This week's challenge over at the House Mouse & Friends Challenge Blog is to use something natural on your card - it could be natural in terms of color, materials, content etc. There is a prize up for grabs this week so be sure to play!
Card Details: I have been wanting to use this sweet Happy Hoppers Love Bunny stamp for a while and I started to make a brown card with it but my hands kept moving to this Stampin' Up! Pink Pirouette textured cardstock. I used my natural colors and linen twine as accents and to meet the challenge guidelines.
I colored the bunnies with Copics and sponged around the Nestabilities cut shapes with VersaMagic Pink Grapefruit chalk ink. You get a nice blended look with a creamier ink as you can "push" it around on the paper with your sponge for a longer time before the ink dries.
The cardstock was stamped with Stampin' Up! Flannel Plaid background stamp (retired, sadly) in a rich brown (Memento Rich Cocoa).
The mesh ribbon, linen twine and fuzzy dot ribbon are all by May Arts.
The buttons are from my Wal-Mart find ~ one pound of buttons for $2!
Finally, I added a tiny pink crystal heart over the I in special on the A Muse sentiment. The pink ribbon is by Stampin' Up!.
Choosing What Copic Colors to Buy
I have been asked what colors to buy if you are just starting out. This is very hard to answer because it is the blending of colors that makes Copics so fun so technically you need light medium and dark shade of each color to do that. Then add super light colors (anything that has a lot of 0s in the name) for adding shadows and halos around your images. Then add skin tones for coloring faces - you need shadows, tan colors, pale colors -see what I mean?
If you go back to my very first Copic post you can see how I colored back then. I only had about 10 to start out with I chose 1 each of the primary colors, the colorless blender, and a light gray and blue to shadow with. My coloring was very flat and one dimensional. What makes the markers special is the ability to layer and blend - to create glowing images that actually have dimension. You need a lot of different colors to take advantage of that.
Alas, they are expensive. So what can you do as you slowly build your Copic wardrobe?
1. Be aware of starting limitations:Even if you are a skilled artist you will have a learning curve with these markers. Even if you have a ton of colors, it will be a while before you learn to bring out their full potential. I work with them everyday and I am not there. So even if you only have 5 you can make beautiful things - just don't compare your work to those who have been at it forever and have every color available. People who do put the Copics away and give up.
2. Mix mediums: Copics go beautifully with your artist grade colored pencils. Use your pencils to fill in the color gaps until you can build your collection. Do not mix the Copics with Gamsol though.
3. Buy the colors you need: Between the different types of markers there are over 300 colors available (see them all in a PDF file here). If you are a huge Stampin' Up! fan you may want to buy the matching colors of your favorite Stampin' Up! Colors. If you own a lot of nature images, you will want more blues, greens and browns. Do you color mostly people? Then buy skin tones and hair colors.
One very cool thing to remember- each marker will create many shades for you if you have the Colorless Blender. Take a shade of blue for example - if you go over it many times you will create a darker blue without hatch marks or ruining your paper like with regular markers. If you go over it with the Colorless Blender it becomes lighter with each pass of the blender. So even if you only have one color, you can still shade to an extent.
4. Buy based upon need:If you hate to color and mainly only stamp your images, you will not get a lot of use from these markers and will feel like you wasted your money. If you love to color, trust me you will love these. You can actually color plastic and metals, perfectly match Primas and ribbons, even create water color looks with rubbing alcohol in place of water.
5. Have the right ink and paper:If you do not have the right accessories you will end up hating the Copics and not working with them. The alcohol in the Copics will break down certain inks. I recommend Memento Ink. It bleeds the least.
As for paper, you want it to not be super shiny and flat or it will slide across the paper and dry in a puddle, but you also do not want it to be super absorbent like a watercolor paper or else the paper will eat up your marker and you will run out fast. Buy a happy medium. My preference is Papertrey Select, a 110 pound paper.
I hope these tips help you. One final tip is to print out a color chart on the type of paper you regularly color with for easy color reference. I made an Excel chart for all the Original Marker Colors here. I am working on one for the Sketch Markers and will post that soon.
Be sure to check out what the other DT members have made this week at the HM & Friends Blog. They have worked so hard to inspire you, please be sure to take a peek.
As always, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your visit and your comments so much.