When I took the splitcoast Mix-ability challenge last week, I mixed Dylusions with matt medium to create a glaze, and it got me thinking about others ways I could use spray inks other than simply spraying onto paper. I came up with 5 ideas but there are many many more – just got to keep on playing.
About Spray Inks
Before we get started, just a quick note about ink sprays. Spray inks generally come in small 2oz plastic bottles with a spray top. Some are vibrant and colorful, such as Dylusions and others, like Perfect Pearls, are more subtle. Whatever effect you’re going for, they’re perfect for creating interesting backgrounds and for working with stencils.
Many inks on the market, including Dylusions, are dye based and react with water event once they’re dry – you reactivate them with a quick spritz of water. However, some are permanent once dried, such as Studio Calico’s Mister Huey. Some require a lot of shaking to activate pigments inside, especially those that sparkle, and some shouldn’t be shaken because the nozzle can clog. So do a little research before you buy, and play around in your art journal when you get a new ink to see what it can do.
- Spray a small amount of one or two inks onto a palette or plastic plate.
- Lightly mist a piece of watercolor paper with water.
- Use a flat, moistened brush to apply a thin layer (wash) of the first color onto the paper.
- Clean brush in fresh water and apply another thin layer of the second color, blending them where they meet.
- Spray a small amount of ink into the cap (one squirt is enough).
- Clear work area and protect with scrap paper.
- Choose journal, scrapbook page or card that you want to splatter.
- Hold cap approx. 12″ away from page and flick your wrist to create the splatter – it’s like you’re waving a magic wand!
- Blot the ink splatters with a paper towel and allow to dry.
- Mix one spritz of ink with a tablespoon of matt medium or soft gel medium on a plastic tray/plate using a palette knife.
- Once thoroughly mixed, apply the glaze onto your project using a brush.
- The glaze is transparent and the background underneath will show through.
- For a more vibrant color, add more ink spray to the glaze.
- The ink is now water resistant so you can layer on other wet media without fear of it running or bleeding.
Use the spray ink glaze to create cool drips on your page. See how it’s done in this video by Tiffany Johnson.
Compressed Air Background
This is a really fun project to make. Dig around in your office supplies to see if you have a can of compressed air – the kind that is used to clean keyboards and other hard to reach places. Ditch all plans to clean and get busy making a cool background.
- Clean off your work table and cover with scratch paper.
- Spritz the ink onto a palette.
- Using a round tipped paint brush, place a large drop ink onto a piece of watercolor paper.
- Hold tip of compressed air can 1/2″ away from the ink drop and spray.
- Do this several times in different directions to create this spider web effect.
- Make sure you are spraying in short, sharp bursts not for a sustained period.
- Add another drop of ink in another area of the page and repeat process until you’ve created your background.
I particularly like the spray inks in bold, vibrant colors because they’re perfect for coloring eye-catching stamped images for your journal or a card.
- Stamp a lined image onto a piece of watercolor paper with permanent, waterproof ink.
- Spritz several colors of inks onto a palette.
- With a damp, round paint brush, color images as desired.
Once your image is completely dry, gently mist it with a water bottle. This will make the color bleed just slightly outside the lines and create a painterly effect.
Let me know in the comments your ideas for using these awesome spray inks. I’ll share your suggestions in a future blog post.