Sunday, May 31, 2009

HHC33 No Corners!

This card was inspired by the lovely Diva Niki and her challenge for us today over at the High Hopes Blog. She would like us to create a project that has "no corners!" I thought I could get away with making a rectangular shaped card if I lopped off the corners with my corner rounder punch, and I was right!! She said it fit the challenge perfectly! Some of the other Divas are doing round cards and other shaped cards too. If you want to join in, don't forget to link a photo on the HH blog so that you can have a chance to win some HH stamps next weekend!
I stamped Tidy Up Tillie onto Manga Drawing paper by Canson using Tsukeneko Tuxedo Black Ink (the best one to use when coloring with Copic markers).
I colored her and the pink background using Copics (colors pictured below). To add the highlights on her overalls and shirt, I waited about five or ten minutes after coloring them in so that the paper was dry thoroughly. Then I used my colorless blender to remove color in the places I wanted to appear lighter.
I did a lot of doodling on this card with my Signo white gel pen on the front and a purple gel pen on the inside. Plus I used my CB a lot, with various dies and templates. I wanted to give this card to a lady I know who works very hard at our community center as the care taker and manager of the place. I hope it helps her to feel appreciated for all her hard work!

Close up of the image:


Colors used on her blonde hair:

Colors for the remainder of the image:

Be blessed in God's amazing love for you today!
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

HHC32 Pink and Brown!

Today's challenge at the High Hopes Blog is to make a card using Pink and Brown as the main colors! It's brought to us by the lovely Guest Diva Tab! Her card will display the two stamps up for grabs as blog candy! Why not join in the fun, link up a photo of your project onto the HH blog, and you could have a chance to win the stamps!

I did a tutorial which is the post just below this one, and used this image Brayden as my example. Not sure what occasion I want to use it for, so I left it without a sentiment. I might just give him a party hat and balloons for a birthday party, and perhaps give him a sign that says, "please don't pin the tail on me". That might get a chuckle, what do you think?
I used my CB and Distressed Stripes folder (thank you Janette, for that great gift!). I used "Doodle Parts" Spellbinders die for the little swirl. The pink heart button is hand made using Sculpey (that stuff is addictive!). And I sponged some Tea Dye Distress ink on the pink layer. The other distressing was done with the edge of a metal ruler. I've tried other tools, nothing works faster or easier!
Here is a close up of the colored image. I couldn't help myself, I touched it up a bit. I went back with some E71 and E74 and gave the neck more shading, and then I actually livened up the highlights by removing some color with the colorless blender. I love the furry look I achieved! (see my tutorial below to find out how to get this look).

Here is a peek at the inside. Thanks for looking today, and God bless you my friends!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Copic Tutorial: How I do Fur, Plus: fixing a color error

This tutorial shows you how I colored the fur on my donkey, Brayden. It isn't necessarily the only technique to do fur with alcohol based markers, it's simply a method I have chosen to show you today.
I started with E70 and used the brush tip on my Copic Sketch markers to make a lot of strokes all over the donkey. I made sure I laid down the strokes in the direction that I figured the fur would naturally appear on the coat of a donkey. I avoided coloring in the areas that I would later want to appear as highlights. I chose to have my light coming from above and to the right of the paper, and so I imagined where the highlights would fall on this little equine and left those spots bare.

I repeated this same technique with the next darkest shade of brown in the same color family, E71. I was not trying to blend the colors seamlessly; with fur, I want to have some texture showing and so lines of demarcation are desired, not to be blended out. I also did not cover the entire first layer of color, but left a lot of places for it to show through. This is essential if you want to show depth in your work. I might add that the brush technique is a little tricky; you have to nearly float the marker above your work, and flick your wrist, barely letting the tip touch the paper. The reason for this is because if you press the tip to the paper firmly, the stroke will leave a thick swath of color. If we had a choice of a narrower brush tip, that would not be a problem, but all Copic brush tips are very large in comparison with small stamped images. You can practice this "feathering" technique on a scrap first if you want to get the hang of it before trying it on a stamped image.

I repeated this same technique again, following the direction of the previous layers, and using E74. With this shade I am concentrating on the areas that would be in shadow, remembering my light is coming from above and to the right of the image. If you look closely under his belly and under the cheek line, you will see that I did not carry this dark shade right to the edge of the belly/cheek line, but left a tiny portion along the bottom edge where I did not shade it. This is a trick for making something appear 3 dimensional. There will sometimes be a portion of an object that has a small amount of reflected light bouncing off the ground or other object close by that shows up on this outer edge. If you can add that into your coloring, your images will really come to life.
I also did this on his legs, and it shows up the most on his back legs, where I put E74 mostly down the middle of the legs.

I added E77 to the areas where I had put E74 using the same feathering technique. This time I went over the areas that I thought would be darkest with many strokes, until I was happy with how deep the shade was.

I had put E70, 71 and 74 in the tail, and so I had to do the same for the mane and forelock. I left a lot of the area white though because I wanted to add in a different shade of brown just to give my donkey more variety in color. Once I had layered in some feather strokes of the E70's, I reached for E53 and just colored over the entire mane, forelock and tail tuft.

I like adding a variety of colors when I do brown fur, and just to punch up the image and give it more life, I decided to add a couple of purple-ish shades. I went over the fur sparingly with these two shades: BV00 and BV23. Key word, "sparingly". I didn't want a purple donkey, but I did want hints of purple here and there.

Next I concentrated on his muzzle and inside his ear that I wanted to do in a pink shade. I started with R02 but found it a bit too orange-y, so I went over most of the muzzle with RV11, leaving the far left of it untouched with this shade. Again, I used the feathering technique to blend these two shades.

For the hooves I started with E53, leaving an area for a highlight, and then E55 for the darker areas.

I darkened the hooves even more using E44. If I had stopped there, it would have been good. However, I thought the brown looked too "orange-y".

Knowing that color opposites create a grey and tone each other down when used overtop of one another, I thought that a blue tone would make the brown less orange-y. So I reached for my B34. Hmmm... turned out to be a mistake, look what happened:

Aaak! Green hooves!! Not the time to panic though. Time to use my knowledge of how colors work together. Ok, so the hooves were too green. Red tones down green, so, I reached for the brown I had started with on the donkey's fur, E70 and toned the green down. I also used E74 as well. See how you can color correct by using color opposites? I almost never give up on a picture I'm coloring when I make a mistake. There is almost always a way to fix it!

Next I used a blender pen and went over the highlights on the hooves, feathering the tip of the blender pen from the lightest part of the highlight and going slightly into the colored areas, but not too much! I also created a shadow on the muzzle with BV33.

The next step was to create a ground for the little guy. I thought about where the shadow would fall with the light source above and to the right of the animal.
I started with E53 to create the entire area, and then gradually added darker colors. I used E70, E71, C2 and C4 and instead of feathering, I made tiny dots of color to represent rocks and sand.

Then using the blender pen, I made little swirly motions around the whole perimeter of the ground to blur the line and soften it. To make the ground look pebbly, I lightly touched the tip of the brush of the blender pen to the ground and held it for three seconds. That moves the color out of the way slightly, leaving a circular pattern. I repeated this all over to make the rocky texture.

Some might stop here and decide they like it as is. I almost did, but then, I decided instead to experiment a little further! For one thing, I grabbed E47, which is the darkest brown I have and deepened the dark shadows just a tad more.

I also took some blending solution and dabbed it on an old terry cloth rag, then pressed the damp rag onto the fur areas I had colored. I had to carefully avoid the hooves and ground. This is the final effect, and I'm glad I experimented, as I like the result:

My image is now ready to incorporate into a project! Thanks for looking and taking the time to read through this tutorial. I hope it was clearly presented.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

HHC31 Can Ya Doodle?!

Our wonderful guest Diva Karen chose the theme for this week's challenge at the High Hopes Blog! She wants us to doodle on our projects/cards this week! How fun!
Now don't be intimidated, a doodle can be as easy as adding a few dots around your image panel with a black felt pen, or going all out with swirlies and floral patterns, the sky's the limit!
Adding a link to your project onto the HH blog will give you a chance to win two free HH stamps next weekend! What are you waiting for, get doodling!!!
I stamped Sweet Dreams, from the latest release, onto Manga Drawing Pad paper using Tsukeneko Tuxedo Black ink. I colored it in with Copics, colors pictured below.
The flowers in the four corners are actually punched out of the Basic Grey "Bittersweet" Peanut Butter paper, allowing the white of the layer below it to show through. I doodled around on the Basic Grey with a black ink felt pen, and then traced beside those doodles with my Signo white gel pen.
I used my CB and a Nestabilities Labels 1 die for the main image panel and sponged Distress Vintage Photo ink around the edges while it was still in the die.
I also used this card for the IC on Splitcoast Stampers today. Lots of fun! You can click on the card for a closeup if you need it. Thanks for looking!

The browns on the ant were done with the E70 group and the browns on the ground were done with the E50's and also E44 and Y26. Other than that, I think its pretty easy to guess what went where :

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Anyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE American Idol fan. I try to watch every single episode and every season I have a favorite... mine this year, is Danny Gokey. And tonight, he got cut.... WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAHAAAHAAA
I don't usually use my blog for anything by my cards, but I just had to vent tonight (I apologize to Adam and Chris fans)... I LOVE Danny's voice and have downloaded eleven of his songs off iTunes. I have also downloaded eleven of Chris's and four of Adam's. But I'd have to say, I favor Danny because I like the songs he sings the most, and his natural tone is a dream to listen to. I just love his version of "Jesus Take The Wheel" and "You Are So Beautiful". Wow. Awesome sounds.
Don't get me wrong, I think Adam and Chris are also very talented, to the extreme, but Danny was my personal favorite. That voice, my goodness, he could sing with such control, perfect pitch, he could sing deep, he could sing falsetto, he could sing softly, he could belt it out, do flawless runs, put a raspy growl in the right places, he is amazing. As far as singers go, Danny is what you would call, a singer's singer. He could wow anybody with his vocal ability, and as Simon Cowell put it lastnight, his singing is "master-class". That says it all.
I am pretty upset that he was cut. I was so looking forward to seeing him in the final, and hoping he would win. I must console myself with the fact that now he will have a chance to take the world by storm with his music as he springboards from American Idol onto the stage in the real world. I think he is going to do great. I am just disappointed that I don't get to hear him sing in the finale next week. :-(
I am being very dramatic, I know. But honestly, in my core, I believe God has great things in store for Danny, and I'm not at all concerned about where he is headed. I just wanted to hear that boy SING!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

HHC30, plus more Copic coloring tips: Shadows on White Areas

This week's challenge is brought to us by the lovely Diva Anna Wight!
She would like us to do a project "for the boys", so I made a card that I could easily give a male. It's not too frilly or flowery of course!
I stamped Bossie's Bad Mood with Tsukeneko Tuxedo Black onto Manga Drawing Pad paper. I stamped her again on a post it note, cut her out and masked my first stamped image with it. Then I stamped the Hay Stack over top, removed the mask, and voila. Bessie is sitting on top of the hay!
I proceeded to color the images with my Copics (colors pictured below). However, I was having a hard time with the whites on Bessie. I wanted the light to look like early morning light coming from the right side of the picture. So I knew I needed to put her left side in deep shadow. Only the colors I originally chose for her looked awful. I used too much grey and she looked like she was made of mud. So, I restamped her, colored her better, cut her out and pasted her down on top of the first one. So much for masking my images! lol These things happen.

I used a lot of blue in the deep shadows on the left both on the hay and on Bessie's white areas. Warm light makes cool shadows, so cool blue is often the best choice on whites that are bathed in warm light. If you have ever studied the shadows the evening sun makes on snow, you will notice they are blue and sometimes blue-ish purple, while the sun lit areas on the snow are a washed out amber or golden color. So for the white of Bessie that was closest to the light source, I used E50 and E51. And in the shadows I used the blues listed below and some of the lighter cool grays overtop of these.
I only used the blender pen on Bessie's snout, to get a bit of a highlight on the right side of it.
The photo's colors are a bit off; I was adjusting them and I went a bit overboard! The first photo I had looked washed out, so I punched up the color tones, but went a bit too far... oh well, these things happen. I think I have said that twice now! lol
I used Mega Rectangles as a template for the main image, and sponged Tea Dye Distress Ink around it while it was still in the template to create the white edges.
Main image is popped up on foam tape. Brads are from Dollarama, Raffia from Michael's. Other High Hopes stamps I used on this card are Single Cow Spot, Cow Spots Background, and the saying, Hay!

Colors for the Hay Stack:

Colors used on Bessie:

Don't forget to link up a pic of your challenge card/project on the High Hopes Blog for a chance to win two free High Hopes Stamps! Anna's card on the blog will show you which ones are up for grabs this week. Thanks for looking today, and God bless you! He loves you!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

HHC29 Heat Emboss! Plus, more info on highlighting with Copics.

I'm grateful that Ying, one of our darling Divas, came up with this challenge! This week, get out the old heat gun and emboss away! Remember that if you join in, and link a photo of your project on the High Hopes Blog, your name gets entered in a draw to win two free High Hopes Stamps!!
I stamped Fanciful Flower and Fanciful Flower Corner in Versamark clear, sprinkled on gold embossing powder, shook off the excess and heat set.
The other bg paper is one I made with alcohol inks dripped onto white glossy. I used some Spellbinders dies with my CB as well. I left the main image panel in the square die to before I sponged on Vintage Photo Distress ink to get a crisp white edge.
I stamped the bee twice so I'd have another set of wings to use. After embossing the wings with Psychedelic Embossing powder, I cut them out and popped them up at the outside edges, and taped them down flat closer to her body.

In this close-up picture, notice the highlights on her bow and shoes. I'd like to explain the two techniques I used for both, which differ from the one I did in my tutorial from Monday April 27 2009.

For the bow: I left a white path where I thought the light would be hitting it. Since satin bows tend to reflect a lot of light, I wanted this highlight to be stark and very bright. I waited until the ink was very dry, about ten minutes (though you probably only need five). With my colorless blender, I carefully drew it along the edges of the red closest to the white path I had left, without going all the way across and dragging red ink into the white. Since it was such a tiny white area, some of the red did bleed into it, but that's ok, it makes for a more natural looking highlight anyway.

On the shoes, I colored them in red, leaving no white areas. I waited for the ink to be dry, about ten minutes, and using my colorless blender, drew it along where I wanted my highlights to be. It took several strokes with the brush tip til I was happy with it, about five or six times. By doing it this way, the highlight will not be pure white, because some of the original layer of color will remain. It makes for a more subtle highlight. I still wish to to a tutorial with photos to make the s'plain'in much easier to comprehend!

I hand wrote a little play on words for my greeting inside, as well as using some older saying stamps from the High Hopes catty!

And here are the colors I used. Wow, not my usual two thousand and twenty two shades! LOL

Thanks for coming by for a visit today! Wish we could sit awhile and chat with a cuppa jo. Sure would be nice, eh?
Hugs to all!
God bless you!