Acrylic paint, Art Journal, Darkroom Door, Darkroom Door Stamps, Monoprinting, Tutorials

Creating Abstract Patterns with Darkroom Door Abstract Stamps


I’m back today sharing some projects featuring the new Darkroom Door Abstract stamp – Abstract 04. There are so many things you can do with these long, abstract style stamps. They can become a feature rather than just be used as part of a background and I’ve used them both ways for this post. I love the elongated, scratchy nature of this design and think it will be one I will use very often!

I love using these stamps with my Gel Press, they are perfect for removing paint from the plate and creating interesting textures. For this project, I have combined that effect with patterned paper and stamped images. The design can easily be scaled up to suit A5 or A4 size journals – just use larger Gel Press plates.

I started my art journal page by brayering over my spread with shades of pink. I left the coverage quite rough with masses of bare patches showing through.

I brayered the middle size Ranger Gel Press Plate with Dina Wakely Fuschia and removed some of paint over the whole plate using the Darkroom Door Abstract 04 stamp.

Next I ‘stamped’ the plate into my Dylusions Dyalog journal, trying to keep the outside borders about even. The idea was to create a spread with a frame in frame type effect. I repeated the process on the facing page.

I searched through some scrap patterned papers and came across some small pieces of Prima paper that suited my colour palette. I added a scrap of velvet ribbon and a torn edge to one then glued them both onto my page. 

The background needed a bit of the colour knocked back to give a good range of contrast so a few swipes of white gesso from the back of a spatula fixed the balance nicely.

A pair of blooms from Darkroom Door Beautiful Blooms stamp set were stamped onto white card with black permanent Archival ink then coloured with pencils and fussy cut. The flowers were then added to the page along with a layered quote from the same set to finish the page.

Next, I’d like to share one of my favourite ways of using clear embossing powder to give a shimmery look to an embossed image with Perfect Pearls mica powder. This technique will also work with any finely ground, coloured mica powder.

I stamped the Darkroom Door Abstract 04 stamp onto smooth black card using Versamark clear ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. The abstract nature of the stamp means that although you need to get a fair amount of the image stamped, it doesn’t need to be perfect. I did this all over three approx. A6 size pieces to allow one piece for each shimmer colour.

Once the embossing was done, I selected three colours of Ranger Perfect Pearls that would work together. Taking each colour in turn, I gently reheated the embossed piece and then dusted Perfect Pearls over the embossed area using a mop brush and set it aside to cool.

Once cool, I brushed over the cardstock and returned excess powder to my container (you don’t want to waste any!). I heated the embossing again and this allows the colour to ‘melt’ into the embossing, set aside to cool. As a final step I wiped over the surface with a tissue to reveal the shimmery embossing.

Circles of different sizes were punched from each piece to give me enough to cover my card front.

I stamped and embossed the Happy Birthday word Darkroom Door Brushed Sentiments stamp set then fussy cut around the words.

I layered the card front with circles, making sure they overlapped with the lines of the scratches running in every direction. I raised some with foam squares to give some dimension.

This is a simple card to make but looks like each piece has been foiled. Not so easy to photograph but it sure does shimmer in the light!

Supplies used:

  • Darkroom Door Abstract 04 stamp
  • Darkroom Door Brushed Sentiments stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Beautiful Blooms stamp set
  • Archival ink – Jet Black
  • Gel Press plate, brayer & acrylic paint
  • Versamark clear ink and clear embossing powder
  • Ranger Perfect Pearls mica powder 
  • Coloured pencils, circle punches

Thanks for joining me, make sure you check out the rest of the designs in the set on the Darkroom Door website. These stamps have already shipped to retailers so pop into your local store and pick one up – I’d love to see what you create so tag me on social media if you are sharing your project or leave me a link in the comments below.

Art Journal, Darkroom Door, Darkroom Door Stamps, Distress Oxide Ink

Gritty Grunge Play with Darkroom Door

Hello everyone!

Today I’m sharing a trio of art journal pages created using another one of the new Abstract stamps designed by Darkroom Door. This one is perfect for adding a lovely grungy element to your projects and I’ve used the image as part of a background and also as a bit of a colour feature on a page. There are four different images in the Abstract stamp collection and this one is Abstract 03, make sure you check the rest of them out here.

What could be more pleasurable than taking a bike for a spin on a warm summer afternoon? This is the feeling I’ve gone for with this page, it started with a few sprays of Distress Oxide inks onto a page in my black Dylusions Dylog journal and morphed from there.

I started the page with some random sprays of Distress Oxide inks and a few swipes of pale blue acrylic paint.

Next I ‘inked’ up the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp with white acrylic paint and stamped it three times horizontally across my page. The paint was reapplied for each impression and allowed to dry before the next step. I love the subtle effect this gave.

I then selected a large bicycle image from the Darkroom Door Enjoy the Ride stamp set and stamped the image three times across my page, just above the Abstract stamp image. I decided the page needed a little extra grunge so inked the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp using Watering Can Archival ink and stamped slightly over but not covering the previous white Abstract images. Using a fine black paint pen, I added some line work beneath the front wheels of the three bikes and scribbled doodles to the corners.

A fussy cut quote from the same Darkroom Door Enjoy the Ride stamp set finishes the page.

For my next project, I created a random background in my blank Dylusions Dyalog journal using pink, purple and gold paints on my Gel Press. I love using the Gel Press to apply layers of colour to a page without the use of stencils or other manipulation, the effect can be so random. For this spread, I intentionally left areas of white so that the next layers of colour would be visible. 

Then I inked the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp with Deep Purple Archival ink and stamped parts of the image randomly over the page. I reinked the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp with black Archival ink and stamped just the left and right outside edges of the page. I like how it is so easy to curl the stamp up with my hands to get only a small portion in contact with a page – no need for an acrylic block!

I then stamped the star and numbers images from the Darkroom Door Rockstar stamp set over the page using black Archival ink. In keeping with the loud colours of the background, I painted a couple of pieces of heavy paper with pink and orange acrylic paint and overstamped with imagery from the Darkroom Door Rockstar stamp set using black Archival ink. Once fussy cut, the images were adhered to my page.

Combining the word ‘Rockstar’ and a vinyl record image for a title completed the page. Outlining the title with white paint pen and inking the edges of the page gave it the finishing touch.

My happy place is colour and lots of it, so this page just makes me smile! This time I pulled a page from my Art by Marlene small journal to work on, I love the luscious watercolour paper in this journal. I then selected several Distress Oxide inks that were all in the same colour family – in this case mustard seed, picked raspberry, candied apple, carved pumpkin & worn lipstick – all the warm colours. The page would work equally well with cooler colours in shades of blues and greens. 

Using each colour in turn, starting from the lightest I inked the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp, spritzed it with water and stamped a few times across my page. The initial image will be darker than the others but this lends a beautiful depth to the background. I worked quickly, cleaning my stamp between each colour but not allowing the page to dry out as this led to a wonderful blending of colour in some areas. 

Once the page was stamped and dried I sponged around the edges with mustard seed Distress ink. The Darkroom Door Happy quote was a finishing touch and I had fussy cut it before adding to my page with a little foam tape. 

Supplies used:

  • Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp
  • Darkroom Door Enjoy the Ride stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Rockstar stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Cassette Tape Eclectic set
  • Darkroom Door Happy Quote set
  • Archival ink – Jet Black, Deep Purple, Watering Can
  • Gel Press plate, brayer & acrylic paint
  • Distress Oxide Spray ink in blue/green shades
  • Distress Oxide ink – mustard seed, picked raspberry, candied apple, carved pumpkin, worn lipstick
  • Distress Ink – mustard seed
  • Black & white paint pens

I hope you have enjoyed learning how these projects came together, make sure you pop over to the Darkroom Door blog to see what the rest of the contributing artists have come up with!