Thursday, July 21, 2011

Distress coloring tutorial and a little tip!

Happy Thursday folks! Hope your week is a good one!

Dawn has presented a couple of great Copics coloring tutorials the past weeks (here and here) and I thought I’d chip in a Distress ink tut too since that is my personal favorite technique of coloring and I know there are still a few of us left. :) :) :)

Koala 1

You need a good water color paper to work with distress inks, which are water based and works pretty much like aquarelle colors. The colors used on today’s project are only three: Weathered wood, Soot black and Tattered rose. The black is for deepening some of the shadows and the Tattered rose to get some warm details around mouth and eyes and ears of the Koala.

1. Start with stamping the Koala with a water proof ink pad. I used Versa Fine. I also heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. This gives some edges around the different areas of the stamped image which makes working with water colors a little bit easier. (it wont smudge as easy).

Koala 2-1

Isn’t he totally darling!?! :)

2. Next water up the paper by ”paint” the stamp with plain water. This will make the paper ready and easier to work with, you will get smoother shadows and the colors will mix easier. Then start coloring the image with a thin layer of Weathered wood on the places where you want the color to be darkest. Think about shadows, where are the light coming from? I decided that it should come from the right which mean my first layer of paint is mainly based on the areas that should be shadowed in real life – the botton left mainly but also to the left of the nose and the ears.

Koala 4

3. This will give you direction when you continue. Water colors are all about layers, you put one layer on the other to build up the full painted image with nuances and shadows and all. I put on three or four more layers, a little at a time, carefully not to use to much color to drench it all.

Koala 5

4. At the end it’s time to add some of the Black soot to enhance the deepest shadows and paint the nose which is black, only leaving a small spot of it empty to give it a feel of shine. I also added some tattered rose, only a thin layer to make it look more warm and alive.

Koala 6-2_redigerad-1

Then it’s done and ready to be mounted.

Now over to the tip: The sentiment I’m using is a fab and big stamp – a perfect compliment to the Koala image. I want it straight in the top right corner of my card and I thought I’d share a little tip for getting the stamp right where you want it using some Lego (if you don’t already own one of those store bought devices). This is how I stamped the Tiger the second time on my Canvas tutorial.

1. Build a right angled corner with Lego. It’s fun! I dug into my boy’s toy box!

Koala 7

2. Place a sheet of acetate alongside the edges of the Lego right angled corner and stamp your stamp onto it by placing the acrylic block (if unmounted) or the wood block alongside the same walls. Like this.

Koala 8

3. Then you’ll get your stamp on the acetate and can place the acetate on your card and move it around until you see where you want it.

Koala 9

4. When satisfied, replace the Lego corner alongside the corner edges of the acetate, and carefully remove the acetate and stamp. Done! Wipe off the acetate with some stamp cleaner or baby wipe and you can use the same acetate over and over again.


That’s all for me today. Don’t forget our Sketch Challenge #2 going on. All details can be found HERE! Hope to see you playing along!



  1. Great tip! Got to try the one with acetate :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh my gosh, you made a stamp-a-ma-jig with LEGOS! I am so doing this today :)