Thursday, February 16, 2017

Starling Skull with Tracy Moreau

Karen and I are excited to introduce the talented Tracy Moreau today on the blog. Stay tuned for next Thursday as we introduce Sandy.

Tracy Moreau is sharing a fabulous piece with you today, so read below as Tracy shares with you her Starling Skull project. Make sure to leave her some love and give her a warm welcome to the team.


My name is Tracy Moreau, this is My First Post with Southern Ridge Trading, hopefully I can offer you something fun, a little challenging and a little outside the ordinary! I am an Artist, And I work in a wide variety of Mediums , But I have a particular passion for decorative painting and Mixed Media.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play with the wonderful surfaces, embellishments and stencils that the twisted minds at Southern Ridge Trading come up with, and then add my own unique twist.

I LOVE sugar Skulls,… I love skulls in General so this is not really out of my comfort zone.  This piece is actually a Starling Skull… perhaps a bit morbid.. so I had to brighten it up a bit with some Bling and some flowers, and lets face it Pearls go with everything!

It isn’t a difficult piece to do, just involves a few  simple techniques. and a great surface!
This fabulous oval frame is NEW  for Southern Ridge Trading , and  made the perfect surface for this design.

First I had to base the Background in a vivid Turquoise, and then Age the edges with a deep dark Prussian Blue. The Flowers I based with Aqua Waters , Bright Salmon and  Frosted Plum ( I like these colours for Skulls , they keep the design from becoming too dark and dreary.) Gotta have HAPPY Colours when you paint Skulls!

I used an Antique Green for the leaves and Vines…The Skull and The Pearls are based with Warm White and the Cross is Dove Grey

The depth in this piece is created by using shadows and light,  Shading around the Skull and flowers and on the Skull itself help lift the elements of this design, off the background. The Shading on the left side of each pearl and the highlight on the right side of the pearls and skull lends them even more dimension.

    Adding highlights to the tips of the petals  give the flowers a bit of fullness and pulls them forward a little.

Adding Final fine lines  of Green and White to enhance leaves and flowers  create light and delicate details softening the various elements piece even further. The addition of the Stick on Gems, added a little sparkle.

What give this piece it’s edge, is the ornate frame, Though originally a flat surface I embellished it a little with dimensional Paint, by simply tracing the design, and adding a few swirls here and there. Once it was dry I went over it all with  Texture sand mixed with Black Paint. I just slapped it on, Neatness doesn’t count and perfection is to be avoided at all costs.  Once it was dry, I dry brushed a little metallic paint and a little Orange paint over the surface and then again with a few downward dry brushed strokes of Aqua Waters, to give it a rusty metallic patina.

Southern Ridge Trading Company Products Used:

- Oval Victorian Frame (coming soon)

Other Supplies Used:

- DecoArt Americana Acrylics
- DecoArt Media Texture Sand
- Dynasty Faux Squirrel Brushes

Thanks for joining me today!

- Tracy


  1. This is gorgeous!! Love the frame and the skull too 😊

  2. What an amazing painting Tracy, incredible details and depth of field, it is beautiful! So wonderful to have you on the team, looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful art, Deb xo

  3. Wow what a wonderful project! Welcome to the team.

  4. Tracy you are a painter with talent galore!!! Bravo...