Tuesday, June 7, 2016


It's a new month and time for a new art adventure at Creative Carte Blanche to stretch those imaginations and your creative spirit.

This month, Susan Mostek is hosting a wide open to interpretation theme "Winged Things".  I wanted to get out of my comfort zone with the obvious birds, butterflies and fairies.  So, I jumped on the steampunk express and decided to create a Finnabair style 8x10 canvas. 

This was SO MUCH fun to do and I absolutely LOVE the results!  This canvas has a home on my bedroom wall in the center of a wrought iron piece that needed an update. I am redoing the room with teal accents and I think it's very cool when you can incorporate your own art into your home!

I do not have any of the new Finnabair art products (other than some of her Prima Vintage Trinkets and Junkyard Findings metal pieces).  I am sure they are amazing as Finnabair is SUCH a talent and a very knowledgeable artist.  I substituted products that I have and they worked perfectly.  What you use is totally up to you as we try hard not to push any one brand over another.   

To begin this process, I went into my stash of all sorts of texture items: laces, metals, chipboard, etc.  I had a little paper mache dress form that I bought at Michaels for $1.00 but I did not have wings big enough for it.  So, I die cut a pair using Tim Holtz' Layered Angel Wings die cut and plain Grunge Board.  Then I embossed them using TIm's Iron Gate Texture Fade embossing folder.  NOW I had the perfect size wings for my "Winged Things" canvas!

I first painted over a blue denim 8x10 canvas that I got from Michaels on a clearance sale for $1.25. ( I love bargains and making art our of practically nothing!)  I painted over the canvas using DecoArt Black Gesso.  Once dry ...

I added randomly cut sizes of old cardstock and book text that I have saved forever.  I brushed Golden's Extra Heavy Gloss Gel onto the canvas and then pressed the various cardstock pieces in place.  Since this was a "Winged Things" theme, I tried to add a few winged images in the background.  I brushed over the cardstock with the gloss gel to seal it.  Then I gently heat set it.

Next I added a floral design using a full stencil and Golden Extra Heavy Gloss Gel over the entire surface of the canvas.  I let it dry naturally although you could gently heat set it.  Be sure to clean your stencil immediately after using.

Here is what the canvas looked like at this point.  I did go back and add a few more stenciled flowers in areas that seemed bare; like the corners.

While the gel was still wet, I sprinkled a few of Martha Stewart's glass micro beads randomly on the surface of the canvas; primarily around the exterior of the canvas.  Then I let everything air dry.  I did this for the texture and to add dimension to the background. 

I glued the Layered Angel Wings together using Golden's Extra Heavy Gloss Gel and also brushed over the tops of the wings.  I gently heat set them; in preparation for gluing them onto the canvas.

Now it was time to begin gluing all of my pieces in place, creating a design and dimension.  Don't worry about the colors of any of the objects you are adding.  They will all be covered up with black gesso and acrylic paint.  Just look for dimension, different patterns, detail and textures. 

 Arrange your pieces to create a nice design that your eye will follow.  In this case, the eye should follow from the upper left to the lower right once everything is glued in place.  I started with the laces and chipboard pieces, then the large metal door plate in the center, next the wings and dress form and then all of the surrounding elements.  These were all glued in place using the Extra Heavy Gloss Gel.  Then I brushed over the elements to seal them with the same gel.  Just keep layering and adding healthy amounts of gel to hold everything together.  Let this dry naturally overnight.

Here is my canvas after gluing almost all of my elements in place.  Again, the colors of the objects make absolutely no difference.  Just look at the dimension, detail and design of your canvas.

Let's talk about detail.  Here is my winged dress form that is the FOCAL POINT of my canvas.  At this point, it is very plain.  I have all sorts of elements glued around it but in comparison, the dress form is boring.  Add some elements to really create a lot of detail and interest to the dress form and make your eye go to it first.

Again, the colors don't matter.  Just the design and details!  See the difference between the above dress form and this one?  I have added lots of details that will really show up once I begin to paint and then dry brush this piece.  I added clothes to the dress form using Dresden metal trim I have had forever.  I first put the pieces in place using 1/8" Scor Tape (double sided tape).  Once in place, I gently brushed over and under the trim with Golden Soft Gloss Gel to seal it.  I added the crown at the top using Glossy Accents to hold it in place then brushed over it with the soft gel to seal it.  I added the metal accents to the neck and wings to the shoulders with Glossy Accents and brushed over them with soft gel to seal them. Finally, I brushed soft gel over the plain torso of the dress form and sprinkled on more micro beads.  TEXTURE!!!  Later I had a plan to add a metal butterfly and small door knocker onto the dress form but that would be the very last thing I would do.

Now here is the canvas with all of my details and ready for the next step!

I used the Black Gesso and painted all of the elements and unevenly around the edges of the canvas black!  Yes, PAINT IT ALL BLACK!  Scary but trust me, soon you will be dry brushing and all of those details of all of your elements will begin to reappear and it will be AMAZING!

Next step ... use some shimmery color spray and spray around the outside of your canvas to bring out the colors of your cardstock that is still visible through the Extra Heavy Gloss Gel.  I used these Heidi Swapp's Color Shine colors.  If a little gets onto the black, don't worry.  You will be dry brushing over the black elements.  I added a couple of layers of the color spray because it is semi transparent and I wanted my colors to be a little deeper.  Gently heat set.

Now the magic begins!  Begin DRY BRUSHING (emphasis on DRY) over all of the elements with acrylic paint.  I used DecoArt's Dazzling Metallics and began with a gold tone.  Then dry brush over the gold with a silver tone.  Go back over the silver randomly with a bit of the gold to really blend the metallic look.  Next to really pop the metallic look, randomly dry brush some of the elements with a copper paint.  I used an antique copper look with Worn Penny.  Just keep dry brushing with the paint colors until you achieve the metallic look you desire.

Add another metallic color of choice to pop some of your cardstock background colors.  In this case, I wanted to pop the teal so I chose DecoArt's Peacock Pearl.  I also love the patina effect it provides.

To really give a sense of depth, I combined DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black which is a matte acrylic paint with DecoArt's Dazzling Metallics Rich Espresso, a very deep, rich shimmery brown.  These two colors combined and a detail paint brush allowed me to go around my elements and add shadows and depth and dimension to my canvas.

Finally, I wanted to add my last two metallic pieces to the dress form to really pop it's detail and dimension!  I first rubbed some of the DecoArt Peacock Pearl color over the already antique bronze finish of the pieces.  Then I attached the chains to the lion's head door knocker and hot glued it in place.  I hot glued the butterfly in place and added the chains to the upper wings using jump rings.  Last, I added tiny pearls to the spaces in the butterfly using Glossy Accents.

This is why all of the details and textures you add in the very beginning are so important! Just LOOK at all of the details that come out after you dry brush in various acrylic paint colors.  Beautiful!

I LOVE the dimension and depth these simple pieces give to the entire canvas!

Don't be afraid to experiment and get out of your comfort zone with new products, new styles and something you've never tried before!  That is how you learn, how your grow and how you really do get a sense of what appeals to your artistic eye.

I hope you'll join us at Creative Carte Blanche by creating something using the "Winged Things" theme.  Then link up to our community and share your art and your creative process with others.  There is so much we can share and learn from each other.



  1. Again you AMAZE me...I LOVE this...love the way you used the black gesso and the shimmer sprays..really makes it pop and a totally different look then the clear gesso..must try! Girl...you are a creating genius! LOVE your art...LOVE you too! hehehe.

  2. Wowza! Candy, I have been completely blown away! I love the way your brain works! Love all the amazing detail and layers - what a treasure to display in your bedroom!

  3. Trust you to take the challenge theme off on a magical and brilliant tangent Candy!! Extraordinary piece and completely FANTASTIC!! Thanks for sharing terrific how to too! Nicola x

  4. Oh Candy, your projects always have the complete wow factor and you truly can do any style you set your mind to! This steampunk make is beyond amazing, totally stunning and incredible!

  5. What a gorgeous piece! Love all of the elements and the shimmery colors!

  6. Amazingly gorgeous Candy and thanks for sharing the process. Happy crafting, Angela xXx

  7. Stunning, makes me feel inspired to try this technique.

  8. A fantastic piece of steampunk art, Candy! Just gobsmackingly brilliant! LOVE it! Claudia xxx

  9. Thanks for giving the detailed deets on how to get the look. Appreciated.... Gorgeous art work

    1. Candy, thanks for stopping by my blog. Appreciate the cheer. I truly love this work of art and your inspiration will allow my designs to grow.

  10. Love the metallic paint effect! So many ways to produce this awesome result, and I love yours! Way cool design and super inspiration! Hugs, Autumn

  11. Beyond fabulous. I can only imagine the time that went into this. Gorgeous piece!

  12. Can I just say...freakin amazing!!! WOW, Candy, your canvas is gorgeously awesome! I LOVE it and what a wonderful addition to your wall it must be. So cool! I can see I have some catching up to do :)

  13. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Candi! Love your name, too! ❤️

  14. Oh wow Candy, you certainly went to town with the elements and layers creating a magnificent grungy canvas. Love your creation. xxx

  15. Candy this is truly awesome. You produce the most amazing and inspiring pieces and this is no exception. Love the colours and fab textures, so pleased you have somewhere to hang this masterpiece xx

  16. My good Golly, Candy! You really stepped out with this amazing Finnabair style canvas, and I'm in love with your elements and that wonderful metallic! So much dimension, texture and fun things to look at, so perfectly designed! Well done, and many, many thanks for your fabulous step by step instructions and inspiration! I'm bookmarking this, because doing this style has been on my list for a long time. You've given me the motivation! Big hugs!

  17. A fabulous Steampunk make Candy x love all the wonderful layers of embellishments and paints but my favourite is the dress form......stunning

    Tfs and best wishes
    Annie x

  18. Wow Candy! Your winged majesty is stunning! Love all the textures, details and shimmery goodness! You really created a masterpiece! Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing your creative process!

  19. I have no words! this piece is fabulous! love love love, especially the metal pieces you've added and painted! Fantastic! barbara

  20. Candy, this is GORGEOUS!! I love all the detail and the beautiful colors you chose! It's an amazing piece!!

  21. This is gobsmackingly GORGEOUS! My jaw is on the floor at the transformation of all the bits and bobs. The dress form looked good in the gold but you totally upped the WOWZERS factor by adding the black base and the stunning color! Hot diggity dang dearie! I can see why you would want to hang this in your house! Awesome sauce and brilliant! Hugz! ~Niki

  22. Absolutely Fabulous!!! Your steps make it even better because I can see what you have done with ordinary objects and supplies! Bravo Candy! xx

  23. It's been a while I left a comment. Sometimes, I find it hard to believe how fast the days are flying by.

    You never cease to amaze me, Candy! This creation is spectacular and makes me want to run my fingers over this! I love all that metal pieces, the shimmery colors and the many other gorgeous details. With this piece you have really outdone yourself :)

    Sending big hugs your way!


I am so happy that you stopped by my blog! I truly appreciate your time and thank you for leaving a comment! Have a wonderfully blessed day!