Archive for mixed media

Creative Art Journal-Gelato pigments

Art Journal and Gelato's

Art Journal with Gelato background

Art Journaling is an exceptional way to try out new techniques.  New supplies, bold colors, things you may not want to try on an actual project.  It gives you a freedom to not have an expectation or an outcome.  For us “A” personalities that are overwhelmed with OCD tendencies it presents one of my most favorite and most hated form’s of expression.

I like dimensional work, when messing in my art journal. I can get messy and have unfinished work.  It allows me to journal my thoughts or feelings in words, colors, or images. Typically, I shy away from simple flat images. Layers and background work is where it is at.  Complex images are my favorite, that is something that I am personally drawn to when making a project or starting to piece together ideas.

Have I mentioned throughout my blog that I stockpile images and backgrounds?  Aside from making tags and cards, this is another way that I use those already completed images or stamps.  I add them to my art journal for a quick filler and then embellish on and around them with different inks or mediums.

Art Journaling with Faber Castel Gelato’s

Gelato’s make art journaling a breeze. If you know what these are and have worked with them before, you are probably amazed by the versatility of the pigment.  If you have not ever used them before, you have to try them!!  You will not be sorry.  They are in mini pen-like containers, like crayons but fatter.  The texture is very pigmented and super creamy.  You can use them as is or add water to them and they can make some pretty amazing backgrounds that are vivid and fluid with little to know artistic ability.

Baby wipes work amazingly to smooth out backgrounds.  I used that method on the art journal pages that I am showcasing in this post.  You can also use spray water, droplets of water, or stencils.  This pigment will also lift off of paper with water.  So you can do a background then put a stencil down and lift the color up so it makes a reverse image.


Art Journal with Gelato's

Art Journal with Gelato’s

Pictured above in the top photos, are what the Gelato’s look like.  You can just color the paper where you want specific pigment to go or blend by overlapping colors.  When you are happy with the coverage you add water and it smooths the color out and blends the colors together.  I used a baby wipe wrapped around my fingers and just blended it together.  Super fabulous. Once it dries you can stamp on top of it.   Layer more ink, or pretty much anything you can imagine.

I have even used these on canvas for background and they worked beautifully.

Finished Pages

Art Journal with Gelato's

Art Journal with Gelato’s step 2

I might be done with this page, I might not be.  Sometimes I will go months then will go back and add things to previous pages. A coffee Gelato was used to rub around the images that I glued onto my pages and then I rubbed the pigment with my finger until I got my desired result.  Smudging the pigment is one super cool thing to do with them.  I rub the edges of a lot of my projects with Gelato’s because it gives a smokey finish to paper.

Art journaling is a vast media and there are five thousand ways to art-journal.  I would love to hear some of your favorite techniques.

Alcohol Ink on Yupo Paper

Thank-you card on Yupo cardstock with alcohol ink

Thank-you card on Yupo with alcohol ink

Alcohol Ink on Yupo Paper

Alcohol Ink and Yupo Cardstock

4-individual yupo paper cards with Alcohol Ink













Alcohol Inks

Alcohol Ink on Yupo paper is an effortless mixed media technique that makes a beautiful background.  Some people shy away from alcohol inks because they work best on glassy or slick surfaces and you have little control over where the ink runs.  However, when using Yupo paper for a background, you can easily create precise control over where the ink pools.  When using this background the ink dries instantly.  You can use a paint brush for vivid colors or drop it straight from the bottle like I did on the above example.

Yupo Paper

This is a glossy paper that resembles a glass or tile surface similar to a photo paper without the sheen.  I bought “do it on YUPO” off of amazon and it comes in 11″X14″ paper.  I cut it down to smaller sizes that are easier to work with and use a basic Fiskars paper cutter to tackle the trimming.

yupo paper

yupo paper


Once you get your Yupo paper trimmed to smaller working canvas’s you can start inking the card stock.  There are many techniques that you can use but I typically focus on the simple drop method.  I also have a stock of pre-prepared containers that contain dried alcohol ink.  Basically you just put 15-20 drops of alcohol ink in small containers, I use lip balm containers, and let them dry.  then you can go back with a paint brush dipped in alcohol blending solution and use them like regular paint or watercolor paints.  If you want to invest in a water brush, they are approximately 7-9 dollars, you can put the blending solution directly into the water brush and it works perfectly for your dried alcohol inks.  I did use this method to finish my card in the referenced video at the end of my blog.

You can get very creative with alcohol ink.  When using the drop method, the ink dries very fast on this back ground so you can see where your art work is moving very quickly.  You continue dropping color onto your background until the majority of the card stock is covered then you can go in and fill in your small blank spots with the brush and blending solution.

I like to blow on the color as it is drying and you can figure out timing as you go.  When you blow on the blending solution that you are adding with the paint brush it makes a very smooth visual image.

Finishing up

Once you complete the image and are happy with your result there are several ways that you can seal your image.  The easiest way that I have found is spray sealer.  I prefer KRYLON Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating 1303A.  It will leave a few very small droplet like marks to the background but I like the finish that it gives the background.

crystal clear spray coating

crystal clear spray coating

With this card, I finished with a stamped “Thank-you” on white cardstock with the edges rubbed with a black faber castle marker.  I adhered the tag with mounting squares to give the card dimension.

Low Cost Project

When pricing alcohol inks, please note this project only used 3 colors.  Alcohol inks are sold in 3 color packs and all of the color pack sold are in the same family so they always blend well together.  Yupo paper is pricey, however if your enjoy the calming effect of making alcohol ink backgrounds it is an awesome investment.  It has limitless possibilities.  Cheap tiles from your local hardware store or glass picture frames are cheaper alternatives.



Alcohol Ink

Alcohol Blending Solution

Yupo Paper

Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating

Paint brush or water pen


Alcohol Ink on Yupo Cardstock

Alcohol Ink on Yupo Cardstock

alcohol in on Yupo cardstock

Alcohol ink on Yupo cardstock



Cards/Distress Oxide Technique

Original creation Distress Oxide Cards

Personalized cards and one of a kind backgrounds are my JAAAM. I love to create special things from the heart to incorporate in gifts or special thank-you’s for the people in my life.

One of the things that I like to do,to de-stress or unwind, is to sit down and make a stock of usable backgrounds for various projects.  They are so versatile and you can incorporate them in almost any project.  Scrapbooking, card making, tags, the list is infinite.

Mixed media has always been one of my go-to projects.  It is very forgiving and for a novice crafter or someone who doesn’t feel very confident in creating, this is a perfect option because your skills do NOT have to be perfect.  You literally cannot mess a Distress Oxide mixed media project up.  That is a beautiful thing my friend!!!!

Tim Holtz and Ranger Distress Oxide Inks are a very versatile pigment and I am going to show you a very basic, simplistic method to get going with these water reactive inks.  There are many, many videos out on Distress Oxide Inks but I did a 55 second video to show you one of the most popular methods of creating mixed media back grounds.

The cards I featured in the top of this post where a bit more complex but the majority of them started out with this basic method and then I incorporated some more advanced techniques.  I will be posting more videos showcasing these techniques but for the beginner, that wants to start a project NOW to get some basic backgrounds, this technique will be perfectly fine!

Supplies used for the following video:

  1.  2 Distress Oxide colors.  Peacock Feather and Broken China. Approximately 6.00 each (I only did 2 layers in this video.  I would probably incorporate other colors for the 3rd and 4th layer)  If you only invested in two colors then you could absolutely use 2 colors throughout all of your layering processes and will still get a dimensional mixed media look.
  2. You will need a cardstock, I used watercolor because it can hold the water well.  You will also need a surface for the ink.  You can use taped down wax paper if you do not have a mat, you can also use a glass surface like a large picture frame or a glass table.
  3. You will need a water source.  Any spray bottle works.  I like the mini pulverizador from ranger ink.
  4. I used a heat gun in the video for time purposes but that is not necessary, you also can use a regular hair dryer or just wait on the ink to dry between layers.