Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Water embossing

Embossing is creating a raised surface. Wet or thermal embossing usually refers to the process of using ink and embossing powder with a heat gun. Dry embossing usually refers to using a stylus and light box, or these days, an embossing folder or die. So what do you call embossing that involves water (wet) and a stylus (dry)? I will call it water embossing (unless you can come up with a better name).

I still remember the first time I saw this. I thought it was so cool as it is very noticeable on a card. It was funny that the person that taught me this was later in my watercolor class and I then realized that she was the one doing the demo where I learned this. She no longer stamps, but owns a beading shop in SC.

First, you choose an image that is appropriate for this technique. I love the images above. They are just asking to be water embossed! The spider body and the pumpkin are both the focal point, are easy shapes to trace and they are things that would stick out in real life.

You need to be using watercolor paper....card stock will tear up. Watercolor paper is made of cotton fibers that are more pliable than card stock. You need a stylus that doesn't have too sharp of a tip, water, a brush and a mouse pad or fun foam.
Paint water over the portion of the image that you want to water emboss. Lay the image over the mouse pad or fun foam and trace around the part of the image you are embossing.
When you look on the back side of the paper, you will see the outline as seen above. Now, paint water on this side of the tracing. Holding the paper up in your hand, gently begin to work the stylus within that shape, gently pushing the paper so that the image become three dimensional. I think of scribbling in that oval with the stylus. Take care that you don't push too hard and rip the paper. Even if it does rip, you can often smooth it down. The only problem will be that more pigment will settle in that area when you paint and there will be a darker spot there.
I am not sure if you can see it in the photo above but the pumpkin puffs out. Allow it to dry and the paper will stay in that position. I will probably use a 3-D dot behind it (foam adhesive) to help keep that puff from flattening, especially if you are putting the card through the mail.

So we haven't even delved into the paint, but hopefully, you have learned something! I just love those spiders! They will be so cool with my spider web border punches from EK Success!
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1 comment:

Jan Castle said...

Very cute Holly, and such a cool look...I call my classes on this technique 'Paper Shaping' using the embossing tool/your fingers to shape/mold your paper. We always use 140# cold pressed watercolor paper...that way, as you say, the shape is maintained when dry.
Jan Castle