Thursday, 8 March 2012

Colouring With Distress Inks


I've recently been asked a few questions about colouring with distress inks. I know I don't know very much about this, and I do need a lot more practise to be as good as the greats out there, I thought this might help some of you to be able to get started.

These are some of my first attempts;

I've always loved the effect colouring with distress inks gives, I came across this tutorial by Dena and also this Tutorial by Jacqui, and I messed around and came up with my own tips.

It took me ages to find a paper I was happy with, but eventually I came across Fabriano 5, which I get from Pegasus Art, I get the A5 books and when you cut it in half you can get two images to a sheet, so you get 50 from a book. Also, the brushes took me ages to get sorted, and remember this is just my preference, but I like Polar White Round Brushes in size 3 and 4, also from Pegasus Art.

If you use the ink pads you can simply squeeze the lid and the ink pools in the lid. I tend to use reinkers and what I use is this;

I've downloaded this from here, printed it onto card and then laminated it. This gives you space around the edges to do bits of mixing. This card doesn't go anywhere so I tend to leave the ink on, it doesn't dry out. But, if you need to store it it can be rinsed under the tap. Just thought I'd share this, I store my reinkers in one of these;

There's other storage solutions here too, I've also got the ink pad storage, and the small chest for storing dies in.

Here's my table ready for me to colour. I use the old tea towel to get rid of the excess water, but I hold the kitchen towel to keep wiping my brush as I blend the paint. I always sit down with a cup of coffee, lol and I always have my phone, for a few reasons, if I get a text I don't have to get up, I can use it to look on Internet for inspiration if I need it, and also it hooks up via bluetooth to play tunes while I colour.

I start by stamping the image, I usually use Coffee colour Archival Ink, but Stazon works just fine. I then go round the face with Tattered Rose.

I blend this in, like both Dena and Jacqui demonstrate. On the top of my chart I have mixed 1 drop of Vintage Photo with 3 drops of Tattered Rose (if you're using the pads just use Vintage Photo, but do a much thinner Line). I then go round the face, leaving out her chin.

I then go over this area again, working both colours together slightly, and I go round her chin.

I blend this in, on each rotation I start with the chin going in the direction where you are blending just tattered rose first.

For the cheeks I use Worn Lipstick, and put it on where Tilda's freckles are.

Using an almost dry brush I blend the cheeks in. You can leave them rosier if you prefer, this is just how I like to do it. You have to wait for a layer to dry, just move onto another area that doesn't touch. You can see I've got the first layer of her legs done.

It's best to build colours up, in most areas I'll have 3 layers.

My finished Tilda, I still need to do some background shading, and then I'll turn her into a card.

If you're thinking of giving this a go the colours which I think you'll need, again my preference, is;

-Tattered Rose
-Vintage Photo
-Worn Lipstick
-Frayed Burlap
-Antique Linen
-Walnut Stain
-Pumice Stone

This is what I use for the skin and hair, so the other colours will depend on if you like pink, blue or purple.

I hope this gives some of you the push you want to be able to give this a go. If you have any questions, please ask me and if I can help I will.

I also have to thank Mel, I asked her a few questions when I started out and coincidentally we're now both teamies at Totally Tilda.


  1. Thank you so much for doing this Bex. Its really helpful. Love the way you have created a pallet with that sheet. The blending work looks fab!! I am going to master this, Tilda does look so lovely in distress inks.

    P.S I am on 1st Name terms with Mr Linky now - I have Candy :-)

  2. Thanks for sharing your tips it's helped a lot
    Your finished Tilda looks fantastic
    Hugs Susie xx

  3. GORGEOUS!!!! I need to practice with those inks again!

  4. Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ooohh, this looks amazing, I'm goning to try this to do with your steps!!

    Love from The Netherlands,

  6. I love the coloring! You're such an expert! thank you for the tutorial

  7. Your coloring is stunning Becky! And so is your cards!! Off tu put your blog in my blog roll so I can come back..

  8. Wow Thankyou thankyou becky!! I was still following the old blog!! D'oh!! thankyou so much for this tutorial, I adore your colouring and have been wanting to try distress painting for a while!! Fab tutorial!
    JAcqui x

  9. Thank you so much for the Inspiration, and I love your Colouring amazing.

  10. thanks becky it was really helpful hugs sassyx

  11. Wow Becky this is fantastic. I may try following this tutorial now.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Big hugs
    Dawn. Xxxxx