Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Making the Most of Mists

I must admit that, like most people I'm sure, I try to stretch my stash as far as possible, so when I make more expensive purchases I really like to try to get the most bang for my buck as they say! I do love my mists, and barely a page I create escapes a mist or a splatter - but I wanted to know if there was more I could do with the product other than simple spritzing.


So I decided to set about finding out if I could use mists as a painting medium. I began by dabbing some of my selected colours onto a plate (by unscrewing the cap and tapping some ink from the bottom of the spray tube), and grabbing a brush, some water and some cartridge paper.

My first little experiment was in creating colour washes. I found that both wet and dry paper worked equally well, but that a wet brush was (obviously) really important to really stretch the pigments and to blend the different colours nicely. A tiny bit of mist on my brush went really far with the water, and I found I needed to change my water in my bowl often to avoid the colours getting murky. I loved the ways the colours would mix with each other and in places created tone on tone, watermarked effects.

I decided to use a pretty wash I'd created with to make some simple embellishments (for a page I will share with you later in the post), by using a scalloped circle punch to pop out some shapes from my now pastel-coloured paper. You can see below the three mists I used to obtain the wash, and the level of vibrancy I achieved on the punched circles:


This led me to thinking about how the mists could be used just like water colours to colour in images. Grabbing my black American Crafts Slick Writer pen, I quickly scribbled some doodles and coloured them in with the mists. Slick Writers are permanent ink so dry instantly and did not bleed when the water washed over it.
**Disclaimer - I am not by any means an artist!!


With an idea for a layout forming, I set about drawing and painting a larger cassette tape, which would act as the perfect matt for my title later on:

Next up, I wanted to have a go at colouring some stamped images (as my own drawing skills were proving to be rubbish!). I stamped the images using Stazon ink, again so that they would not bleed when wet.

I actually coloured these cameras the day after my own doodles - the mists I had sprayed on to my palette the day before were easily reactivated with a drop of water from a wet brush.

I used all my mist/watercoloured triumphs to create this page - they perfectly complimented the happy, sunny colours of the papers I had chosen, which included pieces from Studio Calico's Hey Day collection, Crate's Little Bo Beep and MME Miss Caroline (all product links can, as always, be found at the end of the post).

 Please click on image for a larger image:

I chose to punch stars form the center of the colour-wash scalloped circles, and add them as a banner tethered together with faux stitching.

Here's my finished cassette tape; once it had dried I added some more details in pen, as well as my title using some cute grey tiny alphas from Pink Paislee:


One thing I totally loved about the "Crush" paper in the Hey Day collection was the decorative area at the bottom that looked like lots of different types of Washi tape layered over each other. I cut this portion away and added it to the bottom of my page, along with some extra pieces of real decorative tape to boost the texture:


This was echoed at the top of my page, with the addition of some torn paper and October Afternoon Little Fliers stickers:

My experimentation didn't stop there though! Ever the intrepid explorer into the world of arts and crafts (!!), I decided to see whether rather than just using the mists to colour in the stamped images, if they could be used to actually stamp with. I must admit, I did have rather mixed results and tried several different techniques, including misting directly onto the stamps (messy and wasteful!) and brushing them on with a brush (murky!), but did find a way to make these interestingly textured stamped embellishments:

The ink coverage was not even, but I loved how the colours blended and gave a soft dappled, shaded effect that you can see more closely here
To achieve this, I added one dot of each desired mist ( a little goes a long way here!) on to a plastic pallette - this doesn't have to be fancy here: I used the discarded plastic packaging from a stamp set. Leave a little space between them - don't be tempted to mix them with a brush - that magic will happen on it's own in a couple of seconds! 

With your chosen stamp attached to an acrylic block, place it down onto the ink,

Then gently move your stamp slightly, and you will see that the colours start to blend themselves as the slippery mist slides around on your plastic palette:
A very slight wiggling action resulted in the colours mixing in this way. 
The wave of purple below started out it's colourful life as a dot of pink and a dot of turquoise!
It's a hit and miss technique - you can't be sure what you will get with each mix of inks and no two stamped impressions will be the same - but it is a whole lot of fun just playing about to see what effects you can acchieve. And when I had finished I had a cute little pile of cut-out stamped images that I can use on pages and cards, which is always a bonus!
Some things I did find useful were to stamp once onto an ink-free part of the plastic pallette before going onto the paper to remove some excess ink, and that sometimes stamping a second time on the paper before reinking gave a nice, more subtle effect. I also found that blocky, solid-effect stamps leant themselves to this technique better than detailed ones - but with a bit of experimentation who knows what you may be able to acchieve?!
I used some of my mist-stamped images to make the card below, along with scraps from my page earlier:
Go on, have a go at using your mists in a new way - you may be surprised!!
My supplies included:

6 comments:

Mel said...

I love this Nat and think that the casette looks great. I have only ever used them for misting.

RosieB said...

Thanks for this, really useful :)

Jill said...

Wow Nat, love it! Jill x

Tracie said...

Fantastic idea Nat, can't wait to give this a go!!

Vanessa Stokoe said...

You clever and creative girl, love it. :) xx

Jenga said...

Wowzers Nat! Great ideas xxx