How to create a rainbow blend with inexpensive markers (water based or alcohol!)

Hi friends! Today I have a video that is part review and part tutorial. I have a couple of sets of markers to review but I also wanted to make the video a useful tutorial on blending. Also I was curious about what kind or marker was quicker to color with. I also wanted to try to achieve the same look with different kids of markers to see how they did.  If you are ready for all of that high-speed marker action buckle up and let’s go!

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There is lots of info in this post, let’s start off with the video:

Supplies: (Affiliate links used. Products provided for review)

Review of the Arrtx Alcohol Markers

pros:

  • Price: 80 color for under $34
  • Color selection
  • Blends well
  • Dual tip (chisel & Bullet)
  • Beautiful & sturdy carring case
  • Colors are very juicy, no dry ones.
  • Easy to tell the chisel and bullet ends because they have square and round color chips respectively. Color chips are pretty accurate but I still recommend swatching.
  • Attractive matte white square barrel (non-roll)

Cons:

  • No brush tip
  • No colorless blender in set
  • caps may be difficult to remove if you have arthritis
  • Caps do not post (you can’t stick the cap on the end of the marker to hold it when coloring)
  • As with most low-priced markers there is no open stock option (although they use the same numbering system as Concept at Jerry’s Artarma so you could get a replacement color if you needed too, it would look different tho)
  • Non refillable
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Card made with the butterfly colored with the Arrtx Alcohol markers. Time spent colring the butterfly: 11 minutes, 30 seconds

These markers are beautiful to look at and color nicely. They remind me of the quality of Ohuhu and they even use the same color number system. Many of the lower priced markers available now are using the same numbering system, I reckon it is because all of the inks are being made in the same factory in China. I have not seen this marker barrel style anywhere before and honestly I really like have the two distinct ends because I can quickly uncap the nib I need whereas with Copics and other markers I often get the wrong end even with the gray band they have for identifying. This saves me time and I like that. Below you will find my color chart for the set of 80 Arrtx alcohol markers.

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Here are the colors I used (in order of appearance) to blend the alcohol marker butterfly: 13, 14, 16, 18, 22, 23, 33, 35, 37, 48, 49, 59, 58, 68, 67, 147, 76  *If you have other markers that use the same color number system great! Use what you have OR use the swatch chart to figure out what colors to use from your stash. If you want to order this set you can here.

Review of Arrtx Watercolor Real Brush Pens 48 color set

Pros:

  • Great color selection
  • Low price (even among other budget priced watercolor marker pens)
  • Caps post (you can stick the marker cap on the end while coloring so you don’t lose it)
  • All colors have a number on the end for identification
  • Includes a reusable plastic carring case

Cons:

  • Non refillable and no open stock options
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Card made with the butterfly colored with the Arrtx real brush pen water based markers. Time spent coloring the butterfly: 6 minutes, 50 seconds

These markers performed well as I would expect. I did have an issue with the plastic color coming off one of the pens but I was able to reassemble it and stick it back into place and I could feel some of the innards of the brush pens moving around so it doesn’t feel as good quality as the Zig Real Brush pens but they are less than half the price. The ink flowed smoothly, like other real brush pens I have used. These are on-par with the Arteza real brush pens but about $10 cheaper. If you already have those, or any other real brush pens, I don’t think these will be very different but if you are looking to try some they are a nice value. Below you will find my swatch of this set:

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These are the markers I used on the watercolor butterfly in order of appearance: 18, 5, 4, 3, 27, 226, 28, 25, 125, 36, 238, 7. Feel free to use the swatch as a reference for matching the colors to what you have or if you want to buy this set you can here.

Review of TouchNew Skintone marker set of 24

Pros:

  • Great selection of earth/skin/hair tones which are often lacking in marker sets.
  • Price (under $17 for 24 markers)
  • Dual tipped
  • Cloth carry bag included
  • Comes with a colorless blender

Cons:

  • No brush nib
  • Bullet tips were dry on a couple of my markers
  • Caps do not post
  • No open stock or refills (but you can order Concept markers from Jerry’s to replace a color)

These markers use the same numbering system as the Arrtx alcohol markers as well as other budget brands. The marker style is the same as the original Ohuhu markers who recently changed to an oval barrel that seems to keep the marker fresher as I had a few of the old style Ohuhu pens go dry prematurely.) I recommend storing them on their sides so the bullet tip doesn’t dry out and having denatured alcohol (or Copic blending solution) on hand in case you need to refresh them.  If you need a set of skintone markers to fill in your set these are a good value but I’d check the color numbers to make sure they are not all duplicates to what you have if you already own markers with the same numbering system. Also because one of the marker is a colorless blender you are really only getting 23 colors. I wish these had brush tips though it is so much easier to blend with a brush tip and you want to be able to get really smooth skin and tones. To be honest tho, if you already had a set of 80 or higher of the Arrtx or Ohuhu alcohol markers I think I would pass on these are there are duplicates and consider investing in a couple of Copic brush tip skin tone markers as you need them because in this instance I think it would be more enjoyable and cheaper long-term to get a refillable marker that performs better. If you have a smaller set of assorted markers this 24 set would go a long way to fill in gaps. It really boils down to what you already have for markers and how much you intend to use them.

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I hope you found this helpful and if you have markers I hope you try creating a rainbow blend. It is a great technique for learning to blend and it’s fun too! Or practice blending colors in general and write down your successful recipes so you can duplicate them later. The truth of truths with markers (especial alcohol markers) is that is takes practice and there is a learning curve to them so don’t jump from brand to brand thinking that one is going to make you a superstar. In fact it could harm your progress as you get used to one kind and then when you try another it’s like relearning because it is a bit juicier or the nib is harder or softer. You have to put in the time. Speaking of time wasn’t it interesting how much quicker the water based markers were to color with? I really wanted to do the comparison because I was curious but also to share that if you are not into spending lots of time coloring you might prefer a waterbased marker. Well, this post is long enough, have a great night and til next time happy crafting!

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Maker and Stamp Giveaway! PLUS 2 ways to blend and stencil with alcohol markers!

***Edited to add winners names: Rebecca Bishop, Becky Hill, tammyreese, Rachel Gonzales and Linda Dewolf. I have emailed the 5 winners so if you see your name check your email (and spam folder just in case!) I contact winners with the email they used to sign up to comment on my blog. Thanks everyone for playing!

Howdy friends! I am really excited today because I get to get away some art goodies! 5 lucky blog readers will win their choice of colorway of either a 7 pack or 13 pack of new Azure markers from Royal & Langnickel and (because you will need something fun to color) a Cling daisy stamp from Stampendous. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what marker set you want (you can see all 18 sets here) and tell me what state you are from because due to shipping restrictions I can only offer this to USA residents.

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I will also be giving away 5 Azure marker sets and Stampendous Poppy cling stamps on my Instagram! So pop over there for another chance if you like.

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In today’s video I’ll show you how wonderful these markers are and how you can use them (or whatever markers you already have) to create smooth blends and airbrush effects!

Video!

Supplies:

 

 

These cards were a lot of fun to make and I think the rose ones would be perfect for Mother’s Day. If you want to win your choice of a 7 or 13 pack of Azure Markers just leave a comment below telling me what set you would like and what state you are from and I will pick 5 winners next Thursday! Don’t forget to check out my Instagram page today for another chance to win as well! Thanks to Royal and Langnickel and Stampendous for providing these prizes and good luck to you and til next time happy crafting!

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One of my Favorite Stamps

Hi friends! I was going through some of my stamp binders the other day and I was feeling a longing to stamp some of my old favorites. I really enjoy having my stamp collection however I’d been feeling a bit guilty not using these lovely stamps but then when I think about using them I feel bad because they are older and if you guys want them they are long gone from all stores.

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But then I had an idea! I searched flower fairy coloring pages and I found this sweet pea flower fairy image that is like the stamp I used. You can find free coloring sheets online for all of the lovely vintage illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker just by doing a quick google search. I have to confess, when these stamps came out back in 2009 I bought every set (and I got a steal too paying $4-$6 a set for them!) and I have enjoyed them so much over the years. I am glad that there are free coloring sheets for anyone who missed out on the stamps. As a plus you can print them out any size you like for your cards and your alcohol markers won’t smear the ink jet printer ink either! Just as I was thinking “they should make a coloring book of these” I googled it and sure enough there are several, this one is only $3.44 and has the alphabet of flower fairies and there is another hardcover coloring book available of other designs and both books feature the artwork of Cicely Mary Barker. Since there are options for folks wanting these images I won’t feel bad using my stamps and sharing the projects I guess:)

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I decided I would try coloring this image using the set of Studio 71 alcohol ink dual brush markers I got last year. They happen to be on sale this week on Consumer Crafts and this pack of 48 is $39.97 which is a steal for brush tip alcohol markers. All of the markers I use today came from the 48 set with the addition of a clear blender but you can use any alcohol clear blending marker.

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Here are the recipes I used for this project and how I applied the markers. I figured that this would be clearer than a video as I always find my own marker tutorials a bit painful to watch LOL!

For the pink (wings, skirt, bonnett) I used R4, R2 and N1 (clear)

  • Prime the area with N1 (clear), apply R4 to the shadows then apply R2 over the R4 and pull the color out to blend. Overlap the edges of R2 with the clear to soften and blend it out to white.

For the green leaves and top I used BG3 and BG13

  • Apply BG3 to the shadow areas and then color over the entire area with BG13 to unify and blend.

For the purple flower and baby romper I used V5, V14 and the clear N1 blender

  • Prime the area with clear. Scribble the darker V14 on a tile and pick it up with the brush tip of the V5 maker and apply to shadow areas and then continue to blend out with the V5. You will naturally have darker color where you start and it will get lighter as you use up the darker ink you picked up. Use the clear marker to brighten the highlights if desired.

For the hair I used E6 and YR3

  • Color all of the hair with YR3 then add shadows with E6 while the ink is still wet. It should blend naturally but if not you can go back in with the lighter color (YR3) to soften.

For the skin I used Y3, E15, YR3 and R2 (for the blush)

  • Color all the skin with E15, add shadows with YR3 then color over all the sin with Y3 to blend and reduce the pinkness. Dab R2 on the cheeks while the ink is still wet for the blush.

This whole painting was done with 11 markers. Even though some of the colors I chose were not that close the fact that we layered them made them unified. I think the fact that these markers have brush tips helps them blend too although I use the chisel end of the clear marker when I am priming and lightning. I also like that you can replace any of the single markers if they go dry for $1.97 each…none of mine have dried out yet tho. I like to mention whenever the Studio 71 marker packs go on sale because I have never seen a better value on brush tip markers. The brush nibs are not quite as good as Copic but they are 1/4 of the price and the chisel nibs are the same quality. You just can’t beat it. Oh, I also wanted to mention that there are some duplicate colors between packs so my recommendation is to get the 48 set if you can swing it and fill in with singles as needed so you don’t accidentally end up with doubles, or start with a smaller set and add to it a marker at a time as you see what your needs are. The cheapest per marker price is in the 48 pack though.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! If you already have markers you can try the blends with the pens you already have, look at the caps in the photo above to match up your colors as close as you can but if you need markers the Studio 71 ones are a great buy. The link to the markers are affiliate links so if you do purchase though my links I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you:) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Inktober Day 3: Poison

Hi friends! Just popping in really quick with today’s #inktober2017 sketch using the prompt “poison.”

Here is a quick time-lapse video of the sketch:

Supplies:

That’s it for now! Are you doing the Inktober challenge? All you need is a pen and paper, give it a try and let me know how you make out in the comments below. Happy crafting!

Stamp Giveaway & Sweet Sleepy Mouse Card!

Hi friends! Today I have another alcohol marker coloring tutorial and a chance to win the adorable stamp from Artneko that I used on this card!

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Just leave a comment below for a chance to win, I will draw a name in one week and notify the winner by email. Watch the video below to learn how to color the image and make this easy card!

Sponsored by Art Neko *Save 10% off your next order of any size or get free shipping on orders over $50 (whichever discount is greater you get!) just by mentioning thefrugalcrafter!

Supplies:

Tips!

  1. You can mix alcohol markers from many brands, they all work together!
  2. If your cardstock does not blend well first color an area with your lightest shade and then proceed dark to light as I showed in the video.
  3. Pick your papers before you choose your marker colors so everything will coordinate.

Have fun and don’t forget to leave a comment for a change to win the stamp I used today from Artneko! Happy crafting!

Stamp School: How to Blend Markers & Mixing Old Supplies with New!

Hi friends! Today we are going to tackle a few frustrating subjects in Stamp School. First we are going to work on blending alcohol markers. There is a learning curve to this and it does take a bit of time to get the result you are after sometimes. The other important thing to note with alcohol pens is that they are not for everyone. We are also going to dig into the crafty archives and breathe new life into some old stash that has been forgotten.

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Watch the video and then try combining some old supplies with the new for a fun and unique card! We all have different stuff so all of our cards will be unique!

Video!

Tutorial sponsored by Art Neko *Save 10% off your next order of any size or get free shipping on orders over $50 (whichever discount is greater you get!) just by mentioning thefrugalcrafter!

I recommend a stamp with thick likes and open areas to color in such as the large butterfly stamp I used, also a part of this larger set.

Other Supplies:

  • Smooth white cardstock (Neenah Classic Crest Super Smooth in Solar White is great)
  • Memento Rich Cocoa ink (or whatever color you want by memento or another brand that works with alcohol pens)
  • Alcohol markers (I used Blick Studio markers, Premier by Nicole (AC Moore store brand I think) and Spectrum Noir, other brands are Copic, Promarker, Prismacolor, Chameleon, Touch, Tria, Bic Markits and Sharpie)
  • Decorative Paper: The Gathering Collection from Authentique
  • Assorted ribbons, trims, flowers, stickers, labels, brands or embellishments that you want to use up!

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Tips and Directions!
1. Get prepared! Pick your patterned paper first, it is easier to match everything to the paper you want to use than it is to color an image and then find things to match (trust me, I know!) Then look in your stash for any ribbons or embellishments that match the paper. Finally test out your markers on a scrap of paper until you find about 3 shades of each color you want to use.

2. Stamp butterfly with memento ink, feel free to stamp another one to practice on if you want:) Color the butterfly using the techniques I shared in the video. I like to generally work dark to light but if you have trouble bending color the whole area you want to color with the lightest marker and then go dark to light. Remember you can repeat the process as many times as you want until you get the look you desire.

3. Make a 5″x7″ card base from cardstock, later papers, trims, embellishments and your stamped image. Look at your awesome card! Woohoo!

Have fun digging through your ribbons and old embellishments, I bet you will find a treasure or two. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below and if you know anyone who would like this video please share it with them:) There are handy sharing buttons below:) Thanks! Happy crafting!

Stamp School: Cardmaking Mistakes & How to Fix Them!

Hi friends! First up let me apologize for not having a live show today, we were hit by a ‘Noreaster with high winds and our electricity and internet were down today. I spent the day watching Harry Potter movies with the kids and painting watercolors in the living room. I can’t complain about a power outage because we have a generator and a wood stove, we are very lucky:) Several neighbors had large trees come down and rip electric wires off their homes and cause lots of damage. We fared quite well. I hope everyone who is digging out from this storm does so safely and if needed reach out to a neighbor for help or offer your home up to a neighbor in need. Take care of each other:)

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I wanted to share this video tonight for a couple of reasons, first off I wanted to give you some hope and inspiration for your weekend crafting, no matter how badly a craft seems to be going you CAN salvage it and secondly because I mentioned the 40% off selected peg stamp sets and accessories sale going on at Rubber Stamp Tapestry and I wanted you to have a chance to grab some deals before the sale ends tomorrow night.

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry BIG sale – 40% off 90 sets AND 35% off crafting goodies + free shipping on orders of $75 shipped within the USA (use coupon code: FREESHIP75) Sale Ends 12/31/16

Supplies:

Directions:
1. Stamp window box with black memento ink on Neenah white cardstock and color with chameleon markers. Use the mixing chamber if you want a blended image and start coloring in the lightest area. Practice on a scrap piece of cardstock if you are new to these markers.

2. Stamp on flowers with peg stamps and dye inks.

3. Accent image with white and black pens. Add more color and shading with alcohol pens if desired.

4. Run a scrap of cream cardstock through a embossing machine with a wood-grain embossing folder. Color with distress inks, gelatos and gesso. Repeat steps if desired until you get the look you want. Fold up top and bottom of that panel to make a contrasting border on the panel. Attach panel to frat cardstock with grommets and thread twine through he holes to make a frame.

5. Stamp Thank you with black pigment ink an heat emboss.

6. Make a 5″x7″ side fold card with cream card stock. Ink edges and stamp border is desired and attach all card elements.

 

I hope it goes without saying, use what you have, you do not need to have the exact same brand of ink, pastel, marker, pen etc to make a fabulous card. The best supplies to use are the ones you have. Have fun working through those mistakes and til next time happy crafting!

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