Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Quirky Technique Yields Pretty, Shimmery Results
Some techniques are just too complicated and/or messy for me. Stamping acrylic blocks to create backgrounds, however, is relatively easy and makes only a limited mess. Vicki Dutcher's blog post here inspired me to give it a try, although I didn't follow her directions exactly.
Call me a rebel.
Acrylic Block Stamping Tutorial for Twinkling H2Os
In concept, this basic technique is easy. Ink up your acrylic block using some coloring medium (Vicki suggests watercolor crayons, which certainly yielded lovely results on her card), spritz with water, and stamp. But it's also unpredictable, and you might waste some paper getting the effect you want. Repeat the mantra "it's only paper" as needed. My tutorial focuses on shimmery results with Twinkling H2Os.
1. Paint your acrylic block with Twinkling H2Os. I imagine each medium has its own persnickety quirks, but a wet medium like Twinkling H2Os will bead up on the block and look nothing like what it will look like on paper. The idea is to make sure you have enough liquid on the block that the paint pigment will spread around attractively under the pressure of the block.
2. After spreading a bunch of paint on the block with a brush, spritz the block with water and stamp it onto heavy cardstock or watercolor paper.
3. Keep the block resting on the paper for a few seconds so the paper absorbs the pigment. If you lift the block too early, the pigment will pool into veins...think about what happens when kids fingerpaint and lift their hands off the paper. Of course, the veining might be a very cool look, depending on what you're doing.
Troubleshooting and Suggestions
1. Experiment first, and keep an open mind. This is a technique for which an attitude of play is essential. Loosen up and enjoy the process because you might get something amazing when you least expect it. Also, you might punch shapes or images out of backgrounds that don't quite work as backgrounds.
2. Too little water on the block, and the pigment will look spotty and dark and, well, diseased. At least, that's the look I got. Too much water, and it'll look more like my card above. The color I used on this was actually a fairly deep goldish red, and because of the amount of water, I got shimmery, watery mauve, which led me to use the dream sentiment. The best "artistic" results, I think, come from a little less water, which I'll show you on tomorrow's card.
3. One variation to consider might be using regular watercolor or acrylic paint, ink or reinkers and spritzing with Glimmer Mist to add shimmer. Smooch would be another source of shimmer: just pour a bit onto a plastic plate, thin a bit with a wet brush, apply to the block, and stamp. Clean the block quickly, though, as the Smooch might stain. Stains on blocks come of (usually) with a little rubbing alcohol.
4. Paper matters here. Depending on how much water you use, you might need watercolor paper. I used heavy cardstock (PTI's vintage cream), and it buckled a bit.
Now, go forth and have fun!
stamps: Papertrey Happy Trails
paper: PTI vintage cream
accessories: Twinkling H2Os, brush, acrylic block