Let’s Draw then Color with Cheap Markers {that look expensive!}

Howdy folks! You know how it is, you browse the galleries and shops online coveting the lovely new stamps that have been colored in with the most expensive of markers. Then you came to your senses and decided to visit my blog because you know I’ll show you how to do it cheaper and what’s more you will have a one-of-a-kind creation that others will try to copy. Today we will draw a cyclamen flower (you CAN do this, it’s easy!) then I am going to show you how to color it beautifully with ANY alcohol markers and to prove my point I am using Sharpies. You will need a colorless blending marker that is alcohol based, any brand is fine but it must be alcohol based if you are using alcohol markers. If you don’t have one it will be hard to get the colors really light. Most large craft stores have the Prismacolor brand markers and they work great, pick up a clear one (retail $4.50) with your coupon and you will be all set. Ready? Here we go!

You can do this technique with watercolor markers and a waterbased blender pen too but you don’t want to keep going over the paper or you will damage it. If you are using waterbased markers blend it once and leave it. So, do you feel like you can draw this flower? I did it upside down so I KNOW you can do it right side up:) Just think of everything you could draw and ll the money you could save on stamps…OK…I seem to remember something about a pot calling a kettle something or other…well, we don’t need to give up our stamps but it is a nice option don’t you think? BTW another great thing about alcohol markers is that you can color over ink-jet printed images and they won’t bleed, there are millions of free coloring pages online or digital stamps you can buy (in my shop for instance, shameless plug) so you can skip the drawing and get to the fun of coloring.  😀  Either way, you do not have to spend a lot to get the look you want. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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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Tutorial: How to Blend Colored Pencils with Baby Oil

Hello friends! Check out this fun card and bookmark set. The neat thing how I blended the colored pencils on the bookmarks, not with stinky solvents but with baby oil!

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Not only does it work but it is quicker and uses less pigment than blending with dry pencils. See how in today’s video tutorial:

I hope you give this a try, it will work with any regular wax or oil based pencils, even the inexpensive children’s brands. Have a great night and til next time happy crafting!

Colored Pencil Blending & How To Make Any Size Easel Card!

It’s 2 for 1 tutorial day today on The Frugal Crafter! First up I’ll show you how to blend thick and vibrant colored pencils on colored paper:

Next up, how to make any size easel card:

Wasn’t that easy? I hope you enjoyed this 2 for 1 special today and til next time happy crafting!

Almost Paradise! Playing with Artstix & Tutorial

Hello friends! I have been making it a point to dust off old supplies that have been in my stash for a while. I bought these prismacolor Artstix before my son was born (about 12 years ago!) I think when we have babies we develop a temporary amnesia of our life before kids because I had not touched them since. I honestly think I forgot I had them! Here is a painting of a bird of paradise I made with them:

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And, I did a video while a painted it, I figured that if I had forgotten how to use them and the picture was horrible I would not have to upload it. 😀 But I DID like it and it reminded me why I also bought a larger set that I also found but have not yet opened! Good grief, can you imagine having these glorious little sticks of color and not using them!?! Don’t worry if you don’t have these ArtStix, which BTW are just Prismacolor Pencils without the wood, because you can follow along with colored pencils, oil pastels, pastels, watercolor crayons or heck, even Crayolas.

I also did some random mark making and doodling, it is a great way to get to know the media without the pressure of making something pretty. Have a look:

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If you have never tried colored pencils or pastels on colored paper before give it a whirl, it looks great! You can see how the same range of colors looks so different on the green, brown and black papers I used.

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So, what supplies are YOU dying to dig out and try again? Whatever you pick make sure you have fun, be kind to yourself and your efforts and give the inner judge the day off! You will be glad you did. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Wildly Creative Day!

Howdy friends! I spent the day in my studio, it was lovely and not once did I think of my van with the dead battery sitting in my driveway LOL! I was a creative machine today, I played with colored pencils, filmed 3 new videos (you can see them on my Youtube channel) and finished knitting a pair of very ugly mittens. Well, maybe they are not that ugly, the yarn was beautiful, the pattern was lovely so the wild card in that equation was me. I’m hoping they look better in the morning, if not there will be a rigorous session of steam blocking and embellishing, either way there is a new thick and toasty pair for the mitten drawer regardless of their looks LOL! Tonight I am going to share one of the videos I filmed today, freehand sketching on a book page with colored pencils, have a look and follow along!

As I mentioned in the video I used Prismacolor pencils (my favorite) but you can really use whatever kind you (or your kids) have on hand. If you are looking for an inexpensive brand of pencils I recommend Prang and they are widely available. Have a great night folks and til next time happy crafting!

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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