Whitewash Effect with Spectrum Noir pencils

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I’m sure you will have seen this effect before using ink pads. I wanted to try it with my Spectrum Noir Pencils and I’m thrilled to say the end result is very soft and delicate… just what Vintage Shabby Chic is all about!

This is something you can achieve in a very short time and looks so effective using just a few colors. You are not going for a strong vibrant look with this technique, so think soft!

You will need Kraft cardstock and a white ink pad (or heat emboss your stamped image with white embossing powder).

I have used Spectrum Noir pencils 001-035-057.

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Step 1: Heat emboss your stamped image in white onto your Kraft cardstock.

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Step 2: Using Spectrum Noir Pencil 001, color in the whole of the image

You can see in the picture above that it gives just a hint of color with the Kraft showing through. This is the effect we are after.

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Step 3: Now with 057 we will start to add a hint of color to the stems and leaves.

Add this color in the area that you think will be the shaded parts and blend out with 001.

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Step 4: To color the flowers using the same technique as we did with the leaves, add 035 into the shadow area of each petal, then blend out with again with 001.

Tip: To make the white pop a little more add tiny touches of pink and green to some areas but don’t blend it out. This will add that extra depth of color – if you look at the leaves it adds that extra splash of pure color.

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Here is another look at my finished card – I hope you will agree it gives you a very vintage feel to your card! You could add some vintage papers to get a  more Shabby Chic effect

I hope you do try this it gives you a beautiful effect with very little effort it is really so easy and simple to do you will have a stunning topper in next to no time at all.

Tutorial credit: Linda Hill

Hair with Spectrum Noir Pencils

I’m going to share how I color hair with my Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils.

I’m using a digital image from East Wind for this tutorial, as it has great hair sections.

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Using the step-by-step process you too can create beautiful hair with your pencils!

The colors I have used are: 111, 098, and 120.

Step 1:

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With your lightest color, 111, start where the hair narrows into the fold. Using light pressure apply your color with small flicking strokes following the shape of the strand.

Step 2:

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With your blending fluid and paper stump spread out your color, making sure you leave the center area white. This is your highlight.

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With the same color, 111, (and more pressure) add extra color to the areas that will be in the shade.

Blend that out into your first layer of color, making sure you don’t go over all of the first layer.

Step 4:
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Now with color 098, go right into the smallest area you are coloring, using the same small flicking strokes to add some depth and dimension.

These steps are very subtle but well worth doing.

Step 5:
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Now go back in with 111 to where your dark color finishes, using the same flicking motion bring out the dark into your mid-tone of 111.

Step 6:
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Still with 111, move to your highlighted area. With the same flicking motion add some defined strands of hair.

Step 7:
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In this image I have completed each separate stand of hair using the method above. You can stop at this stage if you want strong highlights.

Step 8:

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I decided I wanted to go darker in the shaded areas of each section of hair. I used  120 to go even darker, just flicking in as in previous steps.

This not only adds depth it also makes your highlights brighter.

Then with a very light touch and 111 I went over all the hair.

Tip: be careful of the black it is very strong – use in small areas!

Step 9:

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With the soft part of your finger tip rub in circles all over your colored areas. This helps with blending , as the heat from your finger softens the wax  holding the pigment

I do hope you will try it is really easy to get great looking hair in next to no time!

You can also apply these steps using your pencils to color on top of your Spectrum Noir markers to get even more depth dimension.

Tutorial credit: Linda Hill

Coloring Faces with the Brush Nib

I’m going to be using the new Spectrum Noir brush nibs to color this fabulous image that you will find on the newest Spectrum Noir Video Coloring Guide.

There are lots of color combinations and inspiration to be found on the Coloring Guide. For this tutorial I’m using my favorite set of skin colors: TN1, TN2, FS1, FS8, HB2.

The image has been cropped then enlarged to nearly A4 in size. I wanted to demonstrate how the next generation markers and brush nib color in perfectly even on very large areas. If you own the coloring guide, you will be able to choose whatever size digi-stamp you would like to color for your card or project.

With the brush nib, you are able to get a softer line which helps when layering colors.

This is a long tutorial but I though it was a good idea to go into greater detail.  Some people may never have used a brush nib  in their markers but you can still use these step by steps using the  fine or chisel nibs, so please don’t feel left out!

Step 1: With TN1 and brush tip cover the whole area, leaving a little white area on the tip of the nose and on the eyebrow.

Step 2: With TN2 start adding color to the area that will be in the shadows.  Just touch the edge and flick in as in the image above.

Step 3: We are now adding extra color tones to the image. With FS1 go all over the face, leaving the white area.

FS1 will not blend out the TN2 (that’s fine, we will deal with that later).

Step 4: This where we add more depth to the image, with HB2.

I use a similar color in my watercolor paintings it really does work! I use HB1 and HB2 a lot for such purposes as shadows and depth.

Step 5: Now flick over  with brush tip in TN2 where you have added the HB2.

We are building up lots of layers, which is what I like to do to get the dimension and depth.

Step 6: Now with FS1 and the brush tip go all over the face using a small circular motion to start blending out the previous layer of TN2.

Step 8: with brush tip and FS8, start adding some blush to the cheek area.

Tip: don’t forget to add some on the side of face that is being covered by the hair.

Step 9: With FS1 flick over the Fs8. This will soften out the lines and start the blending process.

Step 10: Finally with TN1, go over the whole face and cover the white that we left at the start.

This should smooth out any lines and take out some of the colors, lightening the face. Once it’s dry if you still have lines, leave it to dry completely and repeat this step.

In the next image you will see how much color has been laid down with all these layers

Leave it to dry then apply another layer of TN1.

Here is another look at the finished dry image:

You will see it has dried to a smooth  soft blend.

I do hope you  will try this technique using your favorite skin color combinations and the fabulous brush nibs for the next generation markers!

Air Brush Effect with Spritzers and Spectrum Noir Refill Inks

Have you ever wondered how to get that air brushed effect with your refill inks and a spritzer bottle? In this tutorial I will share how I do it!

You will need:
– a spritzer bottle
– your Refill inks and Blending Fluid
– Frisket Film (Low tack) (*or other low-tack waterproof making material)
– the stamp of your choice
– Tsukineko Memento ink pad
– card stock
– scissors

Add 1/2 pipette/dropperfull of blending fluid into a spritzer bottle; also add with 3 pipettes/dropperfulls of  TB3.

Tip: you need to use a mid-tone color to get a good result. I found it best to add the blending fluid as I didn’t want it too dark. Once dry it was very close to TB1 in color. You can always add more layers of color if you choose!

Tip: Don’t try it with a post it note as a mask as the ink will soak straight through to your card stock underneath. It has to be a waterproof mask.

Step 1:

With your scissors fussy cut your stamped image to make a mask  from your Fisket low tack film.

Cover your stamped image.

Step 2:

Lightly spritz over your image. I gave the image  a light spritz around the outside of image.

Then a second spritz closer to the image to deepen the color. I then blotted the mask with a paper towel  to help with drying time and save on spills.

Step 3:

This image shows that after removing the mask I did get some color get under the mask. Oops! That was my fault for not checking if I had secured the edges down properly.

But all is not lost! I just pushed back the color with my blender pen and continued to color in my image. I also removed the color from the falling snow flakes

Here are the full list of colors used:

GB1, GB5, GB7, GB10, BG1, BG2, BG3, BG9, PP1, PP2, PP5, PP6, BP4, HB1, TB1 and Blender

I used the brush nib to color the bear to get that fluffy fur look:

Here is another look at my finished card with a touch of crystal glitter  for that added sparkle:

I do hope you will try this! It’s great fun and so easy – just remember to stick your mask down firmly!

Christmas Gifts

I wanted to pop in and share a couple of Christmas gifts I’ve made this year!

This is a card for my mum. Here is the complete list of colors used to create this:

TN1, TN2, TN3, TN4, TN7, BG1, BG2, EB1, EB2, GB5, GB11, GG1, GG2, IG4, CG3, CG4, DG1, DG2, DG3, BGR1, BGR2, BGR3, OR3, CDR4, DR7, HB2, and Blender. (a bit of white acrylic paint for falling snow)

And these are candles I made for my darling grandbabies. I used my next generation markers to color directly on to tissue paper, and then heat set them on to candles!

For this project I used: GB6, GB8, GB10, BG1, BG2, BG3, OR3. DG3, CR11, DR6, TB3, TB5, BP4, BP7, IG6, IG9, EB4

How about you? Are your handmade gifts all ready for giving? What have you made?

Back to Basic Blending

Getting back to basic with blending  is always valuable to a colorist, be it a new beginner or a more advanced colorist!

There are many ways to color an image; my advice would be to color in the way that makes you happy!  There is no right or wrong way the principle is the same:

You blend out the lines with your lightest color for the seamless transition that we love from our Spectrum Noir pens.

I personally like to go from light to dark  when coloring.  This gives me more control of how much depth and density of color I want to achieve.

For this tutorial I will be concentrating on the main body of the image.

Here is a  full list of the colors I have used for the completed image:

TN1- TN2- FS8- CR3- IG5- IG7- IG9-G10- CT1- CT3- CT4- GB3- CG3- DG4- FS1- CR1- CR5- CR6- EB2-HB1- GB1- GB2- GB3-  Blender pen

Step 1

With IG5 and CT1 start to lay down your lightest colors.   You will see I have left some white – this will  later become  my highlight.

Step 2

Here I am adding my second set of colors  IG7 and CT3.  As you will see I do not cover all the area that I colored in step 1.

TIP:  you can blend out the lines as you go using the  colors used in step 1.

I will blend them out at the end of this tutorial to allow you to see it doesn’t matter which way you choose to do it.

Step 3

Here I am using my darkest colors, IG9 and CT4, to get even more definition into the area.

I will now go back in to blend out the area where the  two colors meet,  doing this with  the lightest of the colors in that area.

Step 4

Finally you will see all my previous lines are now blended to a smooth transition of color, using my lightest colors IG5 and CT1 to fill in the small area of white on the body that was left at the start.

Tip:

Leaving an area white will until the end will give you more of a highlight as there is just a single layer of color, allowing the white of the paper to shine through the color.

It’s at this stage I decide if I want to add more color and definition on my final piece.

Here is another look at my finished card:

Thanks for going back to the basics with me!  I hoe you will re-visit this easy technique soon!

Adding a Night Sky

Adding a night sky and a background with your Spectrum Noir markers is very easy to do!

If you would like to try this yourself here are the colors  you will need:

BGR1, BGR2, BGR3, BGR4, TN2, TN9, BG10, DG4 and Blender Pen

We will start in the sky area.

Step 1

First stamp your image with Memento ink into your frame.  You can do this with any die or shape that you choose.

Step 2

With BGR1, we now need to add the sky line as well as where our fields and bushes will be.  These are simple curved lines  that will be covered as we go along.

Step 3

With BGR1 we can start to add color into the sky area.  Start at the base  of the sky area  and work up into the sky.

Try to get it as smooth as you can but don’t worry too much.

Step 4

Now with BGR2 add more color to the sky,  overlapping the BGR1 with your BGR1 to blend out the  line.

Step 5

With BGR 3 add even more color,  blending out the line with your BGR2.

Step 6

With BGR4  fill in the remaining sky area and blend out  the line with your BGR3.

Tip: if you can still see lines  where the four colors meet,  leave it to dry and then repeat these steps.  You should then get a smooth transition of color.

Step 7

Now for the fields and bushes:

With TN2, using the fine tip, just add little dots along the lines we added at the start,  going over the BGR1.

Tip: try to make sure your bushes are standing upward.  You want them to look as natural as you can, making some slightly bigger than others.

Step 8

With GB10, and still with small dots, add more depth to your bushes.  Leave some of the TN2 showing at the top.

Step 9

Now with TN8 and DG4 add random dots of both colors into your hedge row.

In the image you will see I have added BGR1 into the  base of the hedge row, to create some shadow and shape to my snow-covered fields.

Step 10

With BGR2 add a tiny touch  in small areas.  To add more depth blend out with BGR1.

Step 11

With your blender pen, go over the  harsh lines for a smooth soft edge.  You are now ready to color in your stamped image.  Bringing in the colors  that were used in the sky adds balance and tone to your finished image as a reflected light.

Here is another look at my finished card that has falling snow added to the sky with white acrylic paint.  You could use a white gel pen too.

I then added a touch of crystal glitter for a bit of sparkle .

I do hope you will try this!

 

Pointillism with Spectrum Noir Pens

In the 1800s a famous artist called George Seurat did some fantastic pieces of art using dots of pure color to create tones, shape, and form.

This type  of painting allows your eye and brain to blend the spots of colors together, and is called Pointillism.

I wanted to try this out with my Spectrum Noir pens to see if I could get a similar result . 

While I was attempting Pointillism I thought I would  do  a tutorial to share, for those who  might like  to try something different with Spectrum Noir pens!

Here are the Spectrum Noir colors I have used for this tutorial: CT3, CR10, CR11, DR7, DG3

Step 1:

After tracing around a shape, with the fine nib of CT3 I added random dots where I thought  my lightest area would be.

Step 2:

With CR10,  still with very random dots, I  filled in the whole shape leaving plenty of white spaces.

Step 3:

 

Still using small dots. I now want to add dimension.   Working with just CR11, start by filling in the lower part of the shape.

I hope you will be able to see that  once you start  adding the red around the yellow,  your eye and brain starts to blend the two colors together to make an orange tone.

Step 4:

Using DR7, still with random dots, I have gone around the lower edge to create some shadow.

Step 5:

For added shading  and shape I  have added a few spots of DG3 here and there, to dull down the reds.

Step 6:

With CT3 I then went over the whole piece filling in some of the white areas to pull it all together.

Here is another look at the little stamped image done in Pointillism that I created following the steps shown in this tutorial:

I hope this shows  how versatile Spectrum Noir pens are!  You can  create a smooth blend or Pointillism effect  in seconds.

Do give it  try for yourself it’s great fun!

Straw Bonnet with Spectrum Noir

I recently created a  little  straw bonnet  embellishment using Spectrum Noir pens.  I had so many inquiries about it, I thought a tutorial was in order!



Things you will need:

~ Neenah card stock
~ Spectrum Noir Pens (for this project I have usedGB1-GB6-GB9; you can make any color you choose with your Spectrum Noir pens)
~ Wet Glue that dries clear Tip i used Crafters companion New  Tacky glue it dries and bonds in seconds
~ a 1-3/4″ Scalloped  circle die and a 1″ plain circle diepaper punches  would also work  for this project
~ Embroidery thread  scissors  spray and shine

Step 1:

With your die or punch cut two scallop circles and four plain circles.

Then with the chisel end of  GB1, color all over one of the ‘brim’ and just one of the ‘crown’.

Tip: if you want a deeper crown on the bonnet just add more small circles.  You don’t need to color each layer, we will deal with that later.

Step 2:

Now with GB6 and the fine point nib, add lines straigth across the two circles.

Tip:  these lines do not have to be perfectly straight!  The wobblier the better.

Step 3:

With the same color, GB6, turn your circles and repeat the lines, creating a lattice effect.

Step 4:

With GB9, quarter turn your circles and draw in the lines.

It does not look much like a bonnet at the moment but it will soon!

Step 5:

 
Still using GB9, turn your circles and draw in your final set of lines.  We now have a double type of lattice.

Step 6:

Now with the chisel end of your GB1 pen, color all over both pieces.  We are trying to soften those harsh lines;  if you lose too much color just add the lines back in.

Step 7:

Now for the assembly of the bonnet:

With your wet glue, sandwich your 2 scalloped circles together making sure you have your colored piece on top.  Glue and sandwich your small circles together and place your colored one as the top piece.

Then with the chisel end go around the edges of all 2 circles to cover any white showing

Step 8:

Glue the crown to the center of your brim while  it’s still wet.  You can add some shape to your bonnet by gently rolling it over your index finger and turning it up at the edges.

Leave to dry.

Step 9:

You are now ready to add some tiny decoration to the bonnet.

I have used  a length of 6″ strand embroidery silk glued around the base of the crown.  I made a tiny bow to finish it off.

Once dry, give the bonnet a spray with Spray and Shine for a glossy look.

On my card I added seed beads around the crown or you could add tiny resin flowers some thin gathered lace to the underside of your bonnet brim  for a slightly different look.

Here is another look at my finished project:



I do hope you will try making your own Straw Bonnets!  They are great fun to make –  just that little something different to add to your crafting project!

Drop by again soon for more crafting hints and tips!

Coloring Glass With Ink Refills

Let’s make changes with our Spectrum Noir ink refills!

I have had so much fun with this experiment.  Not only is it very easy, you’re getting a chance to transform and recycle something you might have disposed of. It is so fast and you will be done in next to no time!

You will need:

~ A clean dry glass or jar
~ Spectrum Noir ink refill
~ Paper Towel (kitchen roll) and gloves (this can get messy)
~ a craft mat to protect the surface you are working on

Tip: the darker colors work best.  I have used DR4 for this project.

Step 1

Get everything laid out ready to start.

Step 2:

Fill your dropper from the refill bottle and place inside the glass.  I used 1 full dropper (pipette) on this  glass.

Swirl the ink around until your glass is completely covered.  I dipped my finger in the ink to make sure the rim was coated but you could use a cotton ball or Q-tip.

Step 3:

Once your container is covered turn it over and place it on your paper towel (kitchen roll) to drain off  the excess ink.

Tip:  Tap your glass or jar lightly on your paper towel (kitchen roll)  a few times, as the ink will form around the rim of your glass.  Then turn right sides up and leave to dry.  This doesn’t take long, just a matter of seconds.

Step 4:

My final piece is a tea light holder ready to grace any home

You will be surprised at how even your refill inks cover the glass you don’t get any lines. Don’t be afraid to add more ink if you have a larger area to cover

Tip: Don’t place your finished glass or jar in dishwasher.  I would hand wash if needed.

You could color jars and have them in your garden on those summer evenings! Or gift to your family and friends for Christmas or special occasions!