You have seen me demo markers as watercolors many times before. Recently I read about another way of using the same technique idea but delivering the color to your paper in a different manner. That is what I want to show you today. The Smoosh Technique. So much fun but unpredictable. And really – isn’t that part of the fun?
For my first experiment I started with four colors of the Letraset Neon Markers. I had not been as successful with these in the past as I’d like and wanted to see if smooshing would work any better. Underneath everything you see my craft mat to protect my desktop. You also see a piece of clear plastic. Something non-porous. It helps for this piece to have some stiffness to it. The only other things you need are a spray bottle of water and some paper.
I started with two colors and scribbled them onto the craft mat. Don’t worry about any kind of design or drawing technique here. Just scribble.
Take your bottle of water and spray it right onto the scribbled color. It should bead up like this. I should point out here that alcohol based markers will not work. Go with any water based marker and smooshing should work for you.
While the color is wet, take your piece of plastic and lay it right on top and smoosh it down. I tried laying it down flat and lifting and I tried laying it down flat and twisting back and forth and lifting. Either way, place – smoosh – and lift.
Then turn the plastic over and stamp the color onto your paper. Here I was working in my Glamour Additions book I made using Bristol Illustrated paper from Hahnemühle. I love my book! It’s perfect for this project and the bright white really shows off the colors!
Then I put the plastic back onto the color on my craft mat and lifted more, then stamped again.
I liked what I was getting but I thought these markers were a little light in color for my tastes – you know me and my color! So I went on to the pink. This time I just used one color at a time.
I noticed that by using just the one color, the pink didn’t get softened down as much in the smooshing process. It didn’t get blended with a second color because the second color wasn’t there. And I liked that better.
This was after using all the colors. And I learned along the way. Remember I told you your plastic should have some stiffness to it? It should also have a little flex to it. That bright yellow green section along the left was made by flexing my plastic so that just a line down the center touched my paper. Not the entire piece of plastic. That allowed me to place the color in specific locations.
Then I let it sit and dry naturally. No heat gun. I like the way the colors still merge and you get cool edges. And notice that even though my paper has a little ruffling when it was wet, it dried flat. I can’t show you yet what I did with this page because I used it in my week 3 or week 4 pages for Glamour Additions. You will see it before long.
While I was at it, I tried one more smoosh project using Tombow brush pens in the same four colors. Just not neons. And I used three different colors of Daler Rowney acrylic inks to add some splatters.
I don’t usually use a string when I tangle a page like this but I thought why not? So here is my string.
I took a few sections of that yellow and started with printemps – I usually always start with printemps – with no regard for my string. Then I used the string for the remainder of the drawing.
As far as enhancers you will notice I used rounding, perfs, sparkle, auras, coffering and line weight. And even though the background was beautifully colored, the whole piece just didn’t look finished.
So I ‘shaded’ using colored pencils. I love working like this! I hope you will try the smoosh technique. It was lots of fun and I learned a couple things. Like: 1) be flexible and 2) using one color at a time gave more predictable results. But I’ve never really been to follow the rules. Hahahaha!
Bristol Illustrated paper and other Hahnemühle products with purchase links