Colors of Fall Decorative Plate

Colors of Fall Decorative Plate

Posted by DecoArt on Oct 13th 2016

This painting by Susan Abdella walks you through the layering of Traditions™ Artist Acrylics with two Traditions Mediums to achieve this beautiful transparent staining project.


    • water container
    • paper towels
    • transfer paper
    • sandpaper
    • soft cloth
    • #3 round brush
    • 3/8" angle brush
    • 3/4" oval brush
    • mini mop brush
    • Sta-Wet Palette
    • #8 filbert brush
    • #1 flat shader brush
    • dark graphite paper
    • basswood plate



    Wood stain painting is a centuries-old technique popular throughout Europe, especially in folk painting. It is simply staining the wood with color, allowing the wood grain to show through.

    Ideally, clear, light wood is most effective and does provide a common or unifying color (avoid heavily grained and dark wood). The technique is basically one of layering transparent or semi-transparent pigments, drying in between and creating form and interest.

    1. Lightly sand the plate and wipe clean with soft cloth.
    2. Seal the plate with Glazing Medium mixed with water 1:1/3. Let dry. Sand lightly again. Wipe clean.
    3. Apply Extender & Blending Medium over the entire surface; remove the excess with a 1" flat shader brush and stain with Raw Sienna mixed with Burnt Umber 3:1. Let dry.
    4. Apply another coat of a Glazing Medium and water 3:1 mix; let dry; and lightly transfer the design to the surface with dark graphite paper.
    5. Base in the green leaves with Diarylide Yellow with a touch of Sap Green and touch of Quinacridone Gold.
    6. Base in the yellow leaves with Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide.
    7. Base in the orange leaves with Quinacridone Gold.
    8. Base in the berries with Burnt Sienna.
    9. Instruction #8
    10. Base in the branches with Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide.
    11. The linework, along the branches and in the leaves and berries, is Sap Green with a touch of Permanent Alizarin Crimson.
    12. Instruction #10
    13. Let dry and erase all graphite lines.
    14. Apply Extender & Blending Medium to the surface. Side-load the large angle brush with Burnt Umber and pick up a touch of Quinacridone Burnt Orange to shade around the design. (The shading should be heavier on the outside of the design nearest the rim.) Soften with a soft brush; let dry and repeat, if needed.
    15. Instruction #12
    16. Layer colors over a light coat of Extender & Blending Medium and soften with a mop brush. (Often you will need to do this a second time.) Vary the colors from leaf to leaf: below are only suggestions; all colors work beautifully.
    17. Suggested first shade colors for the yellow leaves: Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Brown Madder, Red Violet.
    18. Suggested first shade colors for the green leaves (larger): Sap Green; Diarylide Yellow, with a touch of Brown Madder; and Quinacridone Burnt Orange. For the smaller green leaves: Sap Green with just a touch of Burnt Sienna.
    19. Suggested first shade colors for the orange leaves: Sap Green brushed-mixed with Brown Madder.
    20. Instruction #16
    21. Suggested first shade colors for the berries: Permanent Alizarin Crimson; shaded with Red Violet.
    22. Instruction #17
    23. Light values: For berries: Burnt Sienna and a touch of Titanium White; renew shading if needed. Highlight with Titanium White.
    24. For all leaves (any of the yellows): Diarylide, Hansa Yellow Medium, or Hansa Yellow Light. (A tiny touch of Titanium White can be added if needed.)
    25. For the small green leaves: Hansa Yellow Light.
    26. Instruction #20
    27. Renew the dark and light values as desired. Add accent colors from the palette to help move the color around. (Refer often to finished project photo.)
    28. To finish: Add curly-cues with a mix of Quinacridone Gold and Burnt Umber to create a soft brownish color.
    29. Plate rim: Sap Green mixed with just a touch of Permanent Alizarin Crimson. Let dry.
    30. The outside and inside bead rims are painted Quinacridone Gold. Apply a second thin coat, if desired. Let dry.
    31. Sign your name to the piece. Let dry. Apply two coats of Satin Varnish, allowing to dry between coats.
    32. Instruction #25


    Project Pattern Part 1
    Project Pattern Part 2