Watercolor background with alcohol ink

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.

EDITED:  The video tutorial for this can be found on this post HERE.

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!