top of page
  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg

Firefly Night

By Amanda Novaes

Mushrooms and fireflies are magical. They look like they came out from a fantasy book. If your kids enjoy reading this design can decorate a beautiful book box or book chest full of great stories. Or a gift box to give some books as a present.

About Amanda:

Painting has always been a passion of mine and I learned early that art at any time in life, as a hobby or a career, can bring balance to the soul. By investing time in an unhurried learning process, in my own time, I have been able to enjoy every lesson, book, and research of art, learning that the variety of styles, materials, and techniques are available for experimentation. I have dedicated myself to painting for over 20 years, and my current passion is wildlife through hyperrealism. I use acrylic techniques on wood surfaces, watercolor, and colored pencil. On my website, you can find a lot of e-patterns.


Wood Surface 8in x 12in (20cm x 30cm)


Decoart Americana

Antique Gold - DAO9

Antique Green - DA147

Antique White - DAO58

Black Green - DA157

Burnt Umber - DAO64

Butterscotch - DA295* (Jack-O-Lantern Orange DA229 - Camel DA191 - 03.02)

Calypso Blue - DA234

Celery Green - DA208

Charcoal Grey - DAO88

Georgia Clay - DAO17

Grey Sky - DA111

Honey Brown - DA163

Light Buttermilk - DA164

Midnite Green - DAO84

Moon Yellow - DAO7

Peaches ‘N Cream - DAO23

Persimmon - DA293

Plantation Pine - DA113

Saffron Yellow - DA273

Salem Blue - DAO43

Soft Black - DA155

Ultra Blue Deep - DA100

Watermelon Slice - DA324


Mediums/ Decoart

Americana acrylic sealer/finishers

Decoart Gel Stain or Staining Antiquing


Robert Simmons

3/8, 1/4 Angle Sienna

2, 4 - Filbert Bristle Brush – Signet Serie 42


4, 2, Round – LaCorneille

18/0 script liner or 2 Ultra round - LaCorneille

3/8, 1/4 Crescent

1/2, 3/8 Maxine’s Mop

6 Shader - LaCorneille

Royal Langnickel - 1/4 Filbert Rake

Royal Langnickel - 1/4 Deerfoot

Miscellaneous Supplies

Masking tape or frog tape


Tracing Paper

Graphite Paper

Foam roller

Helpful Tip or Hint

The glazing technique is versatile to get tone up or down. You can add a different color nuance. And it is useful to get some transparent effect.


Sand the wood surface and basecoat with Charcoal Grey + Plantation Pine color.


Background: Let’s add a gradient with 3 colors using the foam roller. Start from the light color on down to the corner with Celery Green, the middle tone is Plantation Pine and the dark tone is Midnite Green. Let dry. Shade the dark corner with Black Green.

Mushroom: The basecoat is Butterscotch. The first shade is Persimmon. Shade the top round shape, stem, and down circle shape. Dry brush using a crescent brush with Georgia Clay on top of the mushroom adding some irregular stripes effect. The light area is Light Buttermilk using a crescent brush on the left side of each stem and on the down edge of the Cap. Shade the top and the right side of the stem with Georgia Clay. With an angle brush and Light Buttermilk, lets work on the gills, if you need you can trace it first. Repeat this step if it is too light. Add a Moon Yellow glazing on top of all light areas. Shade the opposite side of each gill line with Georgia Clay. Shade with Burnt Umber the dark area of the gills (behind of the stem) and on overlap shadow of the mushrooms that are near to another. Shade under of the mouse with Burnt Umber too. On the background shade the left side of the mushrooms with Midnite Green.

Grass: Using a stippling technique with a deer foot brush adding the colors starting from a dark tone then gradually lighten the tone. Start from Midnite Green, then Plantation Pine, and at last Celery Green.

Mouse fur: The bristle brush is a kind of brush that needs to be almost dry and have no excess of paint on it that way it will offer more similarity of a natural fur. It is a way to avoid a flat basecoat on the first layer of your animal painting.

With a bristle filbert brush add 2 layers of Honey Brown following the fur direction than with the same brush add 1 layer of Antique Gold then Antique White.

Now with rake brush and Antique White add 2 layers of fur. (Following the same direction as the previous strokes). With an angle brush and Honey Brown shade the leg, arm, and scarf. Repeat this shading with Burnt Umber and Soft Black. With a liner brush and Antique White add 1 layer of fur.

Ears: With a bristle brush add 2 layers of Grey Sky. Dry brush the ear center with Peaches ‘n Cream then Watermelon Slice. Dry brush the ears edge with Charcoal Grey. The last layer will be with a liner brush to add some dark fur leaving some loose hairs on the ear’s tips. Shade the ear that is behind the head with Soft Black.

Hands and Tail: Basecoat the tail and hands with Peaches ‘n Cream. Shade one side of each finger with Charcoal Grey then Soft Black. Highlight the other side with Buttermilk. Then shade with Soft black on the tips of the fingers.

For the tail, using a crescent brush and dry brush technique, let us add some “C” strokes to get the round shape of the tail. On top use Buttermilk and the bottom use Charcoal Grey. After dry, shade the tail tip with Watermelon Slice and the beginning of the tail (close to the body) with Charcoal Grey then Soft Black.

Bug Net: Basecoat is Grey Sky. Use masking tape to help basecoat the net rod. With a round brush shade the right side of the net with Charcoal Grey then Soft Black. On the left side highlight with Light Buttermilk. With a liner brush and Soft Black add some C line along the net rod to give the idea of the cylindrical shape. On the net area add a light buttermilk glazing. With a liner brush, work on the net lines with Light Buttermilk.

Scarf: Basecoat with Salem Blue. Shade with Calypso Blue all scarf and folds. Add some large stripes using a liner brush with Ultra Deep Blue and Watermelon Slice. Shade with Ultra Deep Blue on the darker areas (each fold and the bottom of the scarf). For the overlay shadows add some Soft Black. At the end of each extremity of the scarf with a liner brush add some lines with Calypso Blue and Ultra Deep Blue. Highlight all folds with Light Buttermilk.

Socks: Basecoat with Salem Blue. Shade with Calypso Blue. Add some stripes with Ultra Deep Blue and Watermelon Slice. Shade with Ultra Deep Blue the bottom of the front sock and the overlay shadow of the back sock. Shade with same color the ankle area simulating some wrinkles of fabric. Then add some Soft Black. Highlight the top of each sock with Light Buttermilk. The cord tie is Light Buttermilk.

Face: Dry brush the eye area with Honey Brown. Basecoat the eye with Soft Black. Highlight with Titanium White.

Shade the tip of the nose with Peaches ‘n Cream and highlight with Titanium White. For the nostril add just a little line with Soft Black. The mouth line is Soft Black. The whiskers are Titanium White.

Firefly: With a crescent brush and Light buttermilk add some circles on the air using random sizes. Then with the same color and brush add shine lines. Add one more layer of dry brush on the core of each circle. Add on the center a Lamp Black dot. With a small round brush add a Titanium White wings on the Flies.

Letters: Basecoat with Butterscotch. Add a dark line with Georgia Clay and a light line Butterscotch + light Buttermilk. You can add some shine lines with a dry brush with Light Buttermilk.

Final Touch: We need to emphasize the darkness and the shine of all the scene. So, on the bottom right corner add a Lamp Black glazing including the back and tail of the mouse. As another option, you can use the Gel Stains or Staining Antiquing instead of gazing (I think it was better with Staining Antiquing). The reflected light is close to the firefly light, so add a Titanium White shade on the nose, ear, hand, knee, top of the socks, and the cap of the mushrooms.


Just add a layer of varnish spray.



Pattern & Photos ©2021 Amanda Novaes

1,237 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page