Saturday, February 7, 2009

Solvent Ink and Alcohol Backgrounds

Today was beautiful, with near record high temperatures in Kansas, so I went to my normally cold studio and played by making backgrounds. These are not new backgrounds. They've been around for awhile, but I've just now gotten around to trying them.Supplies clockwise from bottom left:

Substrate (I used 12 X 12 heavy white scrapbook paper)

Plastic cups for mixing

91% denatured alcohol

Staz-on reinkers (I used Mustard, Red, Lime, Purple)

Color wash (I used Bottle)

Various CHEAP acrylic paints

Cling wrap

Foam brush

Craft sheet and/or plastic to protect your work surface

Not shown: water, paper towels, and rubber gloves
Begin by placing gloves on your hands and moving the substrate out of the way. Add about 30 drops of one color reinker in a cup.
Do the same with a second color.
OOPS!!! Open the alcohol before you get started, rather than after the Staz-on is in the cup and gloves are on your hands.
Pour a small amount of alcohol into the cup. It will pretty much mix on its own.
Repeat with the second color.
You don't need much. It goes a long way.Starting with the LIGHTEST color (do as I say, not as I do), add colors randomly onto the page using a sponge brush.

Now here is where it got weird. I was planning to make cling wrap backgrounds, but both Staz-on and alcohol dry quickly. That's the nature of their properties. Well, DUH.
So, I tried to add splashes of alcohol to the page, but before I could even get the cling wrap to the page, the alcohol was dry. In the process, the alcohol left some lovely rings and drops. So, I just relaxed and went with the flow. Sometimes playing can be just as fun as following the technique you were going to make. When finished, I had a lovely background, albeit not what I originally intended.
Here is a portion of the same page after I scanned it. The beautiful thing about these pages is, they lay flat when dry, because there is practically no liquid that stays on the page.
Next, I tried Mustard and Purple Staz-on, but didn't like the color combination, so added a bit of the Bottle Color wash.
Not liking that, but still having more Mustard and Purple, this time I added some Walnut Ink to the mix and finally used all the Purple.
Not wanting to give up on the Mustard, I tried mixing it with Bottle and Walnut. Nope, that's not doing it, either.
This time I tried Cranberry Color wash along with Bottle color wash, and Mustard Staz-on. Finally, something I liked using the Mustard!

An alternative
As I was cleaning up the messes I made using the handmade inks, my paper towel became saturated. I used it to pounce on a clean sheet of card stock.
Continue smooshing and twisting,
until you have a background you like. Rotate your towel, too, something I often forget to do.
When finished, you have a lovely background made of card stock and a lovely paper towel you can use for a background or embellishments. You also have two totally clean plastic cups. Who knew that alcohol would clean Staz-on so well?
Here is a closeup of the paper towel before it dried and the already dry cardstock.
Not sure this color is really better, but this is how the page scanned. I really think the color is closer to the photograph than the scan.
Next, I got out some of my Viva brand paper towels and used them as clean up rags. They are still wet, so I'll have to photograph them later.
As for the cling wrap and acrylic paint? Well, that will have to wait for another day.

3 thoughtful remarks:

Robin in Las Vegas said...

The colors are so vibrant, will have to try this tutorial out. I love your humor while you teach (re: oops, open the alcohol before you start) lol!

Lori Anderson Designs said...

Sometimes the coolest things come from our not-meant-to-happen events!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful! I fell in LOVE with your tutorial and humor.

XX Rachel XX