Color with me and learn about markers! Free Image Provided!

Hi friends! Remember how much fun it was to color when you were a kid? Well, it’s still fun as I am sure you know but it can be frustrating too. Today I am going to share tips and techniques for coloring with alcohol markers and you can try along with me using the markers you have.

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I will have a download for my bird of paradise drawing in the supply list below the videos. I broke the lessons into two videos, the first is a primer on alcohol markers and what other supplies you might need to begin coloring. If you are familiar with the supplies you can skip to the coloring tutorial in the second video. I also go over the differences between the different kinds of markers available (brush, bullet, and chisel nib) as well as compatible paper and ink in the first video so if you are considering getting started and you do not have supplies yet it will be very informative.

In part 2 we will finally get to color, yay!

This video is sponsored by Bianyo offering Superior art product at affordable prices  *Check out specials/coupon codes below! *The links below contain the discounts mentioned and the discounted price will show at checkout.

Supplies:

Here is a photo of the Bianyo markers arranged the way I like them. The plastic inserts in the box keep each marker in place. After arranging them I made a new swatch to represent the order.

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You can organize your markers in whatever way that makes sense to you. Also, alcohol markers can have a steeper learning curve than other coloring media so make sure you are fair to yourself and give yourself time to learn and practice. I hope you enjoyed today’s video lesson and you learned some skills to use on your next project! Til next time happy crafting!

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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!

Stamp School 13: Intro to Alcohol Markers!

Hi friends! Today we are going to look at a product that you may want to try for enhancing your stamped cards: Alcohol markers. These have been the darling of the stamp world for a few years because you can get a beautiful blended effect and also because you can spend a long time on an image to get it just perfect. Coloring is very relaxing. I have spent as much as an hour coloring a really detailed image with markers. Because of that I would tend to stamp out a few images and color them while I was watching TV I the evening or while my kids were coloring. Today we are going to color an easy design perfect for a Christmas card.

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During the demo you will be able to see how the markers blend, how to fix mistakes and learn tips for getting good results from your markers. The stamps I am using are from our sponsor Art Neko, be sure to mention TheFrugalCrafter if you order to get 10% off your order or free shipping on orders over $50, whatever discount is greater!

Video!

Supplies

  • Stamps: Star Sprinkling Angel, Snowflakes (some of these stamps are found in larger Christmas sets from ArtNeko, look at those before buying to see if you want the other stamps in the kits because it brings down the individual stamp price.)
  • Dye ink: Memento
  • Distress ink (Tumbled Glass, Vintage Photo, Wild Honey)
  • Cardstock: Neenah (white) brown, maroon
  • 6″ paper doily
  • Distress ink in vintage photo, tumbled glass, wild honey
  • Gelly Roll Stardust pen
  • ribbon & buttons
  • Alcohol based markers (Copic, Promarker, Sharpie, Bic Markit, Prismacolor, Spectrum Noir, Tria or others)
    * OR you can use watercolor markers but be sure to stamp with Archival ink so it does not smear. Also, if using watercolor markers you can’t go over the paper as much as we do with alcohol markers.

If you are thinking of trying alcohol ink markers I urge you to see if you can borrow some from a friend before deciding to invest. Also expect a learning curve. I have not used mine in a while and I was a bit out of practice. Also I am fond of quick projects so I don’t often reach for my markers but on the other hand there is something really relaxing about spending an hour coloring an image. One way to get started is to buy a 36 pack of Bic Markits or Sharpies then a few really light shades of some art markers so you can blend and get a range of shades. Below is a playlist of many alcohol marker techniques that you might find helpful:

I was not intending to cover alcohol ink markers in stamp school but so many of you asked me if I would so I hope that gave you a good foundation on them. So, what do you think? Do you use alcohol markers? What do you like about them? Do you have any tips for beginners? Leave that info in the comments below and help your fellow stampers out. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY “Peerless” Style Watercolors Tutorial

Hi Friends! I had a request the other day on the facebook page to make faux Peerless watercolors. Peerless watercolors are dye watercolors that come on small rectangles of paper. They were mainly used for photo tinting but lately stampers have been using them for coloring because it is easy to control the amount of color you get.Here is a card I colored with my faux Peerless palette. The rose stamp is from Lost Coast Designs.

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I really loved the ease of coloring. You can use almost any water-media you have to make a Peerless style travel palette but I had the most luck with my Inktense blocks and traditional watercolors. See how I did it:

The dye reinker and marker attempts never dried fully, even days later. You can also use watercolor pencils and crayons or gouache. If you can’t get the Yupo paper I used try laminating cardstock or use a report cover or transparency. If the paint doesn’t want to stick you can lightly sand the plastic first. Yupo is designed to be used with watercolor so no treatment is required. I liked the sample I made with my set of 12 inktense blocks so much I swatched out my set of 72 and it did not make a dent in my blocks! I love that I can take my full set of colors with me while leaving my set of blocks safely at home. since the Yupo paper is thin I attached it to a file folder.

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This is a great idea for classes and supply sharing too since we rarely use up our watercolor pencils and crayons!

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So you are probably wondering why anyone would buy real Peerless paints if you can make these so easily, well, I reckon that the peerless watercolors have more paint on the swatches and they are super transparent because they are a dye. I will probably have to reload my inktense palette many times to equal amount of use I would get from a stack of peerless sheets. I’d love to try them someday but this works for me and my budget right now! Plus it is always good to use what you have. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How T Make a Shadow Box Card! {Video Tutorial}

This technique is so much fun that I have made 4 of these cards this week! These cards are easy, you can use the supplies you already have and they are quick too!

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In today’ video I have lots of tips and tricks: shadow-box card, coloring a scene quickly, making a paper pine cone WITHOUT a fancy die (I’ll show you how to make the tassel too!) and layering background stamps to create wonderful patterned paper. All that an more…well, there had better be more for a 23 minute long video LOL! Check it out:

I hope you try this card, you can use whatever colors you like and whatever stamps you have, make it your own. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Bounce! {add crochet to a card!}

Happy Monday folks! I don’t want to jinx things by saying this out loud (wait, I ‘m typing, this doesn’t count then, ha ha) but this morning went so smoothly.  I taught one of my girls to crochet this weekend , she was inspired by the totally rad poncho I was working up, she was instantly “hooked” (‘scuse the bad pun!)  The kids were all up early and after breakfast the girls sat knitting and crocheting quietly in the living room. What a relaxing way for them to start the day, much better than me nagging them to get up for school! Why am I talking about crochet you ask? Because I crocheted a border for this card:

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This was for a birthday we went to yesterday. To make the crochet border you simply punch holes in a strip of cardstock and pull the yarn though as if the holes are your foundation row. It is the same technique I showed you in the Crochet Heart Video.

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I love to use yarn on cards because then you can use the yarn to tie on a tag to the present or even use in place of ribbon on a gift. Yarn comes in so many textures and colors (remember the comedian Gallager and his bit about “colors only found in yarn” LOL!) and it is pretty cheap. A great use of yarn leftovers!

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Another fun tip is to decorate the envelope if you have the time. All I did here was press 3 small inkpads along the edges of the envie (wow, it would totally rock to use this technique as a border on a scrapbook page!) and stamp 2 of the stamps I used on the card and tag over it. I colored the presents because the pink ink was a bit dark and I wanted them to stand out.

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So, how is your Monday going? If you are feeling stressed might I recommend some yarn therapy? Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Video Tutorial: Easy Blending with All Markers!

Happy Friday folks! I was playing with the new Framed Floral ATC stamps from About Art Accents (by the way, the set of 9 ATC size stamps are on sale for $16.99-regular $29.99 and you can save 10% more with my coupon code: Lindsay10%) and they are just perfect for coloring with markers! The card on the left was colored with Copics (alcohol markers) while the one on the Right uses a couple of watercolor markers. They both can be blended and a quick to color.

Here is a quick video to show you how easy it is to blend with either type of markers:

Here are my tips for using markers:

  1. Pick the right paper for the project. I love super smooth cardstock (Neenah #80 Classic Crest in Solar White) for my alcohol ink markers BUT for watercolor markers watercolor paper works best. If you really want to work on cardstock with watercolor markers Stampin’ Up cardstock is the best uncoated cardstock I have tried…still, I’d choose watercolor paper.
  2. Work dark to light, I know this sounds counterintuitive but trust me, it works and you can get by with fewer markers. When you work light to dark you need to work with colors that are just a hair darker than the previous but when you start dark and go over that with the middle value (like I did in the video) you can jump a few shades meaning you need fewer markers to get the same results.
  3. Color a swatch on a scrap of the paper you are using to see if the colors really blend well together before you start coloring you picture, this will save a lot of time and wasted paper.
  4. Relax, practice and have fun, after all it’s only coloring!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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