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Doodling Tricks & Tips: Using Your Leftover Ink or Paint

Doodling using leftover paint

I've mentioned before that I will often use leftover spray ink, paint etc to add colour to a blank page.  Yes I really do this and when feeling a bit aimless I will use one of these pre-coloured random backgrounds.  As you may expect the results are shall we say, a little unpredictable, especially since when wiping up leftover inks I completely disregard what might look good, what colours match and anything else resembling an actual thought process - I just use pages to wipe colour off my craft mat, don't want to waste any of that glorious Lindy's sparkle or colour!  Every now and then I end up with a page too pretty to use, and other times I end up with a challenge - today I'll be working on a challenge page :) 

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The colours that have been applied to this page at various times are:

Lindy's Stamp Gang

To complete the page I have also used:

  • Wink of Stella: Gold
  • Copic: Multi Liner 0.5 and Brush Marker - Black
  • Pilot Choose 0.7 - White & Gold
  • Kaisercraft Rub-ons 'Dreams'
  • Liquitex Super Heavy Gesso

As I mentioned, the coloured background was created during several previous projects, by wiping any leftover sprayed colour from my craft mat onto a blank page.  I squished, wiped, blotted and rubbed - and created a rather messy background!  Now because there are a mix of Starbursts and Flat Fabio colours on here, some areas have sparkle and others do not.   The only question  remaining is to draw, stamp or doodle?

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I've decided to doodle - mostly because the background is so busy and bold that I don't feel stamping or drawing would stand out well.

I have used a few tricks to make my doodled design WORK 

No 1:  ADD BLACK - the bold black areas in the design help provide a focus and give your eye a place to rest.  The black is working like empty or negative space.

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- you may notice I haven't added any additional colours,
I've stuck to black, white and gold in my doodled design and embellishments.   I'm pretty sure the background was colourful enough without adding any more.

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No 3: CREATE VARIATION - I've added Liquitex Super Heavy Gesso to the area of the background surrounding my doodled flower.  Adding gesso means the colours are muted, the shimmer covered but some of the dye colour seeps through, creating a co-ordinating yet varied background.  You may also notice I have distressed the rub-ons so they are worn and scruffy looking, and not super solid outlines.  I felt this added interest without detracting from the focal point of my doodled flower mandala.   

IMG_2710 a wm sm


You can see below how the gessoed area is much paler and softer, but doesn't seem to clash with the brighter colours of the doodled design.  I love adding gesso to just soften colours a little. 

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 and lastly, when working with a busy background - don't make your design too busy!


No 4: LEAVE EMPTY SPACE - I've purposely not filled in all of my 'petals' - look at the largest petals, these only have a few little designs in and around them.  If both your background and design are busy - then things begin to look chaotic.  Both your life and your art need some Zen space, a little pocket of relaxation - somewhere to rest :)  Not only does this prevent things feeling too busy, but it makes the overall design and the detail you have added stand out more.

Dream it Do it page a wm sm


I hope I have provided some helpful information on using up leftover ink and on using these randomly coloured pages.  No matter how busy or mismatched your background, you really can create some amazing art!