Nuvo Embellishment Mousse is quite versatile. This acrylic, paste-like shimmery product with pigmented mica powder is water soluble and permanent when dry. It mixes with ink, acrylic paint, and even watercolor paint, as well as acrylic mediums. The consistency is thick and ultra creamy. This mousse has little to no odor, and mixes quickly and easily with water, allowing you to use it like paint. My favorite way to use this product is with my fingers. I love scooping out a bit of mousse and rubbing it on a journal page as a background layer, or spreading it through a stencil. It almost melts in your hands.
My overall objective for this Road Test was to try the mousse in several typical art journaling situations. For each piece, I used 140-lb. watercolor paper as my substrate. I experimented with the mousse as a background layer, a fluid paint, and with a stencil. I had a lot of fun with this product because of its creamy, butterlike consistency. It resembles an iridescent buttercream frosting and is oh, so inviting.
- Nuvo Embellishment Mousse from Tonic® Studios (I used Peony Pink, Cornflower Blue, and Spring Green.)
- Mixed-media or watercolor paper (I prefer 140-lb. watercolor paper.)
- Acrylic paint, colors of choice (I used cadmium red and quinacridone magenta)
- Watercolor paint
- Watercolor paintbrush (I used a #4 round brush.)
- Mark-making tool (I used a knitting needle.)
- Rubber stamps
- Permanent ink pad, black (I used a StazOn® ink pad.)
- Matte medium
- Paint markers (I used Sharpie® Poster Paint Extra Fine Water-Based Markers.)
- Colored pencils (I used Prismacolor® Premier pencils.)
For “Green Shoots Win the War,” I created a scene using watercolors, acrylic paint, and the mousse. My objective was to see how the mousse would act as paint. I added a bit of water and acrylic paint to the mousse, mixed it well, and painted all of the green shoots. I learned quickly that the mousse keeps its iridescence well when mixed with a bit of water (roughly 2:1 water to mousse). However, that sparkle is greatly reduced when acrylic paint is added to the mix. Luckily, I was able to retain some sparkle. I finished the piece with a watercolor wash and hand lettering.
For “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” my objective was to see how well a thick layer of mousse would receive a stamped impression and a bit of collage. I painted the entire page with bright cadmium red acrylic paint, leaving a small white border. When the paint was dry, I scooped out a small, quarter-sized dollop of Cornflower Blue mousse, and rubbed it all over the page, leaving a bit of red showing on all of the edges (below, left). I quickly incised a drawing into the creamy layer with a knitting needle. The clouds and puddle show up well because of the contrasting red underlayer. Once dry, I added stamped images using permanent ink. Since the mousse dries with some sheen, the stamp slipped around on the surface a bit, so be careful. Overall, I’d say the stamping was a success. I then adhered ephemera with matte medium. I stenciled a small motif in the clouds, using Peony Pink mousse and sheetrock tape. The result was subtle, and would have been more noticeable on a contrasting background (below, right).
The objective for “Hot Pink is My Favorite Color” was to first see if I could achieve a new color by mixing two colors of mousse together. I also wanted to see how well the mousse worked with a thick chipboard stencil. I rubbed a mixture of Peony Pink mousse and Cornflower Blue mousse through the stencil. The two colors mixed fabulously to create a light purple (below, top). The thick layer dried pretty quickly and was lightweight when dry. If you’re looking for lots of thick texture, this product works great. I added a watercolor wash around the stenciled area and, once dry, added details on the rest of the page with acrylic paint markers and colored pencils (below, bottom). Paint markers work well on the dried mousse.
I found the mousse worked best when used alone, or when a small amount of water was added to make an iridescent, fluid paint. That mixture isn’t glossy when dry, but it certainly has a satin finish.
I love the feeling of rubbing the product around on a page or through a stencil. It’s luscious. The versatility of Nuvo Embellishment Mousse mixed with a bit of imagination provides lots of creative opportunities.
Mandy Russell is a full-time mixed-media artist with a darling little studio called The Painted Dog, in the heart of Brunswick, Maine. She has a menagerie of goofy pets, two fabulous children, and a super supportive husband. When life isn’t too hectic, she finds time to clean the house. Read more about her artistic adventures and workshop offerings on her website: mandyrussell.com.
This Road Test article also appears in our March/April 2018 edition of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.