Monday, August 18, 2008

Coloring on Plastic

For those of you who haven't commented yet on the new Brochure, don't forget to leave your thoughts on Thursday's post last week for your chance to win. Also, a reminder to people who are applying for the Kansas City or Charleston, SC Certification classes, your applications will be accepted starting on Wed. so get those ready to e-mail back to me. Don't have an application? e-mail me.

I was about to work on a project and I realized that you might like to see a simple altered art application for Copics. All Copic markers (not multiliners) are filled with permanent alcohol inks, and alcohol inks are great because they work on so many different surfaces.

Altering Clear Acrylic Sheets
Copic Markers and inks are permanent on plastic. This is great for those of you who want to do something on clear acrylic pieces. Ellen Hutson recently posted a technique for piercing plastic which reminded me that I had this project I've wanted to make for at least a month. Ellen didn't alter her album with Copic inks though, but she suggested using alcohol inks for a nice effect.

Just a few of the great things about working directly with Copic inks onto surfaces other than paper:

1. Non Toxic. I can spritz our blender solution onto my work and it's not harmful to my lungs
2. 322 colors. Not enough colors? you can mix your own as well.
3. Dropper built into each bottle. This makes it easy to drip inks in a controlled manner.
4. You can refill your marker with the same ink.
5. Works on many surfaces. I've altered wood, leather, metal, plastic, wigs, feathers, fabric, silk scarves, and oh so much more.

I picked up this fun clear letter album set from Clear Scraps. I want this simple album to be a sticker book for my son, so I'm not addding too many embellishments, just colors and distressing so he can fill it with stickers he gets this year in Kindergarten.

To make his name I colored only the backside of the plastic pieces. Although you can't see it, I roughed up the edges on each letter with sandpaper just before coloring it to give it a bit of texture up close. Then, I scribbled with markers or dripped inks directly onto the surface. I let it dry and put it all together. Very simple and fun.

The nice thing about working on plastic is that if you make a mistake, you can clean it completely with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. In some spots where I got the ink too dark I dabbed or dripped blender solution on and gently removed color.

When you are coloring with the markers directly on the plastic the marker will streak, so work quickly and don't layer too much ink if you want it smooth.

Let your work dry completely. Although thin layers of ink are dry after a minute or so, dense areas need to dry longer. Watch out for really dense ink spots, they may get sticky and not dry completely on surfaces like this. If you get an area that is too dark you can dampen a paper towel with blender or alcohol and dab it off.

Dark colors will show up much better than light colors on glossy surfaces. This is especially true if you are coloring directly with the markers and not dripping inks on.

If you want really smooth, even coverage over plastics or odd surfaces you can always airbrush them. Sometime I'm planning on sharing more about this, for those directions you can go to our Library and download the Airbrushing brochure.

Another fun way of working with the inks is to drip on hand sanitizer. This has a slower drying time and you can smear the inks around like fingerpaints for some neat effects.

Here is my son's fun, finished album. It took me maybe 20 minutes to make and he'll have a great time putting stickers on it this year. (Sorry, I didn't write down what colors I used, since I scribbled and dripped a bunch from each color family).


Nicole said...

That is a great idea for Luke! AND for yourself as a keepsake for his first year! I might have to copy it for my Kindergartner, too!

Do these same principals apply to glass?

Sandy Knecht said...

I love the effect. Thanks for telling us about this.

Karolyn at Paper Therapy said...

What a darling idea! Very creative, and I'm sure Luke will LOVE it! Thanks for sharing, Marianne!

marianne walker said...

It's basically the same on glass. I forgot to mention that if your marker is beading up on the surface you need to clean the plastic before coloring.


:Jayne said...

That is awesome! I bet Luke is all ready for some stickers to go in it.
Thanks for letting us know about this.


Keri Lee Sereika said...

Wow that is really fabulous!

Holly Nester said...

I have a Kindergartner this year too, great idea! I thought I read somewhere that copics scratched of acrylic. Do I need to spray something over it to protect from scratches. I'm thinking now I was misinformed! I was thinking I'd need a different marker set for acrylics...pigment ink.

Can you email me your KC certification form? I'll look for your email.


Janice B said...

You can also color your plain jane plastic tools and containers on your worktable (like the clear boxes your Copic Sets come in). Lots of fun to play with it and if you hate the result, wipe off with rubbing alcohol and start over!

jade said...

it can help with tracking from one line to the next. I make them a variety of lengths and widths, Colored plastic sheet

donaleen said...

Will this work on a night light plastic shade?

Barbara Nimmo said...

I stumbled upon your blog post about coloring on plastic, and I must say it's a fascinating technique! Your insights and tips are incredibly helpful for anyone looking to experiment with different mediums in their art.

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