Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cloud Dragon: Some Alternatives for Coloring

Got a card order the other day for 5 of these:

Heather Taylor, 'Cloud Dragon'

(Stamp by Art Neko - Taylored Stamps)

It's not the best picture--for some reason I couldn't get the really bright tones to come out of hiding. But, notice that I painted the dragon with alcohol inks, which is something I really like to do on an alcohol ink background, and I also "painted" with embossing powder over the clouds. These are both alternatives to your regular coloring techniques, whatever they might be.

The way I do my alcohol ink backgrounds is thusly:

Make a zigzag and circumference with blending solution, then randomly drop about 3-5 big drops of the colors you've chosen about on the page (not too random, because you need ink in every part). With your finger (I wear disposable nitrile gloves), start smooshing the inks around. The blending solution should be lifting the outer coating of your glossy paper off, and mixing it in with the inks and blending solution (which is why I like working with colored gloss, such as the marigold in this example). You don't want to end up with a huge, monochromatic puddle in the middle, so try to just lightly blend the edges of your different colors, but rub around hard enough that you don't leave behind obvious trails of white where the blending solution dug in. You have to work quickly; if it starts drying too soon, add more blending liquid judiciously, and if the blending liquid appears to be "eating up" the ink, then add more ink as needed. Try blowing gently on the drying liquids, as this will keep the nice smooth blends--sometimes the ink tries to bead up on the surface of the paper. Heat set with a heat tool (don't bubble the ink, though!), and you should be good to go. I usually stamp with Versacraft Black on this.

When you paint with alcohol inks, you're not only adding color, but you're also removing it from the background, as the addition of fresh alcohol makes the underlying stuff retreat to the edges of the stamp. This gives you a light background which really allows the color of the new ink to shine.

The painting with embossing powder is pretty easy. Just put a couple of drops of Versamark ink on a small dish, and paint in over the embossed areas you wish to color. Use non-opaque embossing powders; the Ranger Pearls are good for this (I used the gold in this example), and I love to work with Moonglow powders as well (I get mine at The Frantic Stamper -- scroll down on the linked page to find "Mica Embossing Powders"). Heat to melt, but don't overheat, as you don't want to overcook the previous embossing!


  1. woah, pretty! the colors look great, I can't even imagine how it is IRL :) btw, what brand of cardstock do you use for your cardbases?

  2. Wow! This is amazing work here!

  3. Thanks, you guys! Estivalia, I have no idea what brand it is. However, I purchase it at California Paper Goods. They have monthly auctions where you bid on lots of paper--and often, nobody wants the colored glossy stuff because they only think of using it as it is, not mixed with yummy alcohol inks... =)


If you want an answer directly, please provide your e-mail, as I'm unable to access it... =) Thanks!