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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Sketching Orange Slices in Marker!

Hi friends! Today I played with markers and it was fun! This was actually supposed to be posted for Sketchbook Sunday but I got busy and didn’t realize I forgot to blog it until 10pm and I was too tired to type.

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I was inspired to sketch these oranges because they looked so cool sitting on the cutting board. I accidentally bought Cara-Cara oranges instead of navel oranges at the store last week and this was the last one. None of us are a fan of this type orange hence it was still on the table after the kids left for school. So before I tossed it out to the birds (the crows like them apparently) I thought I would draw it. It also gave me a chance to try out a new set of markers I will be using for an upcoming tutorial.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I am excited to work more with these markers. It’s ice to try something different once in a while and see where that takes you. I find when I do this I come back to my other work more energized and refreshed. It’s like cross-training for your crafty muscles LOL! If you have a suggestion as to what flower to draw for the in-depth marker tutorial please let me know in the comments below. thank for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Don’t be Confused by Color! Try These Tips Instead!

Hi friends! Today I am going to share ways to make coloring with alcohol markers so much easier no matter what brand or mix of brands you have!

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I will be demonstrating my technique with my 120 color Ohuhu alcohol marker set. They are probably the most affordable brand of alcohol markers on the market so you do not need expensive pens for this to work. I reviewed the Ohuhu Markers in the past and was very impressed with them, especially when they swatched over to the new style, you can see a comparison here if you want more information. In today’s video, I am going to share a grouping technique that will work with any brand of alcohol marker tho.  The first 13 minutes of this video shows my swatch guide method. The remainder of the video is a coloring demo.

Supplies & Resources (affiliate links used)

Here’s what to do (as explained in the video)
1. Swatch out all of your markers noting the brand and color number on your swatch.

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2. Sort your markers in groups by their color and undertones. For instance, you would have pinks, pinkish reds, neutral reads, coral/orange reds, warm (orange) yellows, cool (green-leaning) yellows, yellow-greens, teals, blues, purples, cool grays, warm grays, neutrals etc.

*Sort them as specifically as you like. If you are new to coloring with alcohol markers keep groups smaller (less than 6 colors) but no more than 12. *If you have more than 12 break them into two groups that are more specific. Secure each group with a rubber band.

3. Swatch the colors on a strip of cardstock. *Always swatch on the paper you normally use for markers.

4. Punch a circle in the center of each swatch. *You can peek through the circle to help choose colors for projects or when shopping for new markers.

***Bring this swatch with you when you shop to avoid buying duplicate color and to make sure you are purchasing colors that will work with what you have. Update your swatch when you get new markers.

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Coloring tips:

  • Choose a light, medium and dark version of a color for blending. I like to work dark to light but if your paper doesn’t blend well prime an area with the lightest color first and then work dark to light.
  • If you have limited colors or you are not happy with your marker colors you can enhance with darker or lighter colored pencils.
  • A white pen is handy for bright highlights and shine.

One more thing!

The Ohuhu markers I mention above are a great value at about 50 cents a marker but I know many of you are looking for brush tip markers because they are softer and make blending large areas easier and I just saw that Consumer Crafts has their Studio 71 alcohol markers that feature a brush tip on one end and chisel on the other on sale this week! I have a review of that brand with swatched and blending recipes here if interested.

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Prices on the Studio 71 brush tip alcohol marker sets are good through April 1st while supplies last. You really can’t beat it for $1 per marker or less! I have the 48 pack and it is really comprehensive.

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!

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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Smart Art February Box Marker Play!

Hi friends! Today we are going to have a peek into the February Smart Art Box.

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I am never sure what will come in these boxes but it is always a fun surprise to see what’s inside. I was pleased to see that they has some Chameleon Color Tops because I have the original set of 22 Chameleon pens (think alcohol based blendy-pens for grown-ups) and I struggled with them because they blend light to dark and I tend to work dark to light. I couldn’t resist grabbing my older markers to try with the new tops and I used the combination to make this fun sketch perfect for Easter.

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Watch the video to learn more about the supplies in this months box and to see how I sketched a cute Easter chick!

 

This tutorial was sponsored by Smart Art! Find out more about their art subscription box here. They ship to many countries too! Currently I don’t see any leftover February boxes for sale at Smart Art but if any become available you can find them in the “past projects” section of the website.

I was pleased to see that there were Chameleon Color Tops and a Chameleon Pen in this months box as I had the original set of 22 which I reviewed here.

Below you will find links to the individual products I showcased. Affiliate links used at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

  • I like Chameleon Color Tones, they have an innovative product and the people who work there are lovely. There is a bit of a learning curve to these markers and color tops but they are fun to play with! The Color Tops add a fun new dimension.
  • I really liked the Strathmore marker paper that came in the kit, it is more like a cardstock then the typical thin marker paper most companies sell. If you are also a rubber stamper or mixed media artist I encourage you to try this as it is sturdy enough to go ona card and layer other media on. I also liked that I could use water based markers (and spread the ink with a wet brush) as well as alcohol markers (and lift the color with a blending marker) both equally as well. Most cardstocks are one or the other, this is fabulous! It comes in larger size pads too if you want to make bigger art.
  • Art Alternatives fineliners: These are really inexpensive pens but they write very smoothly and react with water.

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I had fun playing with these supplies, I encourage you to try the techniques I shared with the supplies you have at home and if you think a monthly box of surprise art supplies would suit you check out Smart Art Box. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Low Waste Cards & Envelopes! {Stamp School}

One of the best ways to make cardmaking an affordable hobby is to waste less and use up your supplies. Also try to think of all the different ways you can use a stamp set because it brings down the per-use-cost of that particular set. When you make several cards at a time you can save time, make use of a variety of scraps, and maybe use up a pack of embellishments so there are no odd-ball leftovers that will be tough to find a use for.

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I probably should have made a couple more cards so I would have had a couple more paper patterns to work with and also used up the rest of the cat buttons but as they say hindsight is 20/20. The key to this low waste cardmaking is making an envelope first and using the scraps to decorate your cards. It is a simple plan and the best part (besides having a few new cards on hand) is you won’t have to spend a lot of time filing (or feel bad throwing away) scraps when you are done. Oh! And not having to find or make an envelope when you are ready to mail it is a bonus too:) Since I sell my cards in a retail space I rent I am going one step further and packing them up for sale as soon as I am done. I am really hoping I can stick to that habit after spending 4 hours last week packaging all of the cards I had sitting in my studio.

After making 2 cards these were my scraps:

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I probably could have stamped 2 images on one piece of photo paper but then I might not have had enough room to die cut the images. Nobody’s perfect:) Besides, this 4″x6″ photo paper no longer feeds into my printer so it is a way for me to use it up! Watch the video for a full tutorial. If you want to make a larger batch of cards just multiply the supplies and make all of your envelopes first so you can mix and match your leftover papers. Working from a collection (or coordinated value stack) of papers makes mixing and matching effortless and fun! Plus it is a great way to use up those stacks of scrapbook paper that are so hard to resist on sale at the craft store!

Video!

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! ***Art Neko now owns B-Muse where you can find beautiful collage sheets and ATC making supplies! Check them out today!

Supplies (and low waste cutting directions)

  • Cats Stamp set
  • 2 sheets of decorative scrapbook paper that coordinate * Make envelopes first with a template (I used a Kreatalope by Greensneakers) or trim the paper to 8″x8″ and fold around card as shown in the video. The scraps will be used for matting layers on the cards.
  • 1 sheet of 8 1/2″x11″ heavy cardstock *Cut in half to make two A2 Size cards.
  • Ink-jet photo paper or glossy cardstock
  • Mini brads
  • Ribbon, String, twine or yarn
  • Novelty cat buttons
  • Stencil with small pattern
  • Black and brown markers (water-based)
  • Tan ink pad (optional)
  • Aqua ink pad and sponge
  • Dies (optional)

Directions:
1. Make envelopes from coordinating scrapbook paper and save scraps.
2. Make 2 card bases from one sheet of cardstock and adhere scraps as a layer.
3. Use marker to color directly on rubber stamps and stamp on photo paper. If the ink beads up you can start by inking the stamp with a tan pad then add darker blobs with markers. Stencil in background.
4. Trim stamped panels and accents from other scraps and adhere to card.
5. Add brads, string, ribbons and embellishments as desired.

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I hope you try making a batch of low waste cards today! It only takes an extra minute to have an extra card so it is an efficient use of time and resources and you will always have an extra card when you need it. Happy crafting!

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