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!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

HHC36 Use Up Those Scraps! Copic tip: Coloring an Elephant!

Today's challenge at High Hopes is hosted by our fab Diva Jeanne! She wants us to dive into our scrap heaps and pull out unused cardstock scraps to make our card/project! 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!
I stamped Elmer Elephant in Tsukeneko Tuxedo Black ink onto Canson Manga Drawing Pad paper and colored him in with Copics.

Tips on Coloring an Elephant:

Most people reach for grays when coloring an elephant. I don't. I find it gives the animal more life to give it a bit of color, and why not, we aren't exactly going for realism here! LOL
I was at African Lion Safari a few years ago, and remember noting how brown the elephants looked. I actually rode one with my daughter, and it was truly painful!! What hurt was their HAIR! It was like wire, and it was SHARP! And I was in shorts!! Weird, I know.
For Elmer himself, I used:
E70, 71, 74, 77, RV34, and C2 for his nails and C4 and 5 in the shadows on him.
On the ground and grass I used E21, 25, 33, G12 and YR24 and again, C4 and 5 in the shadows.
There is a stamp that says, "Thanks a ton" at High Hopes, but it was straight and I wanted mine to curve along the edge of the oval I used (found in my scrap heap!) and so I hand printed that.
For the highlights on his trunk, I waited til the ink was very dry (about fifteen minutes) and used the colorless blender to remove color. I just swiped it gently, using only the end of the brush tip (hold it straight up to get the thinnest stroke line) . Don't hold it down onto the paper for a long period of time or the solution will bleed out and cause a really thick line. I went over each line I wanted highlighted about three times till I was happy with how much color I had removed.
For most of the other highlights on him, I just avoided adding darker shades of the E70's grouping of colors I used. I think this is the most efficient way to highlight, esp. when you want a good blend and no lines of demarcation. Sometimes lines of demarcation are appropriate to have on your image, like for example on the trunk here, because I wanted them to suggest wrinkle lines, which are not blurred and blended but are more distinct.
Notice that sometimes there is a highlighted edge, even in the areas where there are very dark shadows. For example, the left side of his face, at the jaw line. This gives a more three D effect and makes an image pop!

Thanks for looking today, or should I say, thanks a TON for looking today!! ;-)
Happy Father's Day to any Dads reading this!!!!!!!!!!
God's richest blessings be yours today!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

HHC35 Lots a Circles! Copic tips: Woolly Texture

Our lovely Diva Janette is hosting today's challenge over at the High Hopes Blog! Her challenge is to use lots of circles on your card! Her card (posted on her blog as well as on the HH blog) displays the two stamps that Tina and Bethany will give away in a draw next weekend! If you choose to join in the challenge, just make sure you post a link to your creation onto the High Hopes Blog to be eligible for the draw!
Choose any form of circle you wish; you can use circle templates, circles in the form of dotted DP, you can draw circles, stamp circles, any way you can think of to add circles to your project!
I stamped circles all over the blue bg paper using a plastic screw on top from a small jar! One end of the top had a smaller circle and the other end had a bigger one. I just kept dabbing it onto my White Craft Ink pad and stamping circles randomly all over the page. I love how it turned out!
I stamped She-baa Sheep onto Manga Drawing Pad paper by Canson in Memento Tuxedo Black ink by Tsukeneko, and colored her with Copics.
If you look at the close up pic below you can see that I made tiny circular swirly lines with the marker to mimic a woolly texture. I did this will all the greys I used (see pic further down the post for the color list). I left a lot of areas very light where I wanted highlights to show, but I didn't want them white, as I don't think a black sheep would have pure white highlights. I used the lightest shades of grey for this effect. Note: I did not use the blender pen at all on the wool. This would have blurred the little swirly lines I had made and I wanted them to show.
I did however leave areas white on the pink bow and blended around them with the blender pen so the pink would sort of melt into the white. Same idea on the bell as well.

List of colors used:

And the inside:

Thanks for visiting today! Bless you for coming!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

HHC34 Sketch! And, Copic tips; Highlights and Shadows

This week's challenge is brought to us by our own dear Diva Nikki. She has made a fabulous, easy peasy and pretty sketch for us to use. I love this sketch, and think I will use it again!
Why not join in the challenge, link a photo of your card/project into the comments section of the High Hopes Blog, and get your name entered into a draw to win two free High Hopes Stamps! C'mon, join us, it's FUN! :-)

I colored Singing Catrina with Copic markers. I colored B21 all over her hair to begin with, as I wanted to have blue highlights on her hair. My reasoning for this choice is twofold; one, people with very dark brown to black colored hair have an undertone of red hair, which is called red but actually looks orangey brown. The color opposite to orangey brown would be blue. When light hits this hair color type, the highlights show up blue-ish. The effect is sometimes emphasized in artificiall bright lights, esp. stage lighting. And I wanted her to look like she was onstage, and so that's why I chose blue to highlight her hair!

I am also doing a lot of experimenting using grays for shadows. Sometimes instead of just choosing the darker shade of green for instance, to show shadow, it is more effective to reach for a gray tone. The question is, which one? There are four gray families to choose from with Copics; Cool, Warm, Toner and Neutral. I haven't found the best system yet, but one thing I have learned so far is go with opposites; if the color I am laying gray shadows over is a warm tone, I reach for cool gray. So far, this rule of thumb has worked pretty good! I don't know enough color theory yet to expand on this, I'm still learning.
On this image you can see that I used Cool gray #4 on the right and under side of her clothes to really emphasize the shadows.

Inside view:

Colors used:

If you have any questions as to the card recipe, feel free to ask in an e-mail (address on profile page).
Thanks for stopping by today, and God bless you!