Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tando Creative - Sponsor Spotlight No.2

Servus and welcome to the second spotlight being thrown on the lovely products from Tando Creative who are generously sponsoring our challenge this month!


Claudia here this time to share another inspirational step by step with you!

 Those who know me know how much I love rust in all its colourful forms and when I stumbled upon this image on pinterest, I knew I had to try to imitate this specific colour explosion of peeled varnish and rust - and Tando's mixed media boards, their awesome grab bag of screws and mix of chipboard panels were just perfect for this.

image source: I Luv Cameras on flickr

And this is what I came up with after a happy painterly afternoon in my studio:

I hope the quote is still socially acceptable (if it isn't, please, bear with me as I am no native speaker and honestly love the idea and feeling behind that quote...well, not for every occasion and all the time...but now and then we should just for once stop thinking and worrying too much and too long and start acting and following our guts instead and enjoying ourselves, right?). 

 As I needed a lot of different colour tones and layers to achieve this look I thought I'd rather share images from the various stages than do a lot of write up as the images show pretty well how the project changes with each layer. I used a mix of different techniques to apply the acrylic paints: stippling them on with a stiff (and worn) bristle brush mainly...but also using colour washes and dry brushing. 

Here's an image of the various colour tones I used:

I used DecoArt paints mainly, but you can use any heavy body acrylic brand you have at hand and any colour tones that match or come close to the ones I used. I also took an image of my paint palette so you can see which tones I used. Well, you can also see the two untouched brown colour dots that I decided didn't fit in:

 (click on the images for a larger view)

This time (which is quite unusual behaviour for me) I took the time to exactly measure and center the spots for my screws and panels as this adds to the industrial feel of the project and makes it look more convincing:

Once I had found the right spots I fixed my parts to the mixed media boards with matte DecoArt Decou-Page. 

Next I added some DecoArt media Texture Sand Paste in some spots - spreading the paste with my fingers and a soft brush. I let that dry thoroughly before I started the painting process. 

As usual I started off with a coat of Raw Umber acrylic paint which I stippled on with a bristle brush. This way the acrylic paint itself already creates additional rough texture which adds to the worn look. Then I added some "Black Plum" here and there.

 To make it short: I started with a really (cold) dark brown, then added some purple and dark blue and then went on with various red and orange tones. For finishing my piece off I added the really bright tones like the bright orange, yellow and teal. 

But the images show it best - so here they come (sometimes I took images where you can see the before-and-after effect):

 (a wash this time 
= heavily diluted paint being "washed" over your project 
with a wide soft brush)
top panel shows "after", bottom "before"

Some of the brightness gets lost once the paint is dry. So always apply paint rather generously to get a visible effect.

See how the bright orange from the step before has dried up so much darker? Washes create rather subtle effects - but they really do make a difference (as they add a kind of "randomness" that helps make projects look more natural and less "forced" or "composed", so just keep adding them now and then and keep on with building up loads of layers. 

Stipple on some more of the same colour (this time use the paint directly from the bottle and don't dilute it first) where needed. 

Then go for the really bright tones - don't be afraid if they look too bright at first. It will all blend in once you have added the final layers and tones:

(top panel shows "after", bottom panel "before")

Once you add the bright turquoise or teal, all the layers you have added before will become even more vibrant and form a beautiful and lively contrast to it. Contrasting colours always help each other with "popping" and becoming more visible and "important". The secret to using this effect properly is to add contrasting amounts of them to make this work ( for example a little turquoise here and there against a lot of reds, yellows and oranges...or the other way round...just as you like). 

In the next step I toned the whole project down by applying a wash of diluted Raw Umber acrylic paint over the whole piece - this helped make the panels look worn and more natural:

(bottom panel shows "after", top panel "before")
I used the rest of the wash to paint rusty drip lines in various spots:

I printed out my quote, cut it out and toned it down with some diluted paint once the printed text was completely dry. Then I blended the edges with some dark brown archival ink and a blending sponge. 

I glued the quote in place and also sealed it with the matte Decou-Page or Mod Podge. 
After that I applied a generous coat of DecoArt Liquid Glass on top and let it dry naturally.

Once dry the Liquid Glass looked like this:


I hope you like my approach to industrial looking art and rust in all its glory and beauty and feel encouraged to give it a try too. 
I found it very useful to have photographs of rust as a model...if you are in search for inspiration simply search for "rust" with pinterest. You will find the most amazing and wonderful colour explosions - I promise!

And if you haven't joined in our actual summer challenge "Mexico Moods" yet, I highly recommend you check it out - we have a truly inspiring mood board to draw inspiration from, there are fab prizes to win and it is still open for another ten days! 
Hugs and happy crafting,


  1. WOW Claudia! That's fantastic! I love the colours you have used and thank you for the step-by-step! Karen for Tando xxx

  2. Wow Claudia - you really hit the 'screw' on the head!!! These are so fun.... and so much like the pinterest picture that you had as an example too. You did GREAT - really SPECTACULAR. What a wonderful tutorial. Thanks bunches for such a great Sponsor Spotlight. j.

  3. I can't help for the saying... But I'm sure it's a fantastic make of rust! You used many colours and the blending and different tones are just perfect!

  4. "Screw It" isn't bad or vulgar at all in my book Claudia. Love this concept and the steps are titillating! So many wonderful colors and textures married together to create stunning art! Wowzers! And WOWZERS! ~Niki

  5. A great transformation from a wonderful inspiration to a gorgeous project with tones of various colors ;-) fantastic!! Many thanks for your explanation!!

  6. Claudia I LOVE your art piece. It's awesome !!! Love the rusty look you achieved. Just looking perfect ! I love the texture, the colors and your tutorial.
    Thank you so very MUCH for sharing this gorgeous project.
    Hugs from Monica

  7. totally loved it, the colorsr , textures , everything

  8. Very neat, Claudia. Great tutorial.

  9. OMG! I LOVE THIS, Claudia!! You've got me laughing with the title of this piece and you know, sometimes ya' just gotta say this, even in crafting!! :) :) Just a fabulous tutorial--now I need to get more DecoArt paints!! ;) :) XOXO-Shari

  10. Thank you so much to everybody who left such motivational comments for me! Your comments really mean a lot to me and I am so happy that my tutorial is of some inspriation! Mwah! XXX Claudia

  11. One more comment before you close the door, please!!! Claudia! This is truly amazing, and I'm so thankful for you taking those great photos and recording your steps! I am so going to give this a try! Of course you have many colors and products I don't yet have, but "out of limitations comes creativity"! Thank you for such a wonderful, clear, concise tutorial.

  12. This is amazing!!!! Love it my friend. Unbelievable color and texture. WOW! And you have a gift for giving tutorials. The world will be filled with much more rusty treasures after this :) Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth


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