Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Have You Talked To Your Markers Today?

I hope not - because that would mean you're crazy, and you should be at the hospital instead of here on the Inking Royalty Blog hop.

I'll give you a minute to call the men in white coats.

BUT - if you are sane, and you are here to learn a trick, then you're in the right place, and I hope my trick will be a treat!

Last week, on Periscope, I shared a tip on using the Stampin' Up! Stampin' Write Markers to get nice blending effects.

The most important thing to know about our markers is that they are NOT watercolor markers. They are water-based dye markers, and they behave very differently from watercolor mediums. Understanding this can be the difference between frustration and bliss.

It's important to know the chemical properties of any medium you work with, so that you know what techniques you can and cannot do with them. So I took some time to explain the difference between our markers and true watercolor markers in my little broadcast, which you can watch below.

The best way to use a waterbased dye marker to get good blending is to layer color. These are translucent dyes, and you can get beautiful shading and dimension with them, but the technique you need to use is different than what you would use with a traditional watercolor medium.

So I picked what I thought would be the perfect image to show this technique, which is the beautiful grapes from Market Fresh. Grapes and balloons and other round shapes are a great way to practice light and shadow if you like to color.

What I did is worked one grape at a time, coloring the entire grape with the lightest color - in this case, a retired marker - Lavender Lace (because I wasn't paying attention - use Wisteria Wonder in its place) - and then added a tiny bit of shading with Elegant eggplant on one side, and then layered more Lavender Lace on top of the line where those two colors met.

It's not technically blending, because the dyes in these markers aren't as reactive as either alcohol or watercolor, but it's a layering technique that allows you to achieve a blended look. When you're done, you have a nice gradient that looks like you were using watercolor or alcohol, because of the transparent layering of the dyes.

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Now being on Periscope is fun because you can chat with your viewers, unlike YouTube. It allows me to spontaneously share without the burden of editing, etc. and it's really fun. If you're new to Periscope, come watch a few. If you get the app on your phone, and follow people and watch their broadcasts, be sure and tap the screen while you're watching to give them lots of hearts. Hearts make Periscopers happy. So without further ado, here is the replay, where you can watch me color this entire image.

Karen Barber does a great job with marker layering and actually has a tutorial on it on Splitcoast. She uses a blender pen, which makes the dyes more reactive as well. You can find that tutorial here.

Now it's time for you to hop along and find out whether the next post is a trick or a treat! I'm going to go ahead and guess that even if it's a trick, it will be a treat because I just adore Shawn. He's amazing - so click here to see what he has for you!

Thank you for hopping along with us. If you get stuck during the Blog Hop, please use this line-up as a guide:
  1. Brian King at Stamp with Brian
  2. Candy Ford at StampCandy
  3. Lynn Kolcun at Avery's Owlery
  4. Lydia Fiedler at Understand Blue
  5. Shawn de Oliveira at ShawnStamps
  6. Lisa Pretto at InkBig Academy Stamps
  7. Sharon Walker at Stamp with Sharon W
  8. Jennifer Spiller at Westside Paper Creations
  9. Becky Volpp at Ink Blossom with Becky


  1. Your trick WAS a treat! Thanks for sharing your talent.

  2. I love your project - and your video is super-fun. I feel like I just sat with you at your table while a couple hundred people asked you questions - but I was sitting right there. I love to watch you work - and I'm so happy you were able to play along in our hop.

  3. Beautiful coloring technique. I hope to be as good at it as you someday. Thanks, Lydia! Oh, and I talk to ALL of my supplies. ;-)

  4. BEAUTIFUL and thank you for sharing your tips about our pens!

  5. I really enjoyed the video! I have been missing the blendabilities, and am just not very satisfied with my marker technique. I'm looking forward to following your directions! Thanks so much for sharing with us!!

  6. First of all! I am so excited that you are hopping along with the InKing Royalties today😍. Your crown is so very shiny with all your talent!👑 Now, you know how I love to watch your Periscope!!! But, I will tell you again!!!! Love, love, love learning from you on periscope😘 second, your card is beautiful! Third, yes I do talk to my markers! I never really worried about it until now😱 I guess I just thought everyone else did also...maybe it's a only child thing...because I talk to everything...I don't expect a response...I'm use to talking and not getting a reply😆 Thanks for setting me straight...I'm off to call the white jacket people😉


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