Easy alcohol marker colouring and blending

Easy alcohol marker colouring and blending

It seems every time I’m hosting a card making class or even just talk to my friends who are crafters, I am always surprised at how scared crafters and card markers are of alcohol markers.  Today I thought I would walk you through my design process when I use Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Blends.

For those of you who are new to Stampin’ Blends or just starting to build your collection, think of your markers as a lifelong tool.  I buy mine in sets of two (a light & dark shade).  This is so I have a choice of having a nice blend.

Previously I shared with you two-shade blending tips, if you missed it you can read about it HERE.  My project today I am going to show you how I coloured in the butterfly using a three (3) colour blend technique.

 

250319- Easy alcohol marker colouring and blending

First stamp your image onto cardstock.  Ink and cardstock choices are very important when using Stampin’ Blends.  I use Memento tuxedo Black Ink and Whisper White Cardstock .

250319- Easy alcohol marker colouring and blending

Next I am going to colour in the outline of the butterfly. I always start with the lighter colour first, then move onto darker colours.

I started by using DARK Daffodil Delight Blends in the top and bottom corners next I added the LIGHT Daffodil Delight and blended them together using the circular motion technique.

Next I added LIGHT Pumpkin Pie Blends and then blended it into the LIGHT Daffodil Delight using the flicking technique, and added the DARK Pumpkin Pie blending towards the center of the butterfly.

Lastly I added LIGHT Cherry Cobbler blending using both circular and flicking technique into the Pumpkin Pie area to create a rainbow of colour.

Once I stamped my sentiment, I adhered the front panel to a Cherry Cobbler Card base and my card was complete.

250319- Easy alcohol marker colouring and blending

Stampin’ Blends can be intimidating, but with a little practice you will be colouring everything in no time!

 

Stampin’ Blends – Two-Shade Blending Tips

Stampin’ Blends – Two-Shade Blending Tips

Previously I shared with you practice sheets and basic blending with your Stampin’ Blends, if you missed it you can read it HERE.  

Today, we’re utilising the Blending Basic technique of “Flicking” and creating a project using 2 colours.  I buy my markers in sets of two (a light & dark shade), which let me tell you makes blending process so much easier.  There is no need to think about which colours will be blend nicely just start with a light & dark shade of the same colour.

Here is my project for you today.  I am going to show you step-by-step how I coloured in these images from Falling Flowers stamp set to added two-shade blending.

Coordinating Stamps & Dies

First stamp your image onto cardstock.  Ink and cardstock choices are very important when using Stampin’ Blends,  I use Memento tuxedo Black Ink and Whisper White Cardstock.  I did a post recently on Stampin’ Blends and “Product Compatibility”  read it about it HERE

Using Coordinating Stamps & Dies

There are two ways you can do the two-shade blending technique,  and I will be sharing both in this example.

Two-Shade Blending technique #1 (starting with lightest colour)

  1. Colour along the side of the image, working from top to bottom in a smooth stroke using the Brush end of the marker
  2. Move the marker next ot the first line, and repeat Step 1 to create another line of colour that overlaps the first line.  work quickly to ensure that the first line is still wet when you fill in the line below – this will result in a smooth blend.
  3. Fill in the entire image using this method
  4. Using the darker shade, add colour along the bottom edge of the image using the “Flick/ Feather” technique.
  5. Using the lighter shade, add colour along the top edge of the image using the “Flick/Feathering” technique.  blend into the feathered edge of the darker shade into the center of the image
  6. Continue using the lighter shade, colour in vertical lines along the center o the image where both shades meet, flicking the marker in both directions (the “Pendulum” technique)
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 as needed to create a smooth blend with the shading along the bottom edge.  If needed, repeat Step 2 to enhance the shading

Two-Shade Blending technique #2 (starting with darkest colour)

  1. Using the darker marker shade, add colour along the bottom of the image using the “Flick/Feather” technique
  2. Using the lighter shade, add colour along the top edge of the image using the “Flick/Feather” technique.  Blend into the feathered edge of the darker shade in the center of the image
  3. Using the lighter shade, colour in vertical lines along the center of the image where both shades meet, flicking themarker in both directions (the “Pendulum” technique)
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as needed to create a smooth blend with the shading along the bottom edge.  If needed repeat Step 1 to enhance the shading.

Tips & Tricks to Note

  • If, by the time you’re nearing the end of your blending, the colours don’t seem to be blending as well as they did at the start, colour over the entire image using your lightest shade.  This will get the colours moving again and help smooth out the blend.
  • Keep an eye on the edges of your images and the back of the cardstock, stop adding layers of colour before excessive colour bleeding occurs
  • Go ahead and get creative on your practice sheets!  Doodle dots, circles, stripes, and other shapes on your practice images, just for fun.

Click HERE where I will be sharing with you how to colour an image and blend 3 colours.

Stampin’ Blends – Blending Basics

Stampin’ Blends – Blending Basics

Previously I share with you “9 Stampin’ Blend Crafting Hacks” and storage solutions for your Stampin’ Blends, if you missed you can read it HERE

There are various ways to add ink to paper.  The two most common ways are circling and flicking.  Each technique produces a particular appearance, and knowing how to utilise them will add depth and variation to your creations.

Watch the below video as I share tips for basic colouring and simple, basic blending techniques.

Practice Sheets Download

Download:  Practice Sheets (PDF)

Please click the link above to download the Practice Sheets.  Using these practice sheets, you will be colouring the same images as I, which will make it easier to follow along closely with the videos.  And now just a few things to remember when printing your images:

  • Look for a “do not scale” or “print at 100%” option when printing.  Your particular printer may require that you select “fit to page”.
  • Print on high-quality cardstock or paper that you know works well with Stampin’ Blends.  For suggestions, please see “Stampin’ Blends Product Compatibility” post.
  • If you have never used digital images for Stampin’ Blends, “”print a test page first.  If your printer ink is not compatible with Stampin’ Blends, you can take your practice sheets to a copy center and have them printed on your prefered cardstock.  The ink used in Stampin’ Blends or other toner based printers (like laser printers) work well with Blends.
  • If you need to have your Practice Sheets printed at a copy center or at a friend’s house, consider printing two copies of the practice sheets.  You might want t colour additional Practice Sheets.

Smooth Colouring 

Stampin’ Blends have the unique ability to lay down smooth, even colour without streaks.  Using the following steps, practice smooth colouring with a variety of colours and shades until you achieve a smooth image every time.

Step 1: Colour in small circles.  This will keep the leading edge “wet” and allow the ink to blend with itself, creating a seamless look.

Step 2: Make sure to saturate the entire area so that you eliminate any light or mottled areas

Step 3: Check the back of your card stock to make sure that the ink is saturating through evenly.

Tips & Troubleshooting

  • Do not colour with back-and-forth strokes as this will not saturate the paper evenly and will leave you with streaks.
  • Letting an area dry and going back over it will create uneven patches.
  • Over-saturating or using too much ink may make your ink feather outside the image

Flicking

This technique is achieved by applying ink in quick, single strokes.  The key to this inking technique is to “flick” the marker tip across the paper to create a single stroke that goes from dark to light.

Basic Blending Stampin' Blends

Step 1: Holding the marker loosely, start a downward movement toward the paper

Step 2: As the marker tips touches the paper, quickly move across the paper, bringing your hand up and away at the end of the stroke.  This will apply more ink at the beginning of the stroke and less ink at the end.

Tips & Troubleshooting

  • The darker the shade you use in the “Flick/Feather” technique, the more pronounced the feathered effect.  Use light shades and this technique to blend a colour into white.
  • Flick with the side of the nib for larger, smoother strokes or use the tip of the nib for narrow strokes (image 1)
  • If you are getting a blob of ink at the beginning of your stroke, make sure to start moving your marker as soon as it touches the paper.  The longer it sits in one spot, the more ink the paper will absorb. (image 2)
  • If you are getting a curved “c” or “u” shape instead of a straight line, you might be moving your arm instead of your wrist/fingers. (image 3)

Practice Makes Perfect!

Don’t worry about staying in the lines as you’re learning to blend.  Relax and have fun!  Remember that the Practice Sheets are available for you to use!  (You can always print extras!)

Let’s put the basics to practice and start blending with 2 shades of colour.  Learn more HERE

Stampin’ Blends Hacks, and Storage

Previously I share with you how to test your ink and cardstock with using Stampin’ Blends, if you missed it you can read it HERE.

Today I have lots of information for you.  First I have “Stampin’ Blends” video showing clips of creative ways to use your Stampin’ Blend markers.  After that I have solutions for marker  storage.

Stampin’ Blend Hacks

I cover a lot of info, very quickly in this video!  Here’s a breakdown of all the tricks I share:

  • Custom Ribbon
  • Custom Twine
  • Adding Distress Ink
  • Shading Patterned PAper
  • Calligraphy/Handwriting
  • Custom Rhinestones
  • Custom Pearls
  • Custom Buttons
  • Coloured Wood Veneer
  • Coloured Sequins

Tips & Tricks to Note

  • Just as you would when blending into Stampin’ Blends colouring, experiment with different shades of gray for shading yoru patterned paper
  • Try colouring a full sheet of Basic Rhinestones or pearls and have them ready to go when you need them!
  • Wood soaks in the colour, so reach for a bright/vibrant marker and keep colouring until you’re satisfied with the results.

 

Stampin’ Blends Storage

One question that gets asked the most is: ” How do you store your Stampin’ Blends?”  Storing Stampin’ Blends is easy, just like Stampin’ Write Markers its best to store them sideways to keep the ink flowing between the two nibs.  It’s also best to find the option that works best for you, based on the size of your collection and your available space.

In the beginning this is how I stored my Stampin’ Blends… I found a 7lt tub that I had lying around the house and thought this would be perfect.  It was large enough to hold all my Stampin’ Blends plus more, and it was easily stackable.

 

However, it wasn’t a practical solution for long. While my Blends were laying horizontally which is the correct way to store them, it became a hassle to try and find what colour I needed / wanted.  I had no clue what colours I had on hand, and I always struggled with finding the matching shade (light or dark).  I needed to find an alternative solution and so I did.  Clear Wood Mount cases – I could fit up to 16 markers in one case, they were clear so I could see exactly what colours were in there, and I could easily have them sit on my shelf or desk in my craft room and not take up too much space.

Now it’s time to get right into colouring with our Stampin’ Blends, my next post you’ll be able to download practice sheets and start blending with your Stampin’ Blends.  Learn how Blending Basics HERE 

How do you store your Stampin’ Blends?  Let me know in the comments, would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stampin’ Blends – Product Compatibility

Stampin’ Blends – Product Compatibility

Previously I share with you my views on Copic Markers vs Stampin’ Blends you can read about it HERE.  To get the best results from your Stampin’ Blends, it’s vital to use the right inks and papers.  While I recommend Stamin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock and Memento Black Ink, and all my examples I will be sharing with you will be using these items.  It’s important to do your own testing for product compatibility as everyone’s inking and colouring styles are different.  It’s often a matter of personal preference.

Testing Inks 

Stamp your image onto the paper; let it dry completely.  Scribble over the stamped image with the Stampin’ Blends Colour Lifter.  Does the stamped ink bleed or feather?  If yes – it’s not a compatible ink.  If no-then it’s good ink to use with your Stampin’ Blends

Testing Papers

Draw a circle with a pencil or compatible inking pen.  Colour up to the edges using a lot of ink, saturating your paper.  Does the ink feather outside the line?  If yes-the paper may not be compatible.  If no-then it’s a good paper for your Stampin’ Blends to use.

Testing Digital Images

Print your images as normal and test the printer ink the same way you would stamping ink.  If your printer ink isn’t compatible, you can heat-set the image or make a laser copy before colouring

Next I will be sharing creative ways to use your Stampin’ Blends plus storage solutions you can read about it HERE

Copic vs Stampin’ Blends

Copic vs Stampin’ Blends

I love the look of coloured images with seamless blends of colour and shading, previously the only way to achieve this was using Copic Alcohol Markers.  I’ve always wanted to learn the art of using copic markers, but honestly the thought of actually colouring using copic scared me.

It scared me because there are over 300 different colours, WOW!!!  let’s just take that in for a moment, 358 different colours.   Each marker costs $8.19AUD and if I was to purchase all colours that would set me back almost $3,000AUD, plus the cost of classes, and tutorials to help learn how to use them and understand the copic colouring system.

So, when Stampin’ Up! introduced Stampin’ Blends I decided to give alcohol markers a try.  Stampin’ Up! currently have 60 colours total (a light and dark shade of these colours) Balmy Blue, Basic Black, Bermuda Bay, Blackberry Bliss, Cajun Craze, Call Me Clover, Calypso Coral, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Daffodil Delight, Flirty Flamingo, Granny Green Apple, Highland Heather, Lovely Lipstick, Mango Melody, Mint Macaron, Mossy Meadow, Night of Navy, Old Olive, Petal Pink, Pineapple Punch, Pool Party, Poppy Parade, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, Rich Razzleberry, Shaded Spruce, Smoky Slate, Soft Sea Foam, Soft Suede) as well as 3 single colours: Bronze, Ivory and a clear color lifter marker. Plus Stampn’ Up! are continually introducing new colours

Markers can be purchased individually $7.75AUD or in a combo pack of 2 (light & dark shade).  nb there is no discount for purchasing Stampin’ Blends in a combo pack.  If I was to purchase the whole set (all 63 current markers) the cost would be less than $500AUD, a big difference from purchasing Copic Markers.

Why Stampin’ Blends

Pros:

  • The colours, as the name suggests, blend beautifully, mainly because the colours are picked out and designed to blend with each other. If you have never coloured with alcohol markers before this will take out the guesswork and lessen the learning curve.
  • Dual-tip marker includes brush and bullet nib.
  • Markers are rectangular so they don’t roll around on the table.
  • This set has a great range of colours with nothing superfluous.  I like how they picked a limited palette with plenty of colour options to get you started.
  • Since all of the markers are available individually you can replace a colour as you use it up or build your collection a couple of markers at a time (and it is the same price per marker whether you buy in a set or singles.)
  • Colours are easy to erase with the color lifter.

Cons:

  • The nib is a felt/fiber type nib and not foam like copics so it is less springy and flexible.
  • You can’t refill the marker or replace the nib, so when ink runs out you will need to replace it by purchasing another marker
  • The caps might be a bit tough to snap on and off but they do stay on securely!

Let’s Recap

  • Top-quality project designed to a life-long art tool
  • Alcohol ink can be layered and blended without harming paper surface
  • Waterproof and acid free
  • Ink formulas and colours consistent with Stampin’ Up! colour families
  • Low odor, nontoxic and environmentally friendly
  • Works on multiple surfaces
  • Purchase individually or in a combo pack

Bottom line: I think these markers are priced fairly for the quality. If you are just getting started and you want to take the guesswork out of colouring these are sure to please.

My next post I will be sharing how to get the best results from your Stampin’ Blends.  Read it HERE

The Joy of Colouring

Colouring, at first glance, may seem childish, unimportant, silly even – an act that many of us did when we were young.  But think back, remember why you coloured, and how you felt when you were doing it.

For me, it is a form of communication, a way to gather the ideas from my head and transfer them to paper, creating a visual image that is easily understood.  Colouring is also a form of relaxation.  The act of colouring itself becomes a meditation that relieves stress, relaxes the body and clarifies thought processes. Colouring is something I’ve learnt to love again… and I want you to love it too.

With the myriad of colouring mediums that are available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even frustrated.  Fortunately, Stampin’ Up! own Stampin’ Blends alcohol ink markers are easy tools to use!  With a growing colour selection and each colour available in a light and dark shade, available individually or in a combo pack. There’s no guesswork involved, so you can forget about the “how” and focus on the “do”.

Over the next few blog posts I will be sharing with you tips, techniques and projects ideas using Stampin’ Blends.  I hope to lead you down the road to successful (and frustration free) colouring.

In my next post I will be sharing my views on Copic Markers vs Stampin’ Blends.  Read about it HERE

 

 

Using Coordinating Stamps & Dies in your card making

Using Coordinating Stamps & Dies in your card making

One of the greatest ideas/tools/inventions for a card maker has to be coordinating stamps and dies.  Having a die that can cut out an image in one pass through a die-cutting machine like the Big Shot saves so much time, especially on really intricate images.  Even with this great product, I find a lot of crafters are sometimes confused on how to use the two.  There really is no right or wrong way.

Today, I will walk you through a few basic steps n how I ensure a great cut around my stamped images.

First, I stamp my images onto a piece of cardstock using the desired colour.  If I’m water colouring I will use StazOn ink and if I’m colouring with my Stampin’ Blends I will use Memento Black Ink.

Then I apply my dies over the stamped images.  Use a low-tack tape or something like washi tape to hold the die pieces together or try the magnetic platform plate.

Remove the die cuts from the dies.  The images are now ready to use for projects.  The die cuts I don’t use I keep with my stamp set for future use.

Coordinating Stamps & Dies

Next time you’re buying a stamp set, buy the bundle and save 10% plus you’ll be able to die cut your images to add to your handmade greeting card.