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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It’s Stamp Giveaway Time & a Watercolor Letterpress Tutorial!

Hi folks! Another busy summer week around here, whatever happened to the lazy days of summer? Anyway, this week I will be giving away this beautiful pansy collage stamp from About Art Accents. Leave a comment and next Monday I will pick a winner. Easy as pie!

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I love using my watercolor markers to stamp! You can be specific with your coloring then all you need is a damp brush to give it a painterly feel. Watch the video to see how I made this card. You can also see my homemade letterpress in action!

I know you are going to ask so the paper I used is Rives BFK, it comes in 22″x30″ sheets and most art supply shops will carry it for about $8 a sheet but it is cheaper to get it online from Cheap Joe’s Artstuff (5 sheets/$22.) The paper is smooth, thick and soft but it handles water very well so you can stamp, watercolor, and letterpress on it. I always loved the look of letterpress (although try to get  a decent photo of it!) so when I started seeing the expensive Lifestyle Crafts plates go on clearance everywhere I snagged them for about $5 a kit. I guess it was a trend that never took off for the home crafter.

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Here are the homemade letterpress tutorials I mentioned:

Home Letterpress Part 1

Homemade Letterpress Part 2

You can open an embossing folder and use it with the Rives BFK to letterpress too, it is the same plastic as the plate , well near enough anyway, the plates a bit more rigid. Another cool thing about using markers to stamp is that you can get 2 impressions from one inking! In the next example I misted the stamp with water and restamped, look how much ink is still on the stamp. Get more stamping for your effort!

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Here are close ups of the cards:

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Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win this beautiful stamp from About Art Accents and if you decide to shop you can use my coupon and save 10% on your regular price order: Lindsay10% Good luck 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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