I have seen many cards made with the Bokeh technique. Bokeh is a photography term which means essentially, to show "out of focus" light. You can do watercolor bokeh, dry sponging bokeh and I've been playing around with several ways to do it. I made a circle "mask" by punching out various sizes of the circle punches, on clear acetate. When you're finished, just wash and dry your mask to re-use again.
Here's my cards and an explanation of each. The first 2 cards were made using the Awesomely Artistic stamp set in the annual catalog. I just love this set! It's so pretty and those dragonflies are a perfect touch to the delicate images in this set.
I used regular white card stock and dabbed my sponge directly to the ink pad. I used circular motions to blend each color, starting with Hello Honey first, then Old Olive, then Marina Mist. Always starting off the card stock with my sponge, so that I didn't get that sponged edge. Then using the mask, white craft ink and a sponge dauber, place the mask on various areas, and sponge the ink around the circle. It's ok to overlap some of the circles, because that gives it a true bokeh effect. Craft ink takes a little longer to dry, so to speed up the process, you can use your heat gun. Stamp your images after the bokeh is done, and you've got a soft, subtle result. A little bit of the Wink of Stella pen was used to give the dragonflies some shimmer. I wish Stampin' Up! would sell this pen. It's awesome.
For this card, I used the retired glossy white card stock, also with the sponging technique above. The result is slightly lighter shades of ink and when you use the mask and your white craft ink, those circles are matt instead of glossy. I like this effect because it's so different.
This card was made using the Cozy Christmas set, in the new Holiday Catalog. The cabin with the trees is the main image, and I then just inked up the tree portions again and placed them on both sides of the cabin, to make it look more like a cabin in a forest. I also used glossy white card stock (retired) but instead of sponging, I used our watercolor pen and spread quite a bit of water on the card stock. Then I used my re-inkers and dropped a few drops of each color, one at a time, and spread with the pen until I got my desired result. Use your heat gun to dry; and if needed, place a clear block on the back side to flatten it a bit. Using the acetate mask and white craft ink, sponge your circles and use your dauber for the smaller circles. Dry the panel and then stamp your images.
This last card I think is my favorite. Maybe it's the trees from our Festival of Trees stamp set (still in our annual catalog). I had envisioned a "night winter scene" after I did the bokeh effect, and just looked at all my stamps and thought this would work. I used water color paper for this one, and the water color pens. Getting the paper pretty wet, and using the drops of refill ink and blending with the pen. I used more green and blue this time and I love the result. I stamped the trees with Mossy Meadow ink, stamping three trees in front with full strength ink, and some other trees next to and behind, stamping off once, so they looked like they were in the distance. I also used our white gel pen to give the effect of snow, then I thought it had to be snowing, so I made snowflakes with the gel pen as well.
I am going to try this one more time, using our white glimmer paper in the new catalog. It says it's great for water coloring, so I'm off to place an order. I hope you liked my cards today. I love to learn a new technique, and although this has been around for awhile, I'm just learning it. I really enjoyed playing!
Don't forget! If you don't already have a demonstrator, please contact me today to get your copy of the new Holiday Catalog. If you're local in Arizona, I'd love to have you join me at my stamp camps. Our next one is August 22 and we will be doing this technique. Email me for details!