Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Experiments with Stencils

So, I love my alcohol inks, namely the Ranger Tim Holtz inks. And the reason I love them is just how pigmented they are and how intense the color is when used on the right surface. They look fab on glass, plastic, acetate and other clear surfaces. But I wanted to test them with papers just to see how it looked. Here are my results.

Here's the before pic...with the stencils already stained by paints and inks but clean and ready to go. Be aware that the alcohol inks will color pretty much any surface and are tricky to get off things like clothes and tables. That said, I've used the staz-on ink cleaner to get a bit off my wood table, but it's an old table and the cleaner couldn't really hurt the finish. 

TIP 1:Be careful. You can cover everything up and just prevent a problem. Wear old clothes and everything. Maybe you're neater than I am and it won't be a problem, but I like to prepare like it's a virus, or glitter.

TIP 2: Always let the ink dry while the stencil is in place. Alcohol inks are friends by nature, so they tend to mingle and mess each other up by combining into new colors. If you lift the stencil before it dries, the inks will run together and ruin any pattern.

Okay, this is cardstock with the stencil in place and alcohol inks dripped through the stencil holes. After it dried, I sponged on some Silver Alcohol ink through the stencil, which was still in place.

TIP 3: The metallic alcohol inks sit on top of the other inks, they don't play too nicely. They are a little more stuck-up than the colors. They mingle some, but you will always see the silver or gold, you won't get a blue-gold, you'll get blue under the gold. But if you mix blue and red alcohol inks, you'll get a purple.

See how the silver is just sitting there but the other inks have mingled and merged?

TIP 4: There is no controlling this ink. You won't get a normal stencil experience. You'll just drip and let dry and then remove the stencil and be surprised.

I had similar experiences with different papers, though I will say my favorite is just photo (glossy) paper from the dollar store. Its sheen takes the inks nicely and the colors stay vibrant. The regular cardstock will let the ink sink in more and lose some vibrancy. The worst paper imo is the material in shipping tags. They do great with other inks, but they completely muddy the alcohol inks. I've used all the same inks on these samples. See?

TIP 5; The inks will surround and run under the stencil and when you lift it, you'll see a lighter color...or maybe a different color, depending on the paper. Since the manilla tag soaks the paper, you get a more traditional mask/stencil look. 

Here's a peek at the alcohol inks on acetate Same colors of ink too (blues and reds) but I did swirl them while wet on the acetate to get the look of swirling space. This is one of my favorite cards. My kids dragged me into Doctor Who when 10 and 11 were on and I loved's still a good show, but less Must-See-TV for us now. You can find Doctor Who themed stamps at Viva Las VegaStampsThey have a ton of stamps in a lot of unique styles.

Here's a close-up of the inks. The fun with these inks is watching them react to each other on a smooth surface. You can make a muddy mess, but often just adding a lot of another color will crowd out the color you don't like. 

TIP 4: Prepare to play with these on a ton of different surfaces when you try them out. Get a trio pack and go to town. You can color metal embellies, gemstones and a lot of surfaces you wouldn't use regular ink with...they are like Copic markers gone wild. Same ink (sort of) in a less controlled environment. I imagine (but haven't tried) Copic ink refills...they may act the same way.

Here's a link to someone who has great success with these inks and stencils...Maria McGuire. I just saw her blog, but now I need to read it.

That's it for today...I'll be sharing more samples soon. Oh, and I ordered some new metallic watercolors, so you know I'm gonna want to play with those soon!

Happy Wednesday,

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