Hello, happy weekend! Today’s card is a test of blending coloured pencils with, of all things, baby oil!
When I researched my Prismacolor Pencils I mentioned in my last post, I discovered so many ways to blend pencil. I also discovered that not all pencils blend well with the same blending solution, mainly because of the composition of the lead.
I was really curious how baby oil would look after its application onto cardstock. My experience with paper and oils was that the oil would leave an obvious and permanent “transparent stain”. Well, I was pleasantly surprised with the results I got.
I started by stamping Altenew’s Magnolias For Her images onto a fairly sturdy, generic cardstock. I used Memento Dew Drops Angel Pink and Bamboo Leaves and allowed it to dry completely. I didn’t use a card with a strong tooth, simply because I was going to blend. The texture of standard copy paper was plenty.
I began to colour the flowers using a Faber Castell Classic magenta pencil. I only laid a light layer of the pencil at the base of each petal. I then dipped a pointed cotton tip (that are found in the makeup section on Ebay) into baby oil and gradually brought the colour out from the centre of each petal. I wanted the petals to resemble true life so the colour was blended out to nothing. I did, however, take the blending to the tip of the petal, even though I had already blended out the colour. I wanted to be sure baby oil was over the entire petal as I was a little anxious the oil would leave a line midway on the petal. I need not have worried because, to my surprise, the baby oil dried out completely overnight and left no mark at all. It was slow to dry and that would have been a problem if this card was going to be a quick make.
I coloured the leaves in the same way as the flowers and also hand drew some branches, using a light brown pencil. I coloured the branches using baby oil as well, to keep consistency in my technique. I coloured them lightly with light brown on the upper section and added a small amount of dark brown on the underside of the branch. Starting with the dark brown, I then blended the two colours together, to give a shadowed appearance.
I was surprised how well, and simple, baby oil worked as a blender, particularly with cheaper pencils. I found it gave a real improved, quality look to the economy pencils. I learned not to make any hard lines with the pencil as the lines tended to be too hard to blend out. Instead, a light, gentle rub lays down enough colour to give a smooth finish. Another thing I learned was not to saturate the cotton tip with baby oil. Instead, dabbing the tip off onto a tissue or paper towel before starting, was enough to stop the oil saturating the card, and bleeding outside the lines. The leakage outside the lines did dry without leaving a mark, so it wasn’t a total disaster when it happened. And, finally, when the cotton tip dried out too much, the tip began to drag on the cardstock. I got a much better result when I add a touch more oil to continue.
To construct the card, I fussy cut the card elements and arranged them on a piece of generic dusty pink card that had been cut to fit on a 5″x7″ card. I didn’t stick the flowers down at that stage, I just wanted to see how I was going to arrange them. I then mounted the pink card onto a slightly larger piece of black card to frame the whole piece and added two strips of washi tape along the bottom.
I adhered the pink and black card to the card base and added my floral pieces, with some elements positioned over the outer edge of the black. Doing this always adds interest and dimension. I also added drops of Glossy Accents strategically to imitate water droplets.
After looking at the assembled card, I felt it had too many open spaces, so I decided to add splatter. I knew it would most likely splash onto the flowers as I was applying it. I could have chosen to make masks for each element but I guessed the baby oil would resist the splatter, if I used a water based product. I was hoping my school science would work and I’d be able to just lift the excess splatter off with a tissue.
I had bought a bottle of Hero Arts Unicorn White Spray, so I could remove the spray top and use the inner tube as a splatter tool. I had seen May Park splattering her work that way and thought it a great way of having some control over the splatters. I simply dipped the tube into the bottle, tapped it off a little and tapped where I wanted the splatters to go. Some spots did go on the flowers but, as I suspected, they wiped off easily with a tissue. Not a mark left, the oil had resisted the water based spray perfectly!
I was happy enough with the end result of this card to go ahead and enter it into both Simon Says Stamp Challenges for this week. Their Monday Challenge’s theme is to use my favourite tools and I think, judging by my recent work, pencils would be my favourite tools to work with at the moment.
I’ve also realised that I have met the criteria for the February Altenew Challenge again. Unusually, this is my second card in a row using pinks and greens. These colours must be growing on me.
And, finally, I thought I’d also enter the current Crafty Friends Challenge. Their theme is anything goes at the moment, so why not?
I hope this inspires you to give this cheap pencil blending technique a try. It really is fun to create while spending so little.