An Evening of Color

I recently purchased a full set of Spectrum Noir alcohol markers when I found them on a really good sale. I’ve played around with them a few times, but haven’t really utilized them in any of my card projects yet. I’ve finally decided it’s time for me to really start using them more. Of course, that also means I need to start actually practicing with them. Practicing anything has never really been a strength of mine, which probably explains why I hated the years of piano lessons I took at a child. LOL

Coloring Practice with MISTII finally decided to suck it tonight and actually put in some time with my markers. I recently picked up a La-La Land Crafts stamp (Love You Marci) from my LSS (local stamp store) specifically for practicing with my markers because they have nice large faces and open hair patterns which are perfect for learning how to blend skin and hair tones with either alcohol markers or wax-based colored pencils with Gamsol/odorless mineral spirits.

Naturally, the first step was getting my practice images stamped out. I stamped them out on some Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Cardstock using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. As you can see in the photo above, I also used my MISTI for that step.

Since Marci is a good size stamp, doing this step with the MISTI meant I would be able to re-ink and stamp her again in exactly the same spot if I didn’t get a good impression the first time. I actually did have to do that on a couple of my images, so I was really thankful I was using the MISTI! If you aren’t familiar with the MISTI, you can learn more about it in this video from Iliana who created it.

In addition to the Marci practice sheets shown above, I also stamped out another set of practice sheets using the girls from the Work Out stamp set from Simon Says Stamp. Just like Marci, they both have larger faces and open hair patterns as well as arms & legs. Again, this makes them great for coloring practice.

Even though I have a long way to go with my marker coloring skills, I was pretty pleased with my results from tonight’s practice session. Even though there are a few bobbles here and there on both of the pieces I finished, I would still feel absolutely comfortable putting them on a card or project.  Here are my two finished pieces along with the markers I used to color each of them.

La-La Land Crafts Love You Marci

Hair: TN1, GB1, GB6, GB7
Skin: TN1, TN2, FS1, FS8
Dress & Headband: BT3, BT4, BT6, BT9
Heart: PP4, PP6
Boots: IG3, IG4, IG5, FL3, True Black

Simon Says Stamp Workout Girl

Hair: TN2, TN4, TN5, TN7
Skin: TN1, TN2, FS1, FS7
Eyes: CG2
Weights: IG3, IG5, IG7, True Black
Top & Headband: DR3, DR5, DR7
Shorts: TB3, TB5, TB7
Socks: TB3, TB5
Shoes: DR3, DR5

I know lots of paper crafters use Copic markers, and I even have a handful of them, but I decided they were just far more of a financial investment then I was willing to make. I also have all 24 of the ShinHan markers sold by Close to My Heart. They’re really nice markers, but it really just wasn’t enough variety for good blending, IMO, plus all of the markers they carry are specifically designed to coordinate with their inks and paper which can be a drawback if I’m using products from another company. That’s why I ultimately chose to go with the Spectrum Noir marker set.

Do you use alcohol markers in your card making? If so, which brand do you use? Since I’m still somewhat of a newbie with alcohol markers, do you have any tips or technique recommendations that might help me as I’m learning? Please leave me a comment below and let me know.

Until next time …

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