Monday, July 7, 2008

Stipple Brush Magic!

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Yep, this week I want to talk a bit about Stipple Brushes! Available in all shapes and sizes, these gems help create some amazing background techniques with little more than paper and ink! I will of course show you a few additional techniques using other fun things you'll find in your craft kit like stencils (actual stencils, die-cuts, stickers, etc), masking tape, Perfect Pearls and more!

Before we begin on the card a bit about stipple brushes....

**Stipple Brush Types - These brushes do come in all shapes and sizes but basically they all have a handle of some sort and straight full bristles which are cut off blunt at the end. When you go shopping for a Stipple Brush you will notice that the bristles come in many different lengths and range in stiffness. I find that the natural bristle brushes have a softer "bendable" bristle while the synthetic bristles are stiff. I have all sorts of Stipple Brushes (as you can see from the photo) which I like to use for various techniques.

For example, I like to use my natural bristle Stipple Brushes for larger background areas or to cover a large image. They offer a more airy effect as the bristles aren't all necessarily the same length. I like to use the short synthetic bristled brushes for smaller, concentrated areas. I feel I have better control on where the ink goes and don't have to worry about stray bristles going here and there. You'll just have to experiment and find out what works best for you. You may find that one brush will work for all of your applications.

**Application of Mediums - To apply inks, paint, etc. lightly pounce your stipple brush in an up and down motion. I say lightly because depending on the bristle of your brush you could smoosh the bristles down onto your project giving a distorted look rather than the little dots we're aiming for.

**Cleaning - some people clean their bristles with each color change. To do so simply pounce your stipple brush on scrap paper until you don't see any more ink coming off. Then swirl the brush on a baby wipe and pounce on a paper towel until much of the moisture has been removed. I personally don't clean my brushes anymore. If I'm applying more than one color with the same brush I always start with the lightest color first and work my way to the darkest.

Please note that the bristles will stain despite constant cleaning. I have not found any way to get around it so don't fret if your bristles start looking discolored.

**Storage - Always store your stipple brushes with the bristles pointing up. This keeps the bristles from accidentally becoming damaged. I store all of my brushes in a mug :)

On to the card....

Here is the original card I shared which was made using a stipple brush, Adirondack Dye Inks, glossy cardstock and a rubber stamp (Stampendous). This is the card I'll be re-creating today.

Hello - flowers - Dye Ink


Stipple Brush

Adirondack Dye Ink - Ranger

Mini Mister filled w/water - Ranger

Glossy Cardstock - Ranger

Heat - It Craft Tool

Flower Stamps - Stampington & Co

Sentiment - Inkadinkado

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1. Pounce your stipple brush onto the ink pad 3-4 times. Next pounce the loaded brush lightly onto your glossy cardstock. (remember light up & down motions.)

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2. Repeat with additional colors of ink if desired. Remember to work from light to dark during this step! For the example I used only Butterscotch Dye Ink on the background.

3. For the smaller side strip, apply a heavier coat of various colors of ink in random sections of your panel.

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4. Once you are satisfied with the colors tear the panel in half and ink the edges using a dark ink. Pesto Dye Ink was used for the example. Adhere to the stippled background.

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5. To stamp the flowers, ink the flower portion in desired color of ink (Denim) and the stem with a green dye ink (Pesto).

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6. Spritz the inked stamp with water (one squirt will do the trick).

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7. Stamp and heat the resulting image.

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8. Stamp sentiment and enjoy!!

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So there you have it ~ oh so easy but such a stunning result! Here are a couple more examples to wet your stipple brush appetite!

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Have a great inky day!!!


  1. I just love using my stipple brush. :) I love the look. Thanks for reminding me about it. :)

  2. What a fun new (to me) technique. Actually... I have a confession. LOL I have been sorta *collecting* different stipple brushes just because I think they are cool looking and fun. So this is just the encouragement I need to get them out and use them.

    It's good to know, too, that different brushes will give different effects. I will experiment with mine and see what kind of looks I get. Fun!

  3. I have a couple of stipple brushes but am embarrassed to say have not used them yet!
    I see that Phinny is the same way! And now we have some new ideas to push us to grab those brushes and use them!

  4. Nice results Roni! I like playing with the stipple brush but haven't reach for it in a while will have to give that a turn.

  5. Thanks for the info Roni! I will have to get some of these brushes and give this technique a try. It looks easy enough, yet your cards are stunning!

  6. Wow, great information. I have a question and I don't know where to ask, so here goes:
    Why do you heat the stamped image? What does that do?
    Thank you and I so appreciate the sharing of information.

  7. Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial. Your Hello card is so, so beautiful.

  8. Is there some inks that work better? I tried it with some CTMH or SU ink last night and I found it be not as rich as yours... can't decide if its the color or ink

  9. Mindy, I used Adirondack, Distress or Nick Bantock Inks but it might not be the ink ~ it may be the paper you're using. To get the vibrant colors shown you'll have to use Glossy Cardstock. If you use a plain/matte cardstock your colors will be a bit muted.

    Good Luck!

  10. The stipple brush is amazing! I just want to say that reading this blog helped me do many things!
    Well I like how you worded the title firsssst of all. your posting was quite interesting, but is that really how it is??
    Well Im sure that its really good so I hope nothing changes its really kool :)


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!