Monday, July 5, 2010

The Creative Process - Watercoloring with Markers

Oh MAN what a comedy of errors trying to get this tutorial up for you tonight.  I think I'm over the frustration...but sheesh.  I did a whole series of photos as I was coloring up the image for this card to show you ....and guess what?  I get ready to download all the pics - and there's NO memory card!!!  The card is already completed and I have nothing to show you for how I did it.  SO...I start all over again to photograph me coloring ANOTHER image, and my camera won't take just went downhill from there.  BUT...after way too many hours and editing and watermark issues I think I have something to show you. 

First we'll start with the final project and then I'll show you how I got there.

This is made with Verve's One Person set, and I used Jen's SFYTT this week. 

There are several ways that you can use markers to color in your images in a watercolor style.  You can just use your markers and color them on say your acrylic block or some clear plastic and pick up your ink like a palette OR, like I'll show you today, use your markers directly on your watercolor paper and blend with a waterbrush.    Here are the supplies I used for this:  A stamped image (using Stazon ink) on watercolor paper (here from Flourishes), a waterbrush, mine is a very fine brush from Koi that I bought at my art supply store, and then markers.  I just use my SU waterbased markers but I've heard good results with Tombow markers too.   Then you'll need some scrap paper to clean your brush or brush out the water from it.   

My biggest tips in coloring with markers is less is more.  Start with less ink than you think you'll need and a dryer brush than you think you'll need.  I always start at the top left of my image and from the center of the image.  (You can click on any of these pictures to make them larger.)

Think about where you would see the depths and highlights in a flower bloom.  Centers have the deepest color and the tips would have highlight where the sun will be hitting it.  I've added a bit of color with my Ruby Red markers above.

Above you can see that I've taken my waterbrush that is just damp and have moved around my color, not just in the petal I've added it to, but into the petals around.  I leave the edges of the petals without color for now because those will be my highlighted areas. 

In this next series of pictures you'll see how I add the color and blend.  I generally add the color then blend, let dry slightly and then come back and soften the edges of the color. 

Then I can come back and add another layer of color and blend it in as well, till you get the depth of color you're looking for.  One important tip is not to add too much water, and also I often blend from the "white" areas back into the color, then clean my brush on the paper.  This way I keep the highlighted areas clean and just pick up color to soften.  That's why you see all the stripes of color on my scrap paper, it's color I've picked up from the image and cleaned off onto the scrap.   Red is by far one of the most saturated colors so you have to be careful not to add too much color at a time, and blend well.  The longer you leave it on the paper the more it will stain - and the harder it is to blend. 

Below you'll see the image almost complete, I'm just adding deeper color in the areas of depth and then coming back and blending. 

Below I'm starting with the leaves.  Again, the stamp often gives you clues, but you think about where the depth of color would be, often in the center of the leaf, then next to the flower and often down at the tip where it would bend down.  Here I've started with Old Olive marker. 

Above you can see as I'm blending, honestly this is too much water on the leaf.  You'll get too much bleed of the color, so I took a paper napkin and blotted it off a bit and dried out my brush. 

Above I've added some Always Artichoke to increase the depth of color and then I'll blend it in. 

Above you can see the completed blending on the leaves and then how I'm adding Chocolate Chip marker to the center of the flower giving it the look of a poppy. 

After all the frustration of having to color the image twice and do the pictures twice, I actually prefer the coloring on the 2nd image much better.  I kept the highlights much better on this one. 

But I'll also show you closeups of the completed card with the first round of coloring.  See how the highlights are much more pronounced in the image above?  The image below is "flatter" feeling, so I suppose doing it a 2nd time was worth it! 

I love this part of the card above  I took one of the smaller blossoms and overstamped the sentiment and then added ruffled ribbon behind the image. 

Here you can see I've overstamped the patterned paper with the smaller blossom and I've added some pretty trim ribbon.  I masked the watercolored flower and stamped the beautiful circle swirls from the set, and also sponged chocolate ink to warm it up. 

Well, it's super late and I'm finally done!  Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!


KarinsArtScrap said...

hi christine

I have read that it was a lot of work with taking picture's, bud you did'it,
you have made a wunderful creation,
it's really a beautiful card.

greetings karin

Marisa said...

You are a trooper to have persisted after all the hurdles you had to deal with! Gorgeous flower and card! Thanks for sharing :D

Shannon Erskine aka e3stamper said...

Oh no Christine!! You are a better person than I am girl b/c I so woulda given up!LOL!! Fabulous job on this card and great tutorial!

Cindy Haffner said...

Christine this is GORGEOUS!!

Chris Olsen, Glowbug said...

What a gorgeous card Christine!! Your watercoloring is stunning!! Great tutorial despite all the hurdles!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for continuing on with this after all those issues!! I think both images are truly beautiful!! Wonderful card.
Beth Greco

Sharon Basel said...

This is a great tutorial Christine - thanks for all the effort it took! I learned a few new tips from you today. The card is simply gorgeous.

Rose Ann said...

This is absolutely gorgeous, Christine...and your coloring is amazing!!

Joan Ervin said...

OMG, Christine....your card is gorgeous and what a great tutorial!!! You make it look so easy but when I color with markers mine doesn't look anything like yours...what's up with that...LOL!!!!

Lynne Phelps said...

Thanks SO MUCH for another creative process post! I know it is a chore to take all these pictures but I really do appreciate it. Your blog is a consistent source of inspiration to me, and I appreciate all that you do!

Debbie Olson said...

Christine, this is beautifully rendered--great job! I've had the "oops" moments before too--wrong camera setting or somehting equally weird that meant starting over. Arrggggghhhh!

Jean said...

Stunning! And a great tutorial!

Katherine said...

This is just beautiful, I absolutely love watercolor. It's been a while since I've done any and have always used pencil and blender pen.
I wonder, would this work well with my Memento Markers?

Thanks for the tutorial, really helpful.

Beverly A said...

Thanks, for a wonderful tutorial! I love your card too! I've tried watercoloring with markers before without any luck, but your with your tips I have finally had success! Thanks for sharing your talent with all of us.