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  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg

Fireworks Celebration at Brant Point

by Debby Forshey-Choma

Adding different techniques, however simple or detailed to backgrounds or on top of a finished design, adds interest to the design. The background is a supporting part of the design, but keep it in the background; don’t overdo it.


Square Wood Plaque (8” x 8” x ½” deep) #SKU: 20-11529 available through

DecoArt® Americana Acrylics: available through

DA166 Deep Midnight Blue

DA200 Primary Blue

DA169 Tomato Red

DA168 Golden Straw

DA361 Sand Grey

DA040 Williamsburg Blue

DA111 Grey Sky

DA068 Slate Grey

DA304 Zinc

D067 Lamp Black

DA01 Snow White

DecoArt® Sealers/Finishes:

Acrylic Sealer / Finisher Spray – Matte DAS13 Multi-Purpose Sealer DS17

DuraClear Matte Varnish DS60 Weathered Wood DAS8

Royal Brushes: available through

#1360 – sm, med Debby Forshey’s Texture brush

#4585 – 5/0, 10/0 Majestic liner

#1114 – sm, med Royal stencil brush

#4700 – ¾ Majestic glaze wash

#3080 – 1 Oval Wash Combo

#M770M – ¾ Moderna oval mop

#4150 – 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 Majestic shader

#700 – 1-1/2 Royal glaze wash

#4160 – 5/8 Majestic angle

#2003 – Sea Silk Sponge (x3)

Miscellaneous Supplies:

Baby Wipes / rubbing alcohol

Clear Graph Ruler

Blue Shop Towels

Frog Tape

Circles and Squares Stencil #SKU: 09-19018 and

Fireworks Background Stencil #SKU: 09-19333 available through

*Suggestion - always try a new technique on a piece of poster board; which has been base coated with a coat of acrylics.


Apply a coat of Multi-Purpose Sealer over the entire plaque; using the glaze wash brush.

Lightly sand, and wipe off with a dampened blue shop towel.

Basecoat Surfaces:

Basecoat the surface and side edges of the plaque with Grey Sky; using the 1-1/2 glaze wash brush, to achieve opaque coverage.

Basecoat the backside with Deep Midnight Blue; using the 1-1/2 glaze wash brush, to achieve an opaque


Night Sky:

Using sponges to apply the paint for the night sky, will also add texture to the background.

Refer to photo for placements.

Dampen the three silk sponges in water, and squeeze excess water out.

Load one of the sponges with Deep Midnight Blue, and dance in the sky area starting at the top of the plaque.

As you work down the sky area, pick up the Blue Grey mixture (Williamsburg Blue + Grey Sky 1/1) on the second sponge and dance in the next portion of the sky area.

Then load the third sponge with Grey Sky and dance in along the bottom edge of the sky area.

Blend the colors where they meet.

Sometimes you need to load a dampened sponge with one color at the top half of the sponge and the next color at the bottom half of the sponge, slightly dance on your palette to blend the two colors, then dance

across where the two colors meet on the surface, to aid in the blending between two colors.

Ex. Midnight Blue on the top half of a dampened sponge, Blue Grey mixture on the bottom half -or- Blue Grey mixture on the top half, Grey Sky on the bottom half.

The night sky areas follow over the left and right side edges of the plaque, Deep Midnight Blue across the top edge and Grey Sky across the bottom edge; using the sponging technique.

Allow to dry, if a second coat is needed.


To transfer the moon; use the appropriate size circle from the Circle and Squares Stencil.

Dampen the area around the moon with clean water, then with the thinned Blue Grey mixture, pit-pat around the moon; use the mop brush to soften.

Allow to completely dry, then repeat the steps, if necessary, to brighten.

Basecoat the moon with two sheer coats of Snow White; using the 8 filbert.

It will have a blotchy look, allowing some of the background color of Deep Midnight Blue to come through, for shade.

Stenciling Fireworks Background

With the Fireworks Background Stencil or stencil of choice, appropriate colors and large stencil brush, stencil on the surface.

Position the stencil on the surface; refer to the photo for placement.

Secure with the Frog Tape or hold with your fingers.

You can follow the color scheme for the fireworks that I used or your choice.

Load the sm stencil brush with a bit of Tomato Red, and swirl the brush on a blue shop towel to remove excess.

Apply color in a circular motion in one direction and then in a circular motion in the other direction (changing directions frequently) over the very center area of one of the fireworks.

Then load the med stencil brush with Snow White, repeat the steps, and apply color over the remaining area of the fireworks and the stars, blending where the two colors meet.

Carefully remove stencil by holding one end with your fingers and lifting the opposite end.

Repeat steps with remaining fireworks. Using other color schemes – Primary Blue / Snow White Golden Straw / Snow White.

Clean stencil and brush immediately; using a baby wipe.

Misting Matte Spray:

When dry, lightly mist with the matte spray.

TIP: Lightly misting with the matte spray will allow for easier clean-up.

You can lock down acrylic paint with matte acrylic spray at any time during the painting process to preserve previous work. This allows for a fearless painting of the next steps, as any unwanted results may be wiped off without harming the underlying work.

Transfer Design:

Transfer the design to the surface; refer to the photo for placement.

Use the graph ruler to aid in the transfer of any straight lines, by dragging the stylus along the ruler’s edge.

Crackle Effect on Lighthouse Tower:

Read through the instructions before starting the crackling technique.

Refer to the photo where crackling has been applied on the lighthouse tower.

Weathered Wood will be applied to those areas.

When applying Weathered Wood –

-Use dry brushes that have NOT been pre-dampened in water.

-Thin application of the medium and topcoat, the finer the cracks.

-Thick application of the medium and topcoat, the wider the cracks.

-Applying the medium and topcoat in one direction, the topcoat will crack in the same direction.

-Apply the medium and topcoat vertically and horizontally (slip slap motion), the topcoat will crack in the

same directions.

-Allow the medium to dry until tacky to the touch, do not let it dry too long and definitely not

overnight, it will not crack.

-Do not press hard over the medium areas, the crackling will not work well.

-It is also best not to over stroke.

-Let completely air dry after the topcoat has been applied.

Basecoat the tower and structure walls with Zinc; using the 12 shader, two coats are sufficient. Randomly apply the Weathered Wood to the tower wall; refer to the photo for placement. Apply Sand Grey over the Weathered Wood areas, stroking in one direction, and then the remaining areas of the lighthouse tower and structure.

Basecoating Remaining Design:

With the appropriate size shaders and Lamp Black, basecoat the lighthouse roof, watch room, walkway base, and structure roof.

Detailing Lighthouse:

Corner load the angle with Slate Grey, walk out a wide float down the left side of the tower.

Then not as wide float a shade down the left side of the structure, to separate the two.

Corner load the angle with Zinc, and re-float the shade floats, to deepen.

Corner load the angle with Snow White (if the brightness of floating with Snow White makes you nervous, you can float with Grey Sky), float wide highlights down the right sides of the lighthouse roof, watch room, walkway base, tower, and structure walls.

Then float a highlight along the bottom edges of the lighthouse and structure roofs; to help separate from the black bands. Then float a narrow highlight along the top of the walkway base.

Corner load the angle with Snow White, and float the lens in the lens room.

When dry, wash over the lens room area with Grey Sky.

When dry, corner load the angle with Snow White and float a highlight down the right side of the lens room.

With the 5/0 liner and Lamp Black, pull the panes on the lens room.

Double load the 5/0 liner with Lamp Black + Slate Grey, and pull the walkway rails and supports. With the 10/0 liner and Snow White, pull broken highlight strokes along the right two lens panes, the right three rail supports, and the rails above them.

Pull the window with Zinc; using the #8 shader. When dry, corner load the angle with Snow White and float a highlight down the right side of the window. With the #0 shader and Lamp Black, base the left and bottom inside the ledge of the window.

With the 10/0 and Snow White, outline the window and pull the window panes.

With the wood end of a brush and Lamp Black, place two dip dots at the top of the lighthouse roof, for the ventilator balls. When dry, corner load the angle with Snow White and float a highlight on the right side of each ball. With the 5/0 liner and Lamp Black, pull a line up from the ventilator balls, for the lightning rod. Then with the 10/0 liner and Snow White, pull a broken highlight stroke down the right side of the rod.


To protect your painted piece, varnish the entire plaque with the DuraClear Matte Varnish; using the Oval Wash Combo. This brush doesn't leave any visible brushstroke marks after the varnish has dried.

For questions concerning this design, you can contact Debby at or visit her website, on Facebook or Instagram.

Download Line Drawing Here.

Download Original Word File Here.

Copyright 2022, Debby Forshey-Choma. All rights reserved under Pan American and international copyright conventions. Photocopying or any type of mechanical electronic reproduction of any part of this pattern packet or the designs herein are prohibited, except the purchaser may mechanically electronically enlarge or reduce patterns for their personal use. If this pattern packet is purchased as an e-Pattern or CD, you may not re-sell the pdf file, nor make copies of the pdf files for re-sale or to give away. The projects created from the patterns in this pattern packet may be personally painted by the purchaser for fun or for sale (i.e., at local craft shows, on internet auctions such as eBay, and on their own websites or photo sites), although if shown on the internet I do ask that you please give me credit for the design in your description. The designs cannot be used to create web graphics. The product created from or any derivative product made from the designs in this pattern packet cannot be mass-produced in any form without a licensing agreement from Debby Forshey-Choma.

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