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All Things Ampersand

Project: Klimt-ify It!

I’ve always loved Gustaf Klimt’s paintings. They’re filled with elaborate patterns and endless tiny details, along with lots and lots and LOTS of gold! I thought it would be fun to design a panel that channels my own inner Klimt. I hope you’ll join me.

I started with a 12” x 16 Unprimed Basswood Artist Panel from Ampersand Art Supply. Instead of a painting, I created a collage using torn papers, outline butterfly and leaf peel-offs, iridescent Mylar (Shimmer Sheetz), glittery stickers, leafy branch stickers, and pens – Gold, of course, plus black and white. And for the large gold circles, I incorporated dollar store bangles!


Before starting the project, take a book out of the library or do an Internet image search for Klimt’s paintings so you get a sense of his style rather than relying solely on my interpretation. You’ll notice lots of curving shapes, unrealistic proportions (elongated figures), many flowers (something that I did not include), and even more gold that I used for my panel.

  1. Paint the sides of the Artist Panel with black acrylic paint. Use a dry brush to add gold and a bit of white. Paint the top of the panel with white gesso and use a dry brush to add vertical streaks of pale teal and black at the edges only.

  1. Add paper collage in three different colors, leaving a quarter-inch border of paint visible on all sides. Edges of the collage are straight and cut with a craft knife, interior edges are torn. Notice that the right side of the collage (red) is wider than the left side (green), and that the purple pieces toward the center form a small rectangle with the look of leaves building outward from the vertical portion of the purple pieces.
  1. Alter a piece of Black Iridescent Shimmer Sheetz with alcohol inks in shades of pink, purple, and gold. Add three gold outline butterfly peel-offs. Decorate the butterflies with Glitter Dots peel-offs and Glitter Hearts peel-offs in various colors. Fussy-cut around the butterflies.

  1. Adhere spiral pattern handmade paper pieces to the top and toward the lower left. Alternatively, stencil, stamp or hand-draw similar spirals in white. Adhere the butterflies with double-sided tape.

  1. Alter two sheets of black leafy branch peel-offs with gold alcohol ink. Arrange and adhere the leafy branches and four narrow gold bangles as shown. (Use gem glue to hold the bangles in place.) If bangles aren’t available, stencil, stamp or hand-draw similar circles with gold paint, ink, or paint pen.
  1. Alter pieces of Imperial Garnet Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz with alcohol inks in shades of yellow, orange, purple, and gold. Add gold and black outline leaf peel-offs to the Shimmer Sheetz. Accent the leaves with Glitter Dots peel-offs. Fussy-cut around the leaves. Arrange and adhere the leaves as shown in the project photo, allowing them to overlap the bangles here and there. Add three gold outline coin peel-offs to Gold Metallic Shimmer Sheetz. Fussy-cut. Add them toward the bottom right of the panel, separated by one of the leaves as shown. Alternatively, use Asian coins (painted bright gold if they are not shiny).

  1. Invite your inner Klimt to come out and play! Use a gold paint pen, black fine nib marker and white opaque ink pen to surround some of the leaves, to create circles, dots, and whatever else pleases your eye.
  1. More options:
  • *Paint, gel print, stamp or stencil the papers used in Step 2 prior to tearing them for the collage.
  • *Instead of butterflies, stamp, stencil or draw faces or cut them from magazines or your own photographs.
  • *Keep going! Klimt’s paintings are not minimalist.


  • The Artist Panel – 12” x 16” Unprimed Basswood (Ampersand Art Supply)
  • Pen-touch pen in Gold (Sakura of America)
  • Pigma Micron pen in Black (Sakura of America)
  • Gelly Roll pen in White (Sakura of America)
  • Paint brush
  • White gesso
  • Acrylic paint in gold, teal, black
  • Pearl River 12 x 12 papers (Stanislaus Imports, www.lasioux.com)
  • Outline peel-offs (butterflies, leaves, leafy branches, glitter dots, glitter hearts – Elizabeth Craft Designs)
  • Shimmer Sheetz in Black Iridescent and Imperial Garnet (Elizabeth Craft Designs)
  • Alcohol Inks (Tim Holtz for Ranger)
  • Ink applicator tool (Ranger)
  • Spiral pattern handmade paper (unknown, purchased at an art supply store)
  • Spiral pattern stencil (as the alternative to spiral pattern paper)
  • Outline peel-offs (coins – Hot Off The Press)
  • Fine point scissors
  • Gem glue
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Glue stick
  • Dollar store bangles in gold

This is part of our on-going series of projects with artist Judi Kauffman. Judi is a nationally known designer, teacher, writer and product developer whose expertise includes collage, stenciling, paper crafting, stamp arts, embroidery, needlepoint, knitting, crochet, weaving and fabric piecing. She has written and produced three videos and is the author of five books. Judi developed and taught college-level studio art and graphic design courses for over 40 years, as well as art programs in public and private schools (elementary through high school levels). Judi earned a BFA in printmaking from Cornell University and an MFA in fibers from Antioch University. She credits her parents (both artists) and her grandfathers (a tailor and a blacksmith) for encouraging her to pursue art and for being among her favorite teachers.


7 comments on “Project: Klimt-ify It!”

  1. Avatar Holly Young says:

    I’ve never heard of Gustaf Klimt, but I did have to google him after seeing your creations. I would say you did a great job channeling him! Your pieces remind me a little of quilts.

  2. Avatar Denise says:


  3. Avatar Toni says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Love all of the details!

  4. Avatar Kay Carlson says:

    I definitely recognize the Klimt style! Great job as usual, Judi! Love the pic in your bio, too!

  5. Avatar paulaj says:

    Looks like a fun project!

  6. Avatar Jean Marmo says:

    Off to Google him but I love what you created!! So many wonderful details.

  7. Avatar Bibi Lindahl says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I think Klimt would be quite pleased with your interpretation of his style! Thank you for sharing.

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