Art Journal Page: Impossible


For February’s Art Journal Session, we’ll be playing with emboss resist. It’s one of those techniques that is counter-intuitive, but is just planning layers to build up the effect using the embossing powder as the mask. I have to admit the way the text developed and fitted on the page was complete chance – but I like the way it isn’t obvious what the text is at first glance, reinforcing the sense of the quote.

For this project, I used:
Dylusions Paint: Crushed Grape, Bubble Gum Pink, White Linen
DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish
Darkroom Door Background Stamp: Harlequin
WOW! Embossing Powder: Clear Gloss Regular
Posca Paint Pens

IMG_6759 Start off by getting your background onto the page. This is a combination of distress inks with a pink/orange acrylic paint layer over to fix it and leave a waterproof layer. It’s this layer that will be preserved through the emboss resist.

Once dry, wipe over the page with an anti-static bag. Stamp your chosen shapes using Versamark ink, and then cover with the clear embossing powder. Tap off any excess and then heat set.

IMG_6760 Next, cover over the whole page with your choice of paint. Any water-based paint will be resisted by the embossing, though it may appear it is sticking.

Allow the page to completely dry. If using a heat tool make sure you don’t remelt the embossing. Leaving on a warm radiator works well.

IMG_6761 Rub off the paint from the embossed areas using a wet wipe. Hopefully the dry paint on the page won’t lift, but don’t worry if it does as the next layers will cover that over. You will see the base coat is preserved.

Dry the page, again making sure you don’t remelt the embossing. Rub over the anti-static pad over the whole page and then stamp and emboss your next layer.

IMG_6762 Using a piece of cut’n’dry foam, swipe your choice of paint over the whole page – this will be your top layer. In this case, White Linen was swiped over the Bubble Gum Pink, and as it dried it absorbed some of the pigment below.
IMG_6763 For this last step, place clean newsprint or scrap paper over the page and then put a hot iron on it. The paper will absorb the embossing powder and the acrylic paint will come with it. Be sure not to get the iron directly on the page as the embossing powder will burn onto it. Keep ironing off the embossing powder, using clean paper, until no more is absorbed.

If the paper sticks, reheat it with the iron and peel it off while the powder is hot.

EmbossResist Outline the letters with Posca paint pens and finally seal with a layer of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish to cover any gloss from the embossing powder. Note that though the varnish will stick to the embossing powder residue, it’s a fragile layer. If heat drying, the varnish can lift and bubble in those areas, so be sure to dry gently.

[Disclaimer: as part of the DecoArt Helping Artists Program,
I have been provided with samples of their products to use for projects]

2 thoughts on “Art Journal Page: Impossible

  1. A great technique, Neil. I have used embossing as a resist a lot, but always with distress inks. I’ve never tried it with paint! That will be fun to try. I am gradually working my way backwards through your posts that I have missed, and I am being thoroughly inspired by your art journal pages and can feel my mojo stirring again – this is definitely something I want to be doing!


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