This was an experiment, following the instructions given by Lisa Kesler, in an article called ' Texture and layers with acrylic paint and stencils', published in Cloth Paper Scissors.
The first step was to cover your substrate (I used a canvas panel) with masking tape.
Next step was to come up with a design which was a combination of a main focal image, and background shapes or images. I drew my background shapes onto the masking tape. As I'd be cutting around the shapes, I didn't choose anything complicated!
Next, I cut around my shapes using a sharp craft knife, then peeled off the masking tape from around them.
I added a layer of moulding paste, and textured it using bottle tops and pieces of netting.
Once dry, I peeled off my masking tape shapes, and painted the whole piece with watered down fluid acrylics in two or three colours, letting the colours pool in places.
Once dry, I added a warm ochre colour all over to bring it together.
Then I added green, using a baby wipe, so it didn't go into my shapes. It's not looking brilliant at this point, but I know my next layers will really help.
More layers, getting darker and warmer.
The final layer, quite a bright orange, I s added all over, including in my shapes. I'm quite liking it now. The colours in this photo are a bit brighter than real life.
For the next stage, we're back to the masking tape. Once you've covered your canvas with masking tape again, you draw your main image on the tape.
Using a craft knife, cut around your image again, but this time lift the image rather than the tape around it.
Add more moulding paste, and remove masking tape.
Once the moulding paste is dry, add more paint layers.
Paint your main image carefully, making sure you don't get any on your background.
I added several layers of crimson, then used an iridescent gold oil pastel to draw the veins on the leaf, before adding a final layer of paint. The finished piece.... which took all day on and off, 10 minutes here and there with lots of drying time in between layers.
Eagle eyed readers will have spotted that my background circles aren't all in the same place. I made several of these at the same time, and didn't always photograph the same one!