Guide My Sleigh Tonight Painted Plaque

Guide My Sleigh Tonight Painted Plaque

Posted by DecoArt on Oct 27th 2015

Santa and his reindeer make their Christmas Eve journey on a decorative plaque created using DecoArt Media® products.


    • water container
    • palette or plastic plate
    • paper towels
    • tracing paper
    • transfer paper
    • rubbing alcohol
    • ruler
    • stencil brush
    • #5 round brush
    • #0 liner brush
    • 3/8" angle brush
    • stylus
    • 220-grit sandpaper
    • palette knife
    • cotton tip swab
    • mini mister
    • 1/2" mop brush
    • specialty sponge set, #29-32227
    • stamp handle
    • Scotch tape
    • cling stamp
    • wooden bracket plaque
    • wire
    • 3/4" oval wash brush


    1. Preparation: Seal the wooden plaque surface with Traditions Multi-Surface Sealer. When dry, lightly sand and wipe clean.
    2. Basecoat the plaque surface with White Gesso, spreading with a palette knife. Scrape horizontally across the surface to create subtle texture; allow to dry. If the texture is too pronounced, lightly sand and wipe clean.
    3. Instruction #2
    4. Using a 3/4" oval wash brush, slip-slap Titanium White over the plaque surface to create a solid base.
    5. Load the same brush with Matte Medium and Cobalt Teal Hue. Starting in the center area, slip-slap over the surface. While still wet, load the dirty brush with Cobalt Turquoise Hue and slip-slap around the outer edges.
    6. Pick up some Phthalo Green-Blue and softly blend into the bottom right and top left to add a hint of color. (This will create a variation of light and dark hues.) Use a mop brush to soften the colors.
    7. Instruction #5
    8. With a mini mister and water, lightly mist the background surface.
    9. Load a round brush with thinned Primary Cyan. (This can be thinned with water.) Rap the brush sharply on a ruler to create a spatter, mostly around the outer edges.
    10. Load Primary Cyan on the toe of an angle brush and shade around the inside border edge.
    11. Instruction #8
    12. Transfer the Santa, sleigh, and reindeer pattern onto the plaque surface. (See photo for placement.)
    13. Base the sleigh Yellow Green Light.
    14. Shade under the curves, following the pattern, with Phthalo Green-Yellow.
    15. Deepen the shading with Phthalo Green-Blue.
    16. With Titanium White and a round brush, highlight the top and center of the sleigh.
    17. Paint the runners and trim Gold (Metallic) using a liner brush.
    18. Using the same brush and Burnt Sienna, deepen the bottoms of the runners, the legs below the sleigh, and under the curves and curls. Highlight the tops and left of the trim with Titanium White.
    19. With a liner brush and Phthalo Turquoise, line the bottom and right of the runners and trim.
    20. Use the same brush and color to sharpen the shading as needed.
    21. Instruction #17
    22. Base the Santa suit and hat Cadmium Orange Hue.
    23. Instruction #18
    24. With Pyrrole Red, apply a wash to Santa's suit, keeping it darker at the bottom and right, allowing the Cadmium Orange Hue to be brighter at the top and left of the suit and hat.
    25. Shade across the bottom of the suit and hat with Quinacridone Violet. Deepen the shading with Phthalo Turquoise.
    26. Dry-brush Titanium White highlights on the top of the hat, sleeves, and tummy.
    27. Instruction #21
    28. Base the face with a 25/25/50 mix of Cadmium Orange Hue, Burnt Sienna, and Titanium White.
    29. With thinned Burnt Sienna, float under the eyebrows and down the right side of the nose.
    30. Blush the cheeks with a thin wash of Pyrrole Red.
    31. Paint the eyes with a dark mix of Phthalo Turquoise and Phthalo Green-Blue. Add a tiny Titanium White highlight in the top left of each eye.
    32. Paint the eyebrows and dry-brush down the nose and across the cheeks with Titanium White.
    33. Deepen the shadows with thinned Burnt Sienna to the right of the nose, below the eyes, the eyebrows and hat, and on the left side of the face.
    34. (Note: The beard, hair, mustache, and fur are painted after the toy bag.) Base the toy bag Burnt Sienna. Shade the bottom sides of the bag, folds, and inside opening with Burnt Umber. Highlight the tops of the folds and bag with Titanium White. Repeat as needed.
    35. Base the rope Gold (Metallic). Shade the bottom and right sides with Burnt Sienna. With thinned Burnt Umber and a liner brush, paint the roping lines. Highlight the top and left sides of roping lines with the same brush and Titanium White.
    36. Use a round brush to base Santa's hair, beard, and mustache Titanium White.
    37. Using the same brush and color, pounce the brush on the palette to open up the bristles to stipple the fur areas.
    38. With a liner brush and thinned Pyrrole Red, paint a small mouth. Let dry.
    39. Shade the bottom and right sides of the beard and mustache with Burnt Sienna.
    40. Brighten the top and left sides with more Titanium White. Use a liner brush and Titanium White to detail as needed.
    41. Instruction #34
    42. Base the reindeer with Titan Buff.
    43. Shade Burnt Sienna along the tummies, right sides of the legs, necks, across the bottoms of the heads and the backs of the ears, and on the tails of the reindeer.
    44. Instruction #36
    45. Highlight down the necks, across the backs, and on the tops of the ears and heads with Titanium White.
    46. Instruction #37
    47. Base the belly straps, under the reindeer, with Cadmium Orange Hue.
    48. Shade the straps with Pyrrole Red from the bottom to about 2/3 of the way up.
    49. Deepen the shading at the bottom of the straps with Quinacridone Violet.
    50. Repeat for the smaller harness around muzzles (the straps on the noses).
    51. Dip-dot jingle bells, using the liner brush, on the belly straps with Gold (Metallic).
    52. Add a Titanium White dip-dot on the top left of each bell to highlight.
    53. The antlers are basecoated in Burnt Umber and highlighted with Titan Buff on the top and left of each antler.
    54. Instruction #44
    55. Use Scotch tape to mask off the side border and work one side of the frame at a time. Load an oval wash brush with a touch of water and Phthalo Turquoise and slip-slap with loose strokes.
    56. Immediately, while still wet, flick rubbing alcohol onto this section, using the fingers or a brush. (The texture will develop instantly.) Work on one side of the border at a time and repeat until complete. (Make sure there is no wet alcohol on the section prior to painting, as this will cause the technique to fail.)
    57. Remove the tape and allow to thoroughly dry.
    58. Transfer the holly leaves and berries patterns into the corners of the plaque.
    59. Base the holly leaves Titanium White. Let dry.
    60. When Titanium White is completely dry, put a topcoat of Yellow Green Light over it.
    61. With an angle brush, shade along the bottom of the leaves and down the right side of the center vein with Phthalo Green-Yellow. Let dry.
    62. Deepen the shading with Phthalo Green-Blue in the same areas.
    63. Dry-brush Titanium White on the tips of the leaves and the center of the veins.
    64. Base holly berries with Titanium White. Let dry.
    65. When Titanium White is completely dry, do a topcoat of Cadmium Orange Hue on each berry.
    66. Shade heavily with Pyrrole Red around the bottom and up the right sides of each berry, leaving the top left bright Cadmium Orange Hue.
    67. Deepen the shading along the bottom and up the right side of each berry with Quinacridone Violet.
    68. Float a Phthalo Blue shadow below and to the right of each of the berries and leaves.
    69. Load the liner brush with a mix of Phthalo Green-Blue and Yellow Green Light to paint curling vines.
    70. Instruction #59
    71. Base the icicles in with a 50/50 mix of Cobalt Teal Hue and Titanium White.
    72. Shade the bottom and right sides of the icicles with Primary Cyan.
    73. Add a float of a Phthalo Turquoise shadow below and to the right of each of the icicles.
    74. Highlight the top and left sides of each icicle with Titanium White. Repeat to brighten.
    75. Select and attach the snowflake cling stamp of your choice to the acrylic stamp handle.
    76. Apply Phthalo Turquoise onto the stamp using a small specialty sponge. (Too much paint will cause the image to be blurry.) Dab excess paint onto a paper towel. Stamp the snowflake onto the background.
    77. Reload and randomly stamp various-sized snowflakes onto the background.
    78. Load the stencil brush with Primary Cyan. Dab the excess paint onto a paper towel. With the stencil brush, lightly dry-brush the stardust trail below the sleigh and reindeer.
    79. Instruction #67
    80. Load the same brush with a 50/50 mix of Cobalt Teal Hue and Titanium White and dry-brush over the stardust trail.
    81. Repeat with Titanium White to brighten.
    82. Load a liner brush with thinned Titanium White to line the starbursts.
    83. Using a stylus and the same color, dip-dot randomly throughout the starburst trail.
    84. Load the round brush with thinned Titanium White. Rap the brush sharply on a ruler to create a spatter on the sky and border area, keeping the spatter heavier around the edges.
    85. Reload the round brush with Titanium White and spatter the stardust trail to enhance.
    86. Instruction #73
    87. Let dry completely.
    88. Create a topcoat over the entire plaque surface with a slip-slap of Matte Medium using the oval wash brush.
    89. Attach aluminum wire, curling the middle ends around a large brush handle.


    Project Pattern