Tuesday, February 7, 2017


One week until Valentine's Day.
How are you celebrating this year?  Have you created something heartfelt and personal to give to your "significant other?"  If not, perhaps we at Creative Carte Blanche can inspire you with some great ideas with our February art adventure exploring "LOVE".

Hels Sheridan is our lovely hostess for this adventure.  Later this month, she will have a very special guest designer to share her fabulous art with you so be sure to keep watching for that special feature!

When I think of Valentine's Day and love, I think of hearts and loving couples.  So, naturally I "married" the two in creating my piece to share with you.

This was not a difficult piece to do and I would love to share the step by step with you.

As per my usual, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to create with a heart and a couple.  But that was the basic idea.  I have two really pretty stamps from our last month's guest designer, Beverly Seymour with B Line Designs.  The man stamp is named "Chris" and the woman stamp is named "Lisa".

I stamped Chris several times using a combination of Potting Soil and Jet Black Archival Inks.  I love how the stamped image has even more dimension when you mix the ink colors.  I heat set the images, chose my favorite and went to work bringing Chris to life.

I could have mixed acrylic paints or used inks to get a good skin color but DecoArt Americana Flesh Tone is a good base color, so I just used it.  I made almost a wash of the flesh tone and brushed it on in layers so as not to diminish any of the detail from the stamping.

I continued to add facial tones and hair using combinations of different DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics shown above.

I love DecoArt Media's Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide.  I lightly brush it on over the entire face and hands and it gives such a warmth to the skin tones as it subtly blends everything together so perfectly.

Then I began adding color to his suit, shirt and more blush to the skin and lips with the colors shows above.  Finally a light brushing over it with Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide when I finished.

I repeated this process for Lisa's profile stamped image. Once the stamped images were complete, I started to work on other items I decided to use on this "LOVE" heart.  I punch cut butterflies out of scrap cardstock I had laying around.  I'll show you more about those and what I was thinking to do with them in a minute.  I also decided to use some scrap fabric in my background over the wooden heart.  The heart measures 9" at the widest point and 8" long.  I found it at a local craft store for $1.49.  

I cut out a piece of fabric to cover the heart then I brushed a generous amount of DecoArt Media's Matte Medium over the wooden surface.  I laid the fabric in place, smoothed out all of the wrinkles and air bubbles and brushed another coat of Matte Medium over the fabric. I heat set it in place and then trimmed away the excess fabric around the edges.

I mixed a combination of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue and Titanium White to match the color of the fabric. Then, using my finger, I covered the raw wood edge with the paint color.

To soften the bright teal color, I lightly brushed over the fabric first with a wash of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White and water.  Then I added more lightly brushed paint randomly on the heart.  I set that aside to dry and kept going with the other elements that I would use to embellish the heart.

I found a piece of cardstock with script.  This one was even a sort of love letter.  Perfect! I tore the edges to make it fit where I wanted it on my heart.  One problem...it looked brand new instead of old and worn.

No problem! I simply created a bit of a wash (not too wet) using a combination of DecoArt Media's Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff and Burnt Umber to give me a worn brown color.  I brushed this over the paper, especially soaking the torn edges.  I heat set it and then added a generous amount of DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze over the surface.  This would make fine cracks on the paper so that I could add more aging effects after it was dry.  When dry, I added some DecoArt Media Patina Antiquing Cream, wiped off the excess and then added a bit of Raw Umber Antiquing Cream in the cracks and wiped off the excess.  That aged the letter beautifully.

Next I added random little patches of DecoArt Media Crackle Paint.  You need to let any of the crackle products naturally air dry before proceeding to the next step.

Here is what the heart looks like at this point.  It's too much of a stark contrast for me.  And things look new, not old.  So ...

Time to add a bit more of the magic Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide randomly over the surface of the heart to warm it up and pull everything together.

I positioned the love note in place and then added Chris and Lisa using adhesive pop dots underneath them.  I used a mix of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey, Raw Umber Antiquing Cream and a little water to create a shadow effect that I brushed underneath Lisa and Chris.  It's subtle but it's there.

Next I started working on the punch cut butterflies.  I decided to either edge them or cover them with glitter glue from DecoArt's Twinkles Writers.  I used Crystal, Silver and Gold.  I let them dry and then bent them with wings up.  

Next I strategically glued them in place (going different directions) using DecoArt Media Liquid Glass in the center of their little bodies.  That way, the wings remained dimensional and really added a lot of interest to Lisa's "hair".

Here is a closeup view of the faces and the butterflies that form Lisa's hair.  You can better see the detail on them and the dimension that their lifted wings provides.

After I finished putting everything together, I used my finger to add an edge of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey around the edge of the entire heart.  I love how the black defines the edges of the heart and sort of frames everything to the center of the heart.

Finally, I added "LOVE" from Tim Holtz' Alpha Parts letters.  I glued them in place using DecoArt Liquid Glass and then ran a bead of Liquid Glass over the tops of the letters to give them more dimension.  The Liquid Glass comes out a milky fairly opaque consistency but dries clear.

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and maybe learned something along the way.  
Now it's your turn to join us at Creative Carte Blanche and show us some "LOVE".  Just link up to our site so that you can share your creative process and finished piece with others in our art community.  

Have a great week and Happy Valentine's Day everyone!


  1. Hello my lovely friend. Gorgeous piece, I adore the butterflies around her face and the colour toning on the faces is stunning. Gorgeous backdrop too. So romantic. Big hugs. Tracy x

  2. Absolutely ADORE this Candy. But hey... it might be easy for YOU but for me... I would be lost trying to find a place for all those moving parts!!! You did it PERFECTLY. It is a STUNNING and CREATIVE piece. Love the way you did your couple - their faces are just lovely. Wouldn't it be FAB to be with them in the middle of all those GORGEOUS butterflies? WOW. I am guessing your couple has a VERY VERY HAPPY day together! Wishing you and yours a HAPPY VALENTINES DAY too. Xj.

  3. What a gorgeous piece, Candy! I love the butterflies in Lisa's hair. As always your tutorials are amazing as well as all the colors you use! Love, love, love!

  4. WOW !!! I absolutely LOVE the Composition of this canvas !! Those butterflies are gorgeous... let's face it we all got butterflies at one time or another while in love ... Right ?! Just love this! The colors the faces ... so romantic ... swoooooonnnn !!!

  5. I love this so much! The colors are so warm and lifelike. The butterfly hair is whimsical and adds a wonderful feeling of motion. Honestly Candy... your artwork is magical!

  6. This is sure a Gorgeous piece Candy!! Love it to bits!

  7. Gorgeous heart Candy. Fab stamps but the stand out part for me is the FAB butterfly hair ---- truly a masterpiece. Xx

  8. Stunning work Candy. I adore this with the two beautifully painted faces, wonderful textures and glorious butterflies. This is brilliantly conceived and created xxx

  9. What a fantastic piece, so full of detail and movement. The flutter of the butterfly wings is so lovely with superb colours and patterns to tickle the eye, and I love the delicate tinting on the images, as well as the scrumptious crackle.
    Alison x

  10. I never cease to be amazed at the versatility of DecoArt paints, you really have coloured Chris and Lisa beautifully with them - the stamps are beautiful too! I love the gorgeous butterflies in her hair (my idea of heaven) and the crackle on the fabric covered base looks amazing - beautifully aged! A truly lovely piece and a beautiful way to celebrate love! Anne xx

  11. Love your face painting than you for the tutorial :) great decorated heart x

  12. A beautiful project Candy! I LOVE the way you painted the gent...gorgeous!

  13. Mesmerizing, Candy! I can't decide if Chris is dreaming of Lisa or if Lisa is dreaming of Chris. I always love to see how you use DecoArt and learn from you. This is just awesome!

  14. You did such a fantastic job painting this man - wonderful. Thanks so much for the tutorial - your heart is fantastic!!!
    Sandy xx

  15. Fabulous piece of art and heart!!!
    Thank you for the great tutorial Candy, this was fantastic to read it tonight despite the lack of time for blogging at the moment...
    I really enjoyed your post. Thank you for this so romantic (and amazing) creation.
    Corinne xx

  16. Wow! This is stunning, Candy! My favourite part is how you used the butterflies for her hair.

  17. I am looking at this again and absolutely adore your heart.
    sandy xx

  18. Candy, I love this romantic heart! What a creative way to use those stamped images of Chris and Lisa! You have painted their lovely faces perfectly and your composition is stunning! My favorite bit is that beautifully crackled and aged background and reading how this all came together! Wonderful work, as always!

  19. Gorgeous Candy, love both of those stamps and what fabulous layers and textures on your heart. Truly a work of heart, thank you so much for sharing it! Deb xo


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!