The best advice I can give on how to make these amazing backgrounds is that there are no rules – experiment and do what works best for your taste!!
I started off by using Ranger Inkssentials Specialty Stamping Paper. This paper has a coated surface, but it is not super glossy. I think you can probably use most any paper that has a coating (matte or glossy) and you will get similar results.
So if you take a look at the examples above, the picture on the left was created by smearing several inks until I was happy with the end result. I used dye inks and then added some pigment inks. I pulled one color and then I wiped the surface with a cloth rag to dry the top layer. Then, I added more colors and wiped the surface until the background was just right. Try different combinations and different brands of inks. Sometimes I found the inks went on smooth or mixed easily and others I found showed up much lighter so I tried deeper shades until it looked better. The picture on the right used liquid alcohol inks that were in a squeeze bottle (that’s why it looks more like droplets). In either case, I left a bit of unblended space and even some areas where the white was showing through. I think this adds more depth to your project.
The first picture uses Sizzix 3D folders which I purchased from HSN on their last craft day. The second picture shows some of the new Crafter’s Companion 3D folders. These were also purchased from HSN and I believe there are new folders coming out several times this year ( I am on auto-ship). I zoomed in on few of the pictures so you can see the incredible detail. In the last picture, I decided to go over the top layer with some orange pigment ink after the paper had been run through the embossing folder. I think it really made a big difference especially since that particular paper was lighter than the others.
So the lesson here is that there is no right or wrong because anything goes!! Have fun with this project and you will see how easily you can create amazing backgrounds too!