Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hooray for Coloring! And messing up too.

Since I have been participating in the Operation Write Home sites so much, I have become more of a fan of digital stamps - I must admit I was kind of skeptical at first because I do love my "real" stamps and I worried about things like printer ink, how they would look and etc. after a lot of experimenting, I have decided that they are a lot of fun and are really pretty versatile. . . it's rare that I don't have a clipboard of some kind lying around with a bunch of stamps on it to color. It's easy to print them out and jab at them with a marker when I have time. I find myself coloring when watching TV, while I am on the phone, or before bed - it's relaxing and when I have time to throw a card together, all I have to do is grab one of my colored digis and go!

So... I am currently in the process of deciding what kinds of things I like to color my digi stamps with best. While I was in Seattle I picked up my first Copic markers and I gotta admit I love them - they are expensive but worth it and I think that I will add to my collection of them over time. Meanwhile, here are some other methods that I have been working with, with supplies that I already have on hand. These digi's came from OWH by the way - I have found that the blog-hops and such are an AWESOME way to get free digi-stamps, especially these patriotic ones!!! Thanks OWH!

Image #1  was colored with chalk and a dry paintbrush. Some people use a q-tip or sponge applicator for this. I like to use a very soft, fine tipped paint brush - I like how chalk looks very soft and it is fairly easy to blend to give the image depth.

 #2 Was colored with some Bic Mark-It markers which also seem to be pretty popular. I like them because they are very bold. I have found them to be a little difficult to blend but if you go over the same area a couple of times, you can get darker and lighter areas as you want.

 #3 Was colored with colored pencils - just plain old rose art or crayola colored pencils that I have in a school box - I like these because I can share them with my son - he and I have had a few coloring days together lately and he likes to use them too.  They are also farily easy to blend and make lighter and darker areas for shading and they are very inexpensive.

 #4 is my favorite technique lately - these are water-color pencils that I blended with a blending pen. If you don't have a blending pen, it is a MUST HAVE for working with watercolor pencils. I used to use a wet brush to blend my water color pencils - but since I have started trying the blending pen instead, I enjoy them so much more! The result is very soft and appealing - zoom in on this pic to see the difference between 3 and 4 and you will get what I mean.  (If you don't have a blending pen, you can get one from my CTMH -  just $3.95 - I bought one to get started with and now have three - I haven't experienced them getting "dirty" yet or running between colors, but I wanted extras to keep on hand - one for blending dark colors and the others for blending lighter tones.)

Now then, if you think that this "learning experience" has been all wine and roses for me, you are SADLY MISTAKEN. . . just like everything else I do, I have to learn the hard way and I have to screw up a lot. Then I pass my screw-ups on to others, so that they don't have to make the same mistakes that I do.

Here's a nice one.  I always print on heavy cardstock for coloring my digi-stamps. Sometimes I even used a lightly textured cardstock, for a fun look. I let the ink dry for a long time before I begin coloring. What I did wrong here was, trying to use a tool called a "water brush" - with pigment ink. The water brush is like using a wet paint brush. It has some awesome uses, but obviously this is not one of them. As you can see, I got my paper way too wet and caused the printer ink to run. Dang.

Here is a much better example - this is water-color pencils and blending pen again. Won't this make a pretty hero card? This awesome digi-stamp, and many others, were great gifts that we collected along the way of the last blog hop. Hop on over to Stars and Stamps to snag up these and other great digi's from the blog hop - or try any number of other great digi-stamp sites. There are lots out there, and lots of them with digi's you  can purchase through websites or places like ETSY. One of my favorite fellow bloggers has GREAT digi stamps that I have featured before - Dustin Pike. So hop over there too.

Good luck with your digi-stamping and let me know if there are any other mistakes . . . er, questions that I can clear up - and if you have a link to some great stamps let me know, I will add it to this post!


Cheryl said...

Thanks I liked your coloring method tutorial. I have tried them all and often use a combo of colored pencils (for lighter areas) and markers and blending for darker areas, I too have just bought my first (6) copic markers -they are really blendable - make sure you google the "copic chart" if you haven't done so already-it lets you color in with the copics you have & is also great to take shopping so you know which ones you don't yet have!

Cheryl said...

btw there is a too cute frog digi (FREEBIE) at Whimsey Inspirations!

Nancy Keller said...

Thanks Cheryl! I downloaded that copic chart last weekend - it looks pretty bare so far - I started with 4 copics and I just ordered 4 more - hoping to get them in the mail today! I am stalking my mailbox!!!!! Sadly there is nowhere within a 300 mile radius of me to buy Copics so I will have to hunt them down online. Thanks for the link - hopping off to find that digi frog now!!!

Jeanne said...

Thanks for sharing the coloring info! I've been experimenting with different methods, but I do love my crayola pencils because they're so darn cheap! I think I'm going to invest in (a few) copics to see what all the hype is about ... as if I need another excuse to spend money on scrapping!

Kate said...

I love this! I have also been skeptical of digis, but I am intrigued. I just don't have a printer at home and no longer work in an office.

Some people have asked for a tutorial about using chalk. I've never used it, and I wonder if you would be interested in doing one for the S&S blog? (kate@operationwritehome.org)

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