(Stamp: blended bloom. Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black. Blendabilites: Cherry Cobbler & Daffodil Delight. Paper: Whisper White)
(Stamps: Secret Garden. Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black. Blendabilites: Cherry Cobbler & Rich Razzlebery. Paper: X-Press Blending Card)
I apologize for the image quality. It's about as good as I can get with 2 screaming kids and a cat that has been hell bent on sending my Big Shot from my desk to the floor. I haven't spent much time working with alcohol based markers, but was quite excited when I was able to preorder the Blendabilites(being a demo has it's perks!). I think the belief has been that the Blendabilities would function exactly as Copics. This is not accurate, though they are similar. On that note, a common misconception in the stamping world is that Copics are more or less an "Artist in a Box." They are not.
They are easy to use once you get the basics down, but even then a basic knowledge of shading and highlighting is definitely needed. The look of an image colored with alcohol based markers of any brand is indeed very unique and hard to replicate with any other medium. I personally believe that they are worth taking the time to get acquainted with. I have always loved the look of art that has been at least somewhat skillfully colored with them. I am still learning, but there are some basics that I've picked up.
1. Start with your darkest marker and end with the lightest.
2. Work fast. Time is NOT your friend. Flowers are the best place to start as they allow you to take things one petal at a time.
3. Use ONLY Momento Tuxedo Black ink. If you are trying to use StaZon, you will blend it in, since it too is alcohol based.
4. PAPER MATTERS! I can't stress this enough. I will not assume that just because a person forks over what some might consider to be a small fortune on markers that they buy the best paper. Why? Because that HP printer card stock, well it doesn't function the same as Whisper White, at all, not even for basic stamping. I know this because I have tried to cut costs in all of the wrong places before. Totally guilty of it. Two paper choices that I recommend are Whisper White and X-Press Blending Card(not a Stampin Up item). I prefer the X-Press Blending Card myself. Blending seems to go a lot more smoothly on it. I have also found that the end result is a better match to the papers and accessories.
5. Use the fine tip, not the brush. The brush doesn't apply the pressure needed to move color from point A to point B.
6. When you are done shading with your lightest shade, start to pull from the light area through the medium and dark areas. This will help blend. I see a lot of people using the "blender pen" for this. Some situations it may be the best option, but unless you are trying to remove ink because you put down too much, it isn't the best tool for this. Just start at the top of your light area with your lightest color and flick down, maybe throw in a few blending circles down in your darker area, and see what happens.
7. Don't expect to get it on the first try. There is a reason they've allowed us to preorder these. It's so we have time to get familiar with them and find a method that works best for us. Don't compare yourselves to others. Some people have an eye for shadowing and highlighting, most of us don't. You'll get there, and when you do, you will have something that even makes you say "wow" every time you look at it.
8. Don't be afraid to ask. Most of us would be more than happy, especially when we know there isn't an over abundance of information available, to answer any questions. If you're on Stampin' Connection, Splitcoast, or someone's blog, don't hesitate to send them a private message and ask for tips. After all, we are demonstrators. We have a passion for what we do, and we love sharing our knowledge with others. Most of us at this point wouldn't see a question as an inconvenience, but more of a compliment, since we are all winging it.
9. Each color behaves differently. Coastal Cabana, Cherry Cobbler, and Rich Razzleberry are the colors I would recommend starting with. Just as we have developed our own way of working with every other product we sell, or have sold in the past, we will one day work with these without much thought. It will become natural the more you do it.
10. Share your work and ask for tips. No one is judging. Most of us are far too busy criticizing our own work to take the time to look at others work and scoff. Again, helping and sharing what we do know is what we love to do.
I apologize for the layout of this post. My computer, which I despise anyway, has been taken over by my hubby. I'm posting from an app on my iPad. If it only had the controls that are available on the PC I'd be in love. I will be posting a photo heavy tutorial on my blog tomorrow along with a downloadable PDF step by step for use at classes. All I ask is that you don't charge for any classes that you happen to hand the tutorial out at. Also, please don't charge for online tutorials that are a copy of my work. I don't believe in charging to teach people how to use products that they buy from me. A minimum order requirement is fine. Due to high demand, I will get over the fact that I HATE my voice and have dry, cracked hands and make a video tomorrow.