If I seem a bit scattered I apologize, my son has enlisted in the Marines and is now trying to move his bootcamp date up from February to ASAP. We are so proud of him and are thrilled that he is going to be serving his country, at the same time I have "Mom Jitters," the biggest of course being that this is the first time he will really be away from us in his 19 years of life. And right now he is called a "poolie," (correct me if I am wrong), enlisted but has not yet gone through boot camp.
His sister (who is older but still lives at home) is also going to miss him tremendously. While they are five years apart the two of them are very, very close, which is so wonderful to see in action.
On top of our son enlisting we are also having major renovations done to our home (roof, solar, new windows, hall bathroom update, back bathroom repairs, insulation, skylight new door) depending on how the work goes I may miss a post or two, but will try to at least post a quick update.
All in all a busy time, however not so busy that I can't stamp and color : )
I have received a number of emails from people interested in attending Copic classes in the Bay Area, please email me if you are interested Jacquie at afterhoursstamper dot com. I will be putting together locations/dates/times in the near future.
This week I wanted to go over a few hints on how you can improve your Copic coloring. First of all you must remember to practice, practice and then practice some more. Take some of your favorite stamps and stamp them on your paper (more about paper in a bit), stamp the image twice (you will get one good image and one much lighter), and play with the lighter image.
Experiment with different techniques, marker to marker, blender pen, picking color up from a pallet (scribbling a marker color on a plastic surface and picking the color up with another colored pen, usually the dark color is scribbled and the plastic and the lighter pen picks up the color)
Lets say you start coloring an image and you don't like how it is turning out. Go to a different part of the image and practice something else, ie, the clothes on the image didn't turn out, but you practice coloring the skin and that turns out great! In other words utilize your stamped images as much as possible. And don't be afraid to make mistakes! You will not be perfect at first, but the more you use the pens properly the more you will get comfortable with knowing how to color and blend the pens.
When you like the results you get make sure to write down on the sample what you did, ie, the colors, paper and so on. Believe me, you will not remember what you did nor the colors you used unless you take a minute to write down what you did.
And you should always start with the lightest color first, adding the darker colors as you go along. It will be MUCH easier for you to get nice graduated blending if you saturate your paper with your lightest color and add the darker colors. The darker colors "soak" into the lighter ones, giving you a nice start to your blending. If you start with the darker color it is much harder to blend away the sharp lines.
Paper: I did get my Xpress It copic paper and LOVE it! My personal preference is the Xpress paper, much better then using the Gina K or the Neenah paper. What I have found with the Gina K paper is that the ink sits on top of the paper and after you start blending you get a very heavy deposit of ink build up because the paper does not absorb the ink.
You want your paper to absorb the ink, what you don't want is for the paper to be so absorbent that the color "wicks/bleeds" beyond your coloring area. The Xpress paper is better then the Neenah in this regard, both absorb the ink wonderfully, the Neenah tends to wick outside of your coloring area. Now, the Xpress it paper will eventually bleed as well, however it can absorb much more ink before it starts to bleed. Does this all make sense?
Think of it this way: You want your paper to be like a sponge with the ink so that you can "pour" in more color and allow the colors to soak into each other and blend easily. What you don't want is for the paper to be so much of a sponge that your color bleeds outside of where you are coloring. When the ink sits on top of the paper you are then trying to blend your inks without any "buffer" and the ink tends to build up very quickly (especially with the darker/heavily pigmented 7's, 8's and 9's).
Here are some examples of how I practice/play with my images and copic markers (note that I did not write down on my samples what Copics I used, something I should have done)
I stamped a Tilda twice and then played with blending on the above sample, and also fooled around with face color as well. This is the Xpress paper which is amazing, as you can see the red (which is very hard to blend) just went together like a dream, same thing for the purples. I knew that I was not going to use these images for a card so I wasn't afraid to play with them and just color parts of the image for practice.
I stamped the above image twice and used the second stamping (lighter one) as my sample. As you can see I was playing around with the E's for the face, and also was playing around with the color for the shirt. The second image is the one I will use on a card, just need to finish coloring it in, and I can use my "practice" image to play around with some different looks for the wings and hair.
Here I have two images, the one on the left didn't stamp completely so I inked up the stamp to get a better stamped image. For the face/skin tone I was playing around with E50, 51 and 53. For the image on the left I put the colors down and blended on the card stock, for the image on the right I used the tip to tip (51 picking up some of the 53) to see if I liked the blending better.
I think I prefer the 50's for skin (less red then the E00), however I have an issue with the E53 leaving a line of dark pigment that is hard to blend (thus the reason I tried the tip to tip).
Here are two images side by side, the one on the left is the "lighter/second" image. As you can see I am playing around with the hair color for the image, and also used some of the Copic Opaque to make white dots on the shirt. And I also colored the face a little differently, same Copics used, just tried to lay down less of the dark color.
The above is a finished image, colored and highlighted with a clear glitter pen. Before doing this image I played around with a sample image, and that allowed me to know what I needed to do with this image. Again, I should have written down all the colors I used. Am really going to have to work on that.
And no, I did not forget to include links:
Copic Opaque White: Mariann at "I like markers" has a great post on how to use the Opaque White (and yes, I did get some it is wonderful to use!)
X-Press It Paper: Nice blog post comparing the Neenah to the X-Press It paper (I will be doing one as well next week.)
Nice video on the new paper (and the other parts can be found here)
Way too long of a post today! And sorry this is so very late, will have an "extra" post later this week for some other links I have been saving.
Until then, I hope your week is filled with all sorts of paper crafting goodness! And thank you so much for visiting the blog.