102
23
Stamp-Resist into the Paint
Stamping with a variety of materials and tools using watercolors
or acrylics is lots of fun. And it can be the source of endless
experimentation that results in colorful and interesting pages
for you to work with in your digital design.
I usually make all my own stamps or use things I fi nd laying
around. Of course, you can purchase stamps at the crafts store,
and sometimes iconographic images might be just what you
are looking for, but I fi nd that most of the pre-made stamps in
the store are too darling for the serious designer. I have bought
some batik stamps from Indonesia that I use, and now and then
a geometric or logo-like image from the hobby store will work.
But for the most part, I make the stamp myself out of things I
nd in the studio, the garage, the kitchen, the yard . . . .
Tools and materials
Watercolors or acrylics
• Watercolor paper
or other substrate
Paint palette
• Brushes
• Water
• Matte medium
Stamps: purchased; made
by you by carving out a
relief image on rubber,
eraser, foam, cardboard;
or materials you fi nd in
your environment
Tool
s
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• Wate
rc
• Wate
rc
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• Paint
p
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• M
atte
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• Stam
ps
by you
relief i
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eraser
,
or mat
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our e
n
102
103
Create a medium to dark wash
(layer of watery paint) on your
watercolor paper. Allow it to dry
only slightly.
Mix some matte medium and
water on your palette or a plate.
To create a very distinct
pattern, add very little water
to the medium or none at all.
To create an indistinct image,
mix up to an equal amount of
matte medium and water.
Dip your stamping tool into the
matte medium mixture (shown
above). I’m using a little foam circle
that came with my new box of s.
continued
Tip! Things made out of
foam make good stamps
for this technique because
they absorb just enough
of the matte medium
and watercolor paint
to hold the color.
The stamps at the crafts store
designed for stamping
your walls with acrylic paints
are made from a fairly hard
foam instead of rubber.
Stamp gently but fi rmly onto your
not-quite-dry wash.
Consider using anything as a stamp
that will make a pattern or texture!
103
23: -   
104
To give your piece added depth, add more stamps with
darker paint: After your wash has dried, dab your stamping
materials in thicker, darker paint and press onto the paper.
As we know in graphic design,
repetition is your friend, so I’m
stamping with my little circle
stamp again. You can do this with
or without the matte medium,
depending on whether you plan
to paint over it again.
Overlap your shapes for a nice
random texture. Let everything
dry thoroughly. You won’t see
much of your stamped images yet.
Paint over the piece with a darker
wash. Now you will see your
stamped images appear because
the matte medium acts as a resist.
Try stamping with other things
you fi nd around the house. Here
I’m using a spongy drawer liner
that has a nice grid pattern.
23: -   
105
october 27 • 4 p.m. • Lensic Theater
Santa Fe
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october 7
4 p.m.
Lensic Theater
Santa Fe
As a last step, I like to blend some of my shapes
and edges with a little paint and water to unify
the piece.
(Acrylics, when dry, become plastic and are
impervious to water, so this step won’t pick up
any of the underlying paint.)
Among all the things you can use as stamps,
don’t forget about those thin sheets of soft foam
you can buy in a craft store. Cut into the edges,
roll it up, and stamp away. Or cut out pieces in
shapes to use as stamps—glue them onto pieces
of wood or the bottoms of co ee cups. These foam
pieces are great to use in this resist technique.
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october 7
4 p.m.
Lensic Theater
Santa Fe
23: -   

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