Sunday, June 28, 2009

HHC37 Stars OR Stripes and Copic Tips: Dragon scales!

Today's challenge at the High Hopes blog is hosted by our fab Diva Lacey! She wants us to use stars OR stripes on our card/project this week. Or you can use both, as I did! The stars could be an embellishment, or stamps, or part of the designer pattern, or you could even hand draw them, or use punchies, any way you wish! Stripes could be from strips of paper, hand drawn, on the DP or paper pieced onto the image. If you check out her creation for this challenge, you will see that it displays the stamps that are up for grabs in the weekly blog candy giveaway on the High Hopes Blog! To enter the contest, simply join in the challenge and link up a photo of your creation to the comment section on the High Hopes Blog under this week's challenge. Why not join in? You could have a chance to be a winner!
The stripes I used came from tissue paper! I bought a sweater at one of those fancy stores, and they always wrap what you buy in this striped tissue paper. I always keep it because I like using it on cards! I glued it down onto a piece of white cardstock using a glue pen. Easy peasey!
The stars were on a piece of dp from Sandylion. I got that at the dollar store where they sell them two 12 x 12 sheets for a dollar.
The sandwich was cut out and popped up near the top, and I used a craft knife to cut around the dragon's thumb and palm so that I could slip the plate inside and make it look like he was really holding it!

Copic Tips:
I stamped the following images separately: Huggable Hank, Dagwood Sandwich and Chef's Hat in Memento Tuxedo Black ink by Tsukeneko onto Manga Drawing Pad paper by Canson, and colored with Copics.
I finished coloring the dragon first and then used a technique I learned from Marianne, the Copic pro extraordinaire (check out her blog for more amazing tutorials and tips). She actually does all her dragon scales one at a time, using the tip of the brush tip on the colorless blender pen. Here is an example of one of her dragons done with this technique. But I wanted to do it the fast way, using a terry cloth rag soaked in blender solution. I think her way may be more tedious, but in hindsight, it is a better way to go. You'll see why in a minute.
I dabbed some Copic colorless blender ink onto a terry-cloth rag and pressed it firmly onto the image and held it there for about two seconds. This made the paper very soaked with blender solution, and the green colors began to pool in various random circular patterns that resembled scales. HOWEVER! the paper was SO soaked, that the green ink began to bleed OUTSIDE THE LINES of the image and made an inky mess!!! I knew I could fix it though. I just had to wait until the paper was fully dry. That took a lot longer than usual, because I had really soaked it! Just to be sure, I waited over an hour. But then I just pushed the color back into the image with back and forth motions with the blender pen. I had to do this several times, waiting several minutes between each time so that I was doing it always on dry paper. Yes, this takes patience!
My second "mistake" was that I didn't color the dragon dark enough. Anytime you use the blender solution, you are removing color, and since the soaked cloth was pressed over the whole dragon, the colors really lightened up a lot. I think the scales would have shown up a lot more if I had colored him in a few shades darker than I actually wanted him to be, and then after doing this technique it would have lightened to just the right shade.
Finally, I did go over the image in a few places where the scales didn't show up enough for my liking, with the blender pen, and just like Marianne does, I touched the tip of the blender pen and held it for two seconds where ever I wanted an extra scale or two to show. I have found out that this technique shows up best when done on medium to dark shades of color, and hardly shows up at all on light colors. That's why I think next time I would color my dragon in a lot darker to begin with! I actually really want to color in another dragon, now that I have learned from my mistakes, and improve my technique! I would like to get the scales showing up a lot more.
Thanks for looking today and God bless you!


  1. Well, I think your dragon still looks perfect! Love the blender effect you have achieved with him. A gorgeous card in every way ~x~

  2. Your cards always make me so happy, Crissy! I think its the happy colors:) Every card is a small piece of art. I dont know anyone who color more beautiful and realistic than you!
    Hugs, Yvonne.

  3. WOW! This card is fabulous Crissy! The colours really pop and your colouring is gorgeous as always!! xx

  4. What a gorgeous card Crissy.

    Hugs Riet.x

  5. This is fabulous, Crissy...I haven't gotten to play yet...hopefully this week. I have in my head what I want to do...just a matter of getting it out of my head & onto a card, lol. Have a great Sunday!

  6. Crissy, I just LOVE this card! I love the cute combination of images you used. I love the dark, bold colors...the green and the blue really pop together! And I love the stars and stripes :-) Of course, your coloring is always amazing. And even though he didn't turn out as well as YOU wanted...he is AWESOME!! Much better than I could ever do!!

  7. I love this Dragon...I think your coloring is perfect...and I love the way you added the hat..and plate burgers..the stripes and star papers look fabulous as well!!

  8. Crissy, this is so cute! I love your sketch and all the texture from the distressing and stitching!

  9. Wonderful card Crissy! That sammy looks delish! Awesome scales on that adorable dragon!!

  10. Awesome card, Crissy.
    Love your amazing coloring!! The chef hat and dagwood are so cute. The green/blue combo is just beautiful!!

    Karen x

  11. Fab card Crissy, your colouring is amazing as always and i love the design and colour scheme. Hugs Nikki x

  12. Awesome card!!
    You did a great job on his body making the scales. Its tough sometimes to make a larger blank area look like it has depth. You did a fantastic job with this! Your a lot more patient than I am.

  13. Hi Crissy;
    Thanks for visiting my blog today and adding it to your list. I appreciated your comments re: my chickens and especially more so now that i have seen your art work. It is delightful! I love the subjects and the colors. Beautiful! Very whimsical, which is what i am out to achieve with my own paintings. Thank you for the inspiration, art wise and spiritually too!
    God bless,
    ross in calgary

  14. Oh my goodness this is lovely, the colours are so vibnrant and I adore that little dragon, a wonderful card darling xxxx

  15. Hey Crissy
    Very cute card and I do love his scales! Even though it took you some work--he looks fantastic!! And oh that sandwich makes me HUNGRY :)
    Thanks for always sharing your great tips with us--I think some of our mistakes turn out to be some of our greatest discoveries sometimes!
    Have a Blessed & Happy Canada Day!!

  16. Hi Crissy;
    First, Happy Canada Day!
    Thanks again for your comments re: my reflection paintings. I'm so happy to hear they are inspiring for you.
    You asked if i sell my work on-line. I don't as yet and have ben fortunate enough to show in two galleries. Avens Gallery in Canmore, and Ruberto Ostberg in Calgary. I'd like to explore on-line marketing but do not as yet know how to go about that. Other artists i've met tell me it does not work all that well. But i still might like to try one day. For now i am trying to supply the two galleries i have and commissions on top of that. It keeps me pretty busy as it is.
    Thanks so much for asking!
    God bless,

  17. Well, for me this dragon is colored perfect! He looks very good and I like the chefs hat and sandwich a lot!

    Sunny regards, Renata

  18. Wow such a fun filled card, amazing shading.. and i love the stitched detail around the edge too. xxx

  19. Fantastic card, beautiful colouring! Fab colours. Such a fun card! Love it!
    Erin x

  20. You are amazing with the copics!! I only learned about copics a few months ago and I still need to buy some :>) Your blog has wonderful tips!!

  21. Great card and coloring. If I could only make mistakes like you!