AI Abstract and Landscape

While trying the stencil and alcohol ink techniques earlier this week I also returned to techniques I’ve used before. The Grafix white craft plastic panel above was a grey & blue one which wasn’t very interesting. I added warm tones either side and using tilting and air blowing to create a pattern that looks a little like a rock cross section.

I used some clear gesso to seal this one but it did drag some colour and leave some texture lines so I wouldn’t recommend it as the best sealing solution. I could use a spray sealant but it is very, very cold outside so I’m not popping into the back yard to use aerosol cans right now!

I would tell you the ink colours I used if I knew. I picked up a panel with ink from a previous session then start putting more ink here and there and in no time I saw colours and patterns appear with no idea which ink went where!

On this second panel I have a bit more of an idea of the landscape colours. I began with a previously inked panel and added pesto, ginger and sunshine yellow inks along with generous amounts of rubbing alcohol to move the inks.

As I tipped the panel and used an air blower I was able to create stripes across the panel which looked a bit like hills. I feel like this is still a fluke for me; I wish I could give you exact instructions but it works sometimes and not others.

To add the look of trees and crops I used an alcohol ink paint brush and a very small amount of alcohol ink or isopropyl alcohol. I wanted to add texture to the ink that was already there rather than add more ink because when you add more ink it tends to displace the ink you already have on the panel. With this in mind I added a drop of sunshine yellow at the end to be the sun. It did not expand neatly in a circle so I used a paint brush which meant the sun was a bit larger than intended! I finished both cards with sentiments from the Paper Rose Studio ‘so extra supporting sentiments’ pack.

Alcohol ink art seems to be equal parts fabulous and frustrating but I will keep on persevering and see if I can come up with some processes I can recreate and share with you.

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Alcohol Ink + Stencil

This card was inspired by the wonder and wizardry of my friend Ardyth who just happened to be the Featured Stamper on SplitcoastStampers yesterday. Ardyth has been doing quite a few alcohol ink techniques lately and I have been loving them while waiting for an opportunity to get my own inks out again. Take a look at Ardyth’s videos here and here for inspiration and instructions.

When I pulled out the inks and the substrates I found several panels from another session. The panels hadn’t inspired me enough to make them into cards when I first made them so I decided to work over the top of them. The panel for this card is Grafix white craft plastic and was originally covered in blue patterns, you can see a little remaining in the top right corner.

I lay the Paper Rose Studio ‘little swirls’ stencil on top of the panel and sprinkled ginger, pesto and sunshine alcohol inks over the stencil along with some rubbing alcohol to move the inks a little further. I was impatient so I pulled up one corner to check on the pattern before the inks dried. That is why the top left corner does not have distinct detail like the lower right. Once dry I removed the stencil and was left with this amazing pattern. Thank you for all the inspiration Ardyth!

Those sharper swirls at the bottom are my favourite part of the design but I love the whole effect. I will definitely be playing with this technique again. I finished off the card with a stacked PB die cut and a sentiment strip from the black Paper Rose Studio black ‘so extra’ set. I ended up sealing this panel with clear gesso. I haven’t done this before but some of my alcohol ink panels end up a bit sticky so I wanted to see if clear gesso worked as a sealant. I’ll will keep testing the process and let you know more next time I post about alcohol inks. Meanwhile head over and drool over all Ardyth’s clever cards!

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Gel Printing with stencils + video

In recent gel printing sessions I have used some of my intricate stencils from Paper Rose Studio. This stencil, ‘little swirls‘ makes a particularly beautiful background. I’ve been printing on a 6″x6″ gel plate with a 6″x6″ stencil but I cut the print down to make a 4¼” x 5½” card.

I used stamps from Darkroom Door’s nature walk , butterflies and happy birthday sets. (all linked at the end of the post). The process for making this type of print is shown in the video below.

After any gel printing session I usually have quite a pile of prints, some become cards but I am hoping to use more in my art journal. I have to be a bit more adventurous in tearing and layering and turning them into more than just a patterned print.

The making of the background above is included in the video. To turn it into a birthday card I stamped ‘have fun’ directly on the print then popped up a sentiment strip on top. The words are stamped in Gina K obsidian amalgam ink using the Pink Fresh Studio ‘Heather’ lowercase alphabet set.

The making of the background below is also part of the video and you can see the mustard paint beaded on the surface of the gel plate making an allover pattern when printed. I didn’t necessarily want the beading but was happy when it ended up uniform. Paints of different brands perform differently on the gel press so experimentation is necessary to work out how much paint and which brands will give you the results you want.

I turned this background into another birthday card by embossing a car from the Darkroom Door Classic Cars vol 1 set along with a sentiment from the same set plus one from the Happy Birthday set.

I also filmed some gel printing with a few textured surfaces from the recycling box; I’ll be sharing that video soon.

I’d love to hear how you use your gel prints; I’m always open to ideas.

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3D Tulips

My embossing folder collection has grown a bit more this week. I ordered a couple from Paper Rose Studio and tried out the Tulips 3D folder today. After a few experiments with watercolour paper and neenah cardstock I used the same technique on both these cards with different inks.

The green panel above was done with neenah solar white cardstock and the pink below is watercolour paper. As I didn’t end up adding more than a spritz of water the effect is the same on both panels. I embossed the cardstock then used blending brushes to add Catherine Pooler spruce ink to the card above and bellini to the card below. For added detail and shimmer I used delicata inks direct to the panel, shimmer white over the spruce and rose gold over the bellini.

To complete the cards I added tulip diecuts from Penny Black (promise me II) and sentiment strips from Paper Rose Studio. I have seen printed sentiment strips from a few companies now and decided to try these. They are printed on slightly glossy cardstock and are designed to pair with die-cut words. There are several copies of each sheet of words or phrases so if I botch the cutting I can try again.

I know tulip season is over but I had to give this folder a try. I also know tulips don’t come in green but I think the spruce one is my favourite of the two.

I appreciated all the suggestions and comments about the alcohol ink panels. I am considering a few of the ideas and will do a video as requested as soon as possible. Thank you for taking the time to enter the discussion; I love hearing from you and gathering new ideas.

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(Compensated affiliate links used when possible)