Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Stipple Brush Difference

The way I used a stipple brush in the last post didn't result in significant differences from standard--and less expensive--sponging. But today's cards do reveal a difference...subtle, but interesting.

Proper Use of a Stipple Brush
In using the stipple brush on today's cards, I pounced the brush straight up and down on the card through the same mask as the previous card, using very little ink and aiming for a largely even coverage rather than gradation. This was not only much easier than trying for the dense coverage and gradation of the previous card, it took less time and far less ink. Of course you could still create gradations using this technique, but I didn't bother. I think this technique shines with simplicity!

First, a close-up of a birdie card. Notice that the colored background is stippled in a pretty, even way. I love how easy this was...I can never get sponging to look this even and clean. With the stipple brush, this effect took almost no time and very little ink.

Here's the full card. I just love the stylized rectangle of sky and the curves of the bird silhouette, and the straight lines inside the bird. It just all works so well together!

Note: I did chop a half-inch off the bottom of this card. The rectangle looked too small positioned at the top of the card...which was weird since it doesn't look too small at the bottom of the card.

The second card...a masculine card intended for Operation Write Home...shows how natural and interesting brown stippling looks. I did vary the shading a bit, so you can see the effect.

To get this effect, do your stippling first, then stamp your words (you could create any theme of card using this idea!). It would also be fun to remove the mask and stamp a few of the words so they overlap into the white space.

The color scheme comes from my Pinterest page called Color My World. Several of the color schemes there combine teals and olives, so I decided to give it a try. The result here is satisfyingly masculine yet colorful, too.

Using my Hoard Results
This stipple effect is worth keeping the brushes within reach, and I should use them more often because I really do love this soft and subtle effect. I'm adding notations to my list on the Use Your Hoard page to keep track of my challenge and encourage you to do the same with your list!

If you're on the fence about buying some, however, consider whether you'll really need the stipply effect. Does it fit your style? Do you enjoy sponging? Is it worth roughly $10-20 of quality stipple (a.k.a. stencil) brushes and the drawer space to keep them?

Food for thought.

stamps: top card (Happy Trails from Papertrey); bottom card (Keep It Simple Thinking of You and Thank You)
ink: various Hero Arts and VersaMagic
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: copy paper and temporary adhesive (mask), stipple brushes


  1. Susan, I love both of these, but the first one makes my heart sing! I think the 2nd one is perfect for OWH because the rectangle looks camo-ish (I think I just made that a word...) Many thanks to you because you're why I own Happy Trails, and it continues to be one of my favorites.

  2. The result on the background is great! The difference in the position of the inked background is interesting on both cards. The stamps you have used are well placed too. All the words on the second one are so nice, that one is my favorite!

  3. I had already purchased these brushes (oh the pressure of trade shows) and promptly stashed them away. Until your posts, and then I started playing with them. I love the effects of the brushes versus sponges and plan on really using them in the future. Thanks for the push

  4. Your stippling created a great background effect on both cards. I especially like the second. It's such a cool design.

  5. Now THIS is what stippling is all about. Love the effect!


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