Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Disobeying the Rules!

Andy Skinner might have words with me about this post - I've been using (and abusing!) his fabulous DecoArt Media products in ways that they should not be again! Today, I present to you what not to do with Crackle Paste! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the effect (sorry Andy!).

So the premise behind this project is that you're not really supposed to heat set Crackle Paste, so Mr Skinner says. So the small rebellious child in me wants to know WHY!? Here's why - it bubbles and blisters and pops and makes a stunningly grungy mess! Oh yes!

I originally pulled out the Crackle Paste for the latest Country View Crafts challenge - and I have used it, if not in the conventional way, so I am still entering!

Here's how I created my ATC:

1) Apply Crackle Paste through a stencil onto an ATC. You want a THIN layer - thick paste gives you big bubbles - to get the 'volcanic' texture you want lots of small to medium bubbles.
TIP: I used a chipboard ATC from Tando Creative - this background gets HOT and the chipboard base is much sturdier and able to take the abuse than paper or card. My stencil is from TCW.

2) Heat that sucker up - working while it's still wet. Hold the heat gun close to get lots of heat in there but move it around a bit so you don't scorch any areas. Continue heating until it stops making popping and cracking noises! (You have no idea how fun this is!!!!)

3) Paint with Cobalt Teal Hue, Blue Green Light and Green Gold paints, mixing a little. Work the paint into the texture. I also added some Metallic Lustre over the texture.

4) When dry, start to add interest to the background to highlight the texture. Use an Andy Skinner stamp with black permanent ink to stamp over the background. Add touches of orange paint in some of the cracks with a small brush. Dry brush the texture with black and then white gesso. Edge the ATC with black gesso,

5) I further added to the background with more touches of orange and some extra stamping in both black and white. I painted a piece of card in yellow mixed with a touch of orange and stamped the star (Dina Wakley) onto it. I then roughly sponged on some 'neat' orange paint to add texture. I finished the ATC with the stamped word. You'll need to adhere the star with hot glue or gel glue as the background is very lumpy and bumpy.

PS - I also tried this technique with gesso and it does work - but you don't get as dramatic an effect and you don't get the bubbles 'exploding' to make craters as the texture is more elastic/less brittle than working with the Crackle Paste.

I hope you've enjoyed my - ahem - experiments today! Thanks for stopping by.

Katy x

Products used:
DecoArt Media - Gesso White, Gesso Black, Crackle Paste
DecoArt Meda Fluid Acrylics - Cobalt Teal Hue, Green Gold, Cadmium Orange Hue, Hansa Yellow Light, Blue Green Light
DecoArt Metallic Lustre - Brilliant Turquoise
Stampendous Andy Skinner Stamp Set - Toxic
Dina Wakley Stamps (I don't know the name as I chucked the packet! But it's the star and word)
Black and white inkpads


  1. Love the effect. Must admit, I do things like this occasionally. ��

  2. I LOVE the effect you've achieved Katie!!! I need to do some abusing too if this is the result you can achieve! Fab. xx

  3. I have a soft spot in my heart for rebels. :) This is fabulous!

  4. What a fantastic ATC, Katy! I love the effect you achieved with heating the crackle paste! The colours are fabulous! Thank you for joining us at June Challenge of the Country View Challenges blog!

  5. I love it when it bubbles always have same with paints applied thickly. Love it X X

  6. Cool! Now where's my heat gun?! ;) As I must give this try. Thanks for our lesson on what (not) to do. Love it!

  7. Fantastic - I love your experiment

  8. Excellent! Glad it's not just me that breaks the rules - I did exactly the same in my art journal a while back as my paste was wet and I couldn't close the book so I heated it - I was thrilled with the effect but not a crackle in sight!

  9. this looks brilliant Katy - I love the blistering effect and will definitely try it - your colours are awesome and the whole ATC works brilliantly - thanks for joining us at countryview challenges too this month! Hugs rachel x

  10. Why is it that artist never follow the rules... I won't tell Andy if you don't tell him I'm all set to try this for myself... The texture is beautiful and I love the colours you've used too. Thanks for joining us at Country View Challenges and sharing your unruly technique!

  11. Fabulous texture and ATC!!! :)
    I knew the technique to create bubbles by heating, but using Gesso only... Now I have to try your way with Crackle paste too, looks really fun!! And the cracking effects so yummy. Thank you, Coco x