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  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg


By Pamela Cassidy

The holiday season is the time of year where we deck the halls in anticipation of the festive moments we will share with family and friends. This project can be enjoyed in a variety of ways….It can be hung on your front door, or perhaps from a vintage sled, or added to a holiday wreath…and since the holidays are a season for giving, it would also make a thoughtful gift. However you choose to enjoy it, I hope you have as much fun painting it as I did.

I began painting over 15 years ago. As a busy mom of three young boys, I craved a little time to myself and began taking decorative painting classes. I primarily use acrylics, but I also enjoy working with oils. Over the years, I have been humbled by so many talented artists and gifted instructors from who I’ve taken classes. This allowed me to broaden my knowledge and skills and enabled me to occasionally teach in small class settings. I am very excited to now create my own designs, and I hope you will enjoy painting them.


Women’s white leather ice skate (I found mine at a tag sale.)


Bittersweet Chocolate DA195

Black Green DA157

Bleached Sand DA257

Cadmium Orange DA014

Cadmium Yellow DA010

Cool White DA240

Driftwood DA171

French Grey Blue DA098

Grey Sky DA111

Hauser Dark Green DA133

Hauser Light Green DA131

Lamp Black DA067

Payne’s Grey DA167

Raw Sienna DA093

Santa Red DA170

Slate Grey DA068

Soft Black DA155


Delta Ceramcoat All-Purpose Sealer, Product #070050802

Liberty Art Acrylic Matte Varnish, Product # LS28550


Artist’s Loft Vienna ¾ in. angle shader

Artist’s Loft Vienna ½ in. angle shader

Artist’s Loft Vienna #4 filbert

Artist’s Loft Vienna 10/0 liner

Artist’s Loft Marseille ¼ in. deerfoot

Artist’s Loft Marseille ½ in. mop

LaCornelle #2 Round

Loew-Cornelle Series 7300 #1 shader

Loew-Cornelle Series 4500 #4 filbert

LaCorneille Series 7400 ¼ in. angle shader

Princeton Select 3/8 in. Lunar blender


Tracing Paper

Black Graphite Paper


Paper Towels


Palette Paper

Hair Dryer


Practice surface, if necessary

Mild Detergent

Decorative Seasonal Greenery

Ribbon of your choice


Floral Wire


Print photograph for line drawing.


*Please note all photos must be downloaded separately.


The skate I used was a size 10. This gave me a larger surface to paint on. Depending on the size of your skate, you may need to reduce the size of the line drawing to fit your surface. Also, if your skate is heavily worn with creases in the leather, stuffing it with newspaper may make the surface easier to paint on.


Remove the laces from the skate. Wash the skate with a damp paper towel and a small amount of mild detergent, if necessary, to achieve a clean surface. Allow the skate to dry thoroughly, and then apply a coat of sealer. Let it sit overnight.


1. Trace pattern onto tracing paper. You may want to trim the tracing paper for a closer fit to the size of the skate. For example, I trimmed mine to approximately 11 in. wide by 6 in. high.

2. Apply a strip of masking tape along the heel and sole of the skate to protect from paint. Using the ¾ in. angle brush, basecoat the skate with Bleached Sand.

3. Transfer on the horizon and landlines. The sky will be painted using French Grey Blue and Grey Sky using the ¾ in. angle brush. Starting at the top of the skate, with an ‘inky’ consistency of French Grey Blue, paint the sky using horizontal strokes. This should be done quickly to avoid drying. Use the ½ in. mop brush to soften any brush strokes. Once you softened with the mop, dry thoroughly with a hairdryer. The color should be strongest at the top. Using ‘inky’ Grey Sky and starting now from the horizon line, repeat the process in the opposite direction. You want to achieve the look of a winter sky. Dry with the hairdryer.

4. Using the ¼ in. deer foot brush and Cool White, pounce in clouds. I always offload my brush a bit on a paper towel and use a very light touch. You may want to practice a bit before applying the clouds to the skate. Once you have your clouds complete, dry with a hairdryer. Using the ¾ in. angle and Cad Yellow, float a highlight along the exterior top edge of each cloud. This should be a very subtle float.

5. The water will be painted, similar to the way we did the sky, with Payne’s Grey, French Grey Blue, and Cool White, using the ¾ in. angle brush. Starting at the horizon, with horizontal strokes, use thinned Payne’s Grey. Work wet-on-wet, and add in thinned French Grey Blue as you paint down toward the base of the skate. While the paint is still wet, add in some Cool White here and there. You want variations of color for a more realistic sea. We will come back later to add details to the water.

6. If you need to clean up the land area, take some Bleached Sand, and base in where your sky and water paint colors may have gone over the lines. Dry. Using the ½ in. angle brush, base in the snow with Cool White and the cliff in Driftwood.

7. Using the ½ in. angle brush float in Slate Grey along the bottom of the snow on the cliff. Reinforce with Soft Black.

8. Put out Bittersweet Chocolate, Soft Black, Lamp Black, Raw Sienna, Bleached Sand, and Slate Grey. Using the 3/8 inch lunar blender, randomly pick up Bittersweet, Soft Black, and Raw Sienna and ‘dry brush’ in the cliff area creating the rocks. I did not clean out my brush in between colors. Having a dirty brush allows for a more realistic look. Add highlights with Bleached Sand and Slate Grey. When adding highlights, pick up some color and offload your brush onto a paper towel for a subtle look. Once you have all your rocks painted in, use the ¾ in. angle and Lamp Black to float shadows to separate the rocks. As suggested with the clouds, if necessary, you can practice on a separate surface before you start painting on your skate.

9. Use the #2 Round and Cool White to randomly add snow to the tops of the rocks.

10. Transfer the main lines of the lighthouse and house. (leave out windows, wreaths, door). With the ¼ in. angle brush, base the lighthouse Bleached Sand and the house Driftwood. Shade the left side of the house and lighthouse with Payne’s Grey. Highlight the right side of the lighthouse with Cool White.

11. Transfer in the remaining details of the house and lighthouse. Base the roof of the house and the top of the lighthouse with Santa Red. With the 10/0 liner, outline the top of the lighthouse and the house roofline with Lamp Black. Pull in the windows with Lamp Black using the #1 shader and use a liner brush to outline with Bleached Sand. Using the same brushes, paint the door Santa Red and details Lamp Black. Using the #2 round, tap in the light on the lighthouse with Cad Yellow.

12. Using #2 round, tap in the wreaths with Hauser Dark Green and highlight with Hauser Light Green. Use #1 liner and Santa Red to add the bows, highlight with Cool White. Use the liner and Hauser Dark Green to paint garland on the top of the lighthouse, highlight with Hauser Light Green. Add snow to the roofline of the house with the liner and Cool White.

13. Transfer in remaining details, leaving out the minor ones that will need to be added after base coats.

14. Using the #4 filbert and Black Green paint in the pine tree. This is done by tapping in the branches side to side. Highlight with Hauser Light Green and add snow with Cool White. Using the same colors, paint the shrub using the ¼ in. deerfoot. Add red berries with Santa Red using a stylus.

15. Paint both trees with Burnt Umber and the liner brush. Add snow here and there on the branches with Cool White.

16. Paint the fence with Burnt Umber and the wire with Slate Grey using the liner brush.

17. Base the rowboat with Raw Sienna using the #2 round. Shade the inside of the boat with Soft Black using the ¼ in. angle shader. With the Liner Brush, add wood markings with Soft Black, the seats with Bleached Sand, and the ring on the front with Slate Grey. Paint the oars with the #2 round with Burnt Umber and highlight with Bleached Sand.

18. Base the snowman with Bleached Sand using the #2 round. Shade the body with Slate Grey using the ¼ in. angle shader. Use the liner brush to add the hat, eyes, and mouth with Lamp Black, the twig arms with Burnt Umber, the scarf, and hatband with Santa Red, and the nose with Cad Orange.

19. Paint the small rocks on the land with the same colors used to paint the cliff rocks. I used my #2 round to paint and highlight the rocks.

20. Add grasses with Raw Sienna and Hauser Light Green using the Liner Brush.

21. Add shadows throughout the snow with Slate Grey. You can see I placed shadows under the house and lighthouse as well as the other objects. Use the liner brush to dab in snow here and there with Cool White (on the rowboat, at the base of the fence posts, near the rocks, at the base of the trees)

22. Paint seagulls with a liner brush using Soft Black, highlight with Cool White.

23. Paint the sailboat in the water in the same manner, using the same colors as you did with the rowboat. Using the liner brush, paint the masts with Slate Grey, and highlight with Bleached Sand, paint the flag and the buoy with Santa Red and Cool White, and the line with Soft Black.

24. Using the liner brush and Cool White, add movement in the water below the boat and buoy. Add other movements here and there throughout the water to hint at waves. Add some water splashes at the bottom of the rocks.


25. Make certain your skate is thoroughly dry. I let mine sit overnight. Apply two coats of varnish using the ¾ in. angle or any brush that you normally use to varnish your work. Do not use a foam brush to varnish. Remove the masking tape from heel and sole.

26. Lace your skate with the ribbon of your choice. You can remove the newspaper at this point and insert a piece of Styrofoam into the skate, followed by your seasonal greenery.

27. To hang your skate, poke a small hole through the back of the skate, and insert the floral wire to make a loop. If you intend to add your skate to a wreath, you can leave off the seasonal greenery, and use the floral wire to affix to the wreath.

I hope you enjoyed this project! Happy Painting!

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