Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Walnut Ink Tag Trio


How lovely to see you pop by today! Claudia here - welcoming you to Our Creative Corner as their proud Resident Guest Designer!

I would like to share with you a tag trio I made some time ago when experimenting with Walnut Ink Crystals. Walnut ink is a die ink and mainly used to antique papers and also comes in liquid form, but I love the crystals as you can also sprinkle them onto wet surfaces to create stunning (random) effects. But this time I used them for some mark making with a Chinese calligraphy brush to create these three tags:

I have taken steps images so you can see how I built up the different layers:

Step 1: I simply dipped my calligraphy brush into my walnut ink solution and tried different brush and splatter patterns on some tags I had cut from heavy watercolour paper. I let the ink pool in some spots which formed the darker areas. I tried to speed up the drying process with my heat tool but that only started to shift my ink puddles around - so I decided to let everything dry naturally.

Step 2: I added some stamped script in dark brown archival ink.

Step 3: next I glued on some scraps I tore from old dictionary pages using Matte Medium. My design followed the walnut ink drawn shapes and I tried to create visual tension, adding to the shapes and directions that were already there and trying to enhance any focal spots.

Step 4: with a palette knife I added some "Rusty Paper" from Viva Decor here and there.

Step 5: I also scraped on a little bit of white Gesso in some spots to fuse all my layers with the white background and to add some texture.  The secret to a satisfying result is to not add too much so you still have some "emtpier" areas on your projects that create visual tension (and therefore interest) in contrast to the more busy ones.

Step 6: I finished off my tags by adding some word stickers and handwritten words.

Here are some close ups to illustrate some of the effects in more depth:

I love the circle shapes where the ink has puddled in some areas. These were "stamped" on by dipping a felt tip pen cap into the walnut ink.

The large circle was hand drawn.

If you use Walnut Ink Crystals on mixed media pieces always keep in mind that they react to moisture (from paints other inks, water, glue,...) and will bleed through.  You can spot this a bit with the image above where the white Gesso got a slight brownish tint.

You can either make this effect an intentional one with your projects or make sure you seal those layers before you continue adding other media that might re-activate your walnut ink marks. But no matter which way you choose - using Walnut Ink or any other die inks always is great fun!

There are still two more days to enter Candice's lovely Gipsy Fayre Challenge! There have been some fantastic entries so far but I am very curious to see YOURS too! ;)

Hugs and happy crafting,


  1. Had to come see - LOVE the look, the rusty paper, the negative space and use of script. Beautifully balanced and so elegant xx

  2. Love the effects of the walnut ink crystals you have kindly shared here Claudia x
    I have never used Walnut ink but must give it a try, though I doubt they will look as cool as yours
    Thank you so much for sharing
    Annie x

  3. These are all three so unique and intriguing Claudia. I am drawn to the one with the circles because it is unusual - it's so "stark". And I miss the usual color around the edges BUT... it's perfect that way because... to be wide open there can't be any borders or stops!!!! I think the circle tag has a powerful message. That said... I just really enjoy them all and I think the the memories one is my favorite! The addition of the gesso to them all was the "piece de resistance" - that tiny bit of texture and white made everything else pop. I truly enjoyed seeing these - I love seeing creativity that is out of the norm. Thanks bunches for sharing. Xj.

  4. Gorgeous inky layering - love this!

  5. Fabulous Claudia - such gorgeous colours! And I am such a fan of white space which you have balanced with the designs and text so beautifully. Wonderful. Jennie x

  6. I love your tags! It is so interesting to see how you created them. I am intruiged with the rusty paper, is it dimensional or the colour name? Hugs x

    1. It is a paste with some very fine sand in it and its colour really looks like real rust. So you can build up some lovely texture with it too but also use it like paint, Jan.

    2. Oh, sorry...hit the publish button too fast...thank you so much for the laud, Jan and @all who so kindly commented on my tags! Mwah! XXX

  7. Great tutorial for inspiration, thanks Claudia!


Thank you so much for visiting Our Creative Corner! We will publish your comment as soon as possible.... Hope you come back to see us soon xxx