I made these cards using a Distress Crayon Blending technique a while ago but hadn’t got around to sharing the results until now. This technique uses Tim Holtz’ Distress Crayons: they are lovely and soft and spread really well but I always struggled to work out how to use them best.
My friend Steph showed me this technique that basically involves scribbling the crayon over watercolour paper and then using a baby wipe over your finger to blend the crayon and move the colour around.
You can control the outcome quite easily by pressing lightly to simply blend it, pressing a bit harder or wiping more to remove/soften the colour or if you have removed too much you can just scribble a bit more crayon on.
The design is completely up to you: you can make colour gradients, rainbows of colour, single colour fades or just random scribbles of colour. And you can use the baby wipe to take off colour through a stencil to give you an infinite range of possibilities.
I made a random series of different backgrounds in a range of different colours, without any thought initially as to what I would turn them into although I was thinking of blends that could be beach/sea/sky combinations. And I decided to include some different colour combinations that I wasn’t sure how to use – autumn tonings, pinks and purples, and vibrant rainbows.
The distress crayon pigment stays water reactive so you always have the option to take more off or put more on as you evolve your plan. For the more intense single or gradient colours I used stencils to give a simple card design.
Some of the backgrounds suited a stamped image although with watercolour paper it does pay to use a stamping platform tool so that you can apply multiple layers of ink to the image to get a good result. You may also want to use embossing powder to sharpen the result even more. I found the strong rainbow backgrounds the hardest to use but eventually I was really happy with them for some more whimsical subjects; I had to use many many layers of ink to get them to pop.
Some images don’t work so well against a gradient background (such as my lady relaxing with a glass in her hand) but I used Copic markers to colour in the image so that it really popped against the background.
Some of the backgrounds were too fussy to allow even Copic marker colours to shine through so for these I created the images separately and stuck them on top of the background, sometimes with sentiments or using creative matting to add to the design. I had fun with the whimsy of these ones too because with 5 nephews I don’t often get a chance to create with fairies, mermaids and unicorns.
You can leave the edges of the crayon background for a more organic look or trim up the edges to give a neater finish. The possibilities are endless. I hope this inspires you to try out this technique too.