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Part Two - Distress Inks Tutorial: Get Painting

So are you ready to paint?
You will need:  your stamped image, inks, brush, water, kitchen towel
First step, on a spare piece of paper of the same quality that you are stamping your image on, have a play, get used to how the brush and paint feel and behave.  Do this for as long as you like, you need to be comfortable with your materials.....

You can see here that I worked from left to right, the colour fading out as I dragged it across the paper.

Relax!  What is there to lose from having a go?  Nothing more than a piece of paper!  For this demo I am using Thomas from Lili Of The Valley and have stamped him in Memento Tuxedo Black onto Bristol Board.
First step, wet your brush.  You don't want it sodden so use a piece of kitchen towel to wipe your brush over if you have overloaded the water.  Have a little dabble in the paint, not too much mind!  I would suggest that you do one section of your image at a time but for the purposes of not overloading you with pictures I've done the whole of Thomas in one go ......... first step, add some of your base colour around the edges (I've used Tea Dye)
And this is where you need to be quick - rinse your brush in clean water, quick wipe on the kitchen paper and then with small circular motions, start to spread the colour from the outside edge in, letting it fade away as you work.

Well done!  Thomas looks a bit pale and under the weather doesn't he.  Time to add a bit more colour.  This time, using a damp brush (run it over the back of your hand if you're not sure how wet it is, you will soon feel it if there's too much water) dip back into your chosen colour and darken up the edges.  Do give some thought as to where your light source is coming from though - I usually try to get my images to be nose first into the light and therefore keep that area quite softly tinted.  So, for Thomas, the darker areas will be his bottom, the back of his leg, the back of his arm and around the side of his face.
Now he's got a bit of a rosy glow!  Try and remember at this stage the areas where you will want to add shadowing later.  Now, with a shade darker (I've used Brushed Cordouroy) darken up some of the edges even deeper.  Remember to keep blending with tiny circular brush movements.
I've also filled in Thomas' tabby stripes in the same colour as although I wanted a contrast with the Tea Dye, I didn't want it to be too startling.

Now, you can go in and fill in the detail, like his ears, the flowers and his envelope.  Remember to rinse your brush well between each colour change.  For his ears and nose I've used Tattered Rose, for the envelope Shabby Shutters and for the flowers a range of bright colours.

Not looking too bad is he?  Don't fret too much if you still have some hard, unblended, ink lines - with a clean damp brush and those little circular movements, you can soften these down no end. 

Now for the finishing touches, the shadowing.  Remember that at the beginning I suggested you keep in mind where your light is to be coming from?  This is where you need to know that!  I'll be the first one to put my hand up and admit that I still get carried away and put shadows in the oddest of places .......so, ready with some darker shades?  I've used Walnut Stain (a very dark brown and very scary the first time you use it), Frayed Burlap for a softer brown shadow, and Peeled Paint for the envelope.

Ta-dah!  And he's done.  Just put to one side and let him dry completely.

As I mentioned in Part One, this is by no means the correct way to use these inks - it is simply the way I use them.  Loads of you have been very generous with your praise on my colouring skills with the inks so I'd like to think I must be getting something right at last.

The most important thing of all?  Don't be afraid of making mistakes.  My first few efforts, although not completely terrible, were not that brilliant either!  It took me about half a dozen attempts before I felt comfortable with the way the inks behave (very differently to watercolour paints) and felt brave enough to start making cards with the images I had painted.

Why not set aside an afternoon, get the inks out, and have a play!  Enjoy!

Finally, I'd be really grateful if you would be kind enough to take a moment to leave me a comment, letting me know whether or not you found this tutorial to be helpful. 

Thanks!  Hugs, Sxx



Dorte said...

Thank you for the lesson. I enjoyed it. I still find it hard to figure out the shaddow part. But as you say, give it a go.
Hugs Dorte

Zippy said...

Thanks hun, even though I dont use distress inks, I now want some having read your fab tutorial! xxxx

Mandy said...

Yaaayyyy fabby tutorial hunny, and I love the usual Squirrel humour in there too :)
hugs Mandy xx

Pauline C said...

I love it!! And the finished Thomas looks so cute and adorable. Very helpful and informative hun.
Only problme is I want more distress inks now ... (currently have 12 so i think that may be 24 to go???) eek!
pauline x

Tracy said...

Extremely helpful Squirrel, I love your tutorial, both parts 1 & 2. I need more re-inkers, I only have 4, but have 9 pads. I use tiles, but the pallette looks so useful.
I struggle with shade, so your tutorial is fab.
Happy crafting
Tracy x

Kat said...

Two great tutorials Squirrel. I love your chatty style. Maybe I'll get time to try on my day off. Thanks for all the tips.

Kat xx

Chrissy said...

Well done Squirrel...what a great tutorial, have not seen ink colouring before...read heaps on blogs, but never actally watched it take place.I might have a go with this...but I better buy some inks first.I struggle with shadows too, and mine could turn up anywhere.
Great job.

Delphine said...

Totally helpful and as clear and informative as part one! You really make me want to stop using my Copics (just for a while:-)) and try Distress Inks again! I just need to find the afternoon to do it, but I really hope I will be able to do it:-) And I think I will go shopping and buy a few reinkers... I am totally convinced:-)! Lots of hugs and massive thanks again for your awesome tutorials! Delphine xxx

Rufus said...

Ok, lets hope the computer holds up this time! Wrote a nice long, witty comment yesterday and the DSL promptly went down! LOVE this, it was worth the wait!! You did a great job, loved the way you wrote it up. I've been messing around, now maybe I can fine tune the technique a bit. As for shadows, well mine tend to turn up in some interesting places. I'll get done and look at it and wonder what on EARTH was I thinking?? LOL I'll be reading this again I know. THANK YOU, darling Squirrel for doing this.

Cynthia said...

Gidday matey, great tutorials, I sure have a lot to learn from you that's for sure. Wonder if the light comes in from the other side seeing I'm down under!
Thanks so much for the time and effort you put into getting the tutorial on you blog.

p.s Pity I can't afford any inks got another big vet bill on Easter Monday

Teresa said...

Fab tutorial, I can't wait to have a go again at this, I tried once and it took me ages but would love to try again, you make it look so easy, thanks for doing this. Teresa xx

Mary J said...

Thx Squirrel - really useful! Got some tips now to improve my DI watercolouring!

Sarn said...

I think this is a very useful tutorial Squirrel. Thanks for sharing.

Hugs, Sandra

Kaz said...

Part two is also brilliant! Thomas & his flowers look fab. So all I need now is a range of reinkers and a long weekend to play.
Oh heaven!
Thanks for the great tutorials.
Kaz xx

Debs M said...

great tutorial, i will give di's another go, i will! x

Shirl said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I'm going to give your techniques a try! :)

AmyS said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorials. I love the way your painting looks and am looking forward to giving it a try.

JoyfullyOrangeDeborah said...

I don't have distress inks, but your tutorial is fabulous! I can still use the teaching when I do watercoloring with pencils or markers! I always forget the light source and shadows and try to manage adding them late - yeah, that doesn't work so well LOL! Thanks so much for using your time to teach us!

Many Blessings, Deborah xx

JoyfullyOrangeDeborah said...

Oh, I forgot to ask if Thomas is a stamp or digi? And how long did you have to wait for the ink to dry before you started coloring? I have had fits both ways (stamp or print) with the outline blending or running - however you want to put it - and making a mess on my image!

mckinkle said...

And this tut was just as great and informative as your first!

Youve really shown me a great way to try with the DI and I cant wait to have a play now!

ps, the smooth white board you use has at least £2 off per size in Hobbycraft right now. I know HC are very expensive but just thought Id let you know :)

Teresa said...

Hi Squirrel, I see I did pop by here once before when I first tried and failed at ink painting, now I've done it and made a card and I've just re-read all this I'm ready to have another go, thanks for a great tutorial. hugs Teresa xx

thecraftycavalier said...


Annette said...

Really glad I found this. I've just bought some reinkers to try my hand at painting with them. Bought them home this afternoon and got my paintbrushes out. This tutorial has helped no end. Thanks honey.

Annette - Netty's Cards

Kerridwen said...

Very nice picture! I've only just started using inks so am trying to familiarize myself with them. They are lovely to use, though, I love them already! :)

sachi said...

Thats an interesting and a useful tutorial ..TFS

Jane said...

Hi I saw the shout out on Coop's blog today...thanks so much for this tut...I think I may even be brave enough to have a play. My daughter bought me some bristol board for my birthday and I have plenty of distress pads so I may just start with that. Thanks again this is so helpful x

Christina Hor said...

Awesome tutorial on coloring with distress ink Squirrel! Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs, Christina

Diane said...

Thank you so much for this, you have given me the incentive to have a go.

BatterseaRose said...

Thank you so much. I can't wait to have a go myself now. You have given me the push I needed to try.

Ribbon Girl said...

Thank you very much! I will be putting your advice into practice very soon, hugs Mary xx

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