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Holiday Blizzard: Spooky Halloween Canvas

Spooky Halloween Canvas

By:  Cathy Peper, Artistic Guide

Finished size:  8" x 10"


Little girl, older girl, boy dressed as an Indian, and bat (Oxford Impressions)

Owl and Striking Raven (Rubber Stamp Avenue)
Trees (Innovative Stamp Creations)
Pumpkin (Inkadinkado)
Solar White (Neenah)

Eclipse Black (Paper Temptress)
Memento Rich Cocoa and Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko)

Stazon Timber Brown (Tsukineko)
Color Wash Sprays:

Chroma Sun, Lime, Teal and Coal (Stamp Zia)
Ultra Colorwash Jewels Amethyst (Stamp Zia)
Adirondack Colorwash Butterscotch, Denim and Wild Plum (Ranger)
Radiant Rain Key Lime (Luminarte)
Copic Markers (.too):
E00, E11, E31, E33 and E35
R20, R22, R81, R83 and R85
V000, V12 and V15
Halloween Fence Scene and Fleur de lis Border dies (Spellbinders)
8 by 10 canvas (Michaels)
gesso (Liquitex)
Studio Matte Medium (Claudine Hellmuth for Ranger)
Tissue paper (from my stash)


I love Halloween and knew I wanted to do a Halloween themed canvas for one of my Holiday Blizzard projects, but I haven’t had much experience working with canvas before this so I had to learn from trial and error.  I wasn’t getting good coverage from the first spray inks I tried, so I tried Memories spray dies.  These gave me great coverage, but never dried on the canvas.  I ended up having to throw that one out.  The Memories dies are pigments and I guess the canvas I used was not absorbent enough for them to dry.  So, I went back to my dye sprays and the Ranger sprays, which are a textile ink, but primed the surface with gesso first to help them stick.

  1. So, first prime the canvas with gesso and allow to dry.
  2. While the canvas is drying, begin working on your stamped images.  I stamped my Halloween images on  cardstock and rough cut them out to play around with different combinations. 
  3. Basically, I had to decide if I was doing a scary or cute scene and discover which images I had that would work together as far as size goes.  I ended up going with something rather spooky, but not super scary.  Most of the stamps I used are from Oxford Impressions and there’s just something about these stamps that are rather creepy without being supernatural.
  4. Once I had decided on my images and placement, I stamped the scene out without bothering with masking just to see if it would work. 
  5. Then I began stamping my final images onto the Neenah cardstock and coloring with Copic Markers.  I didn’t stamp directly onto the canvas because it’s hard to get a crisp image on the rough surface.
  6. Once my images were colored, I carefully cut them out.
  7. After the gesso dried, I sprayed the canvas with my inks.  I sprayed the bottom green, the middle blue and the top orange, purple and black.  I used my heat gun to speed drying, but still had to let it sit for awhile.
  8. Once the sprays were dry, I ran into my second problem.  I had nice good coverage from the inks now, which was great, but I realized the colors were probably too dark for me to overstamp with my trees.  I was afraid they wouldn’t show up.  So, I stamped the trees twice on tissue paper and glued the tissue paper to the canvas with matte medium.  The tissue paper essentially disappears into the canvas, leaving the tree images.  The trees are still somewhat faint, but I think this adds to the whole weird feeling.
  9. After gluing the trees down, I used the matte medium to glue the rest of the images onto the scene.
  10. Then I diecut two fence scene and two fleur de lis borders out of the black cardstock and arranged them on the canvas as the upper and lower borders, adhering them with the matte medium as well.
  11. Now I have a new Halloween decoration.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own canvas you can avoid some of the pitfalls I discovered.

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4 Responses »

  1. This is so super awesome! I have several framed canvases that I bought on sale and couldn't decide what to do with them. I love the way the trees look and am going to try to achieve something similar to this with lighter colors and butterflies for my daughters room! Thanks so much for the inspiration and the fabulous instructions!

  2. Cathy, your art canvas is just soooooo cool. Love it!

  3. very interesting and unusual

  4. Great tutorial!! Love the technique! Thanks for sharing Cathy!!

    Take care and STAY POSITIVE!