Thursday, July 20, 2017

Technique of the Week: Acrylic Block Stamping Revisited by Pam Nelson

This week’s technique revisits an old favorite – applying inks to acrylic blocks and then stamping on watercolor paper.  I was inspired to try this when I saw Jennifer McGuire’s idea which you can see at her blog here.

Since I’ve started using my MISTI (and hopefully soon, the Tim Holtz stamping platform!), I don’t use my acrylic blocks very often.  This technique seemed like the perfect reason to start using them again.

As you will see in Jennifer McGuire’s post, this technique will work with any water-soluble ink.  I tried it first with regular Distress Inks and really liked the results.  Then I decided to try it with the new Oxide Inks and the fun really began!  I discovered that I really liked using my larger acrylic blocks which enabled me to make background pieces so that is what I’m showing you today.

I started by cutting a piece of watercolor paper to 4 ¼” by 5 ½” and placing it smooth side up on my craft mat.  I selected the 5” x 6 ½” block from the Tim Holtz Acrylic Stamping Grid Blocks set because by using a block that was larger that my piece of watercolor paper I wouldn’t have any border lines on my finished piece. 

I randomly applied four different colors of Oxide inks – Worn Lipstick, Wilted Violt, Broken China and Cracked Pistachio to the acrylic block by swiping the inkpad directly onto the smooth side of the block.  

I sprayed it liberally with water, turned it over and centered it over the piece of watercolor paper.  Note:  you can use the smooth or textured side of the paper.  I used the smooth side because I planned to stamp on the finished piece.  You can also get a fun background by applying the ink to the grid side of the acrylic block.

Use your fingers to apply pressure to the acrylic block to move the colors around.  This creates some fun blends and patterns.  Place something heavy, like a paperweight or jar, on top of the block and let it set for about five minutes to allow the paper to absorb the colors.  The amount of blending you achieve is determined by the amount of water you use – I played around with several different pieces of paper, using different color combinations and amounts of water. 

One word here about color choices.  You want to be mindful of the color wheel because you can muddy your colors by placing complementary colors (colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel) side by side in this technique.  For example, putting a color in the red family next to a color in the green family will create a “muddy” result. 

Lift the acrylic block from the paper and use a paper towel to dab up any puddles of water.  Set aside to dry, or use a heat gun to dry your paper.

After you remove the acrylic block from the paper there will still be ink on the block.  You can spray this again and place it on another piece of paper.  The end result will be lighter since there is less ink on the block, but the results are equally beautiful.

To finish up my card, I cut the background piece to 4” x 5 ¼”.  I stamped this fun Penny Black sentiment, “365 Days” (3944H) in the lower right corner with Black VersaFine Ink then embossed it with clear embossing powder to make it stand out.  I die cut the upper left corner using the Poppy Stamps “Atessa Collage” (1805). 

I adhered a piece of 4 ¼” x 5 ½” So Silk Glamour Green paper to the front of an A2 card.  I wanted to give the card some dimension so I placed several strips of foam tape on the back of the watercolor piece, trimming some to fit around the edges.  I adhered that to the front of the card, and applied some sequins.  For the last step I put a drop of Nuvo White Blizzard in the center of each sequin for a bit of sparkle.

This technique is really fun!  I created several pieces of background paper while “playing” with this technique.  Now I have pieces that will be great for stamping and die cutting.  I hope you will give it a try.  You can see the completed card at Art ‘n Soul.  

I created this card using regular Distress Inks for the background (Spun Sugar, Shaded Lilac, Tumbled Glass, Squeezed Lemonade, Dried Marigold and Shabby Shutters), plus a the Poppy Stamp Ragged Daisy Die (#1842), Memory Box Pinpoint Double Frame (99765) and Memory Box stamp Birthday Sentiments (CL5211).

I created these pieces with colors from the second release of Distress Oxide colors.  I’d already completed this week's card when the inks arrived but I couldn’t wait to play with them. 

We’ll be doing another order of all 24 of the Oxide ink colors so if you haven’t purchased any of these wonderful inks yet, stop by the store.  We’d love to show you why everyone is crazy about this latest Tim Holtz product.  

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