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Ask the Artist

Our Artist in Residence, Dina Kowal, answers your questions

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  • 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.

    June 25, 2014
    Q: Sherrie wants to know: "How do you get the look on a card of random dots of embossing powder? I have used embossing powder with stamps and inking along an edge with a Versamark pad, but I am wanting a random, more sparse look."

    A: You can sprinkle embossing powder directly onto your card panel without using an embossing ink or stamped image. Sprinkle a lot or a little, then heat from the underside of the card so you don't blow the powder away before it melts. Once it's melted, it will adhere to your card. Experiment with the amount of powder you sprinkle on. Also be careful not to scorch the panel with your heat tool - it's a little different holding the tool underneath the panel.

    June 18, 2014
    Q: Maryellen wants to know: "If you are layering watercolor pencils over alcohol marker, what kind of paper do you use?"

    A: That is a fun combination! If I'm going to be using a wet medium, I'd use either matboard, watercolor paper, mixed media paper, or very heavy cardstock (110# or more). Watercolor paper does soak up more alcohol ink than cardstock would, but it will take the water more readily, without warping. If you're stamping you'll need to use an archival or hybrid ink that won't react with water or the solvent-based markers, but the combination of strong color base and water effects can be really stunning.

    June 11, 2014
    Q: Laurie asks: "What kind of glue or paste could I use to add a touch of "beach" sand to a card. Do I need to spray it afterwards with something?"

    A: Tacky Glue is great for adding dimensional 'stuff' to cards. It dries quick and clear, with a strong hold. Another idea is to mix the sand with a gel medium that would dry clear, and spread it on. You can even buy textural pastes that have sand or glass beads in them. So fun! You shouldn't need to spray anything on the sand but if you're concerned about it falling off, you could drizzle some Glossy Accents or other clear dimensional glue over it and let it dry in between the grains.

    June 4, 2014
    Q: Kristen wants to know: "I have Copic markers, Distress Inks and Tombow markers. Do my inked stamps work the same on all papers?"

    A: When preparing to color, you'll need to make sure your inks, paper, and coloring medium are compatible. There are lots of options out there, but here's a general guide. Alcohol markers work best on smooth cardstock, and are most compatible with dye or hybrid inks which do not react with solvents (Memento ink is usually recommended). Distress inks and water-soluble markers have interesting properties when they're blended with water. Watercolor paper (140# or more) is the best choice for water blending, as it allows for slower absorbency, and resists warping. Make sure to use ink that is not water-soluble if you want to keep a crisp outline. Here's a discussion thread with lots of ink suggestions for watercolored cards.

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