Friday, March 31, 2017

Zig Clean Color tips and tutorial...

Hello my fabulous friends!

I'm sorry my poor blog has been slightly neglected the last few weeks... I've been busy with thedailymarker30day color challenge, and posting daily on my Instagram account. (click HERE to check it out!)

Most of what I did for the daily challenge was coloring images, not completing projects, so I didn't have much to blog about... The good news is,  I now have a bunch of things colored and waiting to be turned into cards and blog posts. ;)

That being said, I've had some people asking questions about how I colored some of the images. I know I've done walk throughs for this in the past, but I took some pictures of my experiment with pinks and purples and thought I'd share it here in hopes of answering the questions I got. 

Step 1: Stamp the images (Altenew Spring Daisy) on Bristol paper using VersaMark ink and heat emboss the images with clear embossing powder.

What this does is create invisible lines that you won't see until the color is added, and once the color is there, it remains delicate and subtle. I love the look! It also makes watercoloring easier... the embossed lines will resist the watercolor and create little wells, making it easier to "stay in the lines".

Step 2: Add your first color (Lilac 083) one petal at a time by scribbling some ink into the areas that will be the shadows (for me, near the center of the flower and wherever petals overlap). Use a water brush or slightly damp paint brush to pull the color out into the lighter areas. This can take a little practice, but once you get the feel of how much ink and water to use, it goes pretty quick. 

Step 3: Once your first color is dry, add your second color (Pale Rose 230) the same way you did the first layer... One petal at a time, scribbling a little ink into the shadows and using your damp brush to blend the color out. You will need a lot less of this color.. This is to create variations of color, so you don't want to completely cover your first layer, just add a little interest. I only added the pink to SOME of the petals...

Step 4: Add your third color (Violet 080) the same way you added your second color... This time, color most of the petals you didn't add pink to, and a few of the ones you did add pink to.. This creates a lot of variation and interest to your flower. 

Remember to keep your shadows and highlights in mind. 

Step 5: Color the center (Yellow 050) and blend it with water. Dab off some areas with a  paper towel to create some variation.

Step 6: Color around the outer edge of the inside of the flower (Light Brown 061). Blend inward with water, leaving the center Yellow. Dab off some areas with a paper towel. 

Step 7: Add your first color to your leaves (Mid Green 046) the same way you did with the petals.

Step 8: Add your second color (Olive Green 043) into your shadows and blend out the same way you have for the rest of the project.

Now you have a gorgeous variegated flower!  I love this color combo!

1) Practice! It can take some practice to figure out how much ink and water to add for the effect you want. 

2) Patience! About halfway through the first color I look at the coloring and think it looks awful and want to throw it away. For a long time I thought I just couldn't watercolor well, but then I finally figured out that if you STICK WITH IT, and finish all the layers, it ends up looking awesome!

3) Keep scraps of the same paper you are working on near by so you can test out your colors, try layering in a different order (yes, that can change the look!), and just figure out what you are doing without risking your project. 

4) Paper towels! You can lighten your colors or add highlights by going over the area you want lighter with clean water and then dab it off with a clean paper towel... The smoother the better. If you have a very textured paper towel, that texture will transfer... So, unless that is what you are going for, smoother is better.

5) Went outside the line? Don't throw it out! Try painting over it with clean water and dabbing it up with a paper towel. You may need to do this a few times, but for most colors, I've had a lot of luck "erasing" mistakes.

6) Use a CLEAN paper towel! Yes, I have ruined a project by using a paper towel that had dark red ink on it when I was working with yellow.... Ink on the paper towel will react to the water on your project, and you will end up with colorful splotches in places you didn't want that color.

7) Wet the whole area! What I mean by this is, when you add layers. make sure you wet the whole area... clean water where you want to keep the current color, and the blend of the new color where you want that. This will help keep a smooth look. When you rewet some areas of watercolor, but not the whole area, when it dries it tends to leave harsh dark lines along the edge of where the water was... 

8) Experiment! Try mixing different colors. Try layering them in different orders. Try adding more or less ink, or water.... you can get so many different looks just by making small adjustments.

9) Have fun! After all, that is what it is all about!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

spring coloring...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Despite all the rain we've been getting, signs of spring are finally here! Deer, Eagles, daffodils... even humming birds! Soon the bunnies will start making an appearance in the yard. 

In honor of spring, this is yesterday's coloring challenge piece.

I love this bunny stamp... It's from a set I got free with a magazine quite a while ago... 

Ok, let's be honest, I bought the magazine for the stamp set... LOL!

Here's the finished card..

Stamps: Michael Abrams Somebunny to Love; Altenew Painted Butterflies
Ink: VersaFine Onyx; Altenew Evening Gray; Zig Clean Color Light Brown (061), Brown (060), Mustard (067), Blue Gray (092), Bright Yellow (052), Green Gray (093), Oatmeal (064), Pale Pink (028), Mid Green (046), Olive Green (043), Light Blue (036), Pale Green (045), Lemon Yellow (051), Light Gray (091), Light Pink (026), Lilac (083), Pale Rose (230), Haze Blue (302)

The pot was colored with Light Brown as the base color, and Brown to build the shadows.

I wanted to keep the daisies white, but also look natural and soft, so I started with Blue Gray in the shadows and a very watered down Mustard in a few areas to grunge it up a bit. The center is Bright Yellow and Mustard.

The stem and leaf are my go to greens.. Mid Green and Olive green. 
The bunny is Green Gray, Oatmeal and Pale Pink.

All the fun patches, and little extras are colored with Light Blue, Pale Green, Lemon Yellow, Light Gray, Light Pink, Lilac, Pale Rose

I finished it off with a very light wash of Haze Blue... 

I doodled a border with a sharpie liner pen, and a simple sentiment from Altenew's Painted Butterflies.

Here's to spring... and hopefully some sunshine!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

two in one...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Well, I've made it to day 15 of the coloring challenge! 

This was my coloring for yesterday... I was planning on getting it all done and blogged yesterday, but an unexpected trip to the ER kinda put things on hold...

The colors are inspired by the Altenew Inspiration Challenge for March....

Pretty colors, right? 

 I wanted to use them, but not as individual colors... So I used yellow as my base color and the orange and red to add depth and shading to the flowers.. I'm really liking the variations of this color combo that I've been playing with lately! So pretty!

I finished the coloring today and turned it into a simple card... 
 Stamps: Altenew Peony Bouquet, Oriental Orchids
Ink: VersaMark; Distress Ink Hickory Smoke; Distress Marker Hickory Smoke; Zig Clean Color Yellow (050), Light Brown (061), Deep Red (260), Olive Green (043), Mid Green (046)
Other: Bristol paper; Clear embossing powder

I started by stamping the flowers and leaves with VersaMark onto bristol paper, then heat embossing with clear embossing powder. Because this arrangement is made up of 1 flower (stamped twice) and 1 leaf spray (stamped 9 times), this involved a lot of masking.. I would stamp and emboss one image, then mask and stamp the next, then remove the mask to emboss... then repeat. It sounds really complicated, but it really doesn't take a whole lot of time.

Then it was on to coloring... At first I was just going to use two colors for each flower (Light Brown and Deep Red)... The Light Brown turns into a muted orange-y yellow when mixed with water, so I was using that as my yellow, then the Deep Red for the shadows, and the mix in between was orange... But I ended up wanting brighter flowers so I added some Yellow in there too. 

I like the blend of colors and the brighter pop of the Yellow mixed in. 

The darker flower has more of the Light Brown, as that was the one I colored first. The lighter flower has more Yellow than Light Brown. It's amazing how many different looks you can get with just a few of these markers layered in different ways with different amounts of water! 



Thursday, March 9, 2017

alcohol markers on kraft...

Hello my fabulous friends!

In honor of the 30 day coloring challenge, I thought I would try something I had never done before. 

Alcohol marker on kraft paper...

 For those who follow me on Instagram, you may recognize this as my day 2 project... But I thought I would share my process with you today. 

Step 1: Stamp your image(s) using VersaMark and heat emboss with clear embossing powder.
Stamps: Altenew Peony Bouquet

Step 2: Color in your image with a white colored pencil... Mine isn't anything fancy, just the kind you get for your kids. 

Step 3: Start coloring with alcohol markers... I'm using Chameleon pens 

I think the darker colors have more punch with this technique.

Evergreen (GR4) for the leaves, and Fuchsia (PK5) for the flowers

Chameleon pens are alcohol markers, but they have a mixing chamber that has clear blending solution in it.. You infuse the tip of the marker with the blending solution and you color it out... This gives you a very nice, even gradation from light color to dark... (More details on this will be coming)

Step 4: Add extra detail with more colored pencils... 

Super easy, huh?  The base layer of white pencil really make the colors pop even though they are on a darker surface. 

Why not give it a try and join in the coloring challenge!



Saturday, March 4, 2017

day 3 (30 day coloring challenge)

Hello my fabulous friends!

Just stopping in real quick to share a finished card I made from day 3 of the coloring challenge...

Stamps: Elisabethbell Little Lulu; Altenew Oriental Orchids
Ink: VersaFine Onyx Black, Zig Clean Color Cornflower (037), Gray (090), Lilac (083), Violet (O80), Pale Pink (028), Flesh Color (071), Light Gray (091), Light Carmine (021), Oatmeal (066), Light brown (061), Dark Brown (062), Bright Yellow (053), Haze Blue (302), Pale Rose (230), Deep Red (260), Olive Green (043), Mid Gray (096)
Dies: Spellbinders A2 Scalloped Borders One

If you are interested in joining in the 30 day coloring challenge, click HERE to learn more.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Day 1 (30 day coloring challenge)

Hello my fabulous friends!

My life has been a little crazy this year, so I've decided to do something I've never done before... I'm going to do the 30 day color challenge...

Spending time each day coloring can be very relaxing... I'm excited!

I don't know if I'll blog everything, because I don't know if all my coloring will turn into a project, but hopefully I'll have something to post on my Instagram account each day.

So for day 1...
Zig Clean colors on bristol paper.... a combination I love! I seem to have the best results with these markers when I use bristol paper. 

Ink: VersaFine Onyx Black; Zig Clean Color Turquoise Green (042), Green Gray (093), Pale Rose (230), Light Brown (061), Oatmeal (064), Pale Pink (028), Lilac (083), Brown (060), Dark Brown (062), Olive Green (043), Persian Blue (032), Carmine Red (022)

Have a wonderful day, and feel free to join in the challenge too! No need to do anything fancy, just spend a little time coloring each day...