Hello, Scrappers! Welcome to our mid month joint post. Today we are talking about liquid mediums... think acrylics, watercolours, mists, inks etc!
Maria La Chica: I remember when I first saw someone using watercolours on a layout and I remember being gobsmacked. First of all, wow! you can actually use anything other than paper!? Revelation!! And secondly, hang on a second - that looks a bit too difficult for me. However, I kept watching videos of people watercolouring on their layouts and I put it on my list of techniques to try. It did take me a few months but in the end, I succumbed and gave it a go. I bought a very inexpensive palette of watercolours from Hobbycraft and a few brushes. I also bought some Gesso, as in my investigations I saw that a lot of people were using it. Gesso is a primer that helps your paper or cardstock be more resilient to the water in the watercolour. However, I have found that Gesso is actually not always necessary. It will change the look and feel of your watercolour and if you are using a cardstock with a high gsm it is actually not that necessary if you are only using a thin layer of watercolour.
Watercolours with no Gesso
Pol: I have a confession to make. I don’t like using wet media much - I know, I know, don’t slap me! I’m too impatient to wait for backgrounds to dry, and I’m definitely too impatient to mess around priming things with Gesso, therefore my cardstock always warps and I hate it! I do however love ink. I love using splatters of ink, unscrew the spray cap and flick the end of the little tube around, and I like to use Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads to alter wood veneer, white foam Thickers, and die cuts. I like to use a mask to gently sponge distress inks through too. And that’s as far as my wet media ventures go!
Susan: I’m with you Pol; I have never made a big success of wet media in any shape or form. I do like the look of it and have a real admiration for scrappers who can do it well. I have found a cheat’s way of getting splatters without the mess - the Stampin’ Up stamp set called Gorgeous Grunge - my favourite and most used stamps ever! A tip to share, though I have never tried it - apparently if you dampen the back of cardstock that you intend to apply something wet to it will stop the fibres stretching and warping.
Using SU Gorgeous Grunge stamp
Laura: I have a huge collection of inks, mists and paints. Most of my supplies tend to be ‘artist quality’ which means there is a higher ratio of pigment to the ‘craft quality’ or ‘student quality’ paints, and fewer filler ingredients. It’s probably not worth splashing out on expensive paints if you will just be using them for scrapbooking but I like to paint as well. My current favourites are Liquitex acrylic inks, Mr Huey’s sprays and my small Daniel Smith watercolour palette. I will flick and splatter inks and mists on any surface (including my desk and craft room wall – but the less said about that the better!) When I use my watercolours for a background I tend to use a lot of water so opt for a heavyweight watercolour paper to cut down on warping.
Beth: I love using liquid mediums on my layouts although if they're not right in front of me I sometimes forget! I'm a bit of a collector so once I find something I like I just have to have the full range of colours and over the years I've built up quite a substantial stash of mists, distress inks, watercolour and acrylic paints, etc ... you name it, I've got it! I don't tend to use Gesso on my background very often, I prefer the effect you get without it and I don't mind if my layouts warp. They always flatten once they’re in an album, it just makes photographing them a bit tricky! My favourite technique is using the packaging technique with distress inks. I keep a water spray, a supply of cellophane card bags and some cheap white card handy to try out different colour combinations and work out how much water is needed. I love how you can get so many different shades just by changing the amount of water!
Terri: I love to use a combination of texture pastes and mists on my white cardstock backgrounds before layering patterned papers, photos and embellishments on top. To ensure my texture paste and mists coordinate I use the mist to colour the white texture paste before applying it to my layouts with a stencil. I made this layout last year when I was Guest Designer for the Like For Ever UK kit club. For this layout, I used mists and texture paste with a stencil and then also added some splatters of mist.
Jess: So I've only just started using acrylic paints. Before this, I hadn't used any sort of wet medium. I stuck to photos and cards but I'd been thinking about doing some mixed media and kept looking at the cheap set of acrylic paints in Lidl. I finally caved one weekend and bought some. Why have I never done this before? I created a scrapbook layout (it is an A4 layout. My version of 8.5x11 that fits in normal plastic wallets) and a Traveller's Notebook page using the packaging technique where you put the paint onto clear packaging and smoosh it on. I also made a traveller's notebook page where I slapped on the paint nice and thick, blended the colours a bit and then stuck in some punched out stars. I like this effect as the paint acts as an adhesive and sort of squishes up about the cutout pieces but I think it would look better with smaller pieces. I'm definitely going to be doing more of these from now on. I might have to invest in some gesso to stop the paper from warping.
Lisa-Jane: I’m only just venturing into the world of wet mixed media on my layouts but I really love the effects. I’ve dabbled in various techniques over the years so I searched back through my old blog and found out how far back wet media really went for me... Here I used a dry brush to add acrylic paint on my base cardstock to act as another layer of the layout. I also dipped various sized lids into the paint to make prints with, which reminds me, I’ve also used Lego as a stamp in the past!
I’ve also used mists in the past and they are definitely going to be seeing a resurgence as my daughter absolutely loves art journalling. In this layout from 2011 I used a red mist over some punched snowflakes and I really loved it at the time - now all I can think of is blood which is why most people won’t use red sprays.
Finally, much more recently, I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks to make this background. I have loads of Washi and lots of colours of ink I never use and I was starting to get down to my scraps in my holiday album. I randomly placed the Washi on, circled the various coloured inks over the white cardstock and then peeled the Washi tape off. You could make all sorts of designs this way and you end up with a really individual background to stretch your scraps with!
Sarah T: I don't really use much in the way of Liquid Mediums in Pocket Page scrapping. That's not to say I've never used it though. I have used some homemade texture paste on a card once. It was a really simple recipe, 4 tablespoons of Baby Powder, 1 tablespoon of PVA glue, 1 tablespoon of white acrylic paint and a little water. Mix it all together adding a little water at a time until you get the consistency you want. I actually added more paint too for a more whiter paste. You'll want to use something disposable, like a plastic spoon or in my case a lolly stick to mix it all with. Make sure you keep it in an airtight container and it should last you a long while. I actually did this 2 years ago, I've just checked the tub I keep it in, it has gone a bit firm, but I reckon I could work in a bit of water, and it could be good. If not it's super simple and cheap to make some more. I think I might have to have another go at this technique in my Pocket Pages.
Michelle: I love to use liquid mediums on my layouts... I tend to gesso my pages as the norm now and have a few pre-prepared and ready to go. I have ink spritzers of all my ink pads so that I can add splatters to pages and my Aqua brushes are my best friend for adding watercolour elements to pages.
Pocket scrapbooking and TN scrapbooking (creative journalling) are where I use wet mediums the most, I find the smaller size allows you to get really creative without worrying about the page warping. On this layout I gessoed the page and used my stamps to create a water colour background to decorate the cards then cut the 12x12 page down to fit the Project Life page protector.