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What’s Green but not Green? Distress Ink Blending Tutorial

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This card uses the Gerbera and Friends stamp set. Sometimes, you stumble upon colour combinations that interact when blending in a very unexpected way. This was certainly the case for this project. I mixed the following Distress Inks for this card: Speckled Egg, Frayed Burlap and Brushed Corduroy. I was expecting to get blue with shades of brown, but when these inks blend, you get a beautiful muted green.

Start by stamping your main image directly onto your card base off to one side; use a permanent ink such as Archival by Ranger or Memento by Tsukineko. This will prevent the image interacting with your blending when you start to add other colours. The image is stamped in brown ink to give the stamp a softer feel than using black. This can be a really important step if you are planning to ink blend over your image. You can gently heat set this before continuing or leave your stamping for a while to fully dry. You should also add any colouring with coloured pencils or alcohol markers. Avoid water-based colouring tools at this point to avoid smudging. I used the pastel alcohol marker set from Ohuhu which has both chisel and brush nibs.

Ink Blending

Working directly on your card blank, and using a large paddle brush, blend Speckled Egg from the outside edge all the way around your folded card. Build the colour in layers so the outside edge shading is obvious without being on a white surface. Moving on to the Frayed Burlap, brush this in the same manner but in random places around the edge. Do the same with the Brushed Corduroy and hopefully you will see light areas of green appearing. This is where my surprise went wow and my design plan changed.

Mask a border, using masking or blending tape, masking film or similar product, approximately 1 inch from the card edge. Use a much stronger blend of the inks to get a stronger version of the green. Originally, I planned to use the area to the right of this border for the sentiment. This changed though as I started to experiment. 

The additional elements

Firstly, did the card change the blend; cue reaching for a piece of cartridge paper. Now, cartridge paper is quite tricky to ink blend on so use a magnetic platform of some description to avoid crinkled paper and inky fingers. Create a green blend that’s softer than the border you’ve just created. Then, squidgy out a little ink or use a drop of refill and a fan brush with water to create a “flickable” ink. Splatter with the ink and clean water to texture your blend. Cut a strip to fit the right hand panel of your card once the paper is dry. Resist the urge to use a heat gun on the paper at all; it just won’t take it well. Blot lightly with a soft kitchen towel.

Onto a spare piece of white card, stamp the little worker images using the same permanent ink as before, Cut into 3 squares and apply as shown.

I pondered adding a sentiment for a long time, but in the end decided a message would be better inside the card. I was thinking something along the lines of a little peace.

Here’s another Distress Ink Blending project to inspire you. This one is from September 2018 so some supplies may be discontinued.

Shopping Links

Gerbera and Friends
Stamp Set

£16.99 unmounted
£21.54 cling-mounted

Distress Inks
by Ranger

Frayed Burlap, Brushed Corduroy and Speckled Egg
Prices vary by retailer

Alcohol Markers
by Ohuhu

Pastel Set of 48 Brush and Chisel Markers

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