Do you enjoy experimenting with alcohol inks? I'd like to share one more use for those fabulous Copic re-inkers, otherwise known as Various Inks! It's been a while since I played with this technique rather than doing basic stamping, but when Ellen mentioned a focus on inks this month, I wanted to try a polished stone technique again.
- large cotton ball
- Copic refills/re-inkers in two to four coordinating colors (more about choosing colors later)
- blender solution or 91% rubbing/isopropyl alcohol (works better than the 70% alcohol)
- white glossy cardstock
- optional: metallic ink such as Brilliance Gold (I have even used a gold or silver paint pen in a pinch)
- optional: rubber gloves (Trust me on this one. I don't usually bother to find mine, and my fingernails looked awful!)
- optional: spray bottle (hairspray bottle works fine) of alcohol or blending solution
I began by looking for a sentiment, knowing that I wanted the background of my card to show. In the CHF Christmas Expressions set, I found the sentiment, "O holy night, the stars are brightly shining" and knew that it would be perfect: I would choose purples and blues to make a night time sky punctuated by stars.
Next, I cut a sheet of glossy white cardstock into four quarters; the control freak in me prefers working on a smaller surface rather than a whole sheet. I generally make two polished stone panels at a time: in case one doesn't look great, I have the other to fall back on without having start back at the beginning. This is a technique of chance and (hopefully) happy accidents. I've thrown away a few panels over the years because I let them get too muddy in color, but you can almost always rescue polished stone by adding either alcohol (91%) or blending solution, or by adding more color. I also like to have a spray bottle of alcohol handy; I'll show you why a bit later.
On choosing colors: I generally choose two or possibly three shades of one color, and perhaps one different but coordinating color. It is possible to succeed with complimentary colors instead, but you run a strong chance of ending up with muddy color if you let them mix too much. If you stick with similar colors but different values, at least until you conquer the technique, you will probably be happier with your results. If the colors are similar rather than complementary (complementary meaning across the color wheel from one another), you can keep adding color and alcohol until it works for you. If you are using complimentary colors, however, (such as red/green, or blue/orange), you may have to start over if it gets ugly. I choose BV02, BV04, BV08, and B29. (These are sitting on a finished panel--ignore it for now until we walk through the process, please.)
Saturate a cotton ball with alcohol or blender solution. Add two or three drops of each re-inker to different spots on the bottom of the saturated cotton ball, and proceed to pounce or dab--not rub--the cotton ball on the glossy cardstock. (Sometimes I lightly spray the cardstock with alcohol before dabbling the ink on, so that I get interesting puddling when the ink hits the surface.) Every experiment with alcohol inks will look different. I'm going to show you some pictures of mine as it evolved.
First, below you will see what it looked like right after I covered the whole quarter sheet with ink by pouncing/dabbing up and down. In fact, I got impatient with the cotton ball method and started dripping inks directly onto the cardstock. See the white spots? That's where I sprayed with alcohol to push the re-inkers aside and create texture. This piece is very wet and consequently hard to focus, but I'm including it so that you can see what to do and what not to do.
Next, below is the same piece overworked. I went back to the cotton ball and dabbed some more, eventually dabbing too much. It's not horrible, but it's not as dramatic as I wanted for a night sky. Also, you can see that I've dotted on some gold pigment ink from a Brilliance Gold re-inker. I was trying to spread it a bit, and that is what caused the rest of the piece to be overworked.
Remember that I told you that alcohol inks can almost always be rescued with the addition of either alcohol or ink? Here I added some more drops of ink and then sprayed once again with my alcohol spray bottle. (My bottle is old and doesn't spray very well; rather than getting a fine mist, I get a spatter that you'd hate for your hair, but that makes very cool textures on alcohol-based inks!) The reddish color must have been some kind of reaction between inks and alcohol or gold pigment. I did not add any pink. This is starting to look more like a starry night sky to me--maybe as seen from the moon without that pesky atmosphere to interfere. . .
To put the card together, I trimmed my polished stone panel and matted it with a gold metallic cardstock, edged in gold paint pen. I stamped the sentiment from Christmas Expressions on a lighter shade of metallic gold cardstock with Versamark, and heat embossed it using a detail gold embossing powder. I trimmed and edged that cardstock with gold paint pen as well, and then ran a ribbon treatment around the words. (I'm still debating whether the ribbon is too much; I'm almost thinking that I'd have preferred just the sentiment.) For stars, I used some clear rhinestones, placing them near gold ink, if possible.
Polished stone is a great technique to try with Copic Various Inks. With approximately 100 colors carried in the store to choose from, who could ask for more?
Thank you for visiting!
Debbie Olson, for the CLASSroom