Sunday, February 5, 2017

An Experiment: Day Two

Oh. My. Goodness.

This experiment is so good for me! My mojo had flown, but getting back to basics with Papertrey's Life set, challenging myself to see how much variety I can get out of it...this is creative heaven. It occurred to me that there are many different supplies in my stash to use with this set, so this series definitely applies to my Use Your Hoard Challenge.

Talk about a great way to get out of a rut!

Anyway, today, we're playing with markers and a water spritzer: such a basic technique for getting a lovely, watercolor-y effect, yet so easy.

First, the supplies.

If you've never tried this technique, you'll need water-based markers like Memento or Tombow or StampinUp. Do NOT try to use alcohol markers (Copics/Bics/Sharpies), which will dry almost instantly on the stamp and will not activate with water. You'll also need a spritzer bottle full of water...I use distilled water...or you could use Glimmer Mist Dazzling Diamonds if you want to add some shimmer to the image.

Color the image with the markers. My blossoms were colored all over with the lighter color first (top image with rose bud, bottom with angel pink) and then the next shade darker was pounced (as opposed to rubbed) randomly onto the blossom for uneven coverage. This adds interest and shading to the image...and the results are delightfully random.

I always test my color combinations on scraps before stamping on the actual project; sometimes colors blend oddly and look muddy, and lighter shades might wash out to nothing with more water added to them. Clean the stamp between impressions so you're always getting fresh colors.

Spritzing water is an imprecise act. Usually, two spritzes work great; sometimes, two aren't enough. Too much water will create a mess. Another reason to test on scraps! You get a feel for it as you go.

Hold the stamp on the paper for a few seconds so the water absorbs before pulling the stamp up. Otherwise, it might pool the color unattractively.

As you can see if you compare today's card to yesterday's, the softness of these images is very different from the crispness provided by yesterday's pigment inks.

For those of us without mad watercoloring skilz, this is a simple, easy way to get a similar effect. I've of course kept things really simple here design-wise, but you can create lush and beautiful floral cards by repeating this technique with multiple stamps and in different colors. Just be careful to let each image dry before stamping a new one over it, or the colors might blend in ugly ways. Drying time is quick, especially if you use really absorbent paper.

Also, you might want to use watercolor paper if you're going big with this technique. The Papertrey white card stock didn't warp at all with this little bit of water, but if you put enough water on any regular card stock, it will warp.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Now, about card stock for coloring with Copics. On yesterday's post, I misremembered what Gina K calls her awesome white card stock that won't let Copics or other alcohol markers bleed through. It's called Pure Luxury heavy base weight card stock in white. (I've edited yesterday's post to correct my mistake.) This is the ONLY card stock I use when coloring with Copics. The coating allows the ink to float for easier blending, and anything that makes coloring easier is awesome for me.

'Cause coloring is hard.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Life, Altenew Sentiments & Quotes
ink: Memento markers (rose bud, angel pink, rhubarb stalk, bamboo), Archival Ink black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: spritzer bottle, rhinestones, craft foam, glue


  1. Another great card, Susan! Question: do you find Memento or Stampin' Up! markers work best for this technique? I have a ton of Stampin' Up! markers but zero Memento markers. Thanks!

    1. SU and Memento both work great. I've even combined them on the same stamp.

    2. Good to know! I have 50 or 60 Stampin' Up! markers that rarely get used. I'll pull those out rather than purchase a new set of markers. Thanks!

  2. I'm enjoying your experiments with the Life set! and even more because I recently bought it and haven't used it yet! Thanks for your inspiration as always.

  3. Beautiful. So soft and elegant. I've never done the marker-on-stamps technique. I have the zig markers and I'm assuming they'd not stain my stamps so I could try this.

    1. The Zig markers I have are waterproof and won't work for this technique. Test what you have before committing!

  4. The soft look of the flowers works well with your design. The card is very pretty.

  5. Coloring is hard! Love your card and I applaud your experimentations and telling us the lowdown on them. I tend to be too generous with my mist and get drippy results.


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