Charcoal Powder Backgrounds Addition 1

Ursula's Digital Mixed-Media
Charcoal Powder Background

Hi everyone! Here’s a blast from the past! I found a pile of old videos that I recorded, uploaded and never released. Yes, I know my workflow leaves something to be desired, haha. So I will be releasing them sprinkled among new content. Some I may revisit in the future as they have triggered new thoughts and ideas on my end. Hopefully they spur some inspiration in you! And PS, my hair is much whiter/grayer now 😉 .

In this episode I will be using charcoal powder. You could use graphite as well for this technique. I just like the look of charcoal better. Graphite has a sheen to it that I’m not crazy about. But you do you!
So you will need for this project, charcoal or graphite powder, a stencil, paper (I use white cardstock for this) and a variety of applicators and removers like makeup sponges or cotton balls, kneaded erasers or rags or tissues etc.

In technique number one, I use a makeup sponge to spread the charcoal powder on to a clean sheet of white cardstock, basically coloring it. Then
I take a stencil on top of the charcoal covered cardstock and use a kneaded eraser (these are nice because you can knead them into different shapes/sizes) to pick up the charcoal powder through the stencil- basically erasing through the stencil. You can also just use a tissue.

Note that this works better with a less detailed stencil. And again, you can do this with the graphite powder, too.

Here is a closeup of this technique:

Charcoal Powder Backgrounds Remove Closeup

In technique number two, I start with the same charcoal powder colored cardstock but this time I put more charcoal through the stencil. You really have to kind of keep going over and over in order to get that darker. However, if you have a VersaMark pad, this makes it a whole lot easier. You can just use the pad directly through the stencil, but using an applicator of your choice would also work here. Again, more detailed stencils are more challenging. In my case the stencil was cut on my digital cutter from Stone Paper or Yupo paper (this was an old video so I can’t remember exactly which one I used). You could use a regular store bought stencil though.

Once I finished going over the stencil design with VersaMark, now I put charcoal through the stencil using a makeup sponge or other applicator, the charcoal powder
sticks a lot better. If you miss some spots, you can go back and line up the stencil again and put some more VersaMark down and keep going at it.

Here is a close up of this technique:

Charcoal Powder Backgrounds Addition Closeup

Both of these techniques give a different look as a background for a card or some other mixed media project. If you want to make the powder last longer you could spray with workable fixative (Krylon makes a good one) or even hairspray.

Hope you enjoy the video!

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