Textures, Textures, Textures
Designed By Judi Kauffman
Texture is something that engages all the senses. You can see it with your
eyes, feel it with your fingers and skin, and you can even taste it. It's
the smooth velvet dress or soft fur on a kitten. It's the rough gravel path
that crunches under a bicycle's wheels and makes it harder to balance. It's
the raisins and rice pieces in a pudding. It's what makes an orchestra's
instruments work together while each maintaining a separate sound.
In the visual arts, artists use all kinds of materials to create the illusion
of textures. On flat surfaces where your eye can engage your memory to
imagine a sense of touch, a simple stroke of paint or some marks made with
pastels will convince you you're looking at wood or marble, thorns or
In relief or sculpture, hammered metal and chiseled stone create hair and
skin and fur.
Rubber stamp artists use stamps and inks and embossing powders and clay and
other materials to create textures that look like anything and everything --
from an animal's hide to leather and marble, from a polished stone to grainy
sand. Texture and pattern overlap, in a sense. What is random in a single
brick or tile becomes pattern when it is repeated in groups or series.
Explore textures by doing a series of experiments using your favorite rubber
stamps. The results can be used as backgrounds, in collage, for layering,
To create projects out of texture experiments -- Optional:
- Red Castle #42731 and #42732 Large and Small Texture Blocks
- Assorted image stamps (Gibson Girls, Flowers, Rango Zoo, Cincinnati
- Dye ink pads (solid colors, rainbow pads)
- Decorative scissors
- Dried flowers
- Metallic braid
- Magic Mesh
- Corrugated card stock
- Hole punches
- Additional card stock
- Message stamps
Assemble a variety of paper and card stock in different colors and with
different surfaces. Get out your favorite dye ink pads for the first round
After you understand the basic concepts, use pigment inks and embossing
powders for even more variations. Starting with dye inks allows you to work
quickly. Some dye inks are permanent (waterproof) and some will bleed. If
you like the way colors blend, choose the ones that bleed. If you like
colors to remain distinct, stick with those that are permanent, and let each
color dry or heat set between steps.
Stamp your favorite texture stamp a dozen or more times using a dark color
ink (black, navy, chocolate brown). Use white card stock for the majority
of your samples, but make a few samples on other colors, too. The size of your
samples can be the same size as a large texture stamp, or you can randomly
repeat a smaller texture stamp to make larger pieces.
Though I've suggested starting with a dark color, this isn't a hard
and fast rule. If you prefer to start with a pastel ink and keep all of
your experiments soft and light, that's a good idea -- you're the artist! Color
choices are always up to you.
Randomly stamp the same texture stamp with two more ink colors on each of
the pieces you stamped in Step Two. The more samples you make from each
combination, the more experiments are possible. Adding two lighter colors
will give you the most contrast and will maintain a stronger pattern, while
darker colors will make the texture become less distinct. This is where the
fun comes in. Choose analogous, complementary, or any other combination of
colors. Look at a color wheel if you need some ideas.
The additional colors used for the samples shown are butterscotch and orange.
If you get a combination you like, make additional samples. It's easiest to
make extras while the stamps and supplies are handy.
Using a dry sponge, stippling brush, or soft cloth, apply other colors to
create soft undertones or sharply contrasting splotches and streaks.
Stamp additional textures or images over some of the pieces. Cut up the
experiments and use them for layering and backgrounds.
Start again with a different texture stamp. Repeat the steps and see what
happens with different inks as well as using the same inks with different
On the next round try some or all of these variations -
- Combine two or more texture stamps
- Use fewer inks, or use four or more
- Use different sections of a rainbow ink pad
- Add randomly stamped block stamps like Sand Pictures, Blackboard
Butterflies & Dragonflies, or Cincinnati Sketchbook (these images can be
strong and dark, or muted and shadowy)
Use the textures you've created for layering, collages, or as backgrounds
for cards, journal covers, boxes and more. Stamp and cut out images and move
them from one texture to another to see what looks right to you. Add
stickers, dried flowers, small photos, and dimensional embellishments like
charms, buttons, ribbon and more.
- Make notes and keep a folder or tuck samples into a sketchbook if you'd
like to be able to re-create the effects. It's easy to forget after a few weeks
- Write down the names of the ink colors you used, the kind of card stock,
even the order in which you applied the colors if you notice that the
- Combine your texture experiments with other supplies that echo the textures
you've created. For example -- Magic Mesh looks great with textures that
have a square or diamond grid (the mesh repeats the pattern in the stamps,
but at a different scale). Corrugated card stock looks great with textures
that have a swirling look (the ridges repeat the feel of the curvy lines in
- Keep your scraps and any textures that you don't like. They'll catch your
eye and be just right at another time, or you can stamp and emboss on them
to turn them into unexpected and magical things. Rejects have a way of taking
on a new life when they're cut up into little pieces for mosaics or into
strips for bookmarks. Or they can simply act as a reminder of what colors
you don't like to combine.
CRIMP AND STAMP A TEXTURE
Designed By Judi Kauffman
- Crimp card stock with pattern crimper (shown, Diamond pattern from Paper
- With a dry sponge, add soft brown and olive ink to highlight raised
areas of pattern (Ranger Big & Juicy Rainbow dye ink pad - Spice).
- Add soft pink and lime over first two colors (Ranger Big & Juicy Rainbow
dye ink pad - Tutti Fruiti).
- Select a small texture pattern from sheet #42731 Texture Plate 1. When
stamping it in Step 5, you can stamp it once or several times depending on
how much texture you want to add.
- Lightly buff raised areas of pattern with Krylon Copper Leafing pen.
Stamp texture in Sepia ink. Press gently so texture appears on raised areas
only. No ink will stamp on the areas that were colored with leafing pen.
- Instead of Sepia ink, use the light green section of Tutti Fruiti
Rainbow ink pad to stamp texture.
- Instead of having the crimped card stock facing diamond side up, turn it
over and let the diamonds become recessed areas. The raised areas will now
be the lattice strips between them, giving an entirely different look to
Samples numbered 1 to 3 are in the top row and numbered left to right.
Samples numbered 4 to 7 are in the bottom row and numbered left to right.
By using different crimpers, ink colors, and texture stamps you can create
an infinite variety of finished surfaces to use for layering, collage, folded
cards, frames, boxes, envelopes and more.
All brand names and product names are trademarks, registered trademarks
or trade names of their respective holders.