Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Digital Grounds: Let The Games Begin!!

I have discovered Digital Grounds! Yay!! Actually, I have known about them for awhile but have never really understood how they work or what to use them for. Thanks to Gail Schmidt at Creative Workshops (see sidebar), now I'm beginning to see the light!

Guess what the images above are printed on? Don't know? It's a layer of molding paste topped with a layer of silver mica flakes. That's it! No paper underneath, no backing, ... just the molding paste and mica flakes. Cool, huh? This is all possible because of the Digital Grounds. If you click on each image you'll get a better view of it. In the top image the small flecks are silver mica flakes. They really add a lot to the overall look of the images.

So what are Digital Grounds? They are products made by Golden that enable you to print onto surfaces you'd normally never be able to such as... molding paste! Who would have thought you'd ever be able to print onto that? Other surfaces I'm experimenting with (still in the drying stage): gel medium, matte medium, peel 'n stick laminate, iridescent medium, tar gel... oh, so many experiments!

The sample below is printed onto two layers of Golden fluid acrylic paint (in copper). That's it! Just paint layers. These are called "skins" because they are literally like a fine layer of skin that peels right off of the paper with no problem.

The sample below is printed onto aluminum foil. It wouldn't photograph very well because of the glare and the scanner didn't really do it justice either. But it turned out beautifully!

I haven't added the top-coat to the images yet. Golden includes two top-coats in their kit: a glossy and a semi-gloss. These are meant to protect your images and you add the top coat after they have fully dried. I just had to show the first of the experiments right off of the computer. I'm loving this stuff! It makes the tedious process of other image transfer techniques seem so labor intensive!

Anyway, I'm experimenting with the gel medium and the matte medium tonight. I need to get two coats of each down onto plastic and then add two coats of the digital grounds. After all of that dries, then you peel the medium off of the plastic sheets and tape them onto copy paper to run through your printer. How cool is that?

Gail is a wonderful teacher and takes you step by step through the entire process. I highly recommend her workshop (see sidebar for Creative Workshops link). I'll post the results of the next phase of experiments when they are finished. Stay tuned...

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