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Search the archive, three years of Inklings.

Ask the Artist

Our Artist in Residence, Dina Kowal, answers your questions

  • Submit your question to Dina
  • May 19, 2021
    Q: Louisa May asks: "Do you use reinkers as watercolors? Do the colors stay true?"

    A: I have! It's one of those things you'll need to try, so you get to know the properties of the inks that you have. Distress reinkers are formulated to hold their color when blended out with water. Some dye inks will break down into their component colors. You may find that you prefer the breakdown - I have an Adirondack Denim reinker that splits out into beautiful blues and purples (HERE is a sample). If you're unsure how a reinker might react and you have the ink pad already, tap the corner of the pad on an acrylic block to make a mini palette. Most dye inks aren't lightfast, so be aware of that if you decide to paint something that might be displayed for some time.

    May 12, 2021
    Q: Patti asks: "What's a good way to use acrylic craft paints on cards?"

    A: There are so many ways! A really basic way is just to dribble and dot paint onto a piece of cardstock, and then scrape the paint around with an old gift card or other straight-edged tool. Here are 3 tutorials that use the technique, so you can have a starting point to play:
    Scrape Painting
    Acrylic Batik
    Acrylic Stencil Deboss

    May 5, 2021
    Q: Sara wants to know: "Do you have a filing system for paper that makes it easy to see the color family and pull what you want to work with?"

    A: I do! I keep all my cardstock in a filing cabinet, sorted in hanging folders by color family (you can see what that looks like HERE. Scraps (1/4 sheet and smaller) are tucked into DVD sheet protectors (like you'd use to keep DVDs in a binder - do people do this any more?!) and those are easy to sort by color and tuck into the folders as well (HERE is the green one, for an example).

    April 28, 2021
    Q: KSStammper asks: "How do you label your ink pads?"

    A: I cut label sheets into strips that fit on the side of the pad - most of them are about 1/4" wide and 1-1/2" to 2" long. I've found it easiest to put the label onto the ink pad first and then use a blender brush to apply ink to the label - any excess that goes onto the plastic is easily wiped away. The inks I have are easily identifiable by the ink color and shape of the case, so I don't write the name of the color on the side.

    April 21, 2021
    Q: Donnetta asks: "How do you store your slimline dies?"

    A: All my dies are stored on magnet sheets backed with 8.5"x11" medium weight chipboard, then sorted by category in hanging file folders. (I've only got one basic set of slimline rectangle dies and a slimline banner die - I need to see what else is out there!)

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