Friday, May 29, 2009

Prizes this weekend

Want another chance at cool prizes?
I'm still celebrating my Blogsiversary so be on the lookout for cool blog prizes all weekend long.

YOu still have a chance to win the marker set on Sharon Harnist's site.

Hop on over there, then for the new prize today check out Michelle Wooderson for a really neat giveaway! You'll have to go see what it is, I won't spill the beans.

Saturday, head over to Debbie Olson for another chance to win something cool.

Then Monday you can come back here and see what neat things I have in store for you. Trust Me...You don't want to miss this :)

Congratulations to the winner from Sally Lynn's prize drawing of a set of Glitter pens...

Also, thank you for all the fun comments on so many blogs about the cute Kona the Turtle set I drew for Joy and Daisy over at eP. I must say, I absolutely LOVE being able to share my little doodles with everyone and bring smiles to faces of people I don't know.

Here is a closeup of a second version of yesterday's image of Kona. I wanted this one to look wet, so I took a fine toothpick and very lightly added tiny specks of white over my image to look like shiny light reflecting off my turtle.

Have a rockin' weekend! See you monday :)

Oh, I forgot to mention, If you are in the Dallas, TX area this weekend and visiting the Anime show, A-Kon, go and check out the Copic Booth. There will be coloring workshops by Ryan Weber, a fabulous charicaturist. So check it out and buy some markers!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Big Wave & Prizes

We have a lot of stuff to cover today, so let's start with winners!!

Winnipeg Certification Giveaway Winners

Congrats to our two lucky winners!!!

Linda Shewchuck

Gail Neduzak

Thank you both for your fabulous e-mails and we know you will both have fun learning more about Copics. You get to enjoy a great class taught by Sherrie Siemens in just a couple weeks.
Ready for the next giveaway in my week of Prizes? Check out Sharon Harnist today for a chance to win something really neat. I won't spoil what you win, but it's worth stopping by. You have until this evening to enter to win on Sally Lynn's site as well.

Certification Update
Salt Lake City, UT on June 11th taught by Marianne is now open to the public. As is the Belmont, NH class tauught by Sally Lynn on June 14th. Here is a rundown of the status on all upcoming classes:

Smithville, OH class on May 31st taught by Sally Lynn is Full.
Winnipeg, Manitoba class on June 6th taught by Sherrie Siemens is open to the public.
Salt Lake City, UT class on June 11th taught by Marianne is open to the public.
Belmont, NH class on June 14th taught by Sally Lynn MacDonald is open to the public.
Durham, NC class on June 28th taught by Sally Lynn is open to Stores, Teachers, & Design Team members only.
Orlando, FL class on July 27th taught by Marianne is open to Stores, Teachers, & Design Team members only.

Get on the mailing list for upcoming Summer classes (sign up on the sidebar of my blog):
Vancouver, BC August 15th taught by Sherrie.
Eau Claire, WI August 16th taught by Sally Lynn
San Diego, CA August 17th taught by Marianne
Calgary August 22nd & Edmonton August 29th taught by Sherrie.
Coconut Creek, FL August 30th taught by Sally Lynn
Minneapolis, MN (Date TBA, Mid Sept.) taught by Marianne

Now, for a quick Summer tutorial that may help you make some fun backgrounds for your projects. You may have seen this before, but I figured my project today is perfect for the upcoming Summer Days. On a budget? You can still make a cute card with only white paper, stamps, and markers with this technique.

Wide Water Background
This is a simple squiggle made with a wide marker. Just hold the chisel firmly against your paper at an angle that is easy for you to hold. Make a gentle swatch with a bit of a wave in it. Overlap these and you have a great water background.

You can do this with any marker, but the Wide marker will cover the largest area. I used B32 for this project.

For my very quick final project the only paper I used is plain white, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White. I made the background waves using the technique I just showed you.

Work on a larger paper than you need and trim the uneven marker edges off, or color over the edge of the paper on all sides to make sure you don't get funny blobs where you first hold the marker to the paper.

Now my background paper looks like designer paper with waves on it. I trimmed along the top wave to mimic the water.

The orange paper on my final image was made with a wide YR04 marker so it would match the turtle's shorts. I drew the squiggle, trimmed it down, then added the extra line down the midle with a Multiliner. Other colors I used: B32, B34, YR04, YR07, YR09, G12, G14, G28, YG21, YG23

My final image is from the new, exclusive stamp set I drew for my friends over at eP called Hangin’ Loose with Kona. The character was born on a napkin at Winter CHA when my friend Daisy at eclectic Paperie mentioned that they wanted a surfing turtle. Now here he is, fresh from his napkin and he's wishing Joy Kennedy from eP and Our Craft Lounge a Happy Birthday!

Keep checking this week for more prize opportunities, and head over to Joy's blog to wish her a Happy Birthday

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Spica Colors & Coloring Vampire Skin

Yeah! It's been a long process, but finally we have our new atyou Spica glitter pens in stock. If you love the bold, bright original colors then you'll love the new set of pastels and secondary colors. (Later this week you may even get a chance to win them...hint, hint..)

The colors and their Copic equivalents are:
Pitch Black - 100
Blossom - (RV22)
Garnet - R39
Lipstick - R29
Baby Blue- B21
Mint Green - G82
Buttermilk - Y21
Chocolate - (E58)
Sand - E33
Peach - E01
Lilac - BV00

These are available NOW at a store near you.

The atyou Spica pens are prefect for adding a subtle shimmer to any of your papercrafting projects. These pens are acid free, archival, and pigment based. They last twice as long as any other glittery pen and are not a gel pen. They're really hard to see in a picture, so you have to see them in person to understand how they work the best.

Coloring Vampire Skin
With the popularity of Vampires these days I realized that in my original Skin Color Posts I forgot Vampires.

The perfect pale, sallow, skin color with sparkle combination I found is

E000 + E70 + E01 + Clear Spica

(Other colors I used: B91, B93, B95, BV11, R35, R39, R89, C2, E31, E34, E37, E59, Y000)

Scribble over your main skin surface lightly with the Clear Spica. You don't need too much. Color the whole area in with your pale E000, this will evenly spread around the glitter, and they you can add your unhealthy shadows with the E70 and touch up the darkest skin areas with E01.

Skin colors are hard to scan or photograph, but on my monitor these colors look pretty accurate, though the E70 is more purple in real life (adding to the sleepless look). On paper they are a dead ringer for a vampire out in the sun where you can see their skin sparkle :) If you enlarge this picture and look really closely you might be able to see the flecks of light where the glass flakes from the spica pen is catching the light. I added a few hints of the new Peach Spica pen to the shadows just to deepen them up a bit.

Artwork is some I drew a while ago for another project, photocopied onto color laser copier paper.

Big Copic Prize Week
The winners for the Winnepeg Certification giveaway from Sherrie's blog will be announced tomorrow. Thank you to all who participated! That will be a fun class and the two lucky winners will have a neat opportunity to learn from Sherrie.

Look back tomorrow on Sharon's blog for another cool prize opportunity, and you can still enter to win a prize on Sally Lynn's blog, so keep looking for your chances to win all week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blogsiversary Prizes & Coloring on Fabric

I'm back from a great, busy weekend~I want to thank everyone who left comments on my Memorial Day / Blogsiversary Prize giveaway.

The winner for my prize was chosen from
#297 is Dawn

Congratulations Dawn! Her comment was:

OMG love the camo card. I have been on my son'g ship and it is a real humbling experience. Wish everyone gets to visit a ship at least once in their lifetime.

Dawn, I know you will get a lot of good use out of this set for your cardmaking and scrapbooking. Enjoy those stamps and markers!

Now, on to more prizes!

For today's prize opportunity you need to check out our next design team member, Sally Lynn MacDonald and see what cool prize she's giving away. Leave a comment for your chance to win, then check back for the next blog prize opportunities all week long.

Meanwhile, I have a few questions that have come up recently about using Copic Markers on Fabric. I may have posted something similar in the past, but I want to bring up these points again since they seem to be coming up right now:

Copic On Fabric
People ask me frequently if you can use Copic markers on fabric. The answer is YES! They look great on fabric. A few things to consider:

1. Red inks will bleed when washed, so either use colors besides red (or brown since it has red in it) or only work on projects that won't be washed.

2. No need to heat-set, the markers are permanent

3. The markers will bleed out as you color with them since fabric is so absorbent. To avoid this just heat up the fabric before coloring and the alcohol will evaporate quicker, causing less bleed.

4. For a fine line you can use Copic Multiliners, however, those do need to be heat-set.

5. Don't airbrush on fabrics, since the dye doesn't soak down into the fibers enough.

6. ALWAYS work with scratch paper under your fabric.

When Stamping on Fabric to be colored with Copics:
Try using Brilliance Ink, Heat-set for best results. Sherrie Siemens has done many projects on fabric with Copic markers, so check out her blog for more examples.

Otherwise, enjoy playing with Copics on fabric! I have a couple pairs of jeans I've drawn on and I love how the markers look.The photo above is from a scrap of white cloth that dyed with Copic inks, then I went in with the colorless blender and added drops and swirls in for texture. I made this about 4 years ago, so I don't know what colors I used, regular cotton fabric (though any fabric works).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Blog Hop & candy

I was recently contacted by Cards for Heroes asking me if I would participate in their Memorial Day blog hop. What better way to celebrate the lives of those who serve our country than to show our support?

Cards for Heroes is an organization that provides blank, hand-made greeting cards to soldiers serving overseas who want to show their family how much they care. They don't have access to Hallmark stores, so they can't go buy their cards.

WE can help! Make general cards for all occasions and send them on to Cards for Heroes. The cards will be passed on to our servicemen and lovingly used for special occasions. Check out their blog for more information.

Meanwhile, post a comment on today's blog post and you are up for dibs on this patriotic stamp set I designed for Our Craft Lounge "All About the USA". (I'll also throw in a handful of Copic Markers- Retail value $40!!).

Then go visit the next blog in the hop, Sandy Allnock, president of Cards for Heroes, to see more ideas for Cards and the next link in the hop, then be on the lookout for prizes along the way. For the full Bloghop list visit here.

I made this very simple, manly card for my son to fill out and take to our local recruiting office (which is a few blocks away) as a Memorial Day thank you. (I have a hard time adding embellishments, ribbon or rhinestones to a man-card, which is part of the reason why this card is so clean and simple).

My 5-year-old son loves digi camo, so this Military paper by Reminisce will be a winner for him. The flag comes from the print on the backside of the camo paper. My son likes going in and talking to the recruiter, looking at all the neat stuff, and has stated many times that he would love to be a pilot in the military.

I used G85 and E47 Copic markers to make the square of paper and the stars match the dark brown/green from the camo print. Gotta love the ability to match any color!

For those of you who noticed that this set is different than the things/style I usually draw, that's because I designed this clear stamp set on the computer using Adobe Illustrator, rather than hand-drawing something and scanning it in. This set is perfect for scrapbooking, 4th of July cards, or cards to support the troops as I made above.

As I think of all the sacrifices made by servicemen over the years I need to stop and say Thank You!

My father, grandfather, and on back were all in the military. Here is a photo I found of one of my ancestors, Major General Henry W. Halleck. He was the General-in-Chief of all the Union armies before Grant took over during the Civil War.

His face is so similar to my father, it's hard to look at him and not think of all the stories my dad would tell about boot camp and basic training. My father was a teenager during WWII, and entered the service during the Korean War but never went overseas. My grandfather was an electrician for the Navy building the ships during WWII up in the shipyards of NY. All the hours of toil and struggle that these fine men went through so that I could be born in peace and prosperity and enjoy my country.

In February I had a chance to stop and visit the USS Alabama, which was built in 1940. Touring through the ghost of a ship was a sobering experience for both me and my husband. Thinking of all those men, away from their families for months at a time, sailing from the Atlantic to the Pacific, always on alert from weather or enemies... It really helped me appreciate my freedom and peace here in my homeland. I thank every person who has served, does serve, or will serve in defending and upholding their country.

Please do your part this weekend. Make some cards, make some artwork, visit a memorial, or just tell a military person "Thanks!" Don't forget to appreciate their hard work and sacrifices. Have a great holiday weekend!

Keep checking next week for more Blog Prizes from the Copic designers. Don't forget to leave a comment!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blogsiversary Prize Week

Blogsiversary Already!!
On June 1st it will be my 1 year anniversary of blogging, and to celebrate, I get to offer all sorts of neat prizes this week.

For Today's prize opportunity head on over to our designer
Sherrie Siemens
blog for a chance at a cool Canadian Certification Giveaway.

Tomorrow I'll post a Memorial Day weekend blog giveaway in conjunction with Cards for Heroes.

Next week I'll have some other great prizes offered by the other members of our blog team, so keep looking for your chance to win something special.

Meanwhile, I wanted to share some photos from the Portland Certification class we held this week. This class was special because the entire warehouse staff was able to come up and get certified. The first photo is our very own Kris, who helps get everyone registered for Certification classes. The rest of the photos are happy attendees busy coloring and learning, along with a photo of me showing how to do shadows on a snowman.

Check back tomorrow for the great Memorial Day blog hop and prize! Have a great weekend

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Check this out

Sharon Harnist, one of our fabulous designers just posted this neat coaster project on Ellen Hutson's Classroom. You make it with tumbled marble tiles and various inks. Check it out!

Any time you see a new or different way of using Copic products please share with us. We love seeing neat ideas that will inspire others. Don't forget about altered arts, calligraphy, illustration, or design- since there are lots of different people out there who use Copic Products.

If you haven't checked out the Copic Papercrafting Designers in a while I suggest you go and see what neat things they have been sharing:

Sally Lynn

Also, a reminder if you are in Winnepeg, Manitoba and would like to get into the Copic Certification class on June 6th taught by Sherrie Siemens it is open to the public. Be looking tomorrow on Sherrie's blog for a special Canadian giveaway. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Going To Portland

I'm on my way up to Portland today and will be gone until Thursday. Meanwhile, I'm still supposed to avoid posting but I have some announcements and a cute card to share.

The class in Portland, OR tomorrow is closed, so if you are trying to get in, it's too late, sorry. Likewise, Smithville, OH is closed.

Applications have gone out for:
Salt Lake City, UT June 11
Belmont, NH June 14th
Durham, NC June 28th
Orlando, FL July 27th
If you need an application and class info, please call.

Get on my mailing list for any other certification classes I have mentioned in the future, including a class held mid-August in San Diego, CA.

Dots in the Sky
Here is a card I made for a dear friend who lives far away. I just wanted to point out a quick element on the card.

If you look at the sky around the mailbox you'll see that I made little tiny dots. The reason I did this was to break up the plainness of the sky and tie my central image into the speckled/airbrushed background paper. It also vaguely hints at bugs flying around and you can picture a nice, hazy summer morning.

I challenge you to break it up a bit. Don't always color things realistically- add little repeating elements and textures to tie in different elements

Colors: I can't remember, sorry. Paper: Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Reminisce Patterned paper Stamp: Garden Thoughts, Our Craft Lounge Ink: Memento by Tsukineko Other: White ribbon, clear rhinestones altered with B97

Friday, May 15, 2009

e-mail problems

If anyone tried to send me an e-mail in the last two days it got bounced back to you. That problem should be fixed now, so if you have questions or applications for upcoming certifications that you have not heard back from, please try e-mailing me again.

Thank you for your patience!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

down for repairs...

You may have noticed that the Copic Website is down for repairs. I am also holding off on blogging since part of the repairs involve this blog. My e-mail is also sketchy right now so please be patient if I don't respond right away. Sorry!!

However, I am looking at having a Certification class in San Diego, CA sometime during the 3rd week August. Please sign up to our mailing list on the sidebar to get notified when I have a date for that location.

Here's some nice, old artwork to enjoy as you wait for more tutorial posts. The scales were made dot by dot with the tip of a Copic Colorless blender. I don't think I've shared this before, so enjoy. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Catching up on a Monday

Time to catch up on a few points of interest and update you on Certification classes. I want to share things that appeal both to stampers as well as general artists, so hopefully you will find something of interest in my links today.

Copic Creations Challenge
The fabulous papercrafters over at Copic Creations are challenging you to make a Copic-colored card with purple flowers or Lilacs. Hop over there and submit your creation- you still have a few days left to win their prize.

Pen Addict Copic Contest
Check out this great Copic Contest hosted by my friend at The Pen Addict. He's got a creative contest going where you send him proof that you use Copics and you can win a cool bag of Copics. He also does nice reviews of pens and fine writing papers/sketchbooks. So if you like finding the best pen for your buck you should check out his site.

Illustration Friday
This week's topic is Hierarchy. Check out some of the other illustrations artists have submitted.

Anime Expo
Copic will be sponsoring this year's Anime Expo. If you love Manga and Anime and you live in So. Cal I strongly suggest you go, if only to people watch! Look for my workshops, we'll have some guest artists from Japan, and tons of cool, new stuff just for the comic artists out there. We will be easy to find, since our booth will be one of the first ones you see when you enter the vendor hall. Check us out for some great marker deals and one-on-one help.

My workshops fill up fast, so plan on showing up early to get a good seat where you can see. Perfect for beginner artists or people looking for different ways to use their markers. I'll have more details as we get closer to July.

Anime Expo runs July 2-5th this year at the L.A. Convention Center. Tickets are available from the Anime Expo website.

Upcoming Copic Certifications for Papercrafting
If you need an application for any of the upcoming classes please send me an e-mail at For more details about certification you cn visit the Copic website certification info page.

We still have a few spaces at the class this Sunday in Rockland, MA taught by Sally Lynn.

The Portland, OR class that I will be teaching on the 20th is open to the public. If you wish to attend please return your application right away to Kris:

The Smithville, OH class on May 31st is full. We have other East-coast locations coming up, so let us know where you are interested in attending and we'll get you registered for those.

Register now for Winnipeg, Manitoba taught by Sherrie Siemens on June 6th. This class is now Open to the Public, so let us know if you need an application. If you have returned an application but have not heard back from Kris yet, please send her an e-mail to make sure you are registered correctly.

Applications have gone out for the following classes- send me an e-mail if you did not get an application:
Salt Lake City, UT June 11th, taught by Marianne
Belmont, NH June 14th, taught by Sally Lynn
Durham, NC June 28th taught by Sally Lynn

Please get on my mailing list for July classes, August classes in Calgary & Edmonton, or for the Summer CHA class in Orlando. Use the form on the blog sidebar to get on my mailing list.

Also, we are still a couple weeks behind in updating the instructors links on the Copic Website. Please be patient if you took a class in April and your name is not up yet. Thank you :)

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fine Art Papers & A quick ATC

This week my office companion is at the National Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) wholesale show. It's been a while since I have gone to that show. I love going because it's like walking into a candy store for Art Supplies. Best of all, I can talk to real pros from each company, my counterparts, who work for the companies they love and use their products in their own artwork. It's not open to the public, but if any of you have gone to CHA and walked through the fine-art vendor area you get a small taste of NAMTA.

Anyways, I have had a lot of artists bug me about fine art papers that are good for working with Copic markers, so I want to do a few reviews as time goes on (for you fine artists, currently my favorite paper is the Copic Sketchbook paper, followed by the Borden & Riley Paris Bleedproof Paper for Pens or the Aquabee Manga Artist Pad).

Playing with Fine-Art Papers
A while ago, I picked up this pack of paper from the Strathmore booth. They have some fabulous people working with them, and I have always loved Strathmore papers for my art projects in college.

Anyways, I was cleaning a drawer and I found this assorted pack for Artist Trading Cards (ATC's) and figured I should begin experimenting with some of the papers.

Most of the papers in this pack are too absorbent to color on in the same way I suggest working your markers on thinner cardstock like the Neenah Classic Crest 80# or other popular stamping papers. However, you can still color on them, just be aware of feathering and sucking your marker dry if you try to soak the paper. You really can color on anything you want, but each paper type needs to be treated differently to get the best results for that unique surface (just like the coloring I did on vellum was totally different than the coloring I do on regular cardstock).

Personal coloring habits also change your preception of a paper, so don't take my word as the final say - you need to try it for yourself. There are 7 different papers to play with in this pack, so I'll try to give feedback as I play with them all.

Strathmore Acrylic - Heavyweight Linen-Finish paper for Acrylic Painting
The first paper that caught my eye was the Acrylic. This is 246 lb. paper with a nice linen-finish texture. It's meant for Acrylic painting, which is why it's so heavy and it is absorbent. It had such a nice weight and was so inviting to touch that I knew I had to use it.

On my final ATC the Acrylic is the base card stock. If I were to just draw on it and color with single smooth strokes or give it quick, even coloring it worked fine. Once you try to do more complex special effects or blending it doesn't keep your ink where you want it to go or it uses too much ink.

Knowing this, I ended up with a couple bottles of various ink that I dripped on and then layered stuff from there (the top illustration of the man is made on Neenah Classic Crest). BTW, when I dripped the ink on it bled through the back and looks pretty neat.

The ink was nice and vibrant (before I added lots of dark blues) and I love how the paper sucked up the ink and accented the texture of the paper. For mixed media this paper is great- nice and heavy so I could punch holes in it and string my twine through with ease.

My conclusion?
Great for vibrant colors or mixed media, not good for detailed marker illustration with complex coloring. Love the texture, just be aware that if you are working with the tiny 0.03mm Multiliner be careful how much pressure you give the pen, as the texture is rough and uneven. You need a very light hand, but too light a hand will cause the pen to be uneven and too heavy a hand will damage the point. Otherwise, it doesn't have little fibers that will pull up, so in that sense it is a very clean surfaced paper. I think I would use this paper if I were doing colored-pencil over evenly colored marker areas, as the texture would really make the pencils pop!

Has anyone else tried this paper with your markers? Please leave your feedback!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Painting" on Vellum with markers

I promised a few days ago to post the step-by-step on my new blog header. I am calling this "Painting" on Vellum because it is more like painting than working with the markers on regular paper. I'll step you through my entire process so you can get a feel for how I illustrate.

I began with a pencil sketch of some peaches based on a few photos I looked at on the internet. I decided to go with clusters of peaches still on the branch, rather than peaches on a flat surface. Then I quickly outlined the main lines with a multiliner and erased my pencil.

You'll note that the image is reversed from the finished work. This is because I am coloring the back-side of the vellum from what I want the final to be. My colors look more intense on the reverse and more streaky. On my final work the colors look more washed together because I scanned the front of the vellum. (If you are doing this technique you don't have to do it reversed).

Next, I taped my Vellum to the background paper so the image wouldn't shift.

When working on vellum I like to do the largest areas first, in this case the main background color-wash. I added a few streaks of W3 and W1 in the top of the image and I added B97 and W1 to the bottom for my background colors. I then took my sketch colorless blender and washed the colors back and forth in long, even strokes. I was OK with this being streaky since I wanted my final to look more paint-like than usual.

Notice how I am not worrying about going over the lines into my leaves or peaches. I clean this up next. I grabbed my juiciest colorless blender and erased all the areas I didn't want colored yet.

On the larger areas I used the chisel nib to erase. I start in the middle of an area I want clean and I swipe up any marker on the vellum. It gets picked up onto the tip of the colorless blender, so I have to scribble it off onto scratch paper or a paper towel. Otherwise I would just be smearing the colors around more.

Slowly but surely I erase any areas that I need clean. I use the fine point on my smallest detail areas last. Now I am ready to add color.

I want my leaves to be fairly bright green, so my base green is G14. The natural shadow for G14 is G16 and then I need a really deep, dark shadow for the most contrast so for the darkest areas I use G99. Remember, working on vellum is more like painting, so I know that although my first strokes of G99 look all wrong next to the brighter G16 once I go back over them with the G14 then it all looks good together.

I also tend to work dark to light when blending on vellum. I add my deep G99 shadows, streak in some G16, then go back with my G14 and in smooth strokes I blend all 3 together. I work in the direction of each leaf along it's spine so that any streaks I may have will flow naturally together.

Now my colors seem to have flattened out and smoothed together. If you lose too much contrast just add more dark back in. The beauty of Vellum is you can erase completely, so a mistake is never permanent. I also will be deepening my shadows later, so I'm not worried that I lost my darkest G99.

Note how I am making sure that leaves far away are darker than the leaves in front. Always be aware of your shadows so you don't have a big shadow problem when you are done. On a larger illustration like this I strongly suggest doing a shadow study first.

On the bright green leaves in the foreground I got the shadow simply by layering the G14 twice. You get much more color range from a single marker on vellum than you do on regular paper. You'll also see some slight veins in the leaves. After I colored the smooth main color on each leaf I went back in with my middle green, or G16, and lightly drew in the veins- not too much, it more of the hint of veins.

Last I add E55, E59, and E49 for the branch. Again, streak in the direction that the wood grows for it to look most natural.

If you look at this comparison you will see how the side I am coloring on looks richer and darker, but it also looks too crisp for the effect I want. By flipping it over you get just a bit more softness and the colors look smoother (also, the camera picks up the gloss on the colored side more than the matte finish on the reverse).

It is all a matter of personal taste, so don't think you HAVE to do it the way I do.

Now our picture is really starting to take shape. Looking back now it might have been easier to do my peaches first and erased the leaves back out. Oh well, maybe next time.

Just like on the leaves, I added my deepest shadows first with the YR07 and E99. I blended these together in curved strokes (to mimic the curved peach surface) with a little E97 and mostly E95. On paper these colors would be way too dark, but on vellum you get more subtleties out of your middle/dark colors.

On the side of the peach closest to the light I removed extra color with the colorless blender. Sometimes when you layer too many colors on vellum you get a bad build-up of excess color. It's a good idea to clean it up as you work so you aren't muddying your blends.

Keep your strokes as minimal as possible if you want to avoid streaks. Again, I wanted a more paint-like look so I don't mind the streaks like I usually would.

After I colored and blended each peach I added my final layer of deepest shadow with a E19.

You might be confused why I'm mixing E's and YR's on my peaches. On vellum, most of my YR markers were too light, so I had to go darker than usual. If you darken a Y or a YR too much then you end up getting browns, or E's. The color families in the E's that I am working with are very reddish- The E90's are all orange browns and the E10's are reddish.

Last, I color the markers with T5 and T6 washed together with the blender. The only other color I used is the R59 for the tip of the red marker.

Adding darker shadows
When I finished working the back side I flipped over my picture. I want to deepen some shadows that were lost, but I also want to keep my lighting and shadows consistent. So from the front side, or the un-colored side of the vellum, I added shadows under the markers and on the leaves with B97, the same blue that I used on my background. This pulls all my colors together and it cools down my shadows.

Here is my final artwork again, scanned and color-corrected (much better than the in-progress photos). All the little subtleties came together and make a good whole. I see a whole bunch of problems with this art, but I know that I will always be my own hardest judge. I hope this helps you get a good idea of how you can also get a "painted" look with your markers on vellum.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blog candy winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Our Craft Lounge blog hop this weekend! As an artist I appreciate reading everyone's feedback to see which illustrations catch your eye the most. I always appreciate critical feedback as well, or else I won't improve in my work.

Out of 157 comments, the winner of this patriotic stamp set from my blog is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-05-04 08:01:12 UTC

Number 18, is Marisa, a new blogger (good luck with blogging!). Marisa's comment was:

I might even be able

to make that star! Thanks for the tip.

Marisa, you need to send me an e-mail with your address so we can get that out to you. Again, I want to thank everyone for their comments and feedback.

Certification for Papercrafting
Just a little update on June Certification classes. July classes are still up in the air, but I should have details soon.

Applications have gone out for the following June Classes:
June 6th, Winnipeg, Canada taught by Sherrie Siemens
June 14th, Belmont NH taught by Sally Lynn MacDonald
June 28th, Durham NC taught by Sally Lynn MacDonald
Please send me an e-mail if you still need an application.

Applications will go out today for:
June 11th Salt Lake City, UT taught by Marianne Walker
Please send me an e-mail if you haven't registered for our mailing list via the sign in form on my sidebar. I will also be doing in-store visits and make 'n takes on this trip on June 12 & 13, so come and visit- locations TBA.

Also, All May classes are now open to the public. Please send me an e-mail if you need an application:
May 17th, Rockland, MA (Sally Lynn)
May 20th, Portland, OR (Marianne)
May 31st, Smithville, OH (Sally Lynn)

New Blog Header
You may have noticed that I made a new blog header. I'll post the step-by-step later this week, but just so you know- these peaches were drawn on vellum which is why they have a very paint-like feel.

I love the unique qualities of working on vellum and how it is so forgiving as far as erasing. It's like the layering ability of oil paint with the feel of watercolor and the ease of marker. I also like it because I tend to draw black & white outlines and fill them in, whereas the vellum is transparent so I can draw my guidelines on another sheet and trace through to do my final coloring.