Mixing the Media: how do pastes and Distress inks play together?

Hi there Polkadot!

You heard me talking about my media as ‘guests’ and ‘friends’ that don’t always mix together.  Well, let’s go in to that subject a bit further shall we? Recently I found whilst I was playing the mixed media scrapbook game, that my modeling paste didn’t show up as stark white as I expected it to.

For anyone who sees these pages, this won’t be an issue.  But when you create something, you have an expectation of what every addition should look like.  I add modeling paste as an extra layer to push the layer underneath further back.  In my opinion, you need some white and black to balance out the colors.  It may not seem so obvious, but you should try it to see if you like the effect too.

It seems the distress ink underneath, as always, was reactivated by the water in the modeling paste.  After checking in with my artistic tribe, I decided on taking it to the lab!  So I put on my thinking cap and started my experiment!


These are my usual suspects.  I own a jar of ‘opaque matte modeling paste’ in the Art Basics line by Prima.  Then I have the Texture Paste by Ranger, the difference between those two is that the Ranger Texture Paste will take on the color of what you put over it, like inks or sprays. But how does it react to the layer underneath? The modeling paste should work as a resist when you put a medium OVER it.  And then the last one is my cheap liquid gesso.

While scrapbooking, or equally in my art journal, I put on pastes as one of the last layers.  So I wanted to figure out how they react to Distress inks underneath.


In my first take, i put down a layer of Distress Stain, and then the pastes over it. You can notice the Prima Modeling Paste takes on the color of the ink.  The Ranger one is a bit more frosting like as far as texture goes, but the color of the ink doesn’t seem to influence the color of the paste.  Gesso is the most white one in this stage of the experiment.  Now on my scrapbook layouts, I didn’t use stains.  Stains are really vibrant, like straight from the ink refill bottle onto your project.  So I wanted to explore further…


When I put down color for a mixed media layout, most of the time I put down ink straight from the pad on a plastic baggy an spritz water over it.  When the ink is diluted into drops of color, I put my baggy straight on the paper.  So this is what my second take looks like.  Again, the Prima Modeling paste seems to take the most of the color. But to be exact, I always put on a layer of gesso on my cardstock before I start playing with wet media, so lets give that a go:


This is a layer of gesso, diluted Distress Ink, and paste as third and final layer.   Here you can see the Prima Modeling paste seems to be less contaminated by the color, but still, the gesso and Ranger Texture Paste seems more ‘real’ white.

A little close up:


So as a final conclusion, I must say I’m a bit disappointed in the Prima Modeling Paste.  But I do believe it will be a different story when you put it on top of other media that will not reactivate in contact with water, like acrylics.

I hope you liked this bit, and it might help you fight disappointment in your next mixed media adventure!




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