We’ve added Distress Oxide™ inkpads to our ink line-up not too long ago, and today we’ve got a few ideas to show you on how to use them!
Hopefully you’ve all had a chance to experiment with these fun reactive inks and, in the process, discovered a few techniques and ideas of your very own. If you haven’t, we are here to help! Regardless of where you are in your Distress Oxide™ journey, follow along as our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, dives into five gorgeous techniques below!
Watercolor Wash Load your watercolor paper with water, to the point where it is sitting on top of the paper and not fully absorbing. Spread the Distress Oxide™ ink colors that you wish to use for your background onto your all-purpose mat. With a waterbrush, pick up the colors, one at a time, and add it to the sitting water on the watercolor paper. The colors will blend and bleed into one another.
An Ombré Effect with One Ink Pad With just one Distress Oxide ink pad, create and ombré effect by applying the ink with different amounts of pressure (more for a darker tone, and less for a lighter tone). Blend these tones seamlessly with a mini ink blending tool.
Tone-on-Tone Stenciling Apply the background Distress Oxide™ ink colors and blend them into each other with a mini ink blending tool. Lay a stencil on top and add a second layer of color through the stencil. Apply more pressure, and more ink, for the stenciled image to appear darker and to achieve a more dramatic effect.
What are some fun ways you are using your Distress Oxide™ inks? Let’s share ideas in the comments below!
As you know, we love exploring new techniques here at Close To My Heart, but we also love expounding on old favorites. Recently, we’ve had a lot of fun playing around with various watercolor techniques, and we’re so excited to share a couple with you today! We asked a few of our artists to demonstrate some of their ideas in speedy video clips, so you can see them in action, too!
The first technique we’ll be looking at today is a splatter technique. This watercolor method allows you to add a little “controlled crazy” to your project. J
As you can see in the video, you’ll start by using a waterbrush to activate your watercolor paints by adding a drop or two of water. Once you’ve selected and activated all the colors you’d like to use, dip the waterbrush into your color of choice and swirl it around a bit, making sure to get a decent amount of paint onto the tip of your brush.
When you feel like the brush is sufficiently saturated, bring the brush over your page and lightly tap it against your index finger. This will send a series of splatters raining down onto the page to create a fun, haphazard feel.
For our next technique, we’ll be showing you how to create and replicate a soft color transfer.
To recreate this look, paint directly onto your All-purpose Mat with your waterbrush. The paint will probably stay in small droplets and won’t want to spread across the mat, but that’s just fine. When you’ve added all the colors to your mat that you’d like to use in the paint puddle, gently lay your card or page down over the paint.
When you lift it up, you should have achieved a color transfer that is both soft and seamless. If you’d like it to be blended out a little more, you can swirl your card or base page around in the paint, creating the look you see here.
The last technique we’re showcasing today is a combination of two different techniques. (Technique combinations help you to really personalize each project, so don’t ever be afraid to experiment!)
Tip: For pages like this one, it’s not a bad idea to use actual watercolor paper. When you paint over a large surface area, the paper will start to absorb the water and can curl or ripple, which distorts your project. Using watercolor paper is more resilient and shouldn’t ripple or curl as your paint.
For this page, we started by selecting various shades of blue from our watercolor palette. Then, we painted long strokes down the page with a waterbrush. Once we made a couple strokes with our first color, we moved on to our next shade of blue, creating a sort of stripe sequence down the page. By sticking with a single-color theme, it’s easier to achieve a nice blend as you move across the page, and you can avoid unintentional color combination.
Tip: If you’re unsure of how a color will look on the page, it’s a good idea to do a test stroke on a piece of scrap paper. This is especially helpful if you’re mixing two colors together.
Continue alternating between your various colors or shades until you’ve covered the width of your page. Then, you’ll revisit the splatter technique we showed you earlier on in this post. Select one or two of your favorite colors and splatter it across your page. This is another place to be aware of color combination, so we recommend choosing colors that you already used in your stripe sequence. For this example, we stuck with the tried and true blue.
If you want to shake things up even more, gently blend out some of the larger splatters on your page. You can even paint a few new strokes if you want to. It’s really all up to you!
We loved sharing a few of our favorite watercolor techniques with you today! What are some of your favorite ways to wow with watercolor? Let us know in the comments below!