Wednesday 26 July 2017

2017 #10 Dark to Light: Color Diffusion {by Dounia Large}

2017 Topic 10: Dark to Light: Contrasts & Layers - Color Diffusion

Have you ever tried to paint over the top of something only to have the colour bleed through? Did you get mad? Well Dounia doesn't get mad, she gets even! How cool to explore that effect deliberately to see how she can encourage colour-bleed! I love this idea!

Bonsoir everyone, Dounia from France with you tonight, playing with the diffusive properties of water reactive inks. I turned my playing session into a few simple cards to show you the possibilities of this technique.

You've probably already encountered this phenomenon of white ink or paint taking the color of a previous layer. When it is accidental, sometimes you enjoy the new nuances and sometimes you despair of obtaining a true white. Here I'm doing it on purpose. I find it a rather quick and easy way to make backgrounds or elements with soft tones yet with high visual impact.

Bringing back white over dark layers can be quite the quest, the result looking weak or necessitating numerous applications. The idea here is to purposely tint the white, which makes everything actually easier. The first step is to create an under layer with water reactive inks (so no acrylic inks!). Here I used watercolor ink, distress inks and infusions. I like brighter colors but it works with any deep color (the yellows here actually are a bit light and did not work so well).

Then you take a fortifying breath and you completely cover you design with a layer of opaque dark paint. Black brings the most contrast obviously but dark blues, greens, purples or browns can yield very nice effects too. For example I did a series using Chocolate Pudding Fresco Acrylic paint (it is a semi opaque so I needed three coats instead of the usual two for total coverage - I need to learn to read labels!). Once the base is ready, it is time for the light layer. Any water based white product potentially works for that, meaning you can stamp, stencil, write, free hand, anything you like

I advise experimenting with the different products you may have to see how they react. In this sampler, all developed a tint (even the paint) but both the underlying and top inks influenced the final color.

The depth of color mainly depends on the water content of the white product, as it needs to reactivate the colors beneath. Therefore when stamping, after inking, it always helps to spray water once or twice on the stamp, or more for a watery effect.

This georgeous sprig is from Lin Brown's ELB29, I used pretty much all the stamps in this set! Most of her designs work really well with this technique as they are quite solid.

Bold designs also make good focus elements. You can easily make a coordinated background by using the same inks as in the underlayer.

Texture stamps make for great and easy backgrounds. Here I stencilled the flower duo from PS024...

... also by Lin Brown, with Grunge Paste. It is not really visible on the picture but the Grunge Paste also became slightly tinted, harmonising with the backgroung while still providing contrast (these subtle shades are quite difficult to photograph, sorry).

Another interesting way to create dramatic visual impact is to bring in some true white, which will emphasize the colors. One sure way to have a white that stays white is embossing powder. Just a little makes everything pop!

Bold is not the only way to go. Delicate and busy stamps, like the fauna and flora of ELB07, also give great results.

You can play with the contrast between tinted and pure white:

Or you can add other shade by using two white products with different reactivity (here ink and paint):

Stencil & stamp combos, like ELB20 and PS014, also give great results with this technique.

You can play with the varying shades of white or bring back some black for a night scene...

VoilĂ ! These are just a few possibilities, you can have hours of fun playing with the colors, layers and contrasts, it is pretty much always striking. I must warn you that the infusions are a bit unpredictable as an underlayer in this technique. They work but the powder/water ratio needed is a bit fiddly, so maybe do not make it your first attempt! Also, you don't have to limit yourself to cards, this technique works for masterboards, jourmal pages, etc... I hope this inspires you to try creating in not so black and white.

Stay curious! Dounia x.
Blog: Doudoulina

Oh me oh my! I have never deliberately pulled tints to the surface in this way! I love how you have created so many variations on the theme, and its awesome to see how it works with different non-permanent dye products too! What a fantastic theme to explore! Thanks you for sharing your ideas Dounia! ~  Leandra

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Craftyfield said...

Wow the contrast with the black is striking! I'd never thought the dyes would come up through the black layer into the uppermost layers of the painting... I want to try ASAP!

Hazel Agnew said...

Wonderful idea Douania and great experiments. Lines stamps look really good using this method. Great ideas here. Xx

Helen said...

hmm I thought I'd commented from my phone but it has (once again) decided to sign me out of blogger on it and I can't make it remember me.... LOVE these projects, they are all gorgeous - especially the last one!

Becky said...

Love the "take a fortifying breath" statement! :) This is very helpful, I have been wondering how to make my dandelions work on a color background, now I know! I will be trying this immediately! Thanks a bunch!

Ruth said...

Such beautiful examples, so!! xx

Mac Mable said...

Such a creative idea. Thank you so much for the step by step and for the fabulous inspiration. Lots to explore with this idea x

craftytrog said...

Cool techniques!!!

Corrie Herriman said...

cool !

laury55 said...

thanks for the tutorial, love your cards and I had fun trying your technique

Etsuko said...

These are beautiful cards Douania, fabulous experiment and lovely result. xx

Claire said...

Really clever idea, love your examples Xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

Very, very clever and effective, dounia. I love it when people experiment!

Lucy x

Sue said...

Really lovely, what fabulous examples xx

Miriam said...

Great your finished project too!

Craftychris said...

Everything here is so cool and striking! xxx