Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pearl-Ex Tutorial

I have had a bunch of people asking me about using pearl-ex powders over the last couple of weeks. Heaven only knows why--I guess I must have some sort of "Ask me about Pearl-Ex Powders" sign on my back. In any event, I thought I'd just post a quick tutorial about using them. For this project I did an ATC and used them with my alcohol inks because I think the textures work together beautifully. So, here is a picture of everything I used to create this ATC minus the stamp and the playing card. I used: Pearl-ex powder in blue, red, yellow, and currant alcohol inks, dauber, soft-haired paint-brush and a watermark stamp pad.

The first step is to load the dauber with ink placing the three colors so that they are touching. This creates a nice agate look to the inks when they mix. Here is a picture of my dauber loaded and ready to go.

Then just dab, using an up and down or "pouncing" motion. If you drag it, the inks will smear and then not blend well.

You can re-layer more ink on top of what you've got if you're not happy with the way it looks. Once you're happy with the way it looks, let it dry completely. If there is even a little of the ink left on the card it'll interfere with the watermark ink. I normally let it set about 15 minutes or so.
Once it's dry, load-up your stamp with watermark ink and stamp away. If you're going to do more than one image it's a good idea to work in batches--ink one, apply pearls and then move one. The watermark ink won't stay wet long enough otherwise.

Take your soft bristled brush and pick-up a small amount of the pearls with it. A little bit of this stuff goes a really long way. (And you want to be sure your surface is covered with scrap paper and you're wearing your old art clothes because this stuff does have a tendency to get on everything. I learned this one the hard way when I had one ill-timed sneeze.) Take it and gently brush across where you stamped. This is why you need a soft brush, the stiffer bristles will wipe away the ink and leave drag marks through your image. You can see the swirls starting to come through here.
I then went on and repeated the process for the top of the playing card. Here is a picture of what it looks like when it's all dry.
Then all that's left is to decorate! I used mine for the upcoming ATC swap through the IndianaAlteredArt group, the theme of which is "Hot."

Hope this was helpful and as always, if you have any questions please feel free to email me.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Thanks for posting this, I've always wondered about that stuff :)