Shining Stones Background Technique

Heres the first background technique for the Background Noise Sketchbook Challenge.

Shining Stones Background Technique

First of all this technique was originally featured in the ‘Paper Transformed By Julia Andrus’ book. So if anyone has this book, go and dig it up and flip to page 49 for the low down.

The instructions Im providing for this technique have been tweaked a little from the original book technique because I dont like to follow other peoples directions to the exact letter – Im a born technique tweaker 😉

If you want to follow the proper instructions – go for it!

If you dont have the book you’ll have to made do with my instructions instead (cackles)….

Supplies Needed:

  • Quarter Sized Sheet White Gloss Card Stock
  • Rainbow Dye Based Inkpad
  • Gold Perfect Pearls – or any mica powders as alternatives (pearl ex, moon glow etc)
  • Paper Towels (kitchen variety)
  • Paint Brush
  • Water
  • Plastic Cup
  • Brayer
  • Water In Fine Mist Spray Bottle
  • Heat Gun

Instructions For Making Backgrounds:

Time Is Of Essence With This Technique – Work FAST!

1. Brayer rainbow dye ink onto gloss card – use a non permanent variety of inkpad for example big & juicy, kaliedacolor or adirondak.

2. In a plastic cup, tap in 2 ‘paint brush heads’ of perfect pearls and add a little bit of water to make a gold perfect pearl paint mixture.

3. Lightly spray the brayered background with water.

4. Immediately dip your paint brush into the perfect pearls paint and tap and flick your brush over the brayered background. Work fast, keep replenishing your brush until you have gold paint spatter spread randomly across the background sheet.

5. Mist background with more water.

6. Hold the heat gun in one hand and switch it on, in your other hand ball up a sheet of paper towel; use the paper towel to dip, drag and roll across the background surface to create texture and patterns in the surface. As you do this apply heat to the background at the same time.

Doing this controls the movements in the inks and creates more controlled textures and patterns in the background. With the heat you are fixing the inks and patterns in place as you work.

The heat also has advantages as it prevents the ink from pooling and running off at the sides of the card stock – try it without the heat to see what I mean!

Once your background is heat set it is complete and ready for use!

Shining Stones Background Samplers:

Colours Used: Perfect Pearls Kiwi. Kaliedacolour Calypso.


Colours Used: Perfect Pearls Kiwi. Kaliedacolour Spectrum.


Colours Used: Perfect Pearls Kiwi. Kaliedacolour Spectrum.

To achieve a stronger colour I repeated the instructions twice to create this background:


Trish Notes:

  • If you dont have a dye based rainbow inkpad you can sponge colour onto card from any dye inkpads – marvy matchables or adirondaks for example. Dont use permanent inks such as memories or ancient page as they wont work for this technique.
  • Darker rainbow inkpads work best because they create a more striking contrast to the gold perfect pearls. I recommend you use primary or rich jewel toned colours. Big & Juicy and Kaliedacolour inkpads are especially good for this technique.
  • If you dont have Perfect Pearls you can use any brand of mica powders, but remember you’ll need to add some gum arabic to the water when making the paint as a fixative!
  • You can create different background effects by adding more or less sprayed water to the brayered inks. Less water gives a stronger background colour, more water creates a lighter wash. Try both and see.
  • If after following the instructions given you find your background is too light and not strong enough you can alter the density by brayering over the top of the background with the same inkpads and following the instructions all over again to create a stronger background.

7 thoughts on “Shining Stones Background Technique

  1. Trish~
    I am a member of NGStampers, and am continuously amazed by the beauty and knowledge you so freely share with others. I know it seems lately like everybody is writing books; however I think that your book would be at the top of the list. You have so much talent (and, sure, so little time!), but your teaching would reach further, and it, absolutely no doubt, would be profitable for you. I hope you will be considering the possibility of putting it all in a book, for so many others to be able to receive as much inspiration and joy.

  2. Pingback: Shining Stones Background Technique « LinLin’s Lark

  3. i LOVE this technique – i just used this very technique for cutting out easter eggs for a wall hanging i made though yours looks much better and i agree a darker background produces better results. i will try it again!

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