November 20, 2014

Video Tutorial and Tips for Exploring New Craft Media

Hey! I'll start today's post will be a tutorial I made using the Hip Kit Club November color add on kit, which included 4 lovely metallic inks called I-Zink.

But I want to use this opportunity to talk about some tips on how to play with new media, get familiar with it, and see what it can do, alone and with other supplies.
I'll start with the tutorial. I used these inks in lots of fun ways, and made a layout out of all those tests and trials-

Here's the video, I show there exactly how I created all these different squares.

Now let's talk about exploring new media. I love playing with inks and paints. There are so many amazing products out there, and I love trying new products. Sometimes it can be tricky to discover what those products can do. So here are some ideas and key concepts to keep in mind when playing with a new product. These ideas will work best with things like paint, inks, mists and other products of that nature.

Let's start with application.
How can I apply this medium to my project?

Media come in so many forms, from paint in tube, to sticks, to spray bottles, to pencils, to markers and so on...
Some products come in a form that makes them super easy and fast to use.

Daubers for example are really fun, and you can apply the paint/ink directly to your project easily. You can be a little rough and smash them on your project to get a nice splatter. Just be careful (protect your photos and work surface), this is an unpredictable technique ;).
Examples- Ranger paint daubers, Distress stains, Hero Arts ink daubers.

Droppers also make it easy to use the product. You can write with them, make shapes, and drop drops of course! For the most part, this technique can also get messy. If you want precision and perfection, using a fine brush or something completely different like a pen or a marker is a safer bet. But if you like fun and messy, try this one!
Example- I-zink, Distress reinkers (pretty much all ink refills come in some sort of dropper container), Liquitex acrylic ink.

Spray bottles- These allow us to play with all the wonderful misting techniques. Messy and all over the place.
There are so so many out there- Lindy's Stamp Gang, Studio Calico Mr. Huey's, Heidi Swapp Color Shine, Prima Color Bloom, Ranger's Dylusions, Distress Stain sprays and many more.

Stick form- these are easy to grab and use, though some need some more attention after, like for blending (in that case you can use your fingers, a brush, a baby wipe, spray bottle... all depends on the medium and the look you want). My favorites are Faber Castell Gelatos and neocolor II, but there are many more, pastels, oil pastels, crayons, chalks and more...

And then there are all the other ways to use that medium.
Open that bottle and don't let yourself be limited!
You can use a brush to apply paint or ink.
You can put some on your craft sheet and use a blending tool or a makeup sponge.
You can make your own sprays from inks or reinkers (add some water), like I did on the video.
I love to use packaging (like of a sheet of stickers or thickers) to apply ink to my pages. I've been doing this with everything on everything lately.

My next stage of exploring new products is-
Mixing with other media.

You can start by mixing different colors of the same medium to create your own custom colors and shades.

Then I usually start with my 3 basic mediums- Gesso, gel medium and modeling/molding/texture paste.
Gesso is usually white, but comes also in clear and black. You can mix it with paint, inks, watercolors, mists, and create your own color. Gesso is a primer, it prepares your surface for paint and other media. I usually use it as it is, white, but sometimes it's fun to mix it up and start my project with a pale pink background, for example. If you want to add paint later in the project, on top of other layers, white acrylic paint is probably better for that purpose.

Gel medium can do so many things, like seal a layer in your work, be used as an adhesive, act as a resist and many many more things. It comes in different forms, liquid, heavy, super heavy, and different finishes, from glossy to super matte and those in between. It mixes beautifully with many other media, like paint, ink, mists, watercolors etc.

Molding paste is usually white, but you can also find it now in a variety of colors. It can also be found in transparent form, but white is the most common. It will also mix with many other media. It will lighten everything you add to it, since it is white, so keep that in mind. Unlike gel medium, it's very absorbent, that means it will not act as a resist, but rather absorb the paint/ink you apply on top of it.You can mix your medium of choice with it when it's wet, or add it on top of the molding paste when dry.

In this video I mixed Ranger's Texture paste with ink and gelatos-

Here's a photo tutorial where I mixed mist with molding paste.

Those are the basic go to products for me when I'm playing with mixed media, but there's a whole other subject, which is what mixed media is all about, and that's using different media on the same project.
For this purpose it's really helpful to understand and know your products. This is a huge subject, and I won't and can't go into this, but I just want to give some quick pointers.
Combine permanent media with non permanent. There are no rules, but I like to start with acrylic paint or a permanent ink, and then add some watercolors, which are not permanent.

Some media can act as a resist. For example Distress paints act as a good resist to distress stains/inks. 

Try mixing. Everything :) There are no rules. Just give it a try. Mix some ink with watercolor. Mix your mists with some acrylic paint. It's fun :) Just mix it. This is a really great way to stretch your supplies. You don't need every color of every medium (I try to tell that to myself, but I never listen!)

And last but certainly not least are two major groups of products that are my go to when playing with mixed media.
Stencils and stamps.
There's not a lot to say here, besides just play! Paints, inks and all these types of products are perfect for playing with stencils and stamps to create patterns and textures.

come in an endless array of patterns and sizes. I always recommend to start from very basic shapes you can use again and again. Circles, arrows, hearts, geometric patterns, triangles etc. Those are my most used stencils.
Mists are super fun and easy to use with stencils. For cleaner results tape your stencil and surface. If you don't mind so much and like it messy, don't bother :)
Molding paste and heavy gel medium are amazing with stencils. Alone or mixed with other media (like I mentioned before). I like to use a palette knife to apply them on my stencils.
Other more liquid media can also work wonderfully with stencils. I like to use the Ranger blending tool to apply them, or a makeup sponge. Daubers also work great but can get messy.

I love stamping with the standard ink pad, but I LOVE trying other ways to use them, like with mists, watercolors, paint. I put some on my craft sheet and gently dip my stamp in it. Just make sure you clean your stamps immediately after. It's not a problem with watercolors or mists, but you don't want paint to dry on your stamp.
Here I used the Topaz I-zink to stamp a flower-

And here I used gelatos-

I hope this inspired you and helped you find your way when playing with new products. Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

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