top of page
  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg

Happy Hollidays!

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 overdue.


2 – Square Cutout w/frame (4-1/2” square; w/2-1/2” unattached frame) #SKU: 20-1221 available through


DecoArt® Americana Acrylics:

DA364 Aloe

DA157 Black Green

DA172 Black Plum

DA257 Bleached Sand

DA015 Cadmium Red

DA166 Deep Midnight Blue

DA082 Evergreen

DA111 Grey Sky

DA313 Oyster Beige

DA093 Raw Sienna

DA01 Snow White

DA286 Terra Coral

DA08 Yellow Ochre

DA304 Zinc

DecoArt Sealers/Finishes:

Americana Acrylic Sealer/Finisher Matte DAS13

Metallic Lustre – Burnished Brass ML18C

Decou-page Matte DS106

Multi-Purpose Sealer DS17

DuraClear Matte Varnish DS60

Royal® Brushes:

#1114 – med. Langnickel stencil brush

#1360 – sm. & med. Debby’s Texture brushes

#3080 – 1 Oval Wash Combo

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

#4160 – 5/8 Majestic angle

#4170 – 10 Majestic filbert

#4585 – 10/0, 5/0 Majestic liners

#4700 – ¾ Majestic glaze wash

#M770M¾ Moderna oval mop

Miscellaneous Supplies:

Baby Wipe / rubbing alcohol

Emery Board

Blue Shop Towels

Frog Tape

Clear Graph Ruler

Spattering Tool

Christmas Party printed tissue (4 – 6” x 6” pieces) (or print of your choice) available at Hobby Lobby.

Quick Grip All-Purpose Adhesive available through

10” Fun Wire – Icy Gold (22 gauge) #84712 available through

Tim Holtz Collection Layering Stencil – Poinsettia #THS049 available through

Botantic Collage Stencil (6” x 8”) #SKU: 09-194884 available through

*or stencils of your choice


Seal the entire ornaments with the Multi-Purpose Sealer; using the glaze wash brush.

Lightly sand; wipe off with a lint-free cloth.


Basecoat the side edges of the ornament squares and the entire frames with Oyster Beige; using the #12 shader.

Tissue Paper Background Technique:

The tissue technique is applied to both sides of each square ornament.

Cut 4 pieces of tissue paper a couple of inches larger (6” x 6”) than the ornament.

Give the surface, where the tissue will be applied, a coat of Decou-page, being sure not to skip any areas.

Lay the tissue paper over the area, laying into the medium, and press gently down with your fingers.

Press out the air bubbles with your fingers or roll over the surface using a brayer.

Give the top of the tissue surface another coat of Decou-page.

Repeat the steps on remaining sides of ornaments.

Allow to dry before trimming the edges.

Use scissors to trim the tissue along the surface.

Then use an emery board to remove the excess tissue; leaving nice clean finished edges.

Refer to Tissue Paper Background Technique Image

Transfer Design:

When dry, transfer the designs to the appropriate surfaces.

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

Foreground Snow Area:

Corner load the angle with Snow White, float a wide highlight along the front side of the snow hills; mop to soften.

Then chisel float* Snow White randomly down into the snow hill areas; more snow will be added after the design is completed.

*chisel float by corner loading the angle, blend off on your palette, lay the bristles of the brush flat on the surface, and chisel edge up.

Push the paint on the bristles from left to right in a scratching motion, allowing the bristles to pull a broken line that is slightly


Bare Trees:

Double load the #2 shader with Raw Sienna + Yellow Ochre, up on the chisel edge, and pull the limbs.

With Snow White and the #2 shader, randomly dab on the limbs, for snow.

Background Pines:

With a pencil and the graph ruler, lightly transfer the top line for each pine.

Work on only a couple of pines at a time.

Now slightly dampen the surface with clean water where the pine will be pulled.

The dampened surface will allow the pines to softly bleed; giving the illusion of the pines in the distance.

Load the #10 filbert with Black Green across the chisel edge.

Up on the chisel edge, vertically pull the very top of the pine.

Horizontally tap from left to right for the boughs, slowly and slightly widening as you work towards the base of the pine.

Allow a bit of the background to show through; so the pine doesn’t look like a triangle.

Repeat steps with Black Green, randomly tapping on a few boughs, to deepen.

For the snow on the pines, repeat the steps with Snow White, lightly and randomly tapping on the boughs.

Refer to Background Bare Trees, Pines and Shrubs Image

Background Shrubs:

With the appropriate size Texture brush, dance in the shrubs with Evergreen.

Repeat the step with Evergreen, randomly dancing to deepen a few areas of the shrubs.

Then repeat the step with Snow White, randomly dancing across the top of the shrubs, for snow and separation.

For the proper use of the Texture brush, use the following method.

Dampen the bristles with water to start the separation of the bristles. Tap bristles into the paint on your palette, hold it perpendicular to

your palette, and pounce it up and down to get some of the paint off – keeping the paint sparse on the brush.

Note – this brush can be used on the whole foot or just the toe.

Tap lightly on the surface, dance with the brush-up and down, rolling the brush in different directions in between your fingers when it

is up in the air (like dancing the twist, light on your feet). Allow some drying time in between dances so the paint sets up and you

don’t end up with a globby or muddy look.

Refer to Background Bare Trees, Pines and Shrubs Image

Painting Structures:

Use the appropriate size shaders to basecoat the structures.

The appropriate size liners to pull wall lines.

Use the appropriate size shaders to wash over the shade side walls; corner load the angle to float shade on the opposite wall.

Each numbered step will contain instructions to complete the structure.

Roofs, windows, and doors will be completed in a later step.

Refer to the line drawing for numbering.

*Depending on the tissue print for the background, sometimes it will show through the basecoats; which does add interest to the design. If you do not like that effect, undercoat the areas with one coat of Grey Sky.

Refer to Basecoating Structures Image

Structure #1:

Yellow Ochre – basecoat walls.

Raw Sienna – pull wall lines, wash over the left wall, and float shade across top of the right wall. Structure #2:

Terra Coral – basecoat walls.

Cadmium Red – pull wall lines, wash over left wall, float shade across top of the right wall.

Structure #3:

Aloe – basecoat walls.

Black Green – pull wall lines, wash over the left wall, float shade across top of right wall.

Silo #4:

Bleached Sand – basecoat walls.

Grey Sky + Zinc – double load 10/0 liner, pull wall lines, double load angle, brush blend on the palette, float shade down the left side of the wall.

Structure #5:

Bleached Sand – basecoat wall.

Grey Sky + Zinc – double load 10/0 liner, pull wall lines, double load angle, brush blend on palette, float shade across top of wall.

Grey Sky – basecoat wall

Zinc – pull wall lines, float a wide shade down the left side.

Snow White – float a highlight down the right side.

Structure #7:

Cadmium Red – basecoat walls

Black Plum – pull wall lines, wash over the left wall, float shade across the top of the two walls.

Structure #8:

Grey Sky – basecoat walls.

Zinc – pull wall lines, float shade across the top of the wall.

Roofs: Basecoat roofs with Snow White; using the appropriate size shaders.

Corner load the angle with Deep Midnight Blue, lightly float shading across the top of each roof.

Double load the 5/0 liner with Deep Midnight Blue + Snow White, and pull the side roof lines and silo roofs.

With the 5/0 liner and Snow White, re-stroke the side roof lines and silo roofs, for snow and to brighten.


With the appropriate size shaders, pull the windows –

Deep Midnight Blue – dark windows

Yellow Ochre – yellow windows

Corner load the angle with Cadmium Red, float a tint in each Yellow Ochre window –

Left ornament windows – float down the left side

Right ornament windows – float across the top

With the 10/0 liner and Bleached Sand, pull the window panes and outline the windows.


With the appropriate size shaders and Bleached Sand, pull the doors.

Double load the angle with Grey Sky + Zinc, brush blend on your palette and float shading across the top of the doors.

Double load the 10/0 liner with Grey Sky + Zinc, and pull the door handle and hinges on the doors.

Additional Snow:

Corner load the angle with Snow White, and float additional snow along the snow hills, to clean up and brighten.

Then continue chisel floating* Snow White down into the snow hill areas.


To bring life to your painting, randomly add a few tints.

Corner load the angle with thinned Yellow Ochre, lightly and randomly apply tints over the designs (structure roofs, snow on shrubs,

foreground snow, etc.); refer to photo for placements.

Refer to Close Ups #1 and #2 Images

Falling Snow:

With the Spattering Tool and thinned Snow White, spatter over the designs, for falling snow.

TIP: For easier removal of any unwanted specks with a dampened brush or Q-tip, apply one coat of varnish over the design areas,

before spattering.

Less water added to thin the Snow White = smaller specks.

More water added to thin the Snow White = larger specks.

Stenciling Diamonds:

With the Botanic Collage Stencil or stencil of choice, Metallic Lustre, Burnished Brass, and medium stencil brush, stencil on the surface

of each ornament.

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

Secure it with the Frog Tape or hold it with your fingers.

Load the med stencil brush with a bit of Burnished Brass, 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 diamond area of the stencil.

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

Clean the stencil and brush immediately; using a baby wipe.

Finishing Touches on Frames:

With the Poinsettia stencil or stencil of choice, Evergreen and stencil brush, stencil holly leaves on the corners of the frames; refer

to photo for placement.

Refer to step 24, to complete stenciling.

With Cadmium Red and the stylus, place dip dot berries in the corners of the frames.

When dry, place a Snow White highlight stroke at the top right of each berry.


To protect your painted pieces, varnish the entire ornaments with the DuraClear Matte Varnish; using the Oval Wash Combo.

This brush doesn't leave any visible brushstroke marks after the varnish has dried.

Finishing Touches:

Cut the Fun Wire into 2 – 5” pieces, pull the wire through the top holes from the backside of each ornament to the front, bend

the wire over.

With the Quick Grip, glue the frames to the square ornaments; refer to the photo for placement or placement of your choice.

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

Copyright 2022, Debby Forshey-Choma.

512 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page