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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
  • January 28, 2015
    Q: clavell wants to know: "How do you use liquid watercolors?"

    A: Liquid watercolors can be used in a variety of ways. In their liquid form, they're easily diluted for covering large areas. They can be used for background effects as in the Wrinkle Free Distress technique. They can also be picked up with a brush to paint as you would with inks or other watercolor paints. These paints are made with highly concentrated pigment, so even a single drop can go a long way.

    January 21, 2015
    Q: Beth Ann asks: "What do you use to seal thin journal pages with designs done with chalks/pastels?"

    A: I use a product from Krylon called Workable Fixatif. As a fixative, it dries with a light matte or toothy finish to seal in what's beneath it and prevent smears. Since it's 'workable', if you decide to add more color or details after spraying, you still can. (You may want to do this to prevent color blending.) One or two light coats of spray in a well-ventilated area should do well to preserve your pages.

    January 14, 2015
    Q: Janet wants to know: "I would like to make a card using the masking technique. Can you help me and tell me what I need and how to do this?"

    A: Masking is a simple technique that adds a huge amount of dimension to a card. Plan your scene and stamp the foreground image(s) first. Then stamp the same images onto a Post-It note, and cut them out to the inside of the outlines. Layer these masks over the stamped images, then stamp the background images over the masked images. When the masks are removed, the second set of stamped images will appear to be behind the first. You can click HERE for a photo and video tutorial.

    January 7, 2015
    Q: Chaosmom wants to know: "How do watercolor crayons compare to watercolor pencils?"

    A: Both mediums have a watersoluble wax binder which allows the pigment to be blended with water. Watercolor crayons are great for backgrounds since they can easily be used to cover a large area with color. You can remove the wrapper and color with the entire side of the crayon to cover a background quickly and easily. Pencils have a harder core, and are wonderful for adding texture and finer details once you have larger areas of color blocked in.

    December 31, 2014
    Q: Sue wants to know: "Can you heat emboss on fabric?"

    A: It can be done. From my experimenting I found that pigment ink helped the powder stick the best (I used Memento Luxe). Ranger's Perfect Medium also worked well. Smoother fabrics will give the clearest image. Bolder designs work better than fine outline images... on smooth cardstock, the grains of embossing powder melt into each other, but on the rougher surface of the fabric, they seemed to just melt in place, pulling away from each other. Finer powders yielded a cleaner outline than the more coarse ones I used, but were harder to brush away around the image. Experiment on scraps of fabric to determine what will work best for you. Pieces are washable but should be dried flat.

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