Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Rock and Roll

One way to add interest to block stamps is to use the "rock-and-roll" technique to ink them up. This technique provides a sort of primitive, soft shading of the images. See?

How To Rock and Roll:

  1. Ink a block stamp completely with a light color of ink.
  2. Use a rocking-and-rolling motion to apply a darker ink around just the edges of the stamp to blend with the lighter ink.
  3. Stamp the image onto paper.

I know this seems like such a hard technique. I mean, it takes THREE steps! Of course, some days, a third step in stamping is a step too much for me to cope with. But honestly, aren't the results worth it?

All kidding aside, though, there are two things that can make this super-easy technique a little tricky. If your stamp is much smaller than the block it's on, it can be hard to angle a full-size pad just right for the rock-and-roll motion of the second inking. If you're using clear stamps, it helps to have a proper-size block to fit the stamp. Also, handling full-size pads is more awkward than using the smaller, dew-drop shaped pads. I used full-size pads of Fresh Ink above on the cactus and pot, and it felt clunky...even if it did work out fine. The flower was inked with dew drops, which were much easier to work with.

This is a very forgiving technique. It rarely looks bad (unless the two colors I've used don't blend well). As often as I've done it, I've never had a problem with the little bit of light ink that transfers to the dark ink pad, either. I can only remember rocking and rolling with pigment or chalk inks, but it should work well with dye inks, too...and you could even spritz water on the dye inks for a blended watercolor effect!

To finish this card, I edged the raised panel lightly with VersaMagic brick ink. The white-on-white look just didn't work for this card, and running the edge of the card stock against the ink pad is super fast and gives a slightly rustic edge that plays nicely with the soft, sponged-effect of the images.

I'm having a blast with this Hero Arts set. It's just so easy to work with, and the combination of outline and block images makes it extremely flexible. Love it!

stamps: Hero Arts Stamp Your Own Cactus
ink: Fresh Ink, VersaMagic
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals


  1. Well thanks for your insight in to this "prickly" subject and what a fab make too


  2. I've enjoyed all your cactus cards lately. Today's triangle of Hello with flowers looks so nice on this one!


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