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Old 11-17-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
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Default Stamping to color on watercolor paper - none of my blacks are working!

I have tried Memento, Palette Noir and India Ink. They are not stamping cleanly or very blackly on watercolor paper. I also have some Stonehenge Vellum Finish (nice and smooth but uncoated) and no luck with it.

I am going to be using watercolors or Prismas, so I don't have to worry about the alcohol ink bleed issue. Using regular CS won't work because the water degrades it so quickly and I use the mineral oil blending technique with Prismas and it doesn't seem to work well on regular CS.

I can't use Stazon.

Is it me, or have others had trouble getting good crisp images for coloring using the inks I'm using? Is my choice to go to an oil based ink like Ranger or Versafine?
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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I took a class from Dave Brethauer of Memory Box. We did water coloring on water color paper getting the color by using a wet paint brush and water color pencils. The images were already stamped on the paper. Maybe he gives hints on what ink and what water color paper to use in one of his website tutorials.

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Old 11-17-2012, 08:46 AM   #3
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Have you tried Versafine, Rachel? That's what I use about 95% of the time. I use Winsor & Newton 140lb rough Artists' Watercolour paper, but I usually use the wrong side since it's a bit smoother, and even with detailed stamps I rarely have trouble with a clear impression. Onyx Black, I think the black one is called.
I'm not a fan of Memento - I have it in case I need to stamp a few images for Copic users, but I don't think it's a true black.

And I scored some Hot Press Daler Rowney the other day - still got to try that out but it's certainly super-smooth. I think somebody mentioned it on another thread .
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:14 AM   #4
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I haven't tried Versafine. Does it smell as bad as Ranger Archival?

I'm going to check out Dave Brethauer, Crafter, thanks.

The WC paper is cold press so I wasn't so surprised when the fine detail stamps didn't print well, but I was surprised that I couldn't get a good print on the Stonehenge because it's so smooth. I finally managed to get an acceptable print on it by turning the stamp over and putting the paper on top and brayering it, which makes me wonder if I shouldn't unmount these few large-ish stamps I want to color and use them with my Mega Mount.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:27 AM   #5
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Have you tried Versafine, Rachel? That's what I use about 95% of the time. I use Winsor & Newton 140lb rough Artists' Watercolour paper, but I usually use the wrong side since it's a bit smoother, and even with detailed stamps I rarely have trouble with a clear impression. Onyx Black, I think the black one is called.
I'm not a fan of Memento - I have it in case I need to stamp a few images for Copic users, but I don't think it's a true black.

And I scored some Hot Press Daler Rowney the other day - still got to try that out but it's certainly super-smooth. I think somebody mentioned it on another thread .
I used to get the Daler Rowney hot-press paper at Hobby Lobby. Now they tell me they aren't going to carry it anymore I think it works great and I"ll be curious as to how it does for you. To stay on track with OP, I also use versafine black on my WC paper and it works very well.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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I've always had good luck with Versafine (which doesn't smell - at least not to my nose!) and Brilliance inks on watercolour paper.

Hot press is definitely easier to get a decent impression than cold press or NOT paper, too.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:14 AM   #7
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Versafine doesn't smell much to me - and my job is based on the fact that I have a good sense of smell . But I'd have to say, having just pulled it out, that I don't find the Ranger's Archival has much smell either, unless I hold it right up to my nose. StazOn, now, that's enough to get DH out of the room .
I'm always amazed at how well really detailed images like the Stampavie range stamp on watercolour paper, but then I've had other detailed stamps that don't necessarily stamp as well. I think it may depend a bit on the stamps, as well as the paper and the ink
I think if you try the Versafine you'll find it a much "blacker" black than Memento, that much is for sure.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:14 AM   #8
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I've seen demos of both, so I know that the oil-based inks are much darker.

Both VF and Ranger Archival say they are non-toxic and made with "natural" oil. I wonder what kind of oil it is.

I am assuming a baby wipe will be enough to clean them off stamps. (I know I have asked this before on the forum but, as usual, I can't remember the answer.)
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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Baby-wipes (alcohol free ones) are what I use, certainly . And I don't find them oily to feel, I must say.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #10
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I know this is off topic, but... I love the smell of Stazon. Its kind of like a cherry almond smell. Reminds me of the Jergens hand lotion the old ladies use to use when I was a kid... But then again, I'm weird sometimes
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:27 PM   #11
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I know how Stazon smells. I have to tell you that what you are smelling is a scent they put in it to mask the solvent smell.

Stazon is amazing stuff. When I used to make jewelry, we used it as a resist when we wanted to etch copper or bronze. You couldn't get a really deep etch but it worked for some kinds of applications.

But it is considered "toxic," as opposed to a "non-toxic" ink. So don't go taking big whiffs of it just to get some of that nice almondy smell, cat!
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:45 PM   #12
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I think I remember hearing during a class that Dave @ Memory Box uses Brilliance inks to stamp for his watercolor cards. You have to let them dry for quite a while, though. I've also heard that Ranger Archival Ink is waterproof so it won't bleed with watercolors.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:41 PM   #13
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I use Palette Noir or Charcoal, but hit it with a heat gun when stamping on water color paper. Seems to work fine for me. I only use Prismacolors or watercolor pencils. Don't have any Copics.

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Old 11-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #14
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I just can't get a clean impression on my WC paper with the Palette Noir. I don't know why. It's not every stamp, some are okay and some are acceptable, but one in particular which has very fine detail is driving me nuts. Well, I'm driving myself nuts. I can't blame the stamp for my mental anguish over this relatively trivial problem.

But I have to say that I have not found Palette Noir to be all that wonderfully black in general. I expected to when I bought it and then found it isn't really much better (to my eyes) for regular stamping than my Memento Tuxedo Black. I know people like it better, think it's blacker, but it hasn't really rocked my world in any application.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:56 AM   #15
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Ranger Archival jet black will give you what you are looking for. That is my go-to black except for copics.

I don't notice any smell.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:44 AM   #16
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Well, I tried the Ranger Archival and it did not stamp well on my WC paper, which is a cold press 90 lb. and not terribly rough. Tried with two stamps that have fine detail, and the results were not usable in my opinion.

I have the Versafine on order. But I can't imagine it will be so different.

And I can't think it's the paper, I'm just using plain old Canson 90 lb cold press. Are others using hot press?

This is a drag because if I want to paint in these images I need to work on WC paper. I find CS doesn't hold up unless you use very little water and don't go over things.

Is it me? Or is it that I am using cold press? Does anyone else have trouble with fine detail stamps on WC paper? I'm starting to think I live in a parallel universe, where none of the regular rules apply.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Is it me? Or is it that I am using cold press? Does anyone else have trouble with fine detail stamps on WC paper? I'm starting to think I live in a parallel universe, where none of the regular rules apply.
Fine detail needs a really smooth surface - anything other than hot press is probably not going to give you what you need with a detailed stamp. I've attached a couple of samples of things I've done with hot press paper that are stamps I'd consider too detailed to stand much chance on cold press so you can maybe do a mental comparison with stamps you're using. I used Versafine ink for these.

One thing you could try is to put something slightly cushy under the paper before you stamp (e.g. a sheet of fun foam, old mouse mat) and make sure you make really good, firm contact all over the surface of the stamp. It might just help but I'd be investing in some hot press paper, to be honest!
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:07 AM   #18
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Yes, I have done all my stamping trials using a foam stamping pad. With poor results.

I guess the paper is the next variable. What kind of hot press are you using? I don't mind investing in it, since I don't do watercoloring (well, actually dye-ink coloring) all that often. Only when it's the best way to work with an image.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #19
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I use The Langton by Daler Rowney as it's what my local art supplies place has. They do a whole range under the Langton name though so if you go for this, make sure it says "hot pressed". It's nice quality, acid-free, heavy paper - I just found the details here as I wasn't sure what the weight would be in US terminology. It's 140lb, apparently. Scroll down the page to find the hot press and you can see what sizes are on offer, too.

Somebody on your side of the Atlantic might have a different steer for you in terms of what is readily available if Daler Rowney is not (although from the store locator on the web site it looks as if it's pretty widely carried in the US).

HTH!
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:24 PM   #20
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Yes, they have The Langton Prestige by Daler Rowney in 140 lb. hot press at Jerry's Art-a-Rama. Eight dollars for a dozen 9x12 sheets.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:04 PM   #21
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This was stamped on watercolour paper, 140 lb rough, and it's what I'd consider a finely detailed image:CCEE1218 Summer Mouse by Cook22 - Cards and Paper Crafts at Splitcoaststampers, and this one too: F4A2 Pop-Up Garden by Cook22 - Cards and Paper Crafts at Splitcoaststampers. Both those are Versafine.
I tried it on the Daler & Rowney HP today, it came out well but seemed to take longer to dry, for some reason.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #22
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Just wondering what type of stamp it is you're having problems with, Rachel? Is it something like the Thomas Kincade stamps level of detail? I can imagine those could be hard to get a good impression on anything other than a very smooth surface.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:14 PM   #23
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Okay, I've been off photographing the stamp that is keeping me awake nights (not really, but it's been annoying me during the day).

From bottom to top: The stamp itself. Then detail on the leaves as it stamps on plain WW cardstock (some desultory Prisma coloring on one of the flowers, ignore it). Then those same leaves stamped on WC paper using I don't remember which inks, but it doesn't matter because they all did a poor job. I tried Memento, India Ink, Palette Noir and Ranger Archival black.

badstampwc1.jpg

badstampwc2.jpg

goodstamp.jpg

thestamp.jpg

My watercolor paper is 90 lb. Canson cold press and I didn't think it was terribly rough. The 140 lb. I have is rougher so I didn't even bother trying. I can stamp this stamp on plain cardstock and it stamps pretty much perfectly every time.

A paper issue? I'm thinking so.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:50 PM   #24
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Have you tried inking up the stamp and laying it upside down and then pressing your paper onto the stamp & pressing your fingers to put extra pressure over the areas that don't stamp well when stamping the traditional method? I had never tried this method because I figured I would have a mess from the paper moving around, but I had a very frustrating stamp that I just couldn't get a good impression with & tried this method being very careful not to move the paper once I put it down. It worked quite well. Might be worth a try.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:09 PM   #25
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I done that with stamps before, but not for this issue. Worth a try. I'm still thinking that this stamp has too much detail in the leaves to stamp on paper with any texture. And it's a stamp that begs to be colored. I normally use Prismas on it, which work fine on CS, but I'd like the option to use my distress inks or my watercolor pencils.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:57 PM   #26
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Quote:
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Yes, they have The Langton Prestige by Daler Rowney in 140 lb. hot press at Jerry's Art-a-Rama. Eight dollars for a dozen 9x12 sheets.
This is an excellent price for this paper; the cost at Hobby Lobby for the same thing is $14.99.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #27
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Hmm, I have a Hero Arts dogwood stamp that is a good size and a similar amount of shading in the leaves ~ IC284 Not Poppies but Red. I don't remember having any trouble stamping it on watercolour paper for that card, but I'll experiment after work today. The Flourishes Calendar Year stamps are similarly detailed in the amount of shading - I use them quite a bit, but they're much smaller so that might help in getting a clear impression.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:04 AM   #28
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Yes, they have The Langton Prestige by Daler Rowney in 140 lb. hot press at Jerry's Art-a-Rama. Eight dollars for a dozen 9x12 sheets.
I think the Prestige one is 100% cotton. The one I have doesn't have "prestige" in the name so the samples I posted won't be a guide to how that works. It can be a bit confusing with only slight differences in the naming!
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:40 AM   #29
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Sabrina - your stamp looks similar to mine in detail. Mine is a Magenta stamp. I think their quality is very good. Very mysterious. I just got my Versafine - it's the last ink for me to try, which I'll do later. I doubt it will be much different from the Ranger.

Joanne - I'll take a look to see if I can find it without the Prestige... I posted the full name of the paper because I wanted to see if it was the same.

Linda - have you used this paper? (Jerry's is where all my artist friends shop online for their supplies because the prices are often very good.)
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:30 AM   #30
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OK - I get what I would consider an acceptable image on the smooth side of W&N 140lb AWC rough. On the rougher side, I definitely wouldn't be happy with it, the leaves aren't coming out clearly. It's certainly stamped better on the Daler Rowney HP - (mine is just The Langton), and seeing it side by side with the wrong side of the W&N I'd pick the Daler one as better. But if I hadn't seen the Daler one I'd still be perfectly happy with the W&N . It's hard to make a totally like-for-like comparison because they're different shades of white, too! The Daler is less creamy, more white.
I guess that Daler is another one for me to keep an eye out for! Luckily I stocked up well on the Clairefontaine 90lb that goes through my printer when we were in Paris (and I like the lighter weight if I'm going to be cutting and layering ).
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:46 PM   #31
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Default The Versafine Test!

I received my little cube of Versafine and I figured I may as well test it, even though I thought it would probably perform pretty much like the Ranger Archival, since they are both oil based.

But no. See pics below. It really performed much better. Some of the leaf detail is not as crisp as on coated CS, but I think this image is acceptable. And done on the same Canson Aquarelle 90 lb. I did all the others on.

versafinetestleaves.jpg

versafinetest.jpg


I think I can get a little better detail if I use the stamp upside down and paper on top method.

I'm still going to get some Daler Rowney to try. But I have to say, the Versafine out performed the Ranger, the Palette Noir and the India Ink.

I could not resist comparing my Memento and the Palette Noir to Versafine on WW card stock and the difference in blackness is striking.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:17 AM   #32
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Versafine works for my most detailed stamps on water color paper and use a bit more pressure than usual all over the stamp
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:56 AM   #33
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India Ink is always my fav for watercoloring and never have any problem with fine detail stamps. Since the versafine worked and it's a juicy pad, I'm wondering if you other ink pads need to be reinked. That is one thing I don't see mentioned here.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:08 AM   #34
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I like to use Onyx Black Versafine ink embossed with clear detail embossing powder on 90 lb. Canaon watercolor paper. Embossing gives the versafine ink a blacker black appearance.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:12 AM   #35
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All the pads were almost brand new - I am only now starting to venture beyond SU inks. I've used each of them successfully on regular CS, so I know they weren't dry.

I do think India Ink is a great black, but I just could not get it to register well on watercolor paper. Or at least the paper I had on hand.

No doubt this will be an ongoing experiment and I play with different papers.

I'll have to try the embossing, Beverly. Although I'm finding the Versafine very black on its own.

Here's a question - I know from my Creative Chemistry 101 Course with Tim Holtz that Ranger Archival Ink can be used as a resist with Distress Inks (or any dye inks). You can stamp with it and then use DI over it and it will resist it and not be affected. Since Versafine is also oil based, can it be used the same way? Has anyone done it?
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:24 AM   #36
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Well since your pads are new then that's not the issue.

I've attached a booklet that I made for a watercolor class. It has some information that may be of help like the differences between paper, techniques, and some hints. It won't help with the problem you are having but it may be useful.
Attached Files
File Type: doc WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUES book format new.doc (76.5 KB, 104 views)
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:48 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat_woman View Post
I know this is off topic, but... I love the smell of Stazon. Its kind of like a cherry almond smell. Reminds me of the Jergens hand lotion the old ladies use to use when I was a kid... But then again, I'm weird sometimes
Oh my gosh! Exactly! My Grandma used that hand lotion and I love the smell of black Stazon, too - so do all of my stamp club members : ) Different strokes.....
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:07 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelrose View Post
All the pads were almost brand new - I am only now starting to venture beyond SU inks. I've used each of them successfully on regular CS, so I know they weren't dry.

I do think India Ink is a great black, but I just could not get it to register well on watercolor paper. Or at least the paper I had on hand.

No doubt this will be an ongoing experiment and I play with different papers.

I'll have to try the embossing, Beverly. Although I'm finding the Versafine very black on its own.

Here's a question - I know from my Creative Chemistry 101 Course with Tim Holtz that Ranger Archival Ink can be used as a resist with Distress Inks (or any dye inks). You can stamp with it and then use DI over it and it will resist it and not be affected. Since Versafine is also oil based, can it be used the same way? Has anyone done it?
I think it's the blackest black I've tried .
Resist - well, it wouldn't bother me if I stamped something first and then used wrinkle-free distress or sponged over it, and colouring with re-inkers doesn't dull the stamped image the way colouring with H2Os does, but that might be because the re-inkers are much less opaque. So I guess it will partially resist. You have me curious to experiment with the Archival and see if it's more so!
I'm glad you're on your way to at least a workable solution. Now you can spring for a full-size pad .
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:13 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamphappy1650 View Post
Well since your pads are new then that's not the issue.

I've attached a booklet that I made for a watercolor class. It has some information that may be of help like the differences between paper, techniques, and some hints. It won't help with the problem you are having but it may be useful.
Thanks so much for the booklet. Very informative!
Susie

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:14 AM   #40
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Another vote for Versafine Onyx Black - I always get a good impression from it, even on cold press wc paper. Here's one of mine where I stamped a very detailed collage image with Versafine on cold press watercolour paper:

TLC364 Moments in Time by susanbri - Cards and Paper Crafts at Splitcoaststampers

And using the same wc paper and same background technique, but with Memento Tuxedo Black, I had a whole section of the image that didn't stamp clearly so I had to cover it up with a tag:

Layered Moments in Time by susanbri - Cards and Paper Crafts at Splitcoaststampers
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