Aviary Angel in A Tortoiseshell Frame

Aviary Angel in A Tortoiseshell Frame

Posted by DecoArt on Jun 29th 2016

Create a tortoiseshell border around this heavenly image with DecoArt Media®.


    • rubbing alcohol
    • #4 round brush
    • #6 round brush
    • #1 liner brush
    • 1/4" angle brush
    • stylus
    • 3/4" oval brush
    • 1/2" angle brush
    • 18/0 liner brush
    • sanding pad
    • mini mister
    • scrapbook paper
    • acetate
    • specialty stamp set
    • doily cling stamp
    • cling stamp handle
    • quick grip adhesive
    • archival ink pad
    • Angel Aviary Cling Stamp


    1. Preparation: Seal the frame surface with Primer & Sealer using a large specialty sponge. Lightly sand and wipe clean. Basecoat with Burnt Umber using the same sponge.
    2. Using an oval wash brush, coat about a third of the frame surface generously with Gloss Varnish. (Open time can be limited; working with smaller areas will make it easier to create each section and blend together seamlessly.)
    3. Instruction #2
    4. Load a #6 round brush with thinned Gold (Metallic). (The mix should be about 1/3 water to 2/3 paint). Touch into the varnish to create a splotch. Load the brush heavy and let the bristles push it out.
    5. Instruction #3
    6. Reload and add Gold (Metallic) until the area is randomly covered. (The spots can be various sizes and can or can not touch.)
    7. Instruction #4
    8. Pick up a soupy mix of Transparent Red Iron Oxide and water (about 50/50) with the #4 round brush. Touch these smaller splotches in and around the Gold (Metallic). (Keep these minimal as this is a strong color and will bleed sufficiently to create the needed effect.)
    9. Instruction #5
    10. Fill the mini mister with rubbing alcohol. Immediately mist the frame with rubbing alcohol to start the diffusing.
    11. Instruction #6
    12. To finish the effect, flick heavier drops of rubbing alcohol onto the surface. (The heavier drops of alcohol combined with the flick will create amazing results.)
    13. Instruction #7
    14. All of the steps above need to be executed quickly while the paint and varnish are still wet. Once this has been completed, continue onto the next section until the frame is covered. Let it dry completely. (Once it starts to dry, any touch-ups will create a muddy mess. If an area needs to be touched up, after sufficient drying time, simply repeat the process.)
    15. Instruction #8
    16. To add shading around the edges, pick up a small amount of Burnt Umber on the edge of the large, damp specialty sponge. Keeping the paint toward the outer edge and the sponge flat on the surface, use a small circular motion to shade softly around the outer and inner edge of the frame.
    17. Instruction #9
    18. Paint the side edges of the frame with Burnt Umber.
    19. Attach the angel cling stamp to the acrylic stamp handle. Coat the stamp with archival black ink and stamp the image onto the selected decorative or scrapbook paper. Allow time for the ink to set and dry.
    20. Instruction #11
    21. Load the toe of the ½" angle brush with thinned Burnt Umber and float all around the angel, letting it blend into the background. Float inside the area at the base of the cage.
    22. Load the #6 round brush with a 50/50 mix of Warm Beige and Matte Medium (see helpful hint #1 below). Use the mix to paint the face, neck, and arms. Load the same brush with a Deep Blush/Matte Medium mix and use to shade the right side of the arms; the top and right side of the neck; the right side of the face; and below the hair and eye area. (Keep this shading very light.)
    23. Dip dot Titan Buff earrings on using a stylus.
    24. Base the hair Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide. Shade the hair at the bottom and right sides with Burnt Umber. Highlight the top and left with Translucent White.
    25. Float Quinacridone Gold over the roses. Deepen shading at the base of each petal with a heavier float of the same color.
    26. Touch Translucent White on the tips of the petals to highlight.
    27. Paint the leaves Green Gold and deepen at the base of each with Sap Green.
    28. The flowing ribbon hanging down is thinned Quinacridone Gold.
    29. Instruction #19
    30. For the dress, load the toe of ¼" angle brush with thinned Dioxazine Purple. (This should be a very light float at the waist up to the bodice and from the bottom of skirt to the waist.)
    31. Deepen the shading with a touch of Quinacridone Gold.
    32. Paint the decorative trim at the bottom of the dress Gold (Metallic).
    33. Topcoat the dress with Magenta (Interference) to create a shimmer.
    34. All of the birdcage bars are painted Gold (Metallic) with a liner brush.
    35. Base the wings with Titan Buff.
    36. Highlight top of wings with Translucent White.
    37. Shade Quinacridone Gold lightly at the base and between the feathers. Let dry. When dry, topcoat the wings with Gold (Interference).
    38. Doilies: Attach doily cling stamp to acrylic handle.
    39. Load small specialty sponge with Titan Buff and coat the stamp. (Too much paint will cause the image to be blurry while not enough will result in an incomplete stamping.)
    40. Stamp the design randomly around the angel, applying paint after each stamping.
    41. Instruction #30
    42. Finishing: Topcoat the frame with several coats of Gloss Varnish allowing appropriate drying time between applications.
    43. Spray seal the angel insert with several light coats of Matte Spray Finish and let dry. When dry, cut the insert to fit into the frame.
    44. To create the slot for the angel insert, attach a U-shape piece of wood to the back of the frame with adhesive, facing the opening toward the top of the frame.
    45. Attach the solid wooden picture backing to “U”, keeping the hang hole at the top. (If desired, a piece of acetate can be cut to fit the insert to protect the angel stamping.) Insert the angel stamping and acetate into frame.