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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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!

These Boots Are Made For Stamping!

Hi friends! Today I have a fun coloring and stamping tutorial for you!

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Watch the video and create along with me!

You can find the stamps I used from our sponsor Rubber Stamp Tapestry Take 20% off your mounted (aka peg stamps) stamp order of $10 or more just use coupon code: BOOTS Coupon expires, Monday, October 10, 2016 *Please note that the discount does not apply to unmounted stamps or accessories

I hope you have fun practicing your stamping and coloring and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s relax with a tall glass of lemonade and color!

Hi friends! I hope you had a good weekend. We were busy but it was fun, we spent the 4th with friends at their camp and yesterday we had a family cookout down the road. Today was beautiful weather-wise and we hung out at home, played outside and made silly putty with glue and borax. Gotta love science! I went down to my studio tonight to get a jump start on a couple framing jobs I had just got in and my daughters soon joined me and they decided to stamp out some house mouse stamps to color. I got a new pack of Mr. Sketchy markers (Yes, they still smell wonderful!) and they just had to use them! It was so funny, the first time each girl used the markers the first thing they did was color out a swatch chart and write the name of the smell under the color. My studio now smells like a fruit salad LOL! That reminds me that coloring is a great way to relax after a busy week. Today I’m going to show you how I colored the Lemonade Stand image from Impression Obsession using alcohol markers:

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I was hoping to make the card on the video too but dang, this image took 20 minutes to color and I swear it only felt like 5 minutes. I hope you find the tips, tricks and techniques I share in this video is worth 20 minutes of your time.

Sometimes I will stamp out a bunch of images and keep them in a baggie with my markers and take them upstairs so I can color while I watch TV or visit with the family. It is still fun to color, no matter what your age, don’t you agree? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Terrific Tags & Two Tutorials {on marker blending!}

Hello friends! I was in the mood to play with markers the other day and I remembered some cute stamps that came in an old issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine, I actually bought the magazine because of these cute stamps!

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Some of the images I colored with alcohol markers and some I did with water based markers. With all of the hoopla over Copics and other alcohol based markers (Promarker, TRIA, Prismacolor, Spectrum Noir etc.) I thought I’d do a tutorial on blending them. It an be confusing what to buy, then, when we get them home we forgot how we were told to use them. Well, this tutorial is for you, especially if you don’t have many markers. I’m going to show you a technique called priming that will help you blend colors that are not too close together. All you need is a clear alcohol based blending marker and some permanent markers (Bic Mark-its and Sharpies are an affordable option and they will work with the expensive art markers too!) Well, enough talking, let’s get coloring:

OK, so maybe you never invested in alcohol markers because you already invested in water-based/watercolor markers ( Tombow, LePlume, Whispers, Memento, Stampin’ Up and Distress are all examples of water-based markers) hey, I don’t blame you, they are super versatile, each one can be used like a mini ink pad, but they are great for coloring as well. Today I will show you how to blend them on regular cardstock using a water-based blender pen which is basically a clear marker filled with a water/glycerin mix. You can use a damp round paint brush (damped with water and glycerin if you don’t have a blender pen. Another benefit to watercolor markers is that the color usually will not bleed through cardstock.

The benefit to watercolor markers is that you need fewer colors and it is quicker. The benefit of alcohol markers is that you can fuss with the image as long as you like. Whatever your preference you can get a similar effect from either type of marker. Can you tell what ones were done with alcohol markers and what ones were done in watercolor markers?

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OK, you’re keen eyes probably can but I think they look super and it will be handy to have all of these tags on hand for upcoming birthdays! Here is a tip, the next time you color a  bunch of images grab a pad of paper and make a bunch of tags. I used to just color them and stuff them in a drawer but since I always need gift tags and grabbed my large shipping tags, tulle and leftover tissue paper flowers from Papermart and a pad of Fancy Pants paper (my 6″x6″ bin of paper was overflowing so I wanted to use some up!) and made some tags. I made faux brads/card candy by punching circles out of some of the scraps and doming them with a ball end stylus and hot gluing them to the tags. I had only itsy bitsy shards of paper left over after this and a batch of new tags for my trouble. Not bad:D I hope this helped you get more use out of your markers. If you have any questions leave a comment and til next time happy crafting!

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Embossed & Colored Stamping Tutorial

Here is another quick technique using the shrubbery  stamp from Lost Coast Designs:

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Watch the video to see how easy it is!

You can take more time than I did for truly stunning results but I don’t think it looks bad for 5 minutes of work, do you?

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Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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