Monday, July 7, 2008

Marker Blending on Paper

I hope all of you had a rejuvenating weekend, and are ready for the daily grind again. Thank you to the few stampers who stopped by and visited me at the show. My workshops went well, though not as many people laughed at my cheesy jokes on the second day. Hmm, maybe I need some new material. Anyone know any good marker jokes? ;)

Anyways, I can't believe that CHA is less than 2 weeks away. Aaack! I am not ready- and I leave next Monday to teach the Milwaukee Certification class and Chicago classes. I am really looking forward to meeting all of you that have registered. I'll have a better idea tomorrow how many spaces I have left. I think Milwaukee is almost full, but I still have room for Chicago on the 16th. If you contacted me over the weekend I will get back to you, don't worry. For those of you coming to CHA, stop by booth 2848 and see demos by Debbie Olson, Michelle Wooderson, Kathy Sanders, as well as me and the rest of the Copic Crew.

Marker blending on Paper
Today I am going to elaborate on the technique I showed on thursday for blending colors. This technique is the one I use most, since it works well for larger areas, and I tend to color larger things than the average stamp. This works best with similar colors, or colors in the same Natural Blending Group on matte cardstock.

I'm showing you this with Sketch markers, though it works with any of our marker types. I strongly suggest that the first times you try this, use lighter colors, since the darker colors take more effort. Once you are comfortable with how this works, then you can move to darker colors.

Note: This is only one way of many to blend. This can be a tricky way to blend, so if it doesn't work for you, don't feel bad. One of the other blending techniques will probably fit you better.

1. Color evenly, really soaking the paper. Color in circles to keep you edges wet and to avoid streaks.

2. While it is still wet, add your darker color to one side. Lift up at the end of the stroke, so you have more ink on the shadow side and less on the edge where it will be blending. You can do this step after your base color has dried, it is easier however to do it while the base is wet.

3. Go back over the darker color with your first color. Add a lot of ink and really soak it in. This is what hides those rough edges and mixes the two colors together to get a smooth blend. If this doesn't work for you, try using colors that are closer in value to each other, or use lighter colors to begin with.

I repeat steps 2 and 3, layering more and more ink until it gets as smooth as I want it. You won't destroy your paper, don't worry.
4. Add a third color if you wish, again, using the same technique. Start with your lightest, add your middle color, go back with your lightest to blend those two layers together, then add your darkest, then go back with your middle to blend the dark into the rest of the picture. Finish up by using your lightest color.

5. If you really want to, use the colorless blender to add a highlight back in. Now my circle really feels like a ball and not a pancake. For a stronger highlight, use Opaque White and paint a white spot back in.

Troubleshooting: If you find your color feathering out too much, and your paper usually doesn't feather, then let your colored area dry a little bit before adding your darker layer. You're really adding a lot of marker in one spot, so be aware of how much it might bleed, and keep plenty of scratch paper underneath. If you are getting a line when you try blending in the lighter color, try saturating the whole area with the light color, not just the feathered edge. The line means that something is dry and you need the whole shape to be wet to look smooth.

Stamped Image: Flowers in a Pot by Lockhart Stamps, Paper: Neenah Cardstock Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black.


Janet said...

Marianne -- Thank you so much for showing this. I've purchased 40 markers in the last month and have been working at blending. Of course, I've been doing it backwards! I'm so glad you've shown me the correct way. Now if I can just get my black ink to stop bleeding! I purchased some Palette Noir and use it on PTI white. I've even tried to heat-set it. Guess I need to get Momento and try that. You've helped me so much! Without you, I probably wouldn't have purchased Copics, much less know how to use them! Thank you!

Ann said...

This article is like one of those "OoooooH" moments when you finally understand why your own blending hasn't been working....those simple little words of "soak the paper". That's why my blending wasn't working!! Thank you soooo much. I just love our articles. Now if I just had all the funds to get the markers I don't have!!

Ann C

Mandy said...

I'm so sad! I'll be at CHA, but I'm not coming early! :( I'll be there late afternoon on the 17th. Hope that the class goes well! I LOVE your blog and hope to see you at a class sometime!!

LucyL said...

I´m new to stamping and I have saved 300$ to get started with my copics... do I have to nuy the refiller rigth away?, how much does the ink last if you use them for blending like that? I mean if you use them a lot how long thoes the ink last? what would you recomend to start with?
Thank for all you advise, your blog is wonderful

marianne walker said...

You shouldn't have to refill very soon, since the pictures you're coloring in aren't very large. You probably should get a large bottle of the blender refill, since the blender pen is used the most.

I can't say what colors are best to start with, since I don't know what images and papers you have. However, you will be happy if you start with Natural Blending families (see the post last month on those) good luck and enjoy!

Sandy Knecht said...

I think that must be my problem. I don't get my paper really wet with the color so my blending doesn't really hit the spot. Thank you for the tips. They're great!

Take care and STAY POSITIVE! Trena said...

Great tips Marianne! I'm bound and determined to get smooth shading - this helps a lot! :o)

Take care and STAY POSTIIVE!