Monday, December 22, 2008

Glossy Cardstock, part 2 - Smooth Coloring

As I suspected, some of you had more questions about what kind of glossy cardstock I was using, and yours doesn't seem to work and you can't blend, etc. Don't worry! I'll explain. Just remember, glossy paper is NOT as easy to use as regular cardstock, so you won't get the same results you do with regular cardstock.

Glossy Papers
First of all, I am using a regular glossy paper that we print on at work. We have 3 weights that we use, and for simplicity I'll say thin, thick, and coated cardstock. It doesn't matter which type I'm using, it's the fact that it's glossy. No, it's not Alcohol Marker Paper, like the Copic paper or the Bienfang Graphics 360; rather it is glossy paper, sort of like what magazines are printed on but just a little thicker.

Glossy photo papers should work, though some have a thin coating that the markers "eat" through. If you start coloring and it seems like a layer of something is peeling off or getting mucked up, then you probably shouldn't use that paper. Test a small area before coloring a larger piece.

Before I get into blends, I want to make sure that we have smooth coloring down first, so today we'll talk about getting smooth colors on glossy paper. Glossy paper is very unforgiving. If you make a mistake and go outside the line you can't fix your mistakes with the colorless blender. Sorry, doesn't work. You get one shot to color correctly and that's it. At least on vellum you can erase your mistakes. As someone commented, their paper seemed to dry too fast. Yes, the glossy paper dries very quickly and doesn't give you time to blend smoothly or erase, rather it just adds another layer of color and looks bad.

Smooth Coloring on Glossy paper
The best advice I can give you to get smooth coloring is to don't lift up your marker from the paper and color fairly quickly. Any time you lift up the marker you will get streaks. Color in small circles, color back and forth, whichever way works best for you, just don't lift up the tip of your marker.

When I lift up on each stroke do you see how streaky the colored area gets? Even in that short motion the paper had a chance to dry and the marker streaks. Don't worry about soaking through the paper, glossy doesn't work that way.

I do like the effect you get from dabbing color on, it has a nice mottled feel.

As for layering, it is really easy to color a second or third time and get your base color darker. Notice I'm not getting any blends. With glossy paper you will have a much easier time getting crisp shading lines, not smooth blends (more on blends later).

No matter how you look at it though, glossy paper is NOT the same as regular cardstock. I was getting best results from the brush end of a Sketch/Ciao for these examples. With the broad end of a Copic it's a little harder to avoid streaks. The fine point is great for smooth, tiny little details however. I do like how crisp and clean my Memento ink stamps onto coated or glossy cardstock- it's very rich, deep, and clean, even on the tiny details like the example in my last post.

Stampin' Up Paper
SU! Whisper White cardstock is a hybrid paper. It is a coated paper intended for water-based coloring media (markers) so it doesn't pill up when colored on with SU! markers. When using Copics on SU! paper you will get better results if you treat it like a glossy cardstock, NOT a regular cardstock. This is why I have said before that you shouldn't use SU! paper with your Copics. If you color in the ways I have been teaching for regular cardstock then it just won't work very well. Some people use it for coloring with Copics and they get great results. Now that I've explained why it doesn't work as well or how to get it to work better maybe you can get it to work better in your projects (let me know how it goes).

For my final artwork today, I am working on thin, regular glossy cardstock (I don't rememebr what brand or the exact weight). I used Memento Tuxedo Black ink and let it dry well. Image is from GCS Artstamps, Daisies.


craftyteaspoon said...

Ahhh, this explains it! I get great results with SU! Whisper White when doing small pictures I get great results. But when I have large areas or try techniques with the blender I get lousy results.

Again Marianne you have solved a problem for me. Thank you!

Candy said...

Hi Marianne,
Yes!! Now I know why I am not getting the look I want with my Copics. I have been using SU Whisper White paper all this time.
Could you please tell me what paper I should be working on and where I can buy it in BC??
Many thanks.
Merry Christmas!!

MaggiLiz Creations said...

This is a question. Can the markers be used to color rubber stamps and then stamp the image on cardstock.

marianne walker said...

yes, you can but it's tricky. I'll post about it later.

kris fulk said...

I'm sorry, Marianne, but what is the difference between the super thin Alcohol Marker Bienfang paper and glossy paper? I ask because it seems like the ink stays on the top layer for either one. Thanks in advance!

marianne walker said...

The bienfang has an absorbent layer with a core that's treated. You get smoother coloring on these papers because of the top layer. Glossy is much thicker and coated on the outside.

Unknown said...

Nice read. Very good post for fun and some time pass.
Friv 10

Unknown said...

Hi, I'm taking the time to comment and to say thank you so much for this, because it's really (I mean REALLY) almost impossible to find information about the use of alcohol markers on glossy paper (it doesn't matter wich trademark it could be...). I use Copic and Spectrum Noir markers on an XL Markers Pad Canson Paper (the pink one, yeah), and it is so difficult to find other people using it, it's ridiculous that Canson, an important company doesn't have a video about this paper, or may be a review. I have cleared a lot of questions I used to have about this combination. I'd like to find more about all of this.