Probably your first question is going to be, "What is SMOOSHING?" and I'll get to that in a minute, but first let me mention that today's cards were inspired by and made using Dare 2B Artzy'x Slimline Curve Borders Die Set and the Mega Box of Karin Markers, both of which can be found at The Ink Pad and will be of considerable advantage to your crafting arsenal! Here's the first card I made, and there's another down at the bottom of the post.
But now, let's talk about SMOOSHING! This method of adding loose layers of translucent color can be done with any water soluble ink, such as ink pads, liquid or pan watercolor paints, pigment powders, or, as in this case, markers. I've used Karin Brushmarker Pros and I highly recommend them, but any type of water-based marker will work. I like to work on pre-cut panels of Canson Watercolor Paper, but this will work on sturdy cardstock or even mixed media sketchbook paper, as long as you don't use too much water. Your paper will warp a bit as it dries, but that's ok, especially if you're going to diecut it anyway. You'll need to experiment a bit as to exact amounts of pigment and water, but after a few tries, you'll be smooshing like a pro!
Step 1: Apply color to a piece of clear plastic
I like to use an Avery Elle Storage Pocket, but a piece of acrylic packaging or even a baggie will work. Scribble some color onto the clear plastic, don't worry if it beads up.
Step 2: Mist it
The key word here is "mist" because you want to activate the color that's on your plastic, without getting horribly drippy. I use a small bottle of clear water with a fairly fine sprayer.
Step 3: Flip and smoosh!
This step is where you'll learn how much water you need. Too much, and you'll be dripping everywhere as soon as you start to turn over the acrylic sheet; too little, and the color will not move at all. You've got the ideal amount when you can press your fingers across the back of the plastic, and spread the color around on the paper.
Step 4: Lift off the plastic sheet
Another sign that you had exactly the right amount of water is that you've got an area of color maybe 30% bigger than your scribbled patch was; and it's wet, but there isn't a puddle. You may have a bit of residue left on the plastic sheet, which you can tap onto your paper or wipe off with a towel.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4
...until your paper is full and you like how it looks. This panel took probably 10 smooshes, using three shades of pink in light, medium and dark. You can, of course, use more than one color on a panel, provided they are "friendly" colors that blend well together. Alternately, you might just want one small smooshed area on otherwise blank paper.
In this case, I was going for more or less solid colored panels in pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Once they were completed and thoroughly dry, I used Dare 2B Artzy's Slimline Curve Borders Die Set to shape the panels, layered them onto my A7 card, and added some clouds and raindrops from the same die set, and stitched around the edges to add a little more texture and keep my edges really secure. A Tim Holtz Big Talk sticker sentiment completed my design.
I had enough scraps left over to make a second, slimline sized card, with a double rainbow. I used a black fine-tipped Pitt Artist Pen to add doodles to my colorful smooshed slices and added another sticker sentiment.
I hope you'll be inspired to embrace the playful serendipity of SMOOSHING to add color to your next project!
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