Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tutorial: Watercoloring with Blender Pens

I've had several people contact me and ask me how I color my house mouse cards.  This technique is much easier to demonstrate than it is to explain and I am too computer illiterate to be able to a video clip.  I hope this is clear enough to follow, so here it is:
Step 1:  Stamp the image you want to color on your c/s in staz on ink.  This ink is water resistant so when you water color your ink won't run.  Also, the type of c/s you use to watercolor on is very important.  Stampin Up!  makes Very Vanilla and Whisper White c/s that have a bit of a coating on them to make them smoother and less porous - sp? than other c/s.  I'm not sure if any other company makes this type of product or not.  Regular c/s will suck the ink out of your blender pens and dry them up quickly.  Blender pens are another product Stampin Up! makes - they are basically clear ink markers.  You can use them to pick up any color of ink you want (any ink that is water soluble) and then when you want to change colors you simple scribble on a peice of scrap paper until the ink runs clear again.  Then you can move on to the next color.

Step 2:  Color your image using your blender pen.  When you first dip your blender pen into the ink and begin to color, it will color dark and gradually get lighter so you should start to color on areas that you want more color density and blend the color towards areas you want to appear lighter.  The house mouse stamps are perfect for this.  They are almost like a paint by number.  I have heard from several people that the images are so detailed they are difficult to color.  Time consuming - yes, difficult - no.  The house mouse images have shaded areas that appear darker.  They are represented by many little dots in the image.  These shaded areas are what gives the image dimension.  Most full size stamp pads now (I know for sure Stampin Up! and Close to my heart do) have lids that are flexible enough so that if you squeeze them toward the pad, it leaves a little ink in the lid when you open the pad.  This is what you want to dip your blender pen into.

Step 3:  Next, using markers in the same colors of ink you water colored with, you want to go back and highlight the areas that are (in House Mouse stamps) dotted ie the places you want to show dimension.  If you don't have all of the same colors of markers. you can do the same thing you did in step 2 only skip shading the color to a lighter area.  Simply color the dimensional areas while you have plenty of color on the blender pen.  Remember to scribble your blender pen clear again before you change colors!
Step 4:  Finish your card!

Just a Note:  In this particular card you may have noticed that I colored the light bulb rather brightly.  When I finished the card, I put crystal effects (another SU product)  - I know other companies make the same product called things like "glassy glaze" - on the light bulb.  By the time this product dries the color seems faded.  So, if you are using CE make sure your water coloring is a little darker in these spots.  Crystal effects is a liquid product that dries clear but will not absorb into your cardstock thereby, giving the image it is placed on dimension.
Hope this was helpful!

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