It’s been all about the colorburst and brusho powders with me lately so I thought it was past time to share the other watercolour powder in my life, bister. The concept is the same with bister; you add water and colour bursts out. The colours in the bister range are more earthy than the other brands and the crystals are, on the whole, coarser. The effects are just as magical as you can see on this panel.
I think this panel is from my initial experimenting with watercolour powders. I really liked how the colours moved on the cold pressed watercolour paper but for a long time I didn’t have a plan for the abstract panel. Eventually I realised it didn’t need a plan; it was a stand alone! I added a sentiment and popped up the panel on foam to give it a ‘shadow frame’ and that is the card. This panel shows the versatility of watercolour powders quite well. By varying the amount of water added you can get small intensely coloured shapes which I think look a bit like mosaics, you can get soft washes and some patterning in between the two extremes.
Stamps: special thoughts (Penny Black)
Paint: Bister paint powders
Ink: Versafine vintage sepia (Tsukineko)
Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper
Today’s misty muted scene is brought to you by ‘The Distress Oxide Trials’. This one was one of my early experiments involving stamping over stamping. The effect might be a bit messy for some but I like the way lighter colours over darker colours give something of a skeletal look. I used the ‘feathery’ stamp and inked it with peeled paint first, spritzed then stamped, did the same with vintage photo, and finished with broken china.
You can see the blue over the brown shows up as a x-ray type image. On the right hand side there was an area without much brown so I decided to soften it even more with water to create the look of light coming through.
To finish the card I matted with both brown and blue cardstock then added a sentiment in brown.
Stamps: Feathery, snippets (Penny Black)
Inks: vintage photo, peeled paint, broken china distress oxide inks (Ranger) versafine vintage sepia (Tsukineko)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, blue cardstock, brown cardstock
Can you tell I like the way ‘distress oxide trials’ sounds like an significant chemical experiment? That’s why I called today’s post ‘desaturation’ rather than just ‘stamping with water! The effect does come, however, from stamping with water. I think it is my favourite technique so far. I began by blending the inks onto hot pressed watercolour paper. They do blend nicely on neenah classic crest paper but they blend even better on watercolour paper. By blending I mean sponging ink onto the paper, also called inking by some crafters.
For the these three cards I sponged three colours onto the paper and overlapped them to get nice soft blended colours. The sponging doesn’t take long, it doesn’t leave marks shaped like the edge of your applicator and it creates intense colour.
After sponging my colours over the whole panel I put the panel into my MISTI, positioned my stamp then spritzed it with water. All the stamps used for these cards are red rubber; (slapstick cling from Penny Black, names listed below) I haven’t tried with clear stamps yet. The stamp just has to hold onto the water for the technique to work.
After stamping a water print onto the blended colour, I lifted the stamp and dabbed a paper towel over the print. It left a pale image on the coloured panel.
It’s not a really sharp image but it is definitely recognisable and I love the look.
The trials are not over but if you are looking for a technique to start with try some sponging; the finish is so rich and creamy. Then if you are feeling scientific try some desaturation as well. If you have thought of a technique you’d like me to try please leave me a comment below.
Stamps: full of glee, feathery, Effulgent, stitched flowers, happy snippets (PB)
Die: tagged, omg (PB)
Inks: worn lipstick, broken china, fossilized amber, wilted violet, peeled paint distress oxide inks (Ranger) versamark, versafine onyx black & smokey gray (Tsukineko)
Papers: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah solar white, neenah epic black, violet cardstock
Also: gold & white embossing powder, white ribbon, gold thread
This panel is another I coloured while away in Toronto. I took my watercolour pencils, some brushes and several stamped panels, some embossed others just stamped in light colours to paint over. I did a ton of walking and exploring while there but also met up with my daughter in coffee shops during the day as she was working on a thesis most of the time. She sat at her laptop, I painted for a while, drunk some tea then headed out exploring again.
I have already posted a card featuring this image stamped on black cardstock. This one was not stamped on black; it was embossed on hot pressed watercolour paper. I did all the painting with my watercolour pencils filling the flowers with pinks and purples and the leaves with a few shades of green. When I had finished there were a few spaces between flowers with no colour at all. I decided to paint them black. It really did not look very good but I packed it away and moved onto something else. When I came home and took some time to turn my panels into cards I trimmed this one back so the flowers were cropped on all sides then tried several coloured mats to frame it. The black card base ended up being the best option. Those few little black sections on the coloured panel tied in with the card base nicely. I also tried a few sentiments but ended up going without. On the inside I have glued a pale pink panel to write on.
Thanks for dropping by; I’ll be back with my next distress oxide trial tomorrow, I think it is my favourite so far.
Stamps: Sweet Perfume (PB)
Pencils: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils (Faber Castell)
Ink: Versamark ink
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Epic black cardstock
Also: gold embossing powders, gold organza ribbon
The distress oxide trials continue with some brushstroke floral stamps. I generally use distress stains or markers with these stamps because I love to blend the colours either on the paper or the stamp to create the look of a watercolour painting. I was happy with the solid, but blended colour I achieved with the three oxide inks, quite different but muted and pretty.
As with earlier experiments the blending is lovely and smooth. I was able to blend blue into both the red petals and the green leaves by using my MISTI to apply one colour at a time. I inked and stamped the petals first in fired brick, wiping off any stray ink from the leaves with a wet wipe before stamping. I inked and stamped the leaves and stems in peeled paint next. I wanted some blended accents on the both flowers and leaves so I dabbed the faded jeans ink in a few places, spritzed to soften sharp edges then stamped again. The chalky look is quite different from the original distress inks but the blending is just as smooth. I used cold pressed watercolour paper so there is some nice texture showing through the solid ink.
I probably could have stamped the sentiment in faded jeans oxide ink but I my ink of choice for sentiments continues to be versafine. The majestic blue co-ordinated beautifully and I was able to find the same colour for my mat also.
Thank you for your responses to my first distress oxide post; I am interested to hear what other people are trying and happy to prove any insights as I experiment. I know some people are wondering whether it is worth getting the distress oxides if you have the original distress inks. I will give some feedback as I post my experiments and then give a wrap up when I’ve tried a range of techniques.
I embossed this pretty new stamp from Penny Black so I could do some pencil colouring while I was away in Toronto a few weeks ago. The photo below is a little washed out on the gold embossing but I included it so you could see how the shiny gold contrasts with the pencil colouring. I used watercolour pencils as tiny palettes which is my usual method. I hold the pencil in one hand and a water brush in the other to pick up colour from the pencil lead.
My watercolour pencils are Faber Castell’s Albrecht Dürer. I’ve had a set of 36 since art school and recently I bought a bunch of colours I didn’t have. The floral wreath is embossed in gold powder after stamping in versamark.
The only other detail I added was a shadow of grey around all the embossing. I used a zig cleancolour brush marker then blended it with some water. Enjoy your day.
Stamps: flower embrace, sprinkles and smiles (PB)
Pencils: Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils 172, 168, 176, 108, 126, 225, 144
Also: WOW gold metallic rich fine embossing powder, gray zig cleancolor brush pen