Tag Archive: Drawing Inks

I’ve decided to go right back to basics and revisit one of the very first background techniques I ever tried! Elastic Band Brayering!

This is a background that everyone can do because everyone has elastic bands in their house, if you don’t; chances are the local postman has dropped some in the street recently (that’s how I got mine!)


  • Thick Elastic Bands
  • Brayer – with removable roller (Woodware or Ranger)
  • White Card Stock
  • Versamark or Embossing Inkpad
  • Embossing Powder – Metallic, Clear or White
  • Newspaper
  • Adirondak Colorwash Sprays – any colour (I use them all!)
  • Sponge
  • Kitchen Towelling


  1. Remove roller from brayer, take 2 rubber bands, wrap and twist around the roller, spread them out to cover the entire width, re-assemble brayer back together again.
  1. Place white card onto newspaper, ink brayer with versamark inkpad, randomly roll across the surface of the card. Repeat this step, each time rolling in a different direction. Don’t worry about overlapping as you want to be completely random, continue until you have completely rolled the entire card surface.
  1. Pour embossing powder over the pattern and heat set. White or clear creates a more traditional faux batik effect. I used gold on some backgrounds, on others I used a white pearl as I wanted a shimmer effect.
  1. Once cooled; take 1 colourwash spray and lightly mist over the surface of the card, use a sponge to spread the colour across the card and remove all traces of the white card base colour.
  1. Next take 2-3 different colours of colourwash sprays: stream, wild plum and butterscotch work well together, as do raisin, eggplant and terracotta. Squirt 3-4 times with each colour randomly over the card, you want to have little bursts of colours. Don’t worry about the colours overlapping as they will blend together nicely.
  1. Heat set inks, once dry take a kitchen towel sheet and rub across the surface of the embossed pattern to remove some of the ink, you can control how much ink you remove with pressure. If you want to completely remove the ink from the embossed areas to create a faux batik effect you can use a moist baby wipe to lift the ink. Your background is complete.

Textured Variation:

This is an interesting variation of this background which creates a lovely texture.

Follow the directions above from Steps 1 – 3. Once the embossing has cooled; crumple the card into a tight ball, twisting and turning  the paper to create lots of creases, don’t worry if some of the embossing flakes off or if by twisting it you break the embossed areas; this is normal. Flatten out the card again, and then apply the inks following the main directions from step 4 onwards above.

This variation will not only create a brayered band resist, but the inks will seep into all the creases and folds in the card and breaks in the embossing to create a more textured background.

Background Samples:

Brayed Bands Cards:


What I love so much about the Faux Batik Technique is how wonderful the colours always are in the finished pieces. I am such a lover of handmade backgrounds and love nothing better than to sit and play with different inks and mediums and let the colours do the work all by themselves. What I love best about this technique is how you can see all the gorgeous handmade fibers in the mulberry paper, even after you have added all the inks!

Faux Batik allows artists of any skill level to sit and play with colour, and create a masterpiece!

Traditionally Batik is created on sheets of Indian silk; a tool is used to draw patterns onto the silk using clear wax which acts as a wonderful resist. Wherever there is wax on the silk sheet, the dye cannot penetrate, giving the artist free reign to create wonderful pieces of resist art in their silk sheets. Once the wax itself has dried, the silk pieces are dipped into silk dyes to create a wonderful backdrop of colour. Once dried, the wax is removed using a heat process to reveal a wonderful resist object d’art!

That’s a little history about the traditional method, now I will explain about the Faux Batik method which stampers of any skill level can re-create using tools and equipment found in every stampers tool box.

Tools Needed To Create Faux Batik Art:

White Mulberry Paper: If you don’t have it you could substitute with white tissue paper or any pale handmade papers.
A Spray Bottle filled with water

Clear Versamark Embossing Ink Pad By Tsukineko: If you don’t have one you can use any generic embossing inkpad for this technique

Clear Embossing Powder: I used Stamps N Stuff, again substitute using the brand name you do have.

Artists Paint Brush

Posh Impressions Rainbow Inks: I used the Floral Brights set, you can substitute using your preferred colours. If you do not own Posh Impressions inks you can use any Artist Ink Mediums. For example inks by Daler Rowney or Winstor and Newton work well for this technique.

Embossing Heat Tool

Ordinary Household Iron

Sheet of Plastic to protect your work surface with

Plain Unprinted Newspaper or Blotting Paper

Baby Wipes or a glass of clear water for cleaning your paint brush out with

Creating Faux Batik Art:

First of all before you begin; completely protect your work surface with sheets of clear plastic (I use cheap food bags for this purpose and bin liners) This technique can get messy to better to protect against accidents.

Before I began adding colour to my sheets of mulberry paper, I tore the large sheet into smaller manageable sized sheets. To do this I dip a brush in clear water, and paint along the mulberry paper with the water where I want to tear the sheet. The water softens the paper and allows me to tear the sheet cleanly to create a nice feathery edge.

Once you have got the mulberry paper the size you want it, you need to stamp it! I find it best to use stamps which are bold and don’t have too much fine detail in them.

Stamp onto the mulberry sheet using a clear embossing inkpad, sprinkle on embossing powder and immediately apply heat from the heat gun to emboss the image.

Take an extra sheet of plastic, and squirt a tiny puddle of Rainbow Inks in the colours you wish to use onto the plastic; this will act as your artist palette.

Place embossed mulberry paper onto plastic covered work surface.
Next soak with entire surface of the mulberry paper with water from the spray gun.

Dip your brush into any colour of your choice from your handmade artist palette and working quickly brush the ink over the entire surface. Apply as many different colours as desired until you are happy with how it looks. Remember to clean your brush between colour changes!

Carefully lift your sheet of ink soaked mulberry paper and place it onto a sheet of unprinted newspaper or blotting paper. Apply heat from an embossing heat gun to dry the inks.

Once the inks have dried; place another sheet of newspaper or blotting paper over the top of the sheet of mulberry paper. Turn on your iron onto cotton setting, let it warm up first. Then quickly iron over the surface. The embossed image will start to soak through the surface of the newspaper. Once it has done that, carefully remove the newspaper from the mulberry paper.

Notice how the embossed image is shiny no more! All of the clear embossing powder has been removed and soaked into the newspaper! The image on the mulberry paper now resembles that of traditional silk batik art!

That’s how easy it is to create Faux Batix!

Tips For Using Inks On Faux Batik Backgrounds

You get a more striking contrast if you use darker ink colours over area of the embossed image.

Do not use too many colours on one faux batik background as you will end up with a muddy colour. Try to go for 2 or 3 colours. Choose colours which compliment each other; for example hot pink, blue and magenta, green and yellow and magenta.

Draw a line of colour around the entire edge of the mulberry paper to create a ‘frame’ of colour around your artwork!

Do not be afraid to experiment with colour combinations and movement with the brush. You can splash the paint on, swirl it, squirt on more water, drip the paint and generally go wild playing with the colours!

Faux Batik is a fun technique where there are no rules and everyone can be an artist! I hope you have as much fun creating them as I did!

I just love playing with my Posh Impressions inks!! They make you feel like an artist without having to work to hard as the ink and water does all the work for you! These cards where created using the ‘faux bleach’ technique – instead of bleach you clear emboss then paint over inks to achieve a resist effect.

Read on for details…

Supplies Used

* Cream Or Tan Card Stock
* Versamark Inkpad (Tsunekio)
* Clear And Gold Embossing Powder (Stamps n Stuff)
* Card Blanks
* Gold Brads
* Letter Stickers (Stampendous)
* Gold Leafing Pen (Krylon)
* Posh Impressions Rainbow Inks: Earthtones Set
* Paint Brush
* Cup of Water
* Artists Paint Palette

Rubber Stamps Used

* Gloria Angel (Stampendous)
* Leaves (Personal Impressions)


There are two ways to create these kind of cards;

The first method involves embossing your main image and using the inks to create a kind of ‘wash’ effect. The other way involves using a waterproof inkpad (memories) to create a colourful background without the resist effect.

The directions below are for the ‘faux bleach resist effect’:

1. Take cream or tan card stock and stamp your main image using a versamark inkpad. Emboss immediately using clear embossing powder. Allow to cool.

2. Crumple the card you have just embossed into a very tight ball, squeeze, then open it up again.

3. Place a drop of each of the colours of the inks you are going to use in an artists paint palette.

4. Using a paint brush soak the card stock completely with water.

5. Next dip your brush into one of the ink colours and paint it directly onto the water soaked card stock in a light sweeping movement. Don’t think too hard about this as you want the water to do all the work and blending.

6. Wash your brush out and apply a different colour of ink to the card.

7. Continue until you have created a background wash of colours. Heat set to dry.

I used: Butterscotch, Tan, Burgundy and Green to create my backgrounds shown on this page.

Notice how the crumples in the paper create and add a texture to the ink and how the embossed image creates a resist to the ink. You may notice the ink seeps under the embossed image in some areas, this is normal.

You can experiment adding less or more ink or water to create deeper and lighter shades and hues.

8. Once dry tear round the image leaving a generous border. 9. Apply Versamark inkpad along the torn edges and emboss immediately using gold embossing powder to create a rustic midas background.

10. Create a background of ink wash as described above to layer your art onto; only this time do not crumple the card stock. Apply more water after you have applied the inks to create a lighter wash. Heat set to dry.

11. Apply gold brads to the four corners of the leaf wash background.

12. Affix ink wash background to card stock with double sided tape.

13. Affix main image to the front of the card.

14. Add lettering stickers to spell out LEAVES.

Your ink wash card is complete.

More Ink Wash Background Cards

Card On Left is Stamped With Memories Art Print Brown, Card on Right is Uncrumpled and embossed with clear on tan card stock

Caught in Crystal is a favourite technique of mine because the end results are so vibrant and the effect is so very easy to create.

You can find many variations and adaptions of this technique all over the internet, see the links section below for galleries and links.

Below you can read my own instructions for this technique

Caught In Crystal Project

What You Will Need

  • Stazon Inkpad
  • Or any inkpad which is suitable for stamping on acetate. For example: memories, ancient page, crafters ink or brilliance. *All Inks must be heat set first to make permanent.

    • Rubber Stamps of your choice
    • Heat Proof Acetate
    • Acetate for laser printers/photocopiers are suitable
    • Johnson’s Klear Floor Wax: Available from all supermarkets for approx. £3 International Brand is known as ‘Future Floor Wax’
    • Paint Brush
    • Fine Glitter
    • Tissue Paper
    • Re-inkers, Posh Impressions Rainbow Inks, Artists Inks or Metallic Acrylic
    • Paints
    • Baby Wipes for cleaning stamps and paint brush
    • Kitchen Toweling for Blotting
    • Heat Tool
    • Double Sided Tape
    • Card and Papers for layering your artwork

    How To Create

    1. Using a rubber stamp of your choice, stamp onto acetate with a black stazon inkpad. Taking care not to wobble or move your stamp. Heat the image with the heat gun to dry.

    NOTE: Although the acetate is embossable and heat proof, you must still take care when applying heat. If you hold your heat gun too close or for too long onto the acetate you will cause it to warp and wrinkle.

    2. When the ink is dry, turn the acetate over and place it onto your work surface. You are now going to work on the BACK of your stamped image.

    3. Dip a paint brush into the floor wax, and paint a layer of wax over the top of your stamped image. Do not paint too close to the edges of the acetate as wax may seep under the acetate and spoil your image.

    4. Sprinkle a small amount of fine glitter into the floor wax on the acetate, you do not need a lot. If you add too much glitter the tissue paper will not stick to the acetate properly.

    5. Crinkle a sheet of tissue paper up into a tight ball, then open it up and place on top of the glittered floor wax acetate and pat it down.

    6. Dip your brush into floor wax and gently ‘stipple’ the surface to help the tissue paper stick down. If at any point you tear the tissue paper, don’t panic, as you can ‘patch’ it up using scrap pieces of tissue to mend it.

    Don’t forget to clean your brush using a baby wipe in-between colour changes etc.

    7. While the floor wax on the back of the tissue paper is still wet, you want to add some colour.

    In the traditional version of this technique you use dye reinkers. If you do not have many reinkers you can use artists inks or inkabilities posh impressions inks. You can also use metallic paints to get a different effect too.

    Take 3 different ink colours which compliment one another. For example: blue, red and purple work well together, as do greens, orange and yellow.

    8. Dip your brush into one of the ink colours, and drip ink from the brush randomly over the tissue paper.

    9. Clean brush, then repeat above step using another ink colour, then finally add your 3rd ink colour.

    10 . Clean your brush, and dip into floor wax, use the floor wax to coat the back of the inks you have just applied to allow colours to blend together freely.

    11. Next place a spare piece of tissue paper over the inked surface, and also place a folded sheet of kitchen toweling. Pat the towel to blot and absorb any excess ink.

    12. Pull off the kitchen toweling and the spare sheet of tissue paper. (do not pull off the first layer)

    Set the spare sheet of tissue paper aside to dry. You can use this for another project later on.

    13. Use heat tool to dry the inked tissue paper on the back of the acetate, taking care not to overheat.

    14. When dry, apply one final layer of floor wax to the tissue paper to seal. Apply heat to dry once more.

    15. Crop around your ‘Caught In Crystal’ acetate art, and layer it onto complimentary papers and cards using double sided tape. Your card is complete.

    Caught In Crystal Cards

    Using Artists Inks:

    Using Metallic Acrylic Paints

    Rainbow Tissue Paper Cards

    This card idea came about when I was playing with the Caught in Crystal Technique.

    As I was blotting off the excess ink I couldn’t help but notice how much ink you took off and it seemed such a waste.

    I decided to ‘mop’ up the ink with a spare piece of tissue paper and recycle the ink to use for another card project.

    If you followed the caught in crystal instructions, you will already have set aside a sheet of rainbow coloured tissue paper, this is what you need for this project, use a heat gun on if it hasn’t dried.

    What You Will Need

    Rainbow Tissue Paper
    Rubber Stamps
    Ink Pad
    White PVA Glue
    White Card
    Layering Papers and Card Blanks

    How To Create

    1. Lay your rainbow tissue paper onto your work surface and stamp directly onto it using inkpads and rubber stamps of your choice. Allow ink to dry. Use heat gun to speed drying time if you wish.

    2. Crumple tissue paper into a tight ball, and open it up again.

    3. Take a sheet of white card, and paint a thin layer of white pva glue over the entire surface of the card.

    4. Pat the tissue paper onto the glue, use the paint brush to stipple the paper onto the glue to make sure it sticks down properly.

    You want to allow some wrinkles to remain as this gives your card its ‘rustic’ flavour. Don’t forget to clean paint brush with baby wipe before the glue dries.

    5. Allow glue to dry, you can speed drying time up by heating with a heat gun if you wish.

    6. Crop or tear round your stamped tissue paper and layer onto card with double sided tape to finish.

    More Tissue Paper Cards

    Another way of adding colour to tissue paper is to direct to paper; sponge or stipple inks direct from your inkpads to the tissue paper itself to create a rainbow background.

    You can stamp onto card stock, then glue plain white tissue paper over the top of your artwork to give it a rustic effect.

    Why not try hilighting the wrinkles in the tissue paper by sponging over them with darker inks, or with golds or silvers to add a ‘crackle’ effect.

    Why not try using different colours of tissue paper and stamping on that? For example use metallic inks on black tissue paper?

    I came across this idea by accident – thats how some of my best ideas have been born! Happy Accidents!

    I was putting away my bottle of Floor Wax when I managed to spill some onto some tissue paper. I forgot all about it and set it aside (waste not want not) – then found it again more recently and the wax had dried on the tissue paper.

    What struck me immediately was how much the tissue paper looked like Glassine Paper!

    The wax itself had dried on the tissue paper and made it go shiny and translucent rather like the glassine paper used to make glassine envelopes!

    Perfect I thought – now we can make our own faux glassine envelopes!

    Supplies Used To Create Faux Glassine Paper

    * White Tissue Paper
    * Future Floor Wax -or- Johnsons Klear Floor Wax (or suitable alternative floor wax polish)
    * Paint Brush
    * Clear Plastic Food Bag

    * Any Of The Following in colours of your choice:
    Dye Based Inkpad Re-inkers
    -or- Posh Impressions Rainbow Inks
    -or- Artists Inks (e.g Winstor and Newton or Daler Rownley)

    Pearl Ex Powdered Pigment (optional) – I used Gold.
    You can also use any of the following Mica Alternatives:
    Moonglow, Powdered Pearls, Fairie Dust or Perfect Pearls

    Rubber Stamps Used In Sample Shown Are By CARDSNSTAMPS.COM

    Creating Faux Glassine Paper

    Take the plastic food bag and open it out so it covers your work surface, place a sheet of tissue paper over the top of it. You NEED the plastic bag as without it you will ruin your work surface – this background is messy! The bag acts as a protective barrier. Alternatively you could use a plastic table mat.

    • Its important to use plastic otherwise when the background has dried it will stick to whatever surface you are using. The plastic simply peels off easily!

    Take a paint brush and brush on a generous supply of wax onto the tissue paper – you dont want too much that the wax is pouring off the edge of the tissue; but you do want enough that the wax covers the entire surface.

    Next take the dye reinkers (or rainbow inks or artists inks) and drop little spots of different colours around the surface of the paper.

    • Only use between 2 and 3 colours – too many colours will make the colours go cloudy and muddy!

    Choose your colours well so that they compliment one another. For example pink and blue and purple work well together. As do orange, yellow and green.

    Use a paint brush to blend the inks together and make them combine or you can use your fingertips – I did 🙂

    If the inks are not blending together very well use a little more floor wax to help the inks flow more easily. At this point you dont need to do anything else except wait for your paper to dry! I left mine over night. Once dry carefully remove the faux glassine paper from the plastic and set aside for future stamping projects!

    Right after I add the inks to the floor wax I like to tap a tiny bit of pearl ex pigments over the surface and use a brush to blend it into the background – this gives it a wonderful rich midas touch!

    The best part is that you dont need to add a fixative to seal the pearl ex as the floor wax acts as a fixative agent.

    If your in a hurry and dont want to wait for the backgrounds to air dry you can use a heat gun to hurry it along – make sure you remove the paper from the plastic first!

    Make sure the paper is dry on BOTH sides of the paper before using them in your projects.

    For stamping on the Glassine Paper I recommend either Stazon and Memories inkpads

    Try it and see!