Chameleons on Noah’s Ark: trialling the latest alcohol markers

ColouredThe image I’ve used is a digistamp from The Stamping Boutique sponsors for this month’s Crafting Cafe challenge – check their blog later in the month to see the card I make with it.

But the purpose of the colouring in was to trial and review the deluxe set of Chameleon Pens I recently purchased. There have been a fair number of reviews online, both good and bad, and a fair number of my Facebook friends had indicated they hadn’t got on with them at all and had returned them. I watched all the available videos I could find, as well as the shows on Create & Craft, found a good offer and went for the full set.

For the uninitiated, the pens are a basic dual tip alcohol ink pen – there is a bullet point and a brush-like nib. In addition is a reservoir of the solvent attached to each pen with its own  brush nib. In use, you put coloured tip to solvent tip, keep solvent on top and the pen upright for a defined period, and then start colouring – the solvent dilutes the colour, resulting in a tint which develops the fuller colour as the ink flows back into the nib. Thus from one pen, you can get all the shades. The ink on the page is also translucent, and along with other alcohol ink pens, blends whilst wet and overlays once dried. The deluxe pen set includes all 20 colours, a blending pen and a detail black pen, along with some spare nibs and an instruction sheet. They are in a handy holder which also presents the pens for use when open.

For my full review, read on… but in the meantime here’s the executive summary. I think in terms of colour intensity, blending, bleed and application, these pens are pretty much like-for-like alongside Letraset’s ProMarkers. Their USP is the many shades, one pen however:
PROS> no swapping pens constantly, no need for several pens or layers to shade light to dark, mix time allows for planning next area (i.e. time isn’t wasted). CONS>Getting large areas the same shade is very difficult unless keeping to undiluted pen colour; may need to use a different colouring method.

CONCLUSION: These are a great addition to my alcohol pens, and best suited to detailed images needing obvious shading. I’d not recommend them for large areas of same shade colouring – I’d stick with several ProMarkers. I certainly don’t regret buying them and definitely won’t be sending them back!

CCTPurpleDalia

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Love is… tarmacing

Love WordIt’s a lurve theme over at The Crafting Cafe this month, and the DT got to work with digistamps from the fabulous Bugaboo Stamps. Ava and Deacon’s Love Word was perfect inspiration for this 12×12″ canvas board layout. I coloured the image with ProMarkers and the board with acrylic paints and added my new favourite tarmac technique. For a bit more detail, see my post at The Crafting Cafe.

 


A Driving Dragon?!

Driving Dragon

 

It’s still ‘anything goes’ month over at The Crafting Cafe sponsored by the fabulous Stamping Dragon Designs – I’ve chosen the Rupert’s Car digistamp for my card.

Since my ProMarkers are currently on loan to my young tutee, I’ve used my Fashion Design set of Tria Markers to colour in the digistamp. This has the benefit of a preselected palette of colours that work well together. I’ve added extra colour-on-colour to add the tartan stripes to the hat and the shading. I felt Rupert really needed scarf and goggles, but only the scarf made it 🙂

For more making details, pop across to my design team blogpost.

 

 

Blue Hues in a Can

It’s a ‘Favourite Colour’ theme over at The Crafting Cafe, and I decided my favourite colour this month is blue, and used the fabulous Floral Watering Can from their sponsor Delicious Doodles for my base image. I recently fell in love with Letraset AquaMarkers, bought the entire set, and played with them some more for this card.

I started by printing two copies of the image onto 90gsm watercolour paper using my laser B&W printer. I added AquaMarkers to the crosshatched areas of the design (as these will be the darkest) and dragged the colour across the rest of the space with a waterbrush pen. I added extra layers of colour where needed by allowing the first layers to dry before painting on colour picked up from a palette (draw on a plastic sheet with the AquaMarker). That’s how I built up the mottled watercolour effect on the can and the shadow.

For added depth (not easily seen on the pic) I coloured in the second copy and cut out selected items, edged them in black and layered them decoupage stye onto the flowers. Try to choose things that aren’t overlapped by anything else and you’ll get the foreground elements perfectly.

Pens used:
Can – Pebble Grey
Flowers – Deep Sapphire/Storm Blue/Vintage Blue/Mediterranean
Background – Pebble Grey/Frost Blue

Mounted on black card over Bazzil on 14x14cm ‘linen’ style card. The metallic strip at the bottom is by Letraset and helps ground the image.

Let me know if you’d like a more in-depth/video tutorial on using AquaMarkers. I think they’re fab!

 

A pirate’s life for me!

After a four week break, my ProMarkers are out again. This week’s challenge over at Passion for Promarkers is ‘a pirate’s life for me!’ While searching for a suitable piratey greeting (I didn’t find one), I discovered that there is an international ‘talk like a pirate’ day each year on 14th September. Shiver me timbers!

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