First of all, I want to thank everyone for their enthusiastic support of my new blog. I apologize that I am new to blogging, I didn't realize that I needed to set up a subscription feature, so there it is, happily gleaming at the bottom of my page for all of you who are dying to get updates about this site (I hope I set it up correctly).
Second, I will try to post every day or two, or something like that. I currently don't have a laptop, meaning that when I travel, no one can get in contact with me (I like to think of it as my subtle protest against technology). It also means that I enjoy myself more when I travel :) So when we go to CHA this summer I may be sadly out of touch, but know that you are still loved. As for content, I will try to mix beginner with advanced, with color theory, with general tips, so hopefully each week there will be something new for everyone. Please let me know if there is something you want to see more of, (besides Copic Certification classes closer to your hometown- I know everyone wants those! Just e-mail me to get on my mailing list) Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
A question I get all the time is "HELP! My coloring looks Awful! What am I doing wrong?" And while I would like to say there are easy answers there really aren't because there are too many factors involved. I will ask 1. What Paper are you using? 2. What Ink are you stamping with? 3. What do you mean it looks awful? Does the colored area look bad, is the ink line smearing, are you getting blotching, the colors don't blend right... help me here, since I need these details to make it all come out happy in the end.
However, without talking about papers, line quality, or blending (yet- have patience I will cover these in the upcoming days) here are some troubleshooting tips for everyone to try when coloring plain, smooth areas. These are simple circles that I drew onto color laser copier paper- my favorite scratch paper. It's thin for stampers, but it is good for exaggerating problems. I colored each one with a B32 marker. The colors on the reverse are slightly off because I increased the contrast to show the effect more. The pic on the left is the front, the pic on the right is the backside.
My coloring is uneven- this is the most common problem and the easiest solved. You're not saturating the paper enough.
S L O W D O W N. Color in circles and really saturate the paper. Flip the paper over- does it look even on the backside? If it looks uneven then color over the same area with the same marker. Really soak the paper smooth.
I've got streaks! - You got streaks because you let an area dry before you finished coloring. This is a problem on larger areas more than small areas. In this case, Speed Up, but make sure the paper is saturated and stays "wet" along the edges. See how the streak is darker, especially on the back? You can layer the same color over an already colored spot and it will make it darker. This is a quick way to add simple shading.
I was coloring along just fine, I shifted my paper and it smeared- This one's easy. ALWAYS color over scratch paper. You most likely were coloring a piece of cardstock on top of a smooth surface like plastic or your cutting mat. When you really soak the paper it soaks right through to your table and you moved your paper while it was still wet, ruining all your hard work. Scratch paper, or something absorbent solves this problem.
I was coloring along just fine and suddenly a new color appeared in my pretty picture- This goes with the above problem. Always color over CLEAN scratch paper. In this case my pretty blue picked up a nice purple that was left on the paper from something I colored earlier. OOPS! Just keep a few sheets of clean newsprint or copier paper under your artwork. If you get ink on a tabletop you can clean it up with hand sanitizer, but try to avoid messing up tables in the first place :)
I've had the markers for a while and they just have a hard time soaking the paper nowadays. Time to refill. You'll find the more you use your markers, you'll end up using more pale colors and especially your favorite background colors will go dry first. Ciao markers will need refilling sooner than others. Of the three B32 markers on my desk, only one is really juicy. I'm lazy or else I would have filled them a while ago. Check the chart on the sidebar for refilling, or go to the Copic website.
So what does a well colored area REALLY look like?
Like this- front and back are pretty smooth. Even in my example you can see where I have room for improvement in smoothing my coloring (note: on some cardstock it is harder to tell from the backside that it was smoothly colored because it is so thick. Practice on thinner, high-quality paper until you get used to how much the paper needs to be saturated). I highly suggest that you do NOT color on watercolor paper. This will suck your marker dry before you can smoothly color an area.
I hope this helps a bit. Practice will make the most difference in your coloring results.