Faux Watercolor

Watercolor backgrounds. I wish I knew how many I’ve made over the years. That would be interesting. I expect it’s in the ballpark of thousands. And today I made fourteen more.

I began with these supplies: some Tombow brush pens, some Distress Ink pads and some Hahnemühle YouTangle.art Tiles. In addition I used water and a couple acrylic stamp blocks. If you don’t know what those are – I will show you.

Acrylic blocks come in a load of different sizes. You stick cling stamps on them and stamp with them. The block is clear so you can see where you are stamping. Always a good thing. Hahaha! In this case I used them for ‘stamping’ color. So to speak. I began by scribbling color onto the block using five different Tombow brush pens.

Then I sprayed the block with water. A goodly amount of water.

Next I flipped the acrylic block over and sat it on top of a tile. Smooshed it down real good and . . .

. . . sat a heavy bottle on top of it. And left it there for several minutes while I took Belle outside.

While I waited I inked up a second acrylic block, then turned it over and sat in on top of a second tile.

And sat something heavy on it. This is a beautiful basket Robin Mead made for me and it was close at hand. After about five minutes I removed the heavy objects and the blocks to reveal the tiles.

This is the first tile wet and then dry. The colors bled a bit more and lightened up some.

And here is the second tile – wet and then dry.

These colors are Tim Holtz’ Distress Ink pads on my craft mat, then sprayed with water.

Wet and then dry. As the tiles air dry the colors continue to blend a bit and yes, the tile really looks this blurry. I have never seen one blur as it dried but it is kind of cool.

Another one made with the distress ink pads.

Tile placed into the wet color . . .

. . . wet and . . .

. . . dry. Love these colors together! It is strange to me that the Tombows and the ink pads produce results that are very similar.

I wondered how other dye ink pads would work so I brought out a few ColorBox Dyestress ink pads and some Hahnemühle Bamboo Mixed Media papers.

I added the color the same way as the Tombows – just swirled it in circles onto the acrylic block.

Sprayed the block with plenty of water and flipped it over onto a piece of bamboo paper.

The key to this technique is waiting. Give the color time to work. Wait about 5 minutes, then remove the block and see what you have. I still had some wet areas so . . .

. . . I tilted the paper and let the colors run.

Wet and then dry. Love this one! The colors are super! So I made another. Hahaha! I am getting ready for Inktober so I need plenty of backgrounds.

I used three colors for this one and just stamped them directly onto the craft mat, then sprayed them.

This is what I had to start with. I loved it but there was plenty of area at the lower portion that could have color so I turned the paper back over and tapped it down into the wet that was still on the craft mat.

Wet and then dry. Awesome!

I have some Spectrum Noir ink pads that I had never used before. I thought this was the perfect time so I scrubbed these two colors onto the mat, then sprayed them with water.

This is how these colors turned out. That pink pretty much obliterated the yellow. Hahaha! Let me show you a few others I made today.

It was a very productive afternoon. Things to remember to make your own faux watercolors:

  • use dye based ink pads
  • use markers or brush pens that are water based
  • alcohol based markers will not work
  • use plenty of water
  • use something heavy on top and
  • wait 5 minutes to reveal your tile.

Have fun! See you tomorrow!

Where to purchase Hahnemühle art papers

More Marabu Alcohol Ink

For the past few days I have been playing with Marabu Alcohol Inks and occasionally mixing them with Piñata Alcohol Inks. Today I want to show you a few more pieces I made while exploring this new product.

For colors I went with arctic and caramel. Brown is another color I typically steer away from. I equate it with mud which I also try to stay away from. Hahaha! I took my yupo paper and squeezed on a line of alcohol, then added some of the blue and brown. You can see here how the caramel immediately started spreading and working its way into the arctic.

I used my air tool and started gently puffing air into the mix, pushing the colors around. Little puffy clouds of beautiful! (And I can totally see a shark head here with lots of teeth!)

I was careful not to overwork the color and alcohol and I really, really love how this turned out once dry! You can see how the brown continued to thread its way through the color and it really added to the overall effect! I’d call this a win!

Here is amethyst and carribean. Two beautiful colors together! Remember I start each tile with a line of isopropyl alcohol squiggled across my Yupo paper, then I add a few drops of a couple colors.

Then I use my Tim Holtz Distress Marker Spritzer Tool to pump air gently onto the tile and into the color. This pushes the color where I want it to go. Rotating the tile allows me to have even more control. And I was loving how this tile was shaping up. The amethyst brings qualities of pink which you see when the color starts to break down and blend.

As the piece dries, the colors continue to blend and mix and break down into the other color properties. I love this one! So gauzy and beautiful!

Up to this point I had used a minimum of two colors. I thought I would try the apple green alone with the alcohol and see if I could still obtain some pretty cells of color OR if it would be all one blob of green when I was done. Cause you never know.

I used a minimal amount of alcohol and 3 or 4 drops of apple, then started working my air tool. I was just trying to make cells like you see in those sections on the right hand side that look like bubbles of color.

The apple lightened as it dried and I was left with some variation in shades, some cells, and a lot of whispy softness that I really liked. A little tame for me as far as color goes, but definitely worth a one time try.

I grabbed magenta and carribean and used a lot of each color along with the alcohol. I had a feeling I wouldn’t like this when it was done but I wanted to see what would happen with plenty of color. I used a normal amount of alcohol and started pushing the color around.

I got good coverage. Hahaha! I should with all that wet! And I also started getting some variations in the color combination. Sweet!

I really worked the air and pushed color off the tile, around the tile and into each other. A good bit went off the tile actually. Hahaha! Then as it was drying I also used the air tool to make all those little bits of streaks you see going in so many different directions. I liked the colors but wondered what would happen if I used a whole lot less color. Like only one or two drops each of magenta and carribean.

I used two drops of each color on this piece and worked the air tool. I love that band of color where the two meet but I thought I could use even less color. So I did.

Same amount of alcohol but just two total drops of color. For some reason this reminds me of a manatee. Hahahaha! I think that blue section – think upside down and swimming towards the bottom. The tail is the upper blue portion and the head is at the bottom where the blue meets the pink. Love it! Hahahahahaha!

Next I went with magenta and lemon – because most things look good with pink 🙂 . One drop of lemon, barely any alcohol and two drops of magenta.

And I added a little metallic gold. I love the gold! I shook it up better this time so I got more gold bits than the first time I used it. And started pushing the air back and forth and around and turned the tile.

I even added a little more magenta.

Don’t you love the gold distributed around that lower section?

I always like showing you my drying rack. Huge piece of cardboard on top of a trash can. Works great! And Aurora never tries to knock it off. She tried to jump into the trash can once and it scared her enough she has never tried again. Win/win! And no kitties were harmed in the making of these artworks.

Here are a few you haven’t seen. This one is just amethyst and alcohol. Love how the color breaks up into other colors.

Hey, look! I used red! Garnet red! I feel like Grumpy Cat . . . I used red. I hate it! Hahahahaha!

And I found a couple more using black. This one was either amethyst or purple with black.

And this was Piñata teal with Marabu black.

That is everything I made using the Marabu Alcohol Inks and a few Piñata Alcohol Inks. Super fun and really easy! Next up? Tangling on a few of them!

Marabu Alcohol Ink
Piñata Alcohol Ink
Yupo Paper
Tim Holtz Distress Marker Spritzer Tool

A Marabu Study in Black

It was a week for firsts. Actually several firsts but I want to show you one. First time ever creating with black ink. You know me. I am all about the bright and colorful, not so much about black or red or brown. You know. Boring colors. At least in my opinion. But this particular time I wanted to try the black Marabu Alcohol Ink. It came in the complete set of colors I purchased from Joggles and I thought I might as well try it. At least once. You know – product paid for should be used. And once I got started I could not stop. Let me show you.

Marabu has a fun line of art products. Joggles has the complete set of all 28 alcohol ink colors for half price. So I bought the set. Which included black. I started this roughly 4″ x 6″ piece by drawing a line of isopropyl alcohol in a wiggly snake formation and adding a few drops of magenta and black. Then I started pushing the colors around using the squeeze ball on my Tim Holtz Distress Marker Spritzer Tool.

And I remembered I had the metallic gold, so I added a few drops of that to the mix I was blowing around my Yupo paper. And kept pushing color with bursts of air.

Here it is really wet. I put it to the side on my drying rack . . .

And here it is dry. The gold got a bit lost. Perhaps I needed more? But I do love the way it shows in various areas of the tile. And the wispy quality of the black I was able to get with the air. I was like . . . wow! Let’s do another! So I did!

I grabbed the bottle of apple – hoping it would be close to lime since Marabu doesn’t have lime – and the bottle of black. I layed down a wiggly line of alcohol, then dropped in several bits of apple and only two drops of black. Because two drops of black is plenty, it can get a bit aggressive.

I went with less alcohol this time and more blowing of air. Just pushing color and turning the yupo paper and pushing in the other direction. Being careful not to over mix the two colors. And I loved it at this point.

And here is it dry. The colors soften as they dry and continue to mix. A little black goes a long way. Too much black and it would have obliterated the pretty apple green.

Apparently I was having so much fun with this one I forgot to take photos. Purple and black. This Marabu purple is more maroon/ mauve than purple and I love how it worked with the black. The pushing of air gently and from different angles is the key to making these gorgeous pieces.

I really love the way it softened into an almost gauzy look as the colors dried. Probably my favorite piece of the 20+ I made that day. I may just frame this one as is and not even try to tangle it. I love it that much!

Here is another beauty. This time I used amethyst and black. You would think this was purple. Nope. Totally amethyst. And I used a lot more alcohol for this one. I am still trying to figure out the right ratio of alcohol to color.

The dried version – I apologize because this is upside down from the image before. My internet is having brain freeze today. I have already been working on this post for almost 4 hours. And I’ve rebooted the computer 6 or 7 times. Making me crazy. Rearranging the order of the letters I am typing. Into something that looks like ajkshivoejshbxux instead of take that internet! So you get to look at this upside down. Yayayay!!! Uh. Amethyst and black. I like how the black breaks up the amethyst a bit and makes areas of pink. I did not use a pink on this tile. Just black and amethyst. And those striations in the black are caused by the air pushing the color. I love it! You never know what to expect and there is no way you can duplicate one of these tiles.

For this one I brought out the hot pink from Piñata. So beautiful! When I was a kid I loved making a coloring page using bright pink with black. Nothing was safe. I’d make pictures of clothes, baskets, flowers – and I’d color them all in shades of pink and black. So this was a no-brainer for me. And it looks like I used too much black. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.

As I pushed the color with my Tim Holtz blasting air thingy the black mixed with pink and made purple. So it looks like I used three colors when I really used two.

Wrong piece of yupo? Nope. I totally used too much black, pushed too much air, added too much alcohol and made too much purple. Yuck. This has since been cut up into ATCs and I actually love it that way! Hahahahaha!

Here I brought out the Piñata teal to use with Marabu’s black. You can see I used a good bit of teal. It’s my spirit color. Hahahaha! I used to have teal streaks in my hair and I miss them!

This one had too much alcohol and turned into a muddy mess. But it made nice ATCs. I do not have a photo of it before I chopped it up. Not all my projects turn out like I want them to. And that’s ok. That’s how I learn.

And what I learned was this – use much less alcohol, be more patient, use less black and more teal and take my time with the air source. Watch the lovely happen. And then stop before I mess it all up. Hahahaha! Yep! Totally love this one!

Here is a mix of Piñata’s sun bright yellow and Marabu’s black. Bumble bee colors. So bright and pretty together! Notice I used less alcohol. Just one pass around the tile.

Can you just say ugh? Apparently no one should mix a combination of alcohol, sun bright yellow and black because it looks awful together. Moving on.

Back to the amethyst and black. Because I like those in combination so much! Much of what I do is play and experiment.

And sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. It worked this time. I used my air source to push the color around and let the black really work with the amethyst. I remembered it brought out some pink when I did that before. I was hoping it would happen again.

And it did. Again this one is upside down and I just can’t fix it today. I don’t know if it’s my computer . . . or my internet . . . or a combination but I am about to scream here. Two colors – amethyst and black. Which turned into purple and pink and some blue and black. I love it all!

I was having a great time playing with the black alcohol ink from Marabu. It is the only brand I have black in. For this one I used three colors from Marabu – lemon, black and Caribbean. A beautiful color! And a decent amount of alcohol and soft air. My goal here was to just push the color out to the sides and see what happened as it dried. I was not disappointed.

Look at the softness. I am enjoying the soft aspect, it’s in contrast to most of what I do in art. Hahahaha! Look at those green edges along the right hand side – isn’t that pretty?

I have two tiles still laying here on my desktop to show you. This is another using the apple with black. I love how the soft air made cells of color. I did not overwork this piece. If I could just achieve this with every one I would be beyond happy!

And another using amethyst and black. I was determined to find the right ratio and I think I did! A little more alcohol on this one and less color. Nice soft, wispy bits of cotton candy kind of color. So beautiful!

Marabu Alcohol Ink. Beautiful and easy to use! I’ve played with them before but I have NEVER used black alcohol ink before this! I love the way the black plays with the other colors! Such wonderful results I got – even on the pieces I wasn’t completely happy with! I haven’t tried drawing on any of these yet. I will do that next. But one thing I immediately noticed – the inks from Marabu do not feel sticky to the touch when dry. So different from Ranger alcohol inks which definitely feel sticky. I need to pick one and get busy. Maybe later today. If I can just decide which one to start with! And I will definitely be using this black again. I might even try black in other mediums which I have never done before. I may have to go shopping first. Hahahaha!

Marabu Alcohol Ink
Piñata Alcohol Ink
Tim Holtz Distress Marker Spritzer Tool
Yupo Paper

Thank You!

Thirty-one days. Tangle All Around the World published 31 days ago and it is available worldwide on Amazon. When a new book is released, Amazon makes it eligible for the hot new release list for 31 days. I am so excited to announce for the 31 day span – Tangle All Around the World was #1 all but two days. It was #2 on those two days.

It is so exciting for our book to be finishing up the time period at the number one position! And that is only possible because of YOU. Each YOU who purchased a copy – thank you from the bottom of my heart! YOU made my dream come true and YOU made the dream of all 50 tangle artists represented in this book come true. YOU did that.

If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, I hope you will. 453 tangle patterns with complete step outs and many have art to go with them. Fifty artists from all around the world participated to make this happen.

Some pages look like this . . .

. . . some pages look more like this. There are patterns for all levels of tanglers from beginners to advanced. Tangle All Around the World is available here.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be back to making art. It’s been a rough couple days here. Mark is doing super with his new hip. Walking every day at Walmart. Haha! That is what they assigned him for therapy. Walking on flat surfaces. We need to start leaving our wallets in the car on these ‘therapy’ trips. Yesterday, our older dog Kodi left us. And that’s hard. We had Kodi for 15 years, all we have are super memories with him. He loved the snow so much – I am going to miss him this winter. Today we took Belle to the vet and I swear she could smell Kodi there from yesterday. She kept trying to get into the room they put Kodi to sleep in. I had to go sit in the car and cry for awhile. Broke my heart. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. All we have planned for tomorrow is a trip to the dump. Yay. And Walmart. You know – for therapy.