Good morning/evening WordPress! Today’s update is part product talk-part art uploads. I’ve wanted to do an art post for a while (and really had no excuse not to)…so here it is!

Tim Holtz Distress Stains

Distress Stains smallI picked up these beautiful things last year, because I really like trying new mediums and love (love, love, love) the excitement of art supplies arriving in the mail!
I bought my set from Jane Davenport’s online art store (she sources all of her favourite products so everything there comes highly recommended). There are, of course, lots of other colours in the range, but I purchased a set of earthy/vintage tones that I thought I might use to create aged photo or paper effects.

Colour Test

I tested my 6 inks on regular watercolour paper, and find that they don’t over bleed. The colours also stay vibrant and strong long after drying.

From left to right; Fired Brick, Rusty Hinge & Wild Honey

Pallette 1

Dried Marigold, Vintage Photo
and Walnut Stain.Pallette 2

The Lowdown

Tips smallBasically, these are ink daubers-a bottle of water reactive ink with a porous nylon tip on top, so you can just tip the bottle upside down, push the end to a page, and create a really nice wash of inky colour in one go. The tip is also spring activate, so if you tip the bottle over, there’s no chance of an unfortunate accident.

20150303_172614 Even better than that though, is the way that you can create texture or a base layer to a piece just by spritzing the inked page with water (though depending on the paper you use, you may want to let it dry just a little first–damp but not soggy–y’feel me?). I’ve tried to get some shots of the before and after of some of my inks being distressed.
Another beautiful thing I think, is that you can create a really diverse range of effects simply depending on how you actually apply the ink (the lids come off, so you can use a sponge, paper towel, paintbrush etc as alternate methods of application).
[left] By layering the ink multiple times, you can create a more intense effect.

Β An Experiment in Distress Stains

Stardust small
This first piece was made by laying down a base layer of Dried Marigold and then spritzing the page lightly with a spray bottle.
All other colours on the page are achieved with Prismacolor pencils, which are soft, wax based pencils– and therefore really good for applying opaque and bright colours. This worked really well for me, as I could completely hide the ink base in some places (the sky), or create a semi transparent effect (the skin) in others. They’re also really ace for blending, and so are my go-to for straight gradients like the sky in this picture.

[Click to enlarge….]

Close Up 1 Close Up 220150224_141951

“Monarch Butterfly”
monarchThis piece was largely play with the inks on a different surface. I tore up a paper bag and collaged in across a double page in my art journal, and then played with dabbing the Fired Brick and Rusty Hinge stains across my outline of a butterfly.
The background was formed by dabbing gesso over a stencil I own (KaiserCraft, I think?) with a sponge, and all outlines are done with a Micron fineliner.

And so there you have it! There were quite a few technical hiccups involved with uploading all the images for this entry (WordPress and me weren’t talking for like 24 hours…), but it’s finally complete! (Phew.) Note to self: Upload images waaaaay in advance, and not last minute *heh*.
Anyway, as you might be able to tell, I’m a huge fan of Tim Holtz’ Distress Stains! Questions? Comments? If you’re interested in purchasing these I highly recommend visiting or your local art supplier :)


-Datsu xox


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