Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Spray Ink Background Tutorial

I've fallen in love with spray inks!  I own Adirondack and also the Dylusions which are my fave for the bright colours.  I stumbled upon a way to use them as backgrounds for my mandalas - it is more fun for me to draw them on colourful backgrounds. 

Spray inks are water soluable and I find when I don't seal them with something the inks rub off on my hands while drawing - they also are a bit too vibrant for a background with marker so I like to knock them back a bit with a glaze of acrylic paint. 

You can try any kind of paper - these papers I am using in this book are everything from copy paper to wallpaper samples to handmade papers to textbook pages etc.  I find that a page prepared with Gesso is NOT a good foundation for the inks - they tend to slide right off and we are looking for saturation with the inks. 

This is my Big Bertha journal which I am using pretty exclusively at this point for mandalas.

Using the spray inks - spray through a stencil of your choice - once your spraying is complete - press a spare book page into the leftover ink on top of the stencil and you have a page all ready to collage or use some other way - and you haven't wasted the ink ;)




 You can blot any excess drops of ink if desired with a paper towel being careful not to scrub - the inks run and mix really easily. Once the ink is dry - seal it with a glaze of clean water and self leveling gel with a drop or two of white fluid acrylic paint per side of spread.


  I start with a brush dripping with fresh water and carefully (no scrubbing) running it over the page loading more water as needed - and then adding a bit of the white paint and making sure it is even and spreading it adding a brush load of self leveling gel to all the page so the water - paint and gel mix without disturbing the ink too much.  My goal here is to seal the page - and to knock back the intensity of the inks without blending the colours too much.  Of course experiment and find the affects you prefer.


Here is the left side of the spread completed - and I am not thrilled with how it turned out - I had 3 drops of white and I find it covered too much of the colour so I wiped off a drop of the white I had laid out on the right side. 


And the completed page which I will let dry - or speed up with my craft heat gun - and then spray with a varnish - matte finish.  The self leveling gel is sticky and tacky even when dry - the pages tend to stick together pulling off when the page is opened - the spray varnish leaves it with a smooth matte finish that is wonderful and not sticky.  I've worked over the varnish with paint, marker, gel transfers etc with good success. 


 Heh - so I wasn't happy with how that spread turned out - the colours were knocked back a bit too much for me.  I made another spread and took pics along the way.  Same technique - all except instead of using book pages to sop up the leftover ink I pressed another spread from this journal over it - I love the negative effect.







I ended up making several pages to blot up the excess ink and now have a nice little stash for collaging or cutting up into shapes to use in my art journaling.



You now have a colourful page to decorate as you wish - I've used this technique with 300lb Arches cold pressed watercolour paper and collage - it worked wonderfully! 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun putting your own spin on it :)

17 comments:

  1. LOVE IT!!! I am doing that myself right now. Will post on instagram soon. All so I am laying out the stitch paper too!! Gearing up to make a bunch!! Hugs

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    1. Can't wait to see what you are creating Sandie! So excited about the paper quilts being in our new journals - have you decided on a size for the book yet?

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  2. Great tutorial! Since I've seen all of your work with the delusions, I really want to try them now.
    Thanks for for sharing your technique!

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    1. Thanks very much Susi- I am happy to hear that !! Looking forward to see what you create :)

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  3. What fun...!! :]
    Such a flow of inspiration here, thank you for sharing.
    I have a lot of fun with my sprays and stencils too, very addicting.
    Take care. ~xx

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    1. April! thanks for stopping by with your always encouraging words :)

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  4. Thanks so much for sharing Emily! I'm still not able to find the Dylusions here in Victoria. Sigh. I just can't bring myself to pay for the shipping... I'll just continue to drool over yours for a while longer. I can't wait for forever though ;-)

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    1. Lorinda - I needed to re-stock my supply because my fave colours were running out. I went to my local scrapbook store that carries them and they only had 4 bottles - only 1 that I needed. Guess I am going to have to pay for shipping now too!!

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  5. This looks fun!
    I came over via Sandra's blog!

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    1. Thank you Gill!! I appreciate you stopping by from Sandies :)

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  6. So glad I found your beautiful wot on Instagram. Thank you for sharing your process for making your backgrounds. I love seeing your pages, they are just beautiful.

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  7. So glad I found your beautiful wot on Instagram. Thank you for sharing your process for making your backgrounds. I love seeing your pages, they are just beautiful.

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  8. thank you for sharing this tutorial. The colors are beautiful!

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  9. Emily, Thank you for your kind words, by the way, they mean a great deal. Your beautiful + vivid stencil pages inspire me to pop out the spray bottles and get messy!

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  10. Just found your blog after following you on Instagram. Love the way you describe your process. I wanted to suggest that Krylon makes a spray called workable fixative. If you lightly spray your page outside as the smell is harsh and allow it to dry it lets you work over without disturbing the under layers. Also Golden makes several mediums that you can use that don't have the smell and don't dry tacky-like Acrylic Ground for Pastels which I love and use very very watered down. It also dries quite quickly.

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