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Issue 17 - August 4th 2014
Mojo Monday with Glenda Waterworth

I am looking at a really simple technique this week that anyone can try - using acrylic blocks and water based media to create softly blended backgrounds.  There are so many different products you can try so why not experiment with a small block and see what works for you

What you need
What you can use
The close ups
2014 Artwork
Where to buy
The back story
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What you will need
  • Water based colour such as

A very flexible technique

The great thing about this technique is that you can use pretty much any water based media you already have and experiment with how it turns out.  Remember that some waterbased products are waterproof when dry and others (particularly the Distress products) are not. 

The waterproof products (such as Splash Inks) can be layered multiple times to build up rich colours.  Adirondack dyes and the Distress family will react with water, so multiple layers will create a different effect as previous layers will merge and respond to the liquid in unpredictable ways.

If you want to stamp and colour on top of your backgrounds, bear this in mind if you plan on adding coloured detail.  Solvent based markers won't disturb any layers, but water based markers might.

Background with Markers

My acrylic blocks get very grimy very quickly, but they clean up beautifully with StazOn cleaner.  Apply liberally over any stains and polish off with kitchen towel. 

Never use anything abrasive to clean your blocks as scratches will stop cling cushion from sticking properly.

Place a piece of white card under your block so you can see what you are doing.  Scribble several patches of your first  marker onto the block.

Repeat with other colours - don't overlap the colours as the water will merge them in the next step.  This stops the tips of your markers getting contaminated with other colours.

Mist the block with water which will cause the colours to spread and merge.  The more water you add, the more your colours will merge and the paler the result.

Leave the block on the table and press a piece of card over the top.  You may want to flex the card slightly and starting at one side, 'roll' it onto the block to avoid trapping any air bubbles.

Remove to reveal your transferred print.  If you have a pool of liquid down one edge, pat it with a little kitchen towel to prevent a dark edge when dry.


TIP: The reason I place the paper on the block (rather than picking up the block and using it to 'stamp' onto the paper) is that as soon as you pick it up the liquid sloshes around and you lose any distinct patches of colour you may have.  You may also find most of the colour runs right off the block and drips all over your table!

 Monday Mojo 17 Acrylic Block Backgrounds
This example shows that you can be quite precise when you lay down your marker colours, but the water will always make the finished results unpredictable.
Here I have added lots of water which results in paler colours.  I've also got a little patch with no colour which is a result of trapping an air pocket as I laid the card down

Backgrounds with Inks

Monday Mojo 17 Acrylic Block Backgrounds
In this sample I have used Splash Inks which are acrylic based so they will be waterproof once dry.  I started with yellow, blue and black.

Monday Mojo 17 Acrylic Block Backgrounds
These inks are a little thicker, so I have been able to manipulate the colours with a paintbrush before applying water.
Monday Mojo 17 Acrylic Block Backgrounds

The water still makes the colours blend, but they don't merge as much as the markers or inkpad colours do. 


Monday Mojo 17 Acrylic Block Backgrounds
I decided I wanted my colours blended a lot more, so I used a bamboo skewer held quite flat to draw horizontally through the colours to mix them.

Monday Mojo 17 Acrylic Block Backgrounds
I then drew vertically which gave me a much more uniform colour.
Monday Mojo 17 Acrylic Block Backgrounds

The finished result was printed on very absorbent watercolour paper and has given me a lovely mix of different shades of green. 


The close ups

acrylic block finished sample  
acrylic block finished sample
acrylic block finished sample 
acrylic block finished sample

   acrylic block finished sample
2014 Artwork

The soft subtle tones of these backgrounds are ideal for these beautiful Artishape images by Chapel Road Art Stamps.  These backgrounds were done on glossy coated card, then overstamped with Archival ink in Library Green.  The watermark background you can see on the cream card is from our Nature Swirls stamp set.

Where to buy
Chocolate Baroque Logo
Materials used in this project are available online at  
The back story

I originally ran this series in 2013 and this time round, I am using my own tutorials to inspire me to create a new piece of artwork to share with you each week. 

I love to create and I am also passionate about inspiring and enabling others to create too.  I hope that this email gets your mojo working and you feel motivated to get into your crafty space and have a go.


PS - if your creation features Chocolate Baroque stamps, then why not share on our Facebook Group or our wonderful private forum. In both places you will find a wonderful community of like minded Chocolate Baroque fans.

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