At The Ronacher

At The Ronacher

Posted by DecoArt on Jun 29th 2016

Isn't it annoying when your printer cartridge runs out of certain colours and the prints you were aiming for turn out pale yellow-green-ish or purple? But do not despair – save these prints for later to turn them into lovely cabinet card style paintings by simply painting them over with Media fluid acrylics and a good crackle! (The Ronacher is an old renowned theater in Vienna and was built in the 1870's for the middle class and my gentleman has just enjoyed a wonderful evening there).

Items Needed:


Glue your print to the canvas board using DecoArt Matte Decou-Page. Make sure you cover the whole image and canvas board with it too. Use the permanent marker to trace the visible lines and outlines on the photograph.

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Paint the person's shape with white Gesso. Apply a thicker coat to the suit and a diluted one to the face and hands. The white Gesso will add lovely texture and also make your paints appear brighter.

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Using a palette knife, apply some white Media Crackle Paint around edges of the image and the white outer frame of the canvas board to hide the image's edges

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Allow the Crackle Paint to dry naturally. It will create this lovely egg-shell like look.

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Take some Prussian Blue and paint over the white Gesso for a first layer of paint. Try to already do some shading for more dimension. To do so, just imagine a source of light on the top right side of the object and apply darker shades of your colour to the areas that would not be lit by this light source (don't worry - you don't have to be very exact with this). Add some Raw Umber to a bit of Prussian Blue to paint the shoes, walking stick and mustache. 

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Mix a little bit of English Red Oxide with some Titan Buff to create the skin tone for the face and hands. Mix at least two (better three) different shades of that skin tone to paint the shades and highlights on the face and fingers. 

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Finish the face with some highlights with Titan Buff. 

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Now, take some Sap Green and apply over the blue areas. As the paint is semi-transparent, it will create a lovely blue-green tone with the Prussian Blue from underneath. You can also lightly dilute the Sap Green for a subtler effect. Paint the floor as well.

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To fuse the silhouette with the background, add a bit of Sap Green around the outline with a fine tip brush and blend the paint directly on the canvas towards the background using clear water. Leave visible brushstrokes to enhance the impression of a portrait painting.

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Add the tiny buttons by using a fine tip embossing tool.

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Appy a layer of Patina Green Antiquing Cream around the crackled border, leaving the painted area untreated. Let dry. Wipe back until content using a baby wipe. Then apply a mix of Carbon Black and Raw Umber Antiquing Creams around the outer edge. Let dry.

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Wipe back the Antiquing Cream until you have created a darkened edge around the painting. This will draw the focus towards the center and focal element. 

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Seal your painting with a coat of Ultra Matte Varnish to prevent the Antiquing Creams from being worn off during time.

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Using a permanent black marker, add a title and date to your cabinet card style painting. You're done!

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I hope you like my way of reusing messed up computer prints! Have fun creating your own collection of cabinet card style portrait paintings!