Friday, January 25, 2013

A Challenge, Some Hair, Some Skin, and a Recipe

I've completed a card for the Outlawz Creative Freebie Challenge.  We're given two images to color.  To qualify for the next challenge and two more images, you just need to color one or both of the images and post your project.

I wanted to try a new hair color combo and a new skin color combo, and I also wanted to try fur on the bear.  The bear is cute, but it's not furry to me.  So I'll have to keep working on that.

What I want to show you in these pictures is that there is no set way to color.  You learn the basics by learning what others do in videos, on blogs, or in tutorials, classes, and what you read in books.  After that it's up to you.  If you want to do flicks or circles, if you want to start with your light color or your dark color, if you want to start with the skin first, or the hair first, these are all choices you make to bring a coloring to your liking.  You're the artist.

Here goes.

I started with the light and colored the entire area with YR21.

Then I used the darkest color, YR24, and colored in where I felt the darkest areas were.

 And lastly, I used the medium color, YR31, to fill any the areas between the dark and light.

Some folks would stop here.   I didn't.   I went over the entire area with the lightest color, YR00.
Once that's done, you just have to work with it, tweak it here and there, to make it your own.

I used the same technique on her clothes, started with the lightest pink.

Think of coloring like a recipe.  First you make it according to the directions.  Then add a little of this, a lttle of that, not so much of this, not so much of that and, voila!  Now it's your recipe.  Coloring is no different.   Sometimes you have to make it over a couple times before you get it just right.  If it's something you enjoy, you'll try again and again to get it just right.

I really hope this helped to inspire you to continue coloring.  It is so fun and relaxing.  Who doesn't color?  We're been coloring since we were small children.  Bet your coloring now looks better than when you were five.  LOL

Here's my finished card.

*NOTE:  Trina pointed out that I had put the colors for the jacket in this image and not her hair.  I have corrected them.
Hair - YR21, YR24, YR31, YR00
Jacket - R81, R85, R83

As always --
Thanks for stopping by!
Challenges Entered:


Saturday, January 19, 2013


Here's another card I've done for  to enter challenges.  I used a Sherri Baldy image, and it was a freebie.

Sherri's images are a little different from what I usually color.  So it's no surprise to me that this card is a little different from the ones I usually make.  I just went with whatever my pens and inks wanted to do.  I used 15 markers.  Sort of reminds me of some of the scribbles or doodles or mixed media -- whatever you call it -- that seems to be trendy right now.  Hey, if a dot on a canvas can be considered art, then I guess there's a place for me to hang this little sweetie.  Hope you like her. I do. 

The papers are from Jen Wilson's Totally Girl pack and Paper Pizazz' Disney Princess Papers.  The embellishments and sentiment comes from my stash.  I used both Promarkers and Copics.  I wanted her to have really black hair.  If you look really closely, you can see that her hair is blue and black.  It's Copic marker B28, Royal Blue.  This color seems to work really well for me for blue/black hair.

I hope you enjoyed your visit, found something useful,  and were inspired to color.  As always --
Thanks for stopping by!
Challenges I entered: (Anything Goes)
This is what happens when I don't color :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Card for Challenge

This card is for the Robert Jackson Digi image Challenge Straight From the Heart.
RJ 2013 #2

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More Ugly and A Bit About Paper

Okay, so this started when I accidentally printed out one of my Sassy Studio Designs images on a bright white, 97-pound premium color laser paper.  I set out to color with my Promarkers to see how the ink would work with this paper as it's not as thin as regular copy paper. 

So far so good.  Dress and arms look really good. 
On to face and hair.  Now, it looks good from here --
-- but -- Yikes!  Hair color bled onto face and eye whites not white.
Okay, no problem.  Use the blender pen to push color back into her hair and white pen to white up the whites of her eyes.  Looks good, but my paper is a wrinkling.  I know why it's wrinkling, but I'll see if you guess it before I tell you. 
Used a little eye liner.   That left one looks wacky.  I give up. 
Why did this happen?   This is the back side of the coloring. Wow! That's a lot of ink! I could tell right off that I was going to use a lot of ink because even though I tried to color lightly, it took several go overs to lay the color. Normally I would have stopped and tossed early on, but thought it would make a good post on papers.
This weight of paper is used for brochures.  It's heavier and shinier than regular copy paper, so it seems like it may be a good paper for coloring with markers, especially if you're going to be cutting your image out.  For small images, maybe.  But for a large image, you'll use (waste) too much ink.  Honestly, if I were using my Copic markers, I would have done an ink check and would never have used them with this paper.
This paper literally began to fuzz up when you work in one area too long.  I colored as lightly as I could.  I knew the paper couldn't soak up that much ink and not tear.  I used the extra fine nibs sparingly as it would tend to weaken the paper, making it prone to fuzzing. 
What paper you use is sooo important.  It can make or break your project and increase your frustration using markers.   Markers are best when used on paper made specifically for alcohol inks.  Some of them don't bleed to the other side at all.   None.  Nada. Nil.
Girlfriend's dress is kicking. 
 So off with her head.  I'll give her a new one and use this image in a project in the future. 
As always --
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Some Cards for You

I've got cards for you today.   Both of these cards were made for challenges -- Robert Jackson Digi Challenge at  Scraps of Color and Creative Freebie Challenge at The Outlawz Challenges.   Since I gave up making them, they look a whole lot better. LOL

RJ 2013#1
Hope you like them and they encourage you to keep coloring.
As always...
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Playing with Markers

Hey, you guys,
I have something special for you.  This little lady is one of Saturated Canary's images.  Cutie, huh?  What's special about her, besides some really good coloring, is that she is not at all what I intended her to be but soooo pretty. The reason I can put this beautiful image before you is not something that you can read in a book, not something you can learn from a video, not even something you could learn in a class. It's because I play with my markers.

My little crafting buddy says she doesn't think we use enough greens. So I pulled greens. Things didn't quite go well almost from the start. I didn't want to scrap it, so I just played with it. There is ink on top of ink, colors on top of colors, blending, and all sorts of oopsies made to look not like an oopsie. The only way I could have pulled it off is because while I play with my markers, I learn things about the ink, paper, drying time, layering, what a blender can and cannot do...


What I did with this image would probably make some folks cringe. What I did to it is not something I could tell you how to do because the "techniques" evolved as I went along. What started as a practice session could now be used on a project.

You have to get your markers out and play with them.  If you wait until you want to color something for a project, there are so many things you will never learn, and it's too much pressure.  You have to play with the markers.  That is how you develop your own style.  That is how you learn to color like the "pros".   Same goes for colored pencils, crayons, chalks, watercolors, and paints. 

I've often heard on the videos "This is how I do it.  I'm not sure if it's some sort of technique or whether it's right or wrong.  It's what works for me.  So this is how I do it."  Isn't that where we really want to be?   Having our own style and getting terrific results.  Even Suzanne Dean says she's not trying to create copies of herself.  She wants you to find your own style.  There's only so much you can be taught.  The rest comes from actually doing what it is you're trying to learn.  Hands on.

I try to color something every day.  Most of what I color will not end up on a project, but the valuable information I learn while playing makes my next project better and much more my own.

As always,
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Thanks so much for your comments on my last post.  It reminded me of some of my first posts here.  Even though I'm a person who sees a glass as half full, I also believe that if it happens to somebody else it can happen to me.  I don't want to go to the school of hard knocks if I can avoid it, but I love reading the stories of those who have gone.

Because of my profession in the legal field, I've seen a lot of things that go on behind the scenes.  I know that a lot of what goes on before it becomes "known about" never gets disclosed.  Those disclosures could help prevent errors and/or increase a bottom line.  Sometimes knowing what you don't know can be a powerful learning experience.  If seeing my oopsies encourages or inspires someone to pick up those markers and get to coloring, have at them.

Here is my latest oopsie, just this past weekend.  When I first started coloring with Copic markers, there was so much emphasis on the paper you choose.  I'm sure you've heard about the importance of paper and know there are several on the market.  What does the paper have to do with the functioning of the markers?  When you've spent money on these markers, you don't think about paper.  You just want the markers to work, and as much as you paid for them, gosh, darn, they should work on any paper, if not color by themselves! LOL

I've been coloring on paper made for markers.  I use both Copics and Promarkers with very few problems with bleeding and oversaturation.  Somehow a swatch paper that I cut from paper that was intended to use in the Cricut Imagine ended up in my stash.   The image was printed, and my colors were picked.  As I began to color, what I was seeing right before my eyes gave me flashbacks and palpitations, and I swear I could hear the music from "Psycho" in my head.


What an awful mess.  It took me awhile before I realized it was the paper.  I thought about the ink.  I thought about the room temperature.  Did I leave them sitting in the sunlight.  None of those had ever been a factor before.  I only realized it was the paper when I just put it aside and started coloring something else with no problems.  Now just to find out how it made its way into my stash of swatch paper.

I have to apologize to Khrista of Saturated Canary.  This is my first post using one of her images.  If you've been researching coloring with markers, I'm sure you've heard of Saturated Canary.  Her images are fabulous.  So much fun to color.  I have another one for my next post.   You can find Khrista here and an occasional freebie here.  

One of the things I enjoy on YouTube is when the accomplished artists show their journals or swatch books from their early years and comment on their progress.  Both Promarkers and Copic sell papers specifically designed for their markers.  That's a good place to start.  I promise you'll see immediate improvement.

And, remember, even Venus and Serena don't hit every ball or win every match.   LOL
As always,
Thanks for stopping by!