12 tags of 2013 – june…

JUNEwelcome 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:

DSC05508– “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.

blending– “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.

shading– “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).

nibs– “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

DSC05451step 1: stamp your image on to watercolor paper using jet black archival ink or other waterproof ink – i like using 140lb. watercolor paper.

DSC05452step 2: begin coloring your image with whatever color you want to start with.  it doesn’t matter if it’s light or dark, just get some color on the paper.

DSC05453step 3: next apply another color or two that you want to blend with the first color use.

DSC05454step 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.

DSC05455step 5: continue coloring the next area of your image by coloring with your distress markers.

DSC05456step 6: blend the colors again with the water brush, easy right?

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…

DSC05457step 7: scribble the color or colors of distress markers you would like to add to your already colored area and pick up the color on to the tip of your water brush.

DSC05458step 8: begin blending that additional color into the areas with the inked water brush.  this will allow the wet color to float right into the wet color on the surface with ease.

DSC05460step 9: continue coloring the next section of your image with distress markers and blend with the water brush.

DSC05461step 10: color one section at a time, blending with the water brush as you go.

DSC05462step 11: once you’re happy with your coloring of the main image, allow the entire image to dry or quickly dry it with a heat tool before moving on to the accent images.

DSC05463step 12: color the accent image the same way, select areas with the markers and blend with the water brush.

DSC05464step 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.

DSC05465step 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)

DSC05466step 15: you can also add accent color behind words by scribbling the distress markers on the craft sheet as before and apply a wash of color using the water brush – simple and effective.

DSC05468step 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?…

DSC05469step 17:  tear the bottom edge of your watercolor paper.  i always tear one edge when i watercolor something.  i just think it gives it that artsy look.

DSC05470step 18: using your ink blending tool, ink all of the edges with distress ink, but only the edges.

DSC05471step 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).

DSC05472step 20: dry your colored image completely using a heat tool.

DSC05473step 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.

DSC05474step 22: since even the picket fence distress marker is blendable, use the water brush to soften the white glow over your image for the perfect “light source”.

DSC05476step 23: scribble several colors of distress markers on to your craft sheet.

DSC05477step 24: get the tip of your water brush really wet and soak the bristles with one color at a time.

DSC05478step 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.

DSC05480step 26: partially dry the ink droplets with a heat tool for a few seconds.

DSC05481step 27: using a towel, blot off the excess ink and water.

DSC05479just like that, your coloring is finished!  i love the blending, shading, highlights, background, and ink splatters – check out all of that distressed goodness…

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…

DSC05482step 1: swipe a distress ink pad directly on to the craft sheet.  remember to press down on the pad while you’re swiping to get ink from the pad.

DSC05483step 2: shake the distress paint and apply a color of paint next to the ink on the craft sheet.

DSC05484step 3: apply a swipe of distress stain on the opposite side of the ink on the craft sheet.

DSC05485step 4: mist the craft sheet with water to blend the mediums.

DSC05486step 5: swipe a manila tag through the mixture.

DSC05487step 6: lift the tag allowing everything to flow together.

DSC05489step 7: mist the tag with water to blend the colors and products event more.

DSC05488step 8: dry the first layer with a heat tool.

DSC05490step 9: tap the dry tag back into the remaining mixture on your craft sheet and dry with a heat tool.

DSC05491step 10: ink the edges of the tag with distress ink using an ink blending tool – nice huh?

DSC05492step 11: lightly stamp various images with archival ink and let dry.

DSC05493step 12: apply glossy accents to the back of the watercolored image to adhere.

tagthere 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

congrats to the winners from the may 12 tags of 2013.
if you see your name (and it links to your tag)
please email mario@timholtz.com to claim your prize…

1. Canadian Nickel Scrapper
2. Nicolle Kramer
3. Sara Jansen
4. Lorraine
5. Johnna Moore
6. Pam
7. Nikki K
8. Berdien Weideveld
9. Antonia
10. Meme
11. Patty
12. Anne Christine

*be sure to check your local stores for these supplies or you can
click the links below to purchase online…
(SSS=simon says stamp / IE=inspiration emporium)

GREAT NEWS! both of these online stores are offering a discount of 10% off your purchase – use the following codes with your order:
(SSS code: JUNETAG10 / IE code: timtime)

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146 Comments to “12 tags of 2013 – june…”

  1. Maureen Chandler says:

    Thanks so much Tim — an excellent review of all the things that we can do with distress markers! I am ready to go play!!!

  2. Julie says:

    Beautiful tag, Tim!! This dragonfly is my absolute favorite of all your blueprint stamps! I love the way the colors blended on the watercolor paper. I haven’t used it yet, but it’s defintely on my shopping list now! Thanks for another great tutorial. Love that you photograph so many of the steps for us!

  3. Lynn Fitzpatrick says:

    Great tutorial…not staying within the lines is actually more appealing. I’m too up tight sometimes.

  4. Kim Gyuran says:

    Hi Tim!

    Just wanted to THANK you for showing techniques on how to use your many wonderful products. I own many of them, but they sit on my shelf 🙁 When you publish a wonderful technique blog such as this, I learn that I can take those markers out of the container and use them! I appreciate your guidance and inspiring gifts!

  5. Barbara Albrecht says:

    Another super cool tag! Thank you Tim! I don’t know when you found the time to make it and do the tutorial with your hectic, crafty, travel schedule.

  6. roxy says:

    Gorgeious, Tim! This tutorial just made it onto my Pinterest coloring board. Thanks so much, Ive been working with my Distress markers but this will really help me try new techniques.

  7. Sylvia Tabor says:

    GREAT tutorial … Loaded with tips n tricks!!! Beautiful tag as always, but this one stands out to me… Maybe the colors, the paint/stain/pad combo or the fact I learned to “flip the tip” of the marker — brilliant planning,Tim and thanks ever so much for that tip!!!

  8. DANEE says:

    I can’t wait to reproduce that background. I think I might be mixing stain and paint all the time now.

  9. another super cool tag, love the flicks of distress markers!

  10. shirley says:

    Thanks SO much for such detailed instructions. I found my self saying…” I DID NOT KNOW THAT !!” far too many times. I guess I will have to add to my meager collection of distress markers… and NOW I will actually know how to use them.

  11. […] so we decided it was better to stay close to home. Every month Tim Holtz holds the Tim’s 12 tags of 2013 challenge. He demonstrates how to make a super cool tag using his products, complete with detailed […]

  12. EmeralDQueen says:

    I love Distress Markers I think they are fun and have allot of open opportunities to create beautiful things, the tag of June is beautiful!

  13. Cathy says:

    Excellent tag! Thanks for the marker tip–I guess I need to make a vertical pen holder. 🙂

  14. Eva R says:

    Just gorgeous! I love the dragonfly stamp and the colour combinations you used! Thanks for the distress marker “did you knows” – yes, I did but it’s nice to refresh one’s memory.

  15. Connie Pruitt says:

    Love this tag.

  16. nice tag. I appreciate the simplicity.

  17. Lisa Byers says:

    wow I love all the tips!! I love this tag!!! Now I just need to get my mojo back!! Do you have any to spare?

  18. Vicki says:

    Thanks for the tips. I might give my picket fence a bit more of a work out now – it didn’t realise it’s potential.

  19. marileew says:

    Very pretty. I love the color combinations on this tag!

  20. Rosetta Jenkins says:

    OOO Tim: WOW! The tag is awesome! But all the tips on the markers was priceless. Surely answered some concerns I had. So, did you know’s were wonderful. Hmmm….will make a nice column for the blog. Cannot wait to try the watercoloring! Thank you Tim!

  21. love the watercolor effects. TFS!

  22. Martha says:

    Best tip ever – the brush nib of the distress marker has a back-up replacement. Thanks for the great tag and tutorial this month. Just ordered the dragonfly!

  23. Bonnie says:

    I learned so much today. Makes sense about storing markers on their sides…I often wondered why sometimes they seemed dry and other times worked great. And using the three types of products in one swipe…awesome, I can’t wait to get home and try it(we are camping)!

  24. Brandy says:

    Lots of great tips and techniques!

  25. Lolly says:

    I love to color…..

  26. I just love this dragonfly stamp, and I wouldn’t mind if you used it every month! lol I love watercoloring, and I can’t wait to try it with my Distress Markers! Thanks again!

  27. Valerie says:

    OK – so now I know what I was doing wrong with my Distress markers! Time to play somemore.

  28. Sue Speck says:

    The very most all-time best tutorial ever! I never could watercolor until I started using these markers along with my mister and/or waterbrush . . . the results have been amazing and look as though I actually knew what I was doing. These markers are magic! I love this tutorial because I’ve learned even more – I’ve copied it off and printed it out for reference at my worktable. Thanks so much for all of the time and effort that went into this excellent step-by-step class!

  29. Sara j says:

    SO excited. Thanks for the shout-out. Totally made my day! And then to see the dragon fly stamp again…I just love this month’s tag too!! Thanks again Tim for all you do to keep us learning. And re-learning. I remember really enjoying playing with water and distress markers in Creative Chemistry and have done a bit with them since, but not as much as I could. So thanks again!

  30. Debbie says:

    WoW, the colors are just beautiful on this tag. And thanks for the tips on the markers, as well as the great tutorial.

  31. pattisj says:

    This is one of my favorite tags. Love the colors and the white space left, a nice summery look.

  32. Cindy Christoffel says:

    I just had an omg… moment!! I did not realize that you can use the paints and stains together like you did here….wet, on the mat…….totally awesome!!! Brilliant tag also!!!
    thanks for sharing your creativity!!!!!

    cindy in chicago

  33. barbara lassiter says:

    Thanks for the great tips for using the markers in a watercolor way. I love the look of watercolors and am currently finishing 3 birthday cards that had watercolored images. I have many more cards to make this month with more birthdays, graduations, and an anniversary card on the horizen. I can certainly use your great techniques in creating some of them. I love the Distress Markers as well as my Distress Inks.

  34. Sheri K says:

    Love this tag! Thanks for the tips on the markers–I quickly moved my markers from the cup/rail system next to my desk to a vertical storage. I’m creating tons of stuff for DDs wedding, next Saturday, 4 p.m. in front of old Main at NAU–just in case you are wandering around in the “cool” country. She’ll be wearing a sash I created using your flower die and fabrics and lace from my wedding dress–and a few “found” rhinestone pieces.

  35. Candipill says:

    So loving the tag challenge this month – I love drawing and painting with distress ink and markers. I think that if Ranger would bring out a line of Distress watercolour pencils or crayons (like those ones where you can draw with as a pencil or wet it with a brush and then turn it into watercolours) in the Distress line of colours…..I would go insane – I am always trying to blend my pencils to make something resembling the distress colours. Thanks for the tip about flipping the brush pen tips – I have smooshed most of them already – going to get out the pliers and start flipping all of them around. Congrats to all the winners too!

  36. Sue Allemand says:

    WOW – Thanks Tim — NO…I did not know all those awesome things about the Distress Markers!! Thanks for letting us know! I’m off to share your post link with my blog followers…I bet they didn’t know all this either!!

  37. Anita Ocampo says:

    I REALLY like using the 3 mediums (paint, stain and ink pad) together to do a project.

  38. sandeeNC says:

    Thank you, thank you for telling me that I could reverse the nibs. I had worn down my Antique Linen marker until it was fuzzy and was so unhappy with it. I sqealed when I read that I could reverse it and jumped up imediately to do so! I am one happy camper now!

  39. Diana Garcia says:

    This is one of my first stamps I ever bought, and I have used it many times. Using watercolor paper adds texture, and no matter how “young” we are…….coloring is therapeutic. Thanks for the inspiration. Diana

  40. Barbara L says:

    Beautiful tag. Thanks for the marker refresher hints. Great way to use lots of products for a beautiful result.

  41. Cindi says:

    Actually, I did not know about your first two tips…Now, I can create even more wonderful looks with your Distress Markers…Love the Dragonfly!
    Thanks, Cindi

  42. Julie Heyer says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial for this tag and the very helpful hint on how to “fix” a smashed distress marker nib.
    🙂 Love this tag!

  43. Cathy in Canada says:

    Awesome tag! Great tutorial for colouring! Thanks Tim!

  44. stephV says:

    thank you for the great instruction and especially the “did you knows”!
    wonderful inspiration once again!!

  45. JaninTucson says:

    Distress Goodness INDEED! Wonderful step by step tutorial T!m. Thanks for another inspirational tag of ideas. Gotta go color now. See ya!

  46. Maxine says:

    Tim, thanks so much for the extra tips with the distress markers. I have been having such a hard time getting them to color just the way I wanted them to color, without the harsh brush strokes. I just can’t seem to make it work. So, I will be trying your tips. Thanks again.

  47. Angele says:

    Again a great tag but especially thanks for the “did you knows” (especially the one about the tip that can be changed). Hope I’ll get a nice result from my markers now too!
    By the way – the weather over here looks more like summer is over instead of beginning – but that’s also a great excuse to get crafty!

  48. Sioux P says:

    What a brilliant tags and fantastic instructions. Thank you Tim dont have all the products YET but definitely have to try this one and confident I can with those brilliant pictures.

  49. Elizabeth C. says:

    Fantastic tag–it’s like having the old t!m back!! Nice to see you again! (And happy you have been spending time doing all these incredible things for us to play with, like the launch of the new fabric line.)

  50. Deborah Mueller says:

    Love it! The background for the tag is so cool!

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