Saturday 13 July 2013

I learned a new trick on Sunday at Newbury

Nope, not 'double rope skipping', how to wriggle in under the Playground fence or even where the wine cache is hidden. It was how to make backgrounds like this:
It's just a very quick play I had the other day and needs a bit of practise for consistency. Any ideas how it's done?

Give up? It's so easy, when you know how:
Got it now?

Take one alcohol ink pen (Copics, Pro Marker etc), find a Bic or similar ballpoint pen and remove the top stopper, pop out the ink barrel and you're left with a clear tube. Len had to drill the top stopper out of this pen, in the old days they used to just pop out but I bet Elf an' Safety have decreed they must be glued in!

Then just clear a bit of space, grab suitable card/paper, put the narrower end of the pen tube really close to the fat nib of the marker pen - and blow down the tube :) I don't mean a dainty little 'wuff' either,  put it into your mouth and 'gie it a good bla' as they would say in Scotland. The harder you blow the heavier the 'ink spattering' is. Fun huh? Of course you can buy cans of aerosol air to achieve the same but it's a cheap and easy tip. Apparently it doesn't work well with a straw - I think you need the narrower end to get enough air pressure against the nib.



  1. I can just picture you 2 ladies when you saw this demo. So cute. This is really neat. TFS & hugs

  2. Amazing effect,
    love your new tehnique
    hugs Tamara

  3. Oh, how fun, Di! I love the result and can just see you two giggling in the process!!

    Thanks for mentioning about the straw because that was going to be my question. I've seen that done, but haven't tried it; now I'll know to use a pen tube instead!

  4. Will have to give it a go sounds really good idea. SU do a little thing were you put the pen on this little puffer but I had a go and couldn't get it to work won't be buying that

  5. I know the man from Visible Images said a straw didn't work but (you know me) I just HAD to try it and, well, he's right!! Just waiting for my bic to run dry!!

    Well done on trying the technique


  6. What a clever idea but I have a picture of the pair of you doing this - would probably make a good comedy TV sketch!! The SU thingy does work Ginny you just have to make sure its close enough to the end of the pen, but its been discontinued this year.

  7. I daren't type what I was thinking but... yes it's a clever way to make a background! xJo

  8. Yay - great tip Di - thanks for sharing.

    Sarn xxx

  9. Oh that looks like fun Di. I used to get a similar effect by flicking the end of a watery paint loaded fairly stiff paint brush but you sure do get your fingers messy that way :-)
    A x

  10. Wow Di, great tip and what great results too have a lovely weekend x

  11. Yipee - got to find myself an empty biro! This is right up my street - thank you very much for sharing it Di! I have odd visions of you and Mts A right now lol! Have a good weekend Karen X

  12. I would just like to state publicly that I am the normal one.
    Hugs Mrs a.

  13. Brilliant - air brushing on the cheap! The EM tells me that what you are employing here is Boyle's Law, well I never! Whatever, I'm off to look for a dead biro :)) Elizabeth xx

  14. Buffalo Girls eh!
    What a neat idea.

    Kath x

  15. Fab tip - have seen blower pens in craft shop but if we can do it without having to lay out cash its excellent... Mxx

  16. Neat! Mrs A cracked me up though...great comment!

  17. Mrs A "normal"?! Haa!
    Can you imagine how technicolour the Treehouse is going to be now Miss if we all play at this, besides every pen quaking in its boots in case it gets caught!
    I will need to kiss Norman before I can get my puff!
    Tee hee!


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