Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying your Sunday. After having breakfast with the husband at Wimpy and Dee's (see here), I returned to my studio to complete a little project. How about joining me there? As you may know, I'm taking a printmaking course at PAFA right now, so I'm attracted to all things print-related.
I pulled out my carving tools and a Speedball rubber carving block and went to work. The image I used is from a Dover book. I enlarged it to about 4.5" x 4.5". There's a pretty simple method for transferring the design to the block. I traced around it firmly with a no. 2 pencil and then placed the image face down on the rubber block. Using the edge of an old credit card I rubbed the back of the image firmly. The pencil markings transferred pretty easily. I then used my pencil to darken the lines on the rubber. The rubber carves like butter. I use Speedball's lino-cutting tools. A tip for carving around curves: move the block rather than your cutting tool. This will result in much smoother curves. After I finished carving, I played around with a variety of ways to use the stamp.
I placed the tissue paper over the stamp and rubbed oil pastel over it. It seems to work best if you use the side of the pastel and change directions a few times.
Rubbing onto paper with colored pencil gives a more subtle image.
Acrylic paints work well. It's a good idea to mix some retarder into them to keep them wet a little longer. Otherwise, you'll have paint drying on your stamp before you get a chance to print it. I rolled a brayer in the paint to coat it evenly and then rolled the paint onto the stamp. Clean your stamp right away to avoid dried paint build-up that can ruin your images. I use mild dish soap and water and a shop towel. The terrycloth gets down into the cracks well.
Finally, I tried enhancing the design with acrylic ink and a dip pen. A fine Sharpie or other marker would work as well. You can use these techniques in your art journal. Scan the finished papers into your computer, and you'll have a never-ending supply of hand-decorated art journal pages!
Until next time,