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Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon

Guest blogger Catherine Scanlon shares techniques for creating mixed media art backgrounds using Distress Paints.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comOne of the things I truly love about working with Distress Paints is how flexible they are. You can use them straight out of the bottle for lovely layers of paint on any surface, but when you add a little water they can easily be manipulated using watercolor techniques. Unlike watercolor paints, when the washes of Distress Paint dry they are permanent, allowing you to layer colors on top of colors without disturbing earlier colors.

Supplies:

  • Surfaces: art journal, mixed media paper
  • Tim Holtz Distress Paints: various colors
  • Archival Ink: Jet Black
  • Adirondack Alcohol Inks: Lettuce, Blending Solution
  • Stamps: Art Gone Wild Stamps by Catherine Scanlon Designs Stamps
  • Tools: Ranger Mister; Jacquard Henna Bottle; Canning or Coarse Salt; paint brushes;  textured paper towel

Let me show you some fun techniques that you can use your stash of Distress Paints for:

Background Texture Using Canning Salt

I love the way salt attracts color and creates a lovely dappled texture to create interesting textures. If you don’t have coarse salt, table salt will work. Just note that the texture created by the finer salt will be much smaller.

Apply a small amount of Distress Paint to a palette and add clean water to water it down.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comUsing a large wash brush apply a thick application of paint to the paper.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comSprinkle the salt over the wet paint…

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comwatch the paint soak into the salt creating a lovely texture.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comSet aside to dry completely. Brush salt off and complete your project.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.com

To create a journal page, stamp your design using Archival Ink and paint the background with a light wash. Sprinkle salt and let dry. Complete the page with lettering and paint the stamped image with bright Distress Paint.

Background Texture with Alcohol Inks and Blending Solution

It’s no secret that water and alcohol don’t like each other and don’t mix – so using these two elements to create a unique texture for your backgrounds is a sure thing.
Apply a one small puddles of Distress Paint, Alcohol Ink and Alcohol Blending Solution to a palette. Add clean water to water the Distress Paint (only) down.

Using a large wash brush apply a thick application of paint to the paper.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comSwipe a clean brush through the Alcohol Blending Solution and splatter over the wet paint – the alcohol droplets create a lovely splatter design in the wet paint.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comFollow the same process and add the Alcohol Ink.

Background Texture Using A Paper Towel

Sometimes I want a subtle design in the background so it doesn’t distract from the elements in the foreground. To achieve this I turn to my pretty patterned paper towels. You’ll never look at paper towels the same again!

Apply a small amount of Distress Paint to a palette and add clean water to water it down.

Using a large wash brush apply a thick application of paint to the paper.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comGently smooth a paper towel over the wet wash.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comRemove to reveal a subtle pattern in the background.

Raised Designs using Distress Paint and Henna Bottles

I love that the Distress Paint is thick enough that you can apply it to the paper using a fine tipped bottle, because of the thickness it maintains it’s shape while drying leaving cool, raised pattern that you can fill in with color when it’s dry.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comUse a pencil and draw some designs on a clean piece of paper and fill a small Henna Bottle with a Metal Tip with your choice of Distress Paint Color.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comTrace the pencil outline with the fine metal tip to add a bead of paint, be careful not to smudge.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.comSet the completed design aside to dry.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.com

When dry, add color with washes of watered down distress paint.

Other fun ways to use Distress Paints:

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.com

Stamp a design on an art journal page. Add some color to the background using one of these techniques and let dry. Use a white marker to add doodles and circle some of the splatters and texture you created. Finish by coloring the designs.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.com

Stamp a design on an art journal page…

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.com

Add a light wash of color in the background. While wet, splatter other colors in the background to create a lovely, splattered look.

Distress Paint Lab by Catherine Scanlon | www.rangerink.com

Stamp a small repeating pattern on the art journal page using two different Distress Ink colors and heat set when completed. Add a wash of color in the background, letting the stamped images get covered here and there. Add platters with a coordinating color and let dry. Use colored pencils to add color to the stamped design.

Catherine

catherine scanlonCatherine Scanlon is a mixed media artist and illustrator specializing in a variety of artist mediums and art journaling. She started Catherine Scanlon Designs in 2004 so she could enjoy the freedom of working from home when her son was young. Catherine recently opened an art studio in Brunswick, Maine; Merrymeeting Art House, where she offers mixed media art classes to kids and adults. Learn more about Catherine on her website Catherine Scanlon Designs and on her blog.  View her stamp collection at Art Gone Wild.


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