It’s Okay to Play Around | Stamping Techniques for Mixed-Media Art

If I’ve learned anything about mixed-media art over the years it’s that there’s one technique that offers success for any art endeavor: layering. Whether it’s in an art journal, an assemblage, textile art, or collage, when you create multiple layers you add visual interest and invite compositional possibilities. Ronda Palazzari is the author of Art of Layers, which focuses on paper art with 50 step-by-step techniques that also incorporate fabric, stitching, stamping techniques, and embellishments. Here’s more from Ronda:

“Trying new techniques and playing in my studio makes me giddy with excitement. With Art of Layers, my hope is that you become excited (and giddy) learning all these tips and tricks and then begin to play. You can combine two or three techniques, layering them together, and experimenting, to add so much interest and beauty to any project. Nothing makes me happier than building layers of art on my scrapbook pages, seeing patterned paper layered on top of old book prints, or on painted scraps, and then adding in the perfect embellishment for the completed look. To build up each layer until the page or piece of art is complete is just heavenly.”

Stamping techniques |

Art of Layers: Stamping Techniques by Ronda Palazzari

Whether rubber stamps or acrylic stamps, I dig them. Why you ask? I am happy to tell you that they add yet another layer to my projects–be it scrapbook or altered items. In many fun shapes and styles, the stamps are an art within themselves. I stroll the store aisles looking for the perfect image to complete a page. I have open shelves with many stamps stacked in plain view inspiring me to create. Sometimes they whisper to me, “Play with me, create with me.” I love the potential they hold and the images they can become once used in the perfect spot.

I admit I used to be a little scared of them and only used them on cards. What if I don’t like how it turns out on my page? What if I mess up the image? It’s so permanent. Then I discovered ways around those “what ifs.” You can stamp the image on a scrap sheet of paper, cut it out and adhere it on the page you want to accent. Also, if you don’t like the placement on the page, cover it up. I like using them in unconventional ways, turning them into 3-D embellishments and stamping on the page as a border, repeating the same image over and over again. And that’s just the beginning. You can take them to the next level with so many different mediums like clear embossing powder, paints and spray inks. When we let go of the fear and just play around, we open up to a world of creative possibilities.

Stamping techniques | Ronda Palazzari,
Stamping Techniques: Steps 1 and 2

Paper Art Idea: Stamped Borders

1. Using number stamps and brown ink, stamp on the top center, toward the bottom of the left side, and toward the right, on the bottom of the patterned paper.

2. Using the label stamp and brown ink, stamp near the number stamp on the top, stamp on the bottom near the left side, and on the right side near the top. Fill in these areas using text stamps and brown ink.

Stamping techniques | Ronda Palazzari,
Stamping Techniques: Steps 3 and 4

3. Using the number stamp and brown ink, stamp numbers on a coordinating piece of patterned paper. Cut out one number of the coordinating stamp of patterned paper inside the stamp lines so none of the stamp shows. Adhere the number to the center of the number stamp already located on the edge of the patterned paper.

4. Cut out bits of wood grain patterned paper and adhere to the center of the stamped labels.

Stamping techniques | Ronda Palazzari,
4 Gents (mixed-media paper art) by Ronda Palazzari

Note: Don’t forget to stamp off the edge of the paper. This technique looks great in a smaller frame on the inside of a layout. Try using a mask stencil and stamps to create a nifty new shape on your layout, be it a bracket, square or circle. Try clear embossing the stamps for a completely different look.

The journey in creating and layering is just as important and enjoyable as the final project. So get messy, start playing around, inventing, dissecting, and most importantly–have fun! ~Ronda

In addition to stamping techniques, Art of Layers includes more than 75 layouts to browse and refer to for your next paper art project. You can get more of an inside peek here in this excerpt on how to create layered flowers using tissue paper, patterned paper, or fabric.

Yours in art,

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Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques, Paper Art and Zen Doodle


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