After two work outs with the ink dauber, it showed some signs of wear, so I went and bought two bags of makeup sponges. The left had some fun shapes that might be good for printing as is, stars, circles, etc. The right hand bag was mostly circles of different thicknesses. And what is with the golf ball size purple raindrop???
The daubers are at the top of the photo, still have much more use and they were only $1 each. But I used the sponges with shaving cream and then the ink, they seamed to suck up a lot of ink. But they kept printing softer and softer images, great for layering and depth. I labeled them so I can use them again. The sponge texture is very smooth, but they seamed to wear a bit and get pills, little grains of sponge, that I just brushed away. For $1.20 or $1.50 a bag, they are cheap and disposable. I do like the daubers better though.
Since many of my stencils are just great texture, I decided to try adding layers to some gelatin monoprints. When I make prints I usually do 2-3 prints/colors and then add more layers with foam stamps, alphabets, stencils, and other details. So I got some of my gelatin prints that needed work, and tried to add the Tsukineko inks to them. This blah purple print had some masked dragonflies that did not print very well, so I added a stenciled dragonfly on top with blue and copper ink. Not so good, trying to print dark on dark. Next.
I started with a lighter print. A green hexagon texture design on a pale yellow fabric. I had used a silicon potholder to print with, I really like the background this made.
For contrast I kept with the darker Ultramarine Blue ink, and started with the writing stencil just for some background texture. I realized I did not need more background it was busy enough as is. I have many hexagon stencils in various sizes, but most are negative images, where you paint in the background color, but one is a line stencil of chicken wire in a perfect hexagon pattern. Then I added the large hexagon "holes" in blue and two images of the bee.
I like the way this turned out with just two layers, the original green acrylic and the blue ink.
Working on this teal print on muslin, I realized the reason the dragonflies did not work, was not because it was dark on dark, but because it was ink on acrylic. The acrylic acts as a resist to the ink. The ink works better when it can absorb into the cotton. The ink is too transparent, that works fine on hand dyed fabrics but on printed acrylic paints, not so good. So I think I will work on layering these gelatin monoprints with stencils and acrylic paints like I was doing before.