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Ask the Artist

Our Artist in Residence, Dina Kowal, answers your questions

  • Submit your question to Dina
  • July 30, 2014
    Q: MaryEllen wants to know: "What's the best way to blend watercolor pencils?"

    A: I use a wet brush or waterbrush for covering larger areas, and a blender pen for finer details. The pigment can be lifted directly from the pencil for painting, or you can use the pencils to scribble a palette on scrap watercolor paper or cardstock. This is a great way to mix colors, too. For a more vibrant look, color the image directly with the pencils where you want the color to be strongest, then blend out with a wet brush. You can layer and blend pencil over dried paint to deepen shadows, or add unblended details with the sharpened point.

    July 23, 2014
    Q: Tish wants to know: "I'm working with shiny metallic finish paper and can't seem to keep glue from the surface of the paper. I've tried tape runners, liquid glue, and double sided tape. Any suggestions how to avoid the problem? I'm making quilt cards so it does involve gluing a number of small pieces."

    A: It may help to either put double-sided adhesive tape on the pieces before cutting or to use an adhesive-backed foil paper, like those made for the Silhouette. Otherwise, try putting a little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and rubbing it over the surface of the paper to remove stray adhesive.

    July 16, 2014
    Q: Mary wants to know: "I am converting my wood mounted stamps to clear mount. What do you do when the backing is black, rather than a lighter color, so the design will show?"

    A: I don't index my stamps on the foam, but I know there is a thinner cling foam (1/16") that you could layer over the black... another option might be to purchase some white cling vinyl for the indexing. You can stamp on it with StazOn ink, and it will also cling to your block. Good luck!

    July 9, 2014
    Q: Diane asks: "I have a LOT of microbeads. Got any ideas for using them in projects?"

    A: These tiny, holeless beads are great for adding texture to one area of a stamped image or scrapbook page. You can mix them with gel medium or modeling paste to add texture, or adhere them with glue using last week's Glittered Stenciling technique. You can also create the look of stained glass by covering a colored image with double-sided tape, and then pressing the beads into the adhesive.

    July 2, 2014
    Q: Shari asks: "Do all the Memento inks work like the Tuxedo Black when using alcohol markers? I would love to try different colors but I don't want to invest in them if they would only bleed."

    A: All the Memento inks are formulated to work with alcohol inks. I like using the lighter colors for a softer outline, or even No Line Coloring. My favorite lighter colors are Desert Sand, Pear Tart, and Angel Pink.

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