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I found this surface for $5.00 at a recent yard sale.
It measures 24" tall x 19" wide.
I had the perfect design that I wanted to paint on it.

The design
 is by my good friend 
Amy Mogish
and is 

Lets step inside my STUDIO !

My Palette

Antique Gold, Burnt Orange, Burnt Umber, Cocoa, Country Red, Delane's Dark Flesh, Fiery Red, Flesh Tone, Graphite, Honey Brown, Lamp Black, Light Buttermilk, Milk Chocolate, Neutral Grey, sapphire, Slate, Grey, Soft Black, Tangelo Orange, Tangerine, Titanium White

Let's Paint!

I prepared my surface using a sponge brush to apply 2 coats of Soft Black.

I used a "press and lift " motion with the sponge brush to coat the entire surface.
This will give your surface a slight texture.
Once you have applied 2 coats of paint you can go back with your sponge brush and 
"refine" any areas that may have too much texture.
This would include such areas as the face or any other area with fine details.

Amy Mogish 
originally painted this design on a
Brides Oval Carry All Bentwood Box.
This design lends itself to so many surfaces the possibilities are endless!
You could easily paint each of The Pilgrims as separate portraits......which I had been thinking about!
(Until this surface came along!)

I used a
  Scharff Stain- It Brush 
to dry brush
Burnt Umber 
over the entire surface.

I also like to use the Scharff Moon Brushes for dry brushing as well.
It just depends on the area I am covering which brush I choose.

I enlarged the design to fit my surface.
The pattern is transferred to the surface using a white graphite paper.

I began with the initial base coat using Light Buttermilk.

Because my surface was so large I had to fill in some area's with "extra's.
This is your chance to make your piece "unique" and add some of your own touches!
I paint and shade mostly using Ultra Round Brushes.

Their pointed tip make them perfect for getting in the smallest of spots.
I prefer to apply my color values using a series of washes until I reach the desired depth of color.

I mop between each wash then use my blow dryer to be sure it is dry before adding the next wash.
If you try to add another layer of color when your paint is still wet you are going to lift the paint!

I drew in my own large pumpkin that The Pilgrim is holding.
I base coated the pumpkin using Burnt Orange.
After I had the base coating and shading on the pumpkin done I dry brushed the highlights on.

To fill in the area below the large pumpkin I drew in 2 smaller pumpkins and painted them.
I just used some of the paints that I had on my palette to paint them.
 I plan to hang this piece in my dining room where 
 I have a couple of primitive portraits that I have painted. 

I decided to change the eyes of The Pilgrims to give them a little more realistic look yet I still wanted to maintain the over all whimsical look of Amy's design.

I began with the woman Pilgrim.
I began by first shading 
aside the nose , under eyes, above lip, center of nose, bottom of chin and center of neck using Delane's Dark Flesh.

I then created  eye sockets using Delane's Dark Flesh
I base coated the eyes with Light Buttermilk.
I painted the iris with Honey Brown.
The pupil is Lamp Black.
I lined the top of the eye with Honey Brown.
I added a tiny highlight to the eye with Light Buttermilk.
I added the eyebrows with a tiny liner brush.

I have now added the "homespun lines to the female Pilgrims collar with Burnt Orange.

I added blush to her cheeks with a "float of Burnt Orange".
I deepened the shading with a touch of Country Red.

I first base coated her hair with Soft Black.
I then added the highlights to her hair with Honey Brown.
I have also added the stitching details to the collar and hat with Soft Black

I have added the initial base coats to the male Pilgrim and also the pie.
After base coating the pie and the additional pumpkins I knew that I would need to add some sort of filler in the area below them.

I dry brushed shading and highlights to define the female Pilgrims arms, under the collar and around the pie.

The pie dish was initially base coated with Sapphire.
I used a Scharff Texture -It brush to highlight the center of the pie plate with Light Buttermilk.
I then added a wash of Sapphire over the pie dish. I used Soft Black to shade both the pie crust and the dish. I added highlights to the crust with Light Buttermilk. I then added a wash over the crust with Honey Brown. I added some crumbs to the top of the pie with Light Buttermilk.

At this point I was wishing I had a fresh baked apple pie in my oven cooking so I could stop for a coffee break!

So now it is time to give the male Pilgrim a face!

But first I decided to add some bittersweet vines along the bottom of the design to fill in that area.

I painted the male Pilgrim's eyes and nose pretty much the same way as the females.
His beard and hair are undercoated with Lamp Black.
I then added the hair, mustache and beard over the Lamp Black using a liner brush and Graphite.

I then started adding some hairs using Neutral Grey and finally some using Slate Grey.

I painted his hair in the same manner.

I highlighted the hat and cape with some Neutral Grey then further highlighted it with Slate Grey.
I added the buckle on his hat with Bright Brass, and shaded it with Soft Black.

An Amy Mogish design would not be complete unless you added some bakers twine.

AND now it's thyme to paint a duck!

Close up of The Pilgrims and The Duck!

I changed the location of the sheep in the design and of course added more bakers twine and a crow.

It looks like we now need to paint a chicken!

This is such a fun design!

Close up view of pumpkins and bittersweet.

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Can you believe that it will be 4th of July this weekend?

I wanted to paint something Red, White & Blue.

Today I am going to show you a project 
Sailor Boy Banner

Cynthia Erekson

Lets step inside the STUDIO and get started!

My Palette 

Deep Midnight Blue, Uniform Blue, Heritage Brick. Antique Maroon, Khaki Tan, Warm Beige, Tomato Red, Antique White, Buttermilk, Light Buttermilk, Bleached Sand, Antique Gold, Blue Harbor, Dusty Rose, Terra Coral, Lamp Black, Milk Chocolate, Burnt Umber

I began by first lightly sanding my piece then removing the dust. 
I then used a 2" sponge brush to apply a textured coat of Deep Midnight Blue

I then transferred the main elements of the design to the surface.

I base coated the hat with Antique White.

I used my 
Moon Brushes 
to dry brush both the 
shaded areas.
I highlighted heavily to separate
 the brim from the crown, 
along the face and back edge 
Khaki Tan
I used Bleach Sand to dry brush the highlights in.

I also like to use Ultra Rounds  for shading and highlighting.

You can achieve the depth of color you want by applying several washes .

Let each wash dry completely before apply the next so you won't lift the paint!
I keep a small dryer on my table to quicken drying times.

Working on the face and hair.

I have painted the necktie with Heritage Brick. 
I shaded with Antique Maroon and highlighted with Tomato Red.
I am now working on the collar.

I have painted the cuffs, shirt and added the stripes and star to collar.

Finishing details!

I used
Varnish to finish my piece.

The "Kit" to this project came with a burlap flag banner.
However I decided to make a few changes to the project to personalize it.

I began by first cutting a strip of fabric from some heavy muslin.

I then soaked the fabric my 
"grunge mix"
to age it.

*** You can find my grunge mix recipe at the top of the page under the RECIPE tab.***


I usually soak several pieces of fabric when I do this so I have it on hand for other projects.

I then dry my "grungy fabric" on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven.
Watch carefully!

I printed out the words OLD GLORY on my computer using 
Avery Fabric Transfer Paper.
Follow directions on the package for ironing on your fabric.

Close up of my grungy banner!

I decided to attach the burlap flag banner
 to an old flag pole that I had
 instead of the dowel that it came on.
Are you ready to see it?

I attached everything to a grapevine wreath.

Rosemary Reynolds and DecoArt 
provided me with the paints to complete this project 
as part of their 
Helping Artist and Blogger Outreach Programs.

Thank you DecoArt!

I hope you have enjoyed watching me paint
Sailor Boy Banner!

Happy Painting!


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I'm hoping that 
Mother Nature 
will soon decide that it is
 SPRING Thyme 
Cape Cod
and warm things up!
In the mean time I can paint things that remind me of SUMMER!

Let's step inside the STUDIO !

Today I am going to show you a project
Oyster Bay
( Small Reproduction Sea Chest)
Cynthia Erekson

My Palette

Victorian Blue, Honey Brown, Milk Chocolate, Lamp Black, Dove Grey, Neutral Grey, Sand, Paynes Grey, Burnt Umber, Antique Gold

Lets Paint!

I began by filling any nail holes.
I let that dry then sanded the filled areas smooth.
I wiped any dust then sealed my box 

I base coated the 4 sides of the outside of the chest
the outside of the lid with Victorian Blue.

When dry I base coated the base Lamp Black along with the edges.
I left some Victorian Blue showing through.

I then transferred just the ground areas to the front of the box.
The ground is base coated 
Honey Brown 
Milk Chocolate.

I used a Moon Brush to dry brush Antique Gold highlights to the ground area.

I also used a Moon Brush to dry brush the clouds.
I've begun working on the water as well.

I shaded around the edges of the box front using Lamp Black.

I then transferred the remaining details to the front of the box.

I am working on the buildings.

Adding detail to the buildings.

I have completed the boat and the whales tail.

I am now working on the lighthouse.

I am now working on the remaining details such as the foliage on trees, fences, weeds and dock.
I added a thinned Honey Brown wash over the completed scene to give it a "mellow glow".
To do this I dabbed the wash with a paper towel to create faint mottling.

Next I created a woodgraining glaze.

I began by pouring (1) nickel size puddle of Lamp Black.

I added (8) nickel size puddles of Glazing Medium

I mixed well with my palette knife.
I then added (4) nickel size puddles
Easy Float 
 mixed again.

I used a small paring knife
to chisel out some small craters 
on one end of a cork.
I used the flat side of a sponge brush
to "brush and swirl "
a complete coat of glaze starting to the back side of the box.

I repeatedly and closely stamped 
the pock marked cork
 into the glazed surface.
I continued over the surface several times
 until the pattern in the glaze
 became smaller and more complex.
I repeated the glaze process on the sides and top of box as well.

I let the glaze dry completely before proceeding.

Once the glaze had dried
 I measured off a 1/4" border 
on the cover of the box
 using tape.
I used a small dry stencil brush 
to pounce Honey Brown 
unevenly into this border.
I distressed some of the edges of the box.
I added the "brass label" using Honey Brown.
I used my liner brush
 with thinned Dove Grey 
to add the word OYSTERS
 to the label.

I applied several coats of Dura Clear Soft Touch Varnish to the box.

Completed Oyster Bay Sea Chest

Rosemary Reynolds and DecoArt
 provided me with the paints to complete this project as part of their 
Helping Artist and Blogger Outreach Programs.

Thank you DecoArt!

I hope you have enjoyed watching me paint my
 Oyster Bay Sea Chest.

Happy Painting!


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I have fallen behind in blogging about all the projects that I have been painting!
My desk is now cleared!
Today I want to tell you about a project 
Crow's Nest Tavern Receipt Box.
Design by
Cynthia Erekson.

Please join me to see how you can transform an ordinary wood box
 into something very unique using simple woodgraining techniques.

My Palette

Camel , Antique Green, Dried Basil Green, Milk Chocolate, Lamp Black, Honey Brown, Dark Chocolate, Soft Black Antique Gold

Let's Paint!

I used a box which measured about 10" x 6" x 4"
You can adjust the pattern to fit any surface!

I began by sealing the box inside and out

After your sealer has dried sand lightly and wipe off any dust with a paper towel.

I base coated all outer surfaces of the box and lid with Camel.

I loaded the broad flat side of a 2" sponge brush with a good amount of paint.
I began in the center of each section of the box
 repeatedly used a "press" and "lift" motion to create a textured surface. 

I painted the inside of the box and lid with Antique Green.

I taped off the top of the box
 leaving a rectangle area about 6 1/2" x 2 1/2" exposed 
in the center of the cover.

I then mixed a wood graining glaze.
I began by squirting a quarter size puddle
Milk Chocolate
in the center of my palette.
Around that puddle I carefully squirted
 4 quarter size puddles 

The puddles must be the same size as the Milk Chocolate puddle! 
Measure carefully!

I then added 2 quarter size puddles of Easy Float

I mixed this all together with a palette knife.

I loaded the flat side of a sponge brush 
again used a "press" and "lift" motion
 to apply a bubbly coat of glaze to the center of the lid.

I then used a graining tool and pulled it through the glaze mix on the box cover.

I repeated the "graining" on the 2 sides and back of the box. 
The front of the box is where we will paint the design.

You must allow the graining to dry completely!

I then added the borders on the box 
by carefully removing the tape I had applied.
I used a stencil brush 
to pounce on 2 coats of Dark Chocolate 
into the 1" border.
Make sure your brush is DRY 
to avoid seepage of paint
 under your taped edges.
I then removed the 1/4" tape 
used a dry stencil brush loaded 
Antique Green 
to pounce the next border.

I painted the rope with Dark Chocolate. 
I highlighted with Camel 
added the line detail with Lamp Black.

I shaded around all the edges 
of the of each side of the box
  (front, sides, and back) 
Dark Chocolate
on a dry stencil brush.
I repeated using Lamp Black.

I transferred the design to the front of the box adding details as needed.

The details have all been painted.
I love the muted colors of this box.

I applied several coats of 
using a sponge.
Let the varnish dry completely between coats!

I have a selection of sponges in the the STUDIO like those shown above.
I use the round flat ones to apply varnish.
The Soft Touch Varnish will give your project a wonderful matte finish with no streaks!

I attached hardware to the cover of my box.

My completed project.

Rosemary Reynolds and DecoArt 
provided me with the paints 
and products to complete this project as part of their
Helping Artist
Blogger Outreach Programs


I hope you have enjoyed watching me paint this
Crow's Nest Tavern Receipt Box.

Happy Painting!

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It's no secret
I LOVE to paint!

I will paint on just about ANY surface.

It's easy to do when there are so many products out there to create with.
Today I wanted to show you an apron that I painted.
Often I just use "portions" of a design to create a whole new project.

I used a design
Judy Westegaard CDA 
to complete this project

I modified the design to fit my surface .

The design is part of
  Art Studio Fun Collection
from her
Chalk It Up Book

I have painted a few projects from this book.
You can see those projects by clicking on the links below.

Life is Better When Your Painting 
can be found

Creative Minds Are Seldom Tidy
can be found

My Palette
DecoArt Traditions Acrylic Paint

Burnt Umber, Carbon Black, Dioxazine Purple,Hansa Yellow, Medium Beige, Medium White, Napthol Red, Perinone Orange, Prussian Blue Hue, Raw Sienna, Sapphire Blue, Teal Green, Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Oxide

I began by first
  washing and drying 
the apron to remove the sizing.

Next I cut a piece of 
waxed freezer coated paper 
a little larger than the area that I was going to paint.

I used a warm iron , no steam 
to adhere the paper
 to the back side of the apron
under the area that I was going to be painting.

I then used white graphite paper to transfer the pattern to my apron.

I use a Sewline Tracer Roller Ball Pen to transfer designs to fabric.
* It won't tear your line drawing or graphite paper.

I used a white chalk pencil 
to darken any lines that needed darkening
 so I could see the design better.

I added a few drops of Fabric Medium to my paints.

When painting on FABRIC you need to be careful of a few things!

Paint bleeding is one of those things!

I like to use Moon Brushes for this reason
I use a very dry brush 
first outline the area to be painted
 with the 
chisel edge of the
Moon Brush

I then use my Ultra Round brushes to fill in the area. 
I am very careful about the amount  of water I use. 
Less is more!
You do not want to saturate your fabric!
I like to build the intensity of color gradually.

I always keep a Tide Pen handy when working on fabric.
They are good to get rid of a tiny smudge that may happen if you catch it immediately.

I painted several of the brush handles first.

I am working on the bristles.

It can be a little more difficult to shade on fabric.
It can be achieved by dry brushing!
I used either my
Moon Brushes or Stain- It
brushes for the dry brush shading.

The first 3 brushes are complete!

I am working on the remaining brushes.

I have finished painting all the brushes.

I am working on the palette knife.

I am now working on the pencil.

Close up view.

After I had completed my painting I put a 
clean white cloth 
over the design 
ironed it to set the paint.

Does it look like you can grab one of those brushes out of the pocket?

My completed apron.

Close up of design.

Rosemary Reynolds and DecoArt 
provided me with the paints to complete this project as part of their
Helping Artist
DecoArt Blogger Outreach Programs

Thank you DecoArt!

I hope you have enjoyed watching me paint this project!


Life REALLY is better when you are painting!

Happy Painting !


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