It's Mandala MUM-day, thanks to the beautiful flowers in Wendy Vecchi's Thank You Stamp, Die and Stencil Set and her newest Ranger Archival Ink shades: Goldenrod, Periwinkle and English Ivy.
This time, I did all of my stamping on watercolor paper, so that I could try "watercoloring" with the Archival Inks. Or, more accurately, I should say PAINTING with the inks, because, of course, the Archival formula is permanent, so you can't dilute it with water. But I was intrigued by the idea, so I filled one of my waterbrushes with 91% isopropyl alcohol (and then I labeled it with a piece of tape, so I wouldn't get it mixed up with my other waterbrushes) dispensed a few drops of my Goldenrod, Periwinkle and English Ivy Reinkers onto my craft mat and started painting.
I discovered that less is definitely more with this method, and you don't want to over-work your stamped image; but basically you can indeed to something quite similar to watercoloring and you get a lovely soft result, with subtle shadings! I also found that while the technique works fine using drops from the reinkers, the color is SO concentrated, that unless I wanted a really dark shade, I preferred to smoosh the Archival Ink Pads onto my craft mat, mist very softly with rubbing alcohol, then pick up the slightly less intense color that way.
I stamped the bottom and second-from-top layers as single units on solid pieces of watercolor paper, but did the rest of the leaves and the largest flower on scraps, then used the coordinating dies to cut them out. I discovered that I got a little more separation between layers... and more of a "mandala like" design... by adding a circles of coordinating cardstock. Most of my layers are flat, but I've popped a couple up on foam tape for even more dimension and drama.