lamp Black, Snow White and Soft Black.  I have a couple extra tips for any other color I may desire.  I am really not lazy, I just like to have things convenient!!

I am so excited with the Ultra Fine Writer Tip .  It has shed a new light on line work and taken out the difficulty of trying to obtain smooth, even lines.  My mind is swimming with possibilities for using this tip.  My lines look fantastic and it’s not causing any grey hairs achieving them!  I would highly recommend at least one per painter…and more to make life easier!  LOL!  I know you will enjoy using the tips as much as I do.

Happy Painting!

Chris Haughey

What is a Fude Ball???

With so many markers and pens on the market it is difficult to select the proper tool for a specific project.  I have quite a collection of different brands of pens and have come to the conclusion that one pen will not work for everything.  One of the best pens I have found for outlining or Zentangling is the Fude Ball pen.

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It is one of the newer pens available.  It has a rollerball tip and is made to write comparable to a brush pen.  The 1.5mm ball tip delivers a rich, water-based pigment ink that is water and fade proof when dry. The superior ink quality can be applied directly over dry acrylic paint.  The ball tip  is sturdy and makes it easier to control.

I have always used Micron and Millenniums and have been satisfied with them.  Recently I was working on a pair of wood turned candlesticks and wanted to do some doodling and outlining.  I really had a difficult time trying to put lines on the rounded surface.  I was intrigued with the roller-ball tip and decided to try it out on the candlesticks.    04_pa1424__77348_1024x1024I was so excited at how easy they were to control.  I had problems with the other pens skipping on the curved surface, but the Fude Ball pen created perfect, solid lines.  The ink is rich and fluid and the pen lasts just about as long as a BIC! 

Next I tried the pens on a flat project to do some simple outlining.  The ink dried quickly and permanently, however, I found it best to “set” the ink with a light coat of spray sealer as opposed to varnishing with a brush.

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I love showing off the Fude Ball.  Whenever I am teaching a class, I always pull out the the pen.  Usually I get a “oh that’s nice” response…BUT…then I say “try it”…  The next response is “WOW” or “OOOOOHHHH”!  The pen actually sells itself!

If you work with media, art journaling, tangling or just plain doodling, you will be thrilled with the ease and results of the Fude Ball Pen!

 

In case you are wondering, Fude, in Japanese stands for brushpen!

Style Stix?

What in the world are Style Stix and why in the world would they be used???  The Style Stix are amazing tools with that can be used to create unbelievable results!  imgres_096d88a7-41ce-4de1-90b9-883a037b015f_1024x1024.jpg

The tools come as a set of four: small, medium, large and extra large.  They have wooden handles and the cone shaped foam tip is soft and flexible.  The variety of sizes offers the ability to use them on anything from a small project to jumbo!

I use them to create berries, candies, bubbles, marbles, raindrops…just about anything round.  The concept is simple, basecoat with a bright color, I always recommend using the highlight color.  To basecoat, I simply dip dot with the handle end of an appropriate size brush.  When the base color is dry, load the selected size style stix with paint.  I dampen the tool with water, wipe on a paper towel, then roll in the paint to distribute the paint evenly around the sides of the cone tip.  Next, position tool directly over dot, press down and twist.  This will smoosh the paint out of the center, leaving the side edges darker, creating instant shading!  The paint should cover the basecoat completely, not leaving any of the base color showing around the edges.

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These tools are also great for sliding or pushing paint.  They are great for adding interesting borders, creating background design,  “drawing” with paint, such as flowers, sun rays, stripes, etc…04-pa1541_c1f3acf6-73d6-4718-9c93-78a4e023a611_1024x1024.JPG

Check out this quickie instructional video to see step by step how easy they are to use. Screenshot_1

The more I use these tools, the more I find out how diverse they are!  I always keep a set handy at my fingertips, just in case!!