Happy Tuesday! Today I am checking in with another installment of the Medicine Cabinet Mixed Media. I have just a few more of these to share with you before calling this series done. Today’s unconventional element is rubbing alcohol.
There are different ways to use rubbing alcohol with inks, for my experiment, I wanted to use it to see if I could create texture by altering the my surface (a Ranger Manila tag).
Begin by wetting cotton balls with rubbing alcohol. Blot the surface of the tag generously with the wet cotton balls. The rubbing alcohol will dry quickly. Be sure to leave some areas free of the rubbing alcohol. As you apply the rubbing alcohol you will see that the more you add, the more it will soften and wrinkle the surface coating on the tag. I chose to add more rubbing alcohol in some areas and less in others so that I would have varied effects on my surface.
When the rubbing alcohol is dry, mist the surface of the tag with any color of Distress Spray Stain (Dylusions Ink Sprays will also work).
Blot the excess ink with a dry cloth. Dry the tag with a heat tool. (Be super safe and be sure to keep your bottle of alcohol away from your heat tool.)
Apply a contrast Distress Ink color around the edge of the tag using an ink blending tool.
Altering the finish or a coating of a surface will affect the way ink is absorbed on the surface. Any place where the finish or coating is broken exposes the raw pulp which is very absorbent. The ink color on the raw pulp will always look darker. On this tag there is only one color of Distress Spray Stain but you see varying shades of the same color because of the damage to the coating on the surface by the rubbing alcohol.
With this tag, I wanted to take the tag on step further and try to add more spotting with the Spritz & Flick technique. To Spritz & Flick, mist water into your hand. The more water you use, the more spotting you will get. I like a lot of spots so I tend to be very generous with the amount of water in my hand.
Flick the water from your hand onto the surface. When the water hits the surface it will add spots in the ink. If you don’t get enough spots, simply mist more water into your hand and flick it onto the surface again. When you are happy with the look, blot the excess water with a dry cloth. Dry the tag with a heat tool.
For a bold edge, sand the edges of the tag with a sanding grip and ink the edge with a dark contrast color. I tend to use brown Distress Inks for my edges, but try Pumice Stone, Hickory Smoke, or Black Soot for really pretty edges. You can also leave the edge just sanded for a weathered look.
The spots in the brown Distress Ink that was added before the water spots is so dramatic! I love the way it reveals the blue background under the brown. I also love the way the water spots work with the more intensely colored areas from the alcohol on the surface. They are the result of two different techniques that work really well together.
PS. Wendy Vecchi has a really great technique that combines Archival Ink Reinkers with rubbing alcohol. It is a super easy technique that creates really dramatic effects. You can see a video demo of the technique here: Wendy Vecchi Archival Ink Reinkers + Rubbing Alcohol.