I love the look of watercolors, but I also just love using my copic markers – which are alcohol based. Both have a place in my craft room, but I often wonder, can I get the vibrancy that I get with copics by using watercolor, and can I get a soft watercolor look from using alcohol markers?
Well, yesterday I tried a little experiment…and I am thrilled at the way it turned out! When I use my copic markers I always have a problem with getting a nice soft background and often I just either sponging some color on, which I usually end up hating, or just going without any type of colored background, which sometimes makes the card look unfinished. I wanted to get a watercolored background look with my copic markers – so here is what I did.
I stamped my image on copic x-press it paper using memento tuxedo black ink. I filled my aqua brush with copic colorless blender and scribbled some dark blue color (B69) on my craft sheet. I picked up the color from the craft sheet with my aqua brush and began coloring the background – starting from the center of the image and working out. I continued picking up color and working my way around the image, Because the aqua brush is adding the colorless alcohol you can get a nice variation of color – and if you want more intense color just add a bit of color to the tip of the brush. I love the look it created. Just a note: if you want to devote one aqua brush for alcohol just mark the brush with a label so that it does not get mixed up with other brushes that are filled with water.
So, then I thought…that colorless blender from copic is rather expensive, what if I use just plain rubbing alcohol? Would I get the same, or at least as good results? I figured what have I got to lose? So I just poured some 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol into another aqua brush and went to work, I used the same image stamped on the same paper , same copic color (B69), and used the same technique.
Here is what I learned:
-Both the colorless blender and regular rubbing alcohol worked and provided a watercolored look, However, using the plain rubbing alcohol I noticed that it caused the color to change. With the copic blender the color stayed true to the shade of blue, although less intense because there was much more colorless liquid involved. Using rubbing alcohol the color was not as intense and had more of a purple hue than blue. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing except if you were really looking for a blue color. Here are the two pieces side by side so that you can see the slight variation of color.
-Using an aqua brush – I found the aqua brush very easy to work with doing this technique and on this paper (copic x-press it) I merely had to pick up color from the craft sheet when I needed it. I will have to try this technique on other cardstock and on watercolor paper in the future to see how they react.
-Copic Colorless blender costs about $11 for a 200cc bottle (at Oozak). 200 cc is about 6.8 ounces. A bottle of 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol, 16 ounces costs about $2.20 at Walgreens. In my area the colorless blender is not available in local stores, only online. So there is a significant difference in price and that may be a determining factor for you. In my test the plain rubbing alcohol changed the color and its intensity. This may or may not be a good tradeoff – it all depends on your personal preference. You can use the rubbing alcohol and test colors ahead of time to see how they work.
Now that I was finished with my experiment it was time to make a card! I used the piece I made using the colorless blender for the background.
Once I colored the background I worked on the flowers – these are paperwhites and are a winter bloom. In order to get some dimension I used grey copics (C1 and C3) for shading, Y08 for the centers, and YG03 and YG63 for the leaves. The rhinestones used were already a light green, but I needed them to be darker so I colored them with a YG97 marker. The ribbon is a silk ribbon from May Arts and is absolutely luscious! If ever I was limited to just one ribbon it would be these silks from May Arts. They are expensive and I hoard my supply using them only for very special cards (this card will be going to my mom). The scallop was done with an EK punch.
Because I used a “winter bloom” on my card, I am playing along with Power Poppy’s Winter Blooms Power and Spark Challenge. Details can be found HERE.
Thanks for stopping by today!
A few days ago we woke up to temperatures in the 20’s but today it is in the mid 70’s! That’s how it is in northwest Florida. And because of the beautiful temperatures I am still in springtime mode with watercoloring.
I am really such a beginner at watercoloring, and while stamps help I struggle to control the water, often ending up with just blobs of color. My craft room contains many different brushes, several different brands of watercolor paint and a variety of watercolor paper. All range from the very cheap to the more expensive. The biggest impact in helping me do better however is the type of watercolor paper. I’ve found that the better quality paper will allow better control of the colors and blending. Here is my unscientific test of two brands of watercolor paper.
The stamps are all from Art Impressions. I used the same stamps, same brand of water based markers (although in slightly different colors) but two different watercolor papers. Here is what I used – the unfinished card on the left uses Artist Touch, the finished card on the right uses Saunders.
Artist Touch Watercolor (the small blue tablet) – 140 lb weight cold press made in China. Twelve 4 x 6 sheets for $2 at Hobby Lobby (before coupons, taxes etc). Aside from the price I choose this because it is a nice bright white color and most watercolor papers are more off white.
Saunders Waterford – 140 lb cold press, 100% cotton made in England. A block of twenty 12 x 9 sheets for about $30 at Dick Blick. I purchased this based on the recommendation from an online watercolor class I took.
The results? While I like the bright white of the Artist Touch paper, I found it difficult to work with. Even the smallest amount of water would spread the color around quickly. I ended up throwing away two pieces before I was able to get one I was reasonable happy with. I was able to work much longer with color with the Saunders paper. The card on the right with the Saunders paper was my first try – so there was no waste.
About the cost…while the Saunders paper is more expensive, let me break it down to what it costs for a 4 x 6 piece. The Artist Touch paper breaks down to about $.17 per 4 x 6 sheet. With Saunders, breaking down the price of the block of twenty 12 x 9 sheets works out to about $.38 per 4 x 6 piece. While Saunders ends up being about double, I think $.38 for a card front is well worth it. And I had no waste when I used this brand.
Now, I think the less expensive brands have a place in my craft room – I will use them for practicing and testing colors. I also like using watercolor paper as card bases and using the cheaper versions will work just fine for this purpose.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Hello my crafty friends! I’m breaking out my watercolor stamps. I love these images from Art Impressions – they are easy to use and work up quickly. The first card is a fence scene.
The fence was stamped using a sepia marker (all the markers used here are water based). Then I added in all the foliage and floral stamps using different colors – and used an aqua pen to blend.
The next is a quick thank you card I made using the pot and more of the foliage and floral stamps from AI. This one came together very quickly. The sentiment is from Papertrey.
Thanks for stopping by today!
It look like much of the country is feeling the bitter cold weather today and here in Florida we have not escaped it. I woke up to 25 degree temperatures and it looks like we won’t get out of the 30’s today. I’ve lived here for thirteen years and we’ve never had a day where it stayed in the 30’s. Thankfully it won’t last long – it looks like by Wednesday we’ll hit 70 degrees. Until then I am staying inside and bundling up!
So, let me bring a little warmth to your day by sharing a card I made with the beautiful Tulip image from Power Poppy.
The image was printed on copic x-press it paper and colored with copics. I took my color inspiration for the photo below, although my dark color is more of a magenta than red/orange.
Happy New Year my crafty friends! I hope your holiday season went well and that the new year holds wonderful things for you. Here in Northwest Florida the holiday season is still in mid stream because we are just about to start Mardi Gras season. When I lived in Connecticut and California I thought of Mardi Gras only on the actual Fat Tuesday when the news showed all the celebration in New Orleans. Little did I know that the party is all along the northern gulf coast and begins on January 6 and ends on Fat Tuesday, which is February 28th this year. This area will be filled with parties, balls and parades until then.
So. onto cardmaking. Have you ever taken a favorite card of yours and made different version of it? I frequently use the same overall design or sketch and mix it up with a variety of colors and patterns and stamps. Take a look at the cards below.
I created the pink version back in 2010. I love the overall design and the simplicity of the image. The rhinestones, ribbon and hat pin with beads, along with the pink and black color scheme all come together for a very feminine card. I wanted to take this card and make a masculine version of it so I took another image and colored it with blue and black copic markers (I used the B00 – B05 and N1 – N8 colors). I chose a different embossing folder and used just the bare minimum of embellishments – a metal brad.
I really like how the masculine version came out and will most likely use this overall design again.
Thanks for stopping by today!