Do you love stamps? Like many crafters, you probably started with inks (and there’s already quite a wide range of ink types available: chalk, pigment, dye). But you can get interesting effects by using another coloring medium, watercolor crayons.
Watercolor crayons are great for stamps. You get a soft yet vibrant effect, but more translucent than if you used acrylic paints. Here are some tips on how to use waterolor crayons on stamps.
Benefits of using watercolor crayons on stamps
Like regular crayons, watercolor crayons are portable and easy to apply (basically, you just scribble!). But apply water, and the magic begins. You get an amazing, rich color—especially with brands like Carandache—and if you layer different colors, the shades mix and create really pretty effects.
For stampers, this means two things. First, it’s less messy. Inks not only smudge, but the lids come off and stain your bag. That can be a problem if you’re going to a crop, or want to scrapbook or art journal while you’re on a trip. Second, you have amazing freedom in where you want to apply color. Of course, you can use watercolor pencils too, but watercolor crayons tend to have richer pigments.
Step 1: Wet the stamp
The color just sticks better on a damp stamp. But don’t get it too wet. You may want to just press a baby wipe or a wet paper towel on the stamp, instead of applying water with a brush. (Alternatively, you can blot off excess water on a dry towel.)
Step 2: Color away!
Now comes the fun part—coloring the stamp! Experiment with how much color you want to put, and the effects you get if you just color the edges (it’ll blend over the rest of the area once it’s wet) or layer different shades.
This technique is best used on larger stamps with simple designs (like a Christmas tree or a flower) or geometric stamps used for making large patterned backgrounds.
Step 3: Mist the stamp.
You’ll need a mist bottle that gives a very, very fine spray. The ones used for gardening or ironing tend to release very large droplets that make a watery mess. You may want to repurpose a cologne spray bottle, or invest in the mist bottle made by Hero Arts.
Another important tip: don’t spray the stamp directly. Try holding the stamp in one hand, and then the spray bottle in the other. Keep them at arms’ length (around 18 inches) and just move the stamp underneath the mist.
Step 4: Stamp on the paper.
This technique works best on paper that isn’t glossy or finished—the pigment will just slide right off. Hot press watercolor paper is best.
The colors are usually intense enough for you to be able to make more than one ‘print’ per coloring. So, if you’re making cards, prepare your paper in little rows ahead of time. You may get ‘gaps’ but the great thing about watercolor crayons is that you can fill these in directly. (Just let the image dry out completely—you’ll get a different, richer pigment if you apply crayons straight on wet paper).
Photo from catherinepooler.com