welcome back to another “12 tags of 2013”. as the weather starts to warm up for the summertime, it’s also time to heat up those creative skills. even though school may be out or vacation plans are in the works, remember to take time for yourself to do artful things. today’s tag was inspired by the many emails i get asking about sharing some tips and tricks for using distress markers. i have to say that before these markers i wasn’t much of a “colorer” but distress markers have certainly changed all that. for this tutorial i decided to use one of my favorite stamps from stampers anonymous and even though i’ve used it just a couple of months ago certainly doesn’t mean i can’t use it again. in fact, one of the best things about rubber stamps is their versatility simply by how you use them. so time to get out those distress markers and color along as i share my own style of coloring…distress style that is…
i want to start off with a couple of “did you know” things about distress markers:
- “did you know” distress markers should really be stored horizontally? the continuous barrel wicks ink to each end of the marker simultaneously. storing them vertical could cause one end of the marker to seem dried up or could cause the ink color to shift altogether. so be sure to keep your markers laying flat.
- “did you know” distress markers are dual tipped markers with a brush nib on one end, and a plastic detail nib on the other? you can blend two colors of markers simply by swiping the brush nibs together and color them out (this will not contaminate either marker by doing this). choosing the right type of paper is key however. watercolor paper is my favorite to use, but you can experiment with other papers to see how the color blends on the surface.
- “did you know” distress markers are water based dye markers that (like other distress products) are reactive with water? darker colors can be easily shaded by dipping the brush nib into water? this will create a subtle gradation of color going from light to dark (the longer the nib stays in the water, the lighter the color begins from the marker).
- “did you know” that even though distress markers are non-refillable, the brush nib of the distress marker has a back-up replacement? sometimes i’ve been coloring chipboard or other surfaces where i accidentally smashed the brush nib. if that happens and you damage the brush nib, simply grab the nib with a paper towel and pull it straight out of the marker. flip the nib over, and reinsert back into the marker with the new nib sticking out (simple as that).
supplies: craft sheet, distress markers, water brush/detailer, distress ink, distress stain, distress paint, ink blending tool, mister, #8 manila tag, watercolor paper, jet black archival ink, heat tool, glossy accents; stampers anonymous classic favorites stamp
step 4: since i like to watercolor when using distress markers i’m going to blend the colors with a detailer water brush. this self-feeding brush provides the perfect continuous flow of water when blending. you don’t have to worry about getting too much water on your surface and “flooding” the image. you’ll also notice when i applied color to the area, i simply colored part of the area. just remember that watercolor requires 2 things: water + color so if you color the entire area with markers, it doesn’t leave you room to blend with water.
now let’s talk about adding more color to an area you’ve already watercolored. you should not color directly on to wet paper with the markers. simply for the fact that one: the nib will want to wick up the water (remember the “did you know” tip about shading with water?), and two: it will start to wear on the paper causing it to get all bumpy and peel apart. if you want to add color you will need to either dry your colored areas with a heat tool first, or follow these simple steps to blend wet color into wet color…
step 13: i think adding a drop shadow really gives depth to your coloring. “pumice stone” is my favorite distress marker color for this. just lightly sketch over the lines or areas you want the shadow to be.
step 14: now blend that color in one direction with the water brush. pumice stone creates the perfect shadow color that is just the right amount of dingy. (*i don’t give this part much thought to be honest, i just pick a direction and go)
step 16: if you want to add a drop shadow to a place you’ve colored, swipe the pumice stone marker along the edge and blend it with the water brush. this will tint the shadow with a little color from that image.
so far so good right? at this point our image is colored, finished, blended beautifully; however for me, it’s just not finished the way i want. the next few steps will show you how i go from a normal colored image to a distressed colored image – are you ready?…
step 19: now take your wet water brush and pull the distress ink from the edge to color in your background. this is the easiest way to get the perfect background color for your watercolor since it blends the darker inked edge into the background (and it doesn’t always have to be brown).
step 21: they say when you color you should always leave a “light source” to show highlights on your image. while i agree, i simply never bother to think about it when i’m coloring which is why i like to add my highlights at the end. the “picket fence” distress marker is designed for just that. swipe the marker directly over the parts of the image you want to highlight.
step 25: flick and tap the end of the water brush over your background image to create droplets of ink over your image. repeat the previous steps with each color until you’re happy with the results. i love this effect.
now it’s onto the tag itself to put this on. for the background i wanted to use my other favorite distress products: inks, stains, and paints. the combination of translucent and opaque creates a cool foundation for our watercolor. let’s get started…
there we have it bloggers, a distress marker masterpiece. i hope these step by step instructions will take the intimidation away from coloring. distress markers are so versatile and so easy to use, you just have to remember to get them out and play. i can’t wait to see your colorful creations this month on the blog – have fun…t!m
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