Studio insights, classes and tutorials

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Sweeter Day...

I adore the fashions of the the 30's and forties, old movies and painting vintage girls inside the pages of an old ledger journal I have shared with you in earlier posts.
I thought it would be fun to share a step by step tutorial of my most recent entry and the supplies used.  Always begin with DecoArt white gesso.  Laying down a thin layer,  and allowing it to dry.  Taking an alphabet stencil, a palette knife and Texture Medium to the background, creating a texture.  I added a note from a friend to the background as well.  I liked the lacy edges it provided, giving more interest and texture to my background.  Add quotes, notes, photos, etc.  
I have enjoyed using The Americana Drying Time Extender in most of my paintings.  This will give you more play time and create a beautiful softness.
After applying this to the background, apply thin layers of DecoArt Mixed Media Antiquing Cream, Patina Green and Raw Umber.  Adding a small amount of Quinacridone Magenta and Titanium White.  Drawing is outlined with a Medium Charcoal pencil.
Begin laying paint onto the face and hair.  DecoArt Mixed Media fluid acrylics are my choice and I use them in almost everything.  They are highly pigmented and compared to other fine art fluids, DecoArt  is less expensive with comparative quality.
Begin by developing the face, using mid value base to the entire face.  Develop features, planes of face with darker value.  Highlight with lightest value.  
Begin with these four colors, Titanium White,  Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red and Cerulean Blue.  Mix the darkest first, then add white to each pod to achieve the desired flesh tone.  These do appear slightly redder in the picture.  If they are too red or purple, add more Raw Sienna.
Burnt Umber is added to apply features, darken eyes and nostrils with Paynes Grey.  Apply Cadmium Red lips and Cerulean Blue pupils.
Cerulean Blue is added above eyes and some darker shadow areas. Darkest shadows are applied with a small amount of Paynes Grey and Titanium White, creating a soft grey. Now is the time to go back with more highlights and shadows where needed.  
Base hair in with DecoArt Drying Time Extender, followed by Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber and White. Using a stylus or the end of a brush, carve into damp area to create a hair like texture.

Add a thin layer of Titanium White to dress. Darken shaded areas with Paynes Grey, Cerulean Blue and a small amount of Burnt Umber.  Create texture with a swirl or lace rubber stamp.  Brushing on Titanium White to the stamp and stamping onto dress and some background areas.  This creates a nice lacy look.  
Spatter background with Cerulean Blue.
Go back over any areas for definition with charcoal pencil.
If you have any questions, please contact me.  I enjoyed sharing this tutorial with you.  You can watch a short clip http://You Tube/Vintage Ledger Girl

Did you know that JoAnn fabric stores now carry the DecoArt Mixed Media line?  Or, contact them on line
If there is no JoAnn store near by, you can also go directly to: http://decoart/mixedmedia/purchase
Also visit:

Thanks For Joining Me and Happy Painting!!


  1. Beautiful Ursula. I have not tried these paints yet. Nate they different than the Deco art craft paint?

    1. Yes, they are different than the Deco art craft paints. I have compared them to Golden fluid acrylics and they are comparable and less expensive. Thanks Carol. Have you finished your Alice cards? I still have most to do. Must get busy!!

  2. Absolutely Beautiful! I love the color values in her face! Excellent!!

  3. Thank you for sharing your process! Such beautiful artwork!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit the blog and for you kind words.

  4. Ursula, thank you for sharing all of this information about what supplies you use. I have them listed and now on a quest to find some of them! I thought I had a pretty good supply of paints, but none of these Deco mixed media that you speak about. !! Your work is beautiful and loved seeing your process. I am always wanting to learn more about faces and the colors used to make them. So, thank you!! I so enjoy following your art... I hope you have a great new week!!