Posted in Zentangle

My First Attempt at Tangling Embossed Stamped Images

Last time, I shared my first attempt at combining Zentangle with die-cut shapes and using the same dies to emboss paper for further tangling. The type of embossing I did was basically molding paper around a figure that would raise the design from the paper.

Today, I played with a different kind of embossing. This method, which I have seen referred to as heat embossing, requires beautiful stamps (usually clear acrylic), a pad of clear embossing ink (thicker and dries more slowly than regular stamp pad ink), embossing powder, a crafting heat gun (workshop heat guns run too hot), and a bunch of little crafting and embossing tools that you don’t always hear about but are extremely helpful.

Helpful hint: When stamping, smooth card stock is a better choice than watercolor paper, even if you plan to add watercolor touches later. Unless you are planning to build an elaborate wet-on-wet watercolor painting around your stamped and embossed image, card stock stands up pretty well to watercolor techniques that don’t require rivers of water.

These are the supplies I used for my new project: Acrylic stamps, a stamping block, a stamp pad of pale gray or black or other color ink, clear embossing ink, a Micron 01 in black for tangling, watercolor brush pens, one or two water brushes filled with fresh clean water, embossing powder in your choice of either clear or color (even black), a small dry regular paint brush, gray brush pens and/or gel pens and/or graphite pencil for shading, and a craft heat gun.
You may also want to have a container of clear water for rinsing water brushes, and some paper towels or a cloth in case you get too much water on your brush or paper.

The stamp I selected for my project is from a stamp set called Bloom and Grow, which was a joint project between Hero Art and Altenew. The set contains a flower that measures about 4×4 inches, with a separate leaf stamp and several sentiments. Here is a closer look at the set.

Because of the size of the flower, I decided to use a Zentangle Apprentice tile, which, at 4.5”x4.5”, is much smoother and larger than the traditional Zentangle 3.5”x3.5” tile — and the stamp fits on it so I don’t need to cut down a sheet of card stock.

After placing the tile on a grid-lined generic hinged stamper base, I arranged the stamp where I wanted it, closed the lid on the stamper, and let the cling stamp affix itself to the underside of the lid. Next, I inked the stamp, using a pale gray stamp pad because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I used Rainy Day ink from , which gave me a pale imprint of the flower.

It took me a while to decide what I wanted to try next. Did I want to tangle the petals? Or did I want to paint them? If I tangled them, did I want to use the black or a colored Micron 01? Did I want to use one or two tangle patterns for the whole flower, or did I want to tangle each petal differently? Did I want to control shading with the density of the patterns, or would I simply tangle at will and shade afterwards?

What I did was tangle each petal differently. I varied density on some petals, and left others to be more traditionally shaded. Using Koi Coloring Brush Pens, I colored the petals, laying down water or using it after color to vary color intensity. As much as possible, I shaded as I painted, adding more shading at the end as it seemed needed. The combination of color and shade added some dimension to the image.

Once the color on the card stock was dry, I re-aligned the clear stamp on the printed one and put them both back into the hinged stamper. After wiping the prepared card stock surface with an anti-static bag (a sprinkle of cornstarch or baby powder works just as well), I inked the stamp well with clear embossing ink. Next, I sprinkled Ranger Embossing Powder in Rose Gold all over the inked surface. I slid the excess powder from the tile onto a sheet of paper and funneled the extra powder back into its jar.

Next, I pre-heated the heat tool. Once it was hot, I directed the hot air toward the embossing powder clinging to the embossing ink. The powder melted into a gold line image of the original stamping, adding a bit more dimension to the flower. Where needed, I added some deeper gray to deepen the shadows, especially around areas where the embossing seemed to take away some depth.

Finally, I hand added a few leaves and colored them. Finally, the tile was finished!

If you look closely, you can see the raised gold line embossed around each petal.

As our Sint Maarten lockdown continues, I will be sharing more of my experiments with tangling and paper crafts. Please join me on this Re-directed journey of discovery. And…

Happy Tangling!