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 :)

Meet Big Bertha

Meet my newest girl - Big Bertha journal!!

She is 8"x8" - I made her myself thanks to the wonderful instruction of my darling daughter Karly :)  Big Bertha is my first handbound book and I loved the process.  She is filled with all kinds of found papers including discarded photocopies, pages from text books - music books - atlases and also some file folders and cut up paper shopping bags. I never quite know how those pages will accept the spray inks I've been using and that is half the fun of this book - happy surprises!!

This has become my Mandala journal and I am really enjoying the square format!  I have pics taken that need to be resized and I will post them soon along with a tutorial on how I create these backgrounds.

Here are a few pages from my Big Bertha journal -

 This next page is in progress - not completed yet

On a personal note - I am still not well these days - the process to find a medication that will help my depression and anxiety has not been easy.  I am still trying and have just started a new one - which once again is making me extremely dizzy.  I am finding that I have completely abandoned this blog and also reading all my fave blogs because the motion of my eyes going back and forth makes the dizzy worse.  So sorry to all my blog friends out there - I am hoping to get back to routine once I figure all this out.

On my good days I sit at my art desk and use my spray inks to create backgrounds for these mandalas - artistically all I can do on my dizzy days is sit quietly and draw my mandalas.  I am really thankful to have something to keep me busy :)