(click on the pics to enbiggan)
My comfort zone tends to be water-based mediums, but when I saw what Wendy Vecchi does with her Archival Inks (set 2 here) I was totally fascinated--the end result was a "smoky" watercolored effect that just looked so stunning, I had to try it myself! Even though I knew my fingers would get "inky"... *gasp*
Actually, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be as far as the finger-staining went. ;)
I started with 3 colors of Archival Reinkers that I knew would work well for creating some fairly neutral backdrops I could get a lot of mileage out of:
Other helpful tools & supplies I had handy:
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Ranger Stamping Specialty Paper (cut down)
- Studio Calico Droppers
- Embossing Gun/Heat Tool
- Non-Stick Craft Sheet
- Palette Knife (for mixing colors)
I also had a shoebox lid lined with aluminum foil (this was so I could heat my little pieces and tilt the paper without burning my fingers, and the foil would prevent ink from getting all over inside the shoebox, which I also frequently use for heat-embossing).
The process (I have a video of the process towards the bottom of this post):
- Apply a drop or two of Archival reinker to the non-stick craft sheet
- Add droplets of rubbing alcohol with the dropper tool
- Swirl the color around just a little with a palette knife (do not over mix to avoid muddying)
- Place or swipe the stamping specialy paper into the mixture and lift out
- Tilt and heat with embossing gun to push/move and swirl color across the surface
- Add more droplets of rubbing alcohol to the paper surface to reactivate the ink to create more interesting patterns; continue to tilt and heat as desired
I was extremely pleased with the end results, and wishing I had MORE colors of the Archival reinkers! Out of curiosity, I grabbed some Copic reinkers and played around with combining those to the Archival colors, to see what would happen... WOW! It worked!!! Here are the end results:
Top row: All Archival
Bottom row: Archival + Copic
Left: Copic + Archival, Right: Archival only
One thing I did note, which was difficult to capture on film, is that the Archival reinkers would smooth out, resulting in a completely smooth paper surface, whereas the Copic reinkers would pool and build up in some areas, resulting in a very shiny and raised/textural finish. The results with the Copics were also not quite as "smoky" looking.
Initially I didn't want to do anything with these beautiful pieces--in fact, now that I know what I'm doing and how easy it is, I'd like to do a whole series of these and just frame them for art on the wall!!!
But, I also thought they'd make stunning backgrounds for cards:
Simply cut apart... So hard to cover up any of that gorgeous-ness!
Stamped over top with Archival Black Ink.
NOTE: The surface is actually slick when finished so the inked stamp can really slide around on you! Take care to stamp straight down, then lift the stamp straight up.
The process is every bit as easy as I described, but for those of you that appreciate a visual, I have done a video. Thanks for watching and please give it a thumbs up on YouTube! :)