Long post, picture rich!
For some time now I have been fascinated by Angela’s masterboards. At first I had no idea what they were, but reading her posts, I learnt that a masterboard is a large sheet of paper or card covered with layers of inking, stamping, stencilling, etc. etc., forming a background sheet that can then be cut up and used for projects. I think this is a totally brilliant idea – why buy expensive papers when you can create your own? You can tailor the design to suit your particular projects, and all the while, practise different techniques and explore different colour combinations. It doesn’t matter if “mistakes” occur (is there such a thing as a mistake in this sort of work? I’ve read that in mixed media, there are no mistakes, only more layers!!) – they can be covered up with more embellishment, or strategically placed on the project where they are going to be covered up with something else.
I have a large pack of A3 paper – not brilliant quality, just your basic office paper. Since I am going to be using mostly distress inks to start with, and the work isn’t going to get terribly wet, I thought this would be good enough at least for now.
My first masterboard was made with my recycled mini-album in view, and I hoped to make a nice dark grungey brown one, but it took a great deal of work to get there, and on the way, a lot of the effects I added were obliterated by subsequent layers. However, this was a learning curve for me; looking back, I think I would have done well to stop about half way through as I’d got a really nice masterboard, which could have been used for other purposes! For the album, I would have done better to use darker paper to start with, but you live and learn.
Here are some of the materials I used. I also used clear embossing powder as a resist.
Nearly out of shot to the right is my sepia archival ink which should have been in the photo. At the back you can see some of the distress inks used, and a roll of baking parchment for ironing off the embossing resist. At the end of the project I also used distress stains.
Unfortunately I didn’t remember to take any photos until I’d got fairly well on with it, and have grabbed a few frames from the video I made of the first half of the project.
I began by inking all over the sheet with a mixture of Old Paper and Antique Linen distress inks, blending them well with my Inkylicious Ink Dusters.
At this point, I stamped with a text stamp from Creative Expressions (Umount “Textures” set):
using Pumice Stone distress ink, but as the project progressed, this stamping was obliterated. I did not use an acrylic block with this stamp as I wanted a rough, less than perfect result. This is a great technique I learnt fairly recently on Youtube.
After this, I added further distress ink in Dried Marigold.
I then used a small swirl stamp (CFLR 0211 from The Stamp Barn) to apply Versamark, and added clear embossing powder.Once this had been heated, it acted as a resist to further inking.
Once this was done, I inked over the swirls resist with Aged Mahogany distress ink, and wiped the ink off the resist with some kitchen paper.
Then I inked through some sequin waste with Tea Dye distress ink, but again, most of this subsequently got obliterated by further layers being added.
It was at this stage that I think I could have stopped, but I was determined to get it good and grungey for my album. Further inking and clear embossing resist followed, the latter being done with my large bubble wrap stamping block – I made this from a wooden stamp block that I’d removed the rubber stamp from, in order to use it unmounted, and I glued a piece of bubble wrap onto the block.
Unfortunately the circles it generated were larger than I really wanted – I would have done better to use my small bubble wrap block.
I emphasised the circles with more distress ink, this time in Vintage Photo.
Because the circles were so big, the sheet ended up with a very plasticky feel with all the clear embossing on it, and if I was going to add any further interest to the lighter-coloured circles, this would have to go.
It took me quite a while, but I managed to iron off most of the embossing, by placing the sheet face-down onto another sheet and sandwiching the whole thing between non-stick baking parchment and applying a hot iron.
I tried to keep the blotting-off sheet lined up with the masterboard as much as possible and avoided moving it, so that the transferred embossing might make a useable pattern on the second sheet. I have done this before – the definition is not as clear, but the results can be quite interesting, and it acts as a resist as before.
I had to use a second sheet just to mop up any remaining embossing, and while this did not leave such a clear pattern, it has made some interesting marks that may respond well to further inking. I wasn’t so careful about keeping it in one place so the effect is more random, especially as much of the embossing had already been removed onto the first sheet.
Here is the masterboard at this stage, just after the removal of the embossing.
The paper has a soft, slightly waxy feel to it. I hoped I had removed sufficient embossing to allow further inking. Like waxed paper, it behaves differently when viewed with a light behind, and this is what it looks like:
The colour has completely disappeared from the embossed parts!
The blotting off sheets appear very different when viewed with a light behind, too.
You can see that whereas the circles appear dark on the normal view, and the untreated paper appears white, in the second picture this is reversed.
As far as the main sheet is concerned, I re-stamped the script background, but it didn’t show up sufficiently, and nor did an attempt at stencilling with first Black Soot Distress Ink and then black archival ink – not a great success! The masterboard still wasn’t dark and grungey enough to be used in my mini-album so I had to get drastic with it.
First of all, I inked it all over with Dusty Concord Distress Ink, using an Inkylicious Ink Duster. Sometimes purple will dull down whatever’s underneath, and while this did have that effect to a slight degree, it wasn’t enough. Time to unleash the Distress Stains. I went over the whole thing with Pumice Stone but again, although it dulled it down a little, it was still not dark enough, so I used Gathered Twigs all over, and blotted it with a piece of kitchen paper to reduce the streaks, and then added Dusty Concord on the large circles. I blotted them a bit, and then did a splat on the circles with the Dusty Concord and dried it with my heat gun (it took ages). I then re-splatted most of the circles and left it to dry. This is the final result.
It is now really quite dark and grungey, and definitely useable for the mini-album. What a sweat, though, getting it to this stage!!
I am having great success with the blotting off sheets, and shall do a blog post about those in due course.
Video to follow.