Monday, May 28, 2012

Colouring Within the Lines

My markers are here, my markers are here - finally!!!
I have tested my new Tim Holtz Distress markers and well, where to start…

From Ranger’s review, my set includes:
  • complete 37 water base dual tip colors; 36 translucent with brush tip and fine detail tip made with a plastic nib great for journaling, and 1 Picket Fence opaque pigment ink marker with a felt tip instead of plastic nib. The Picket Fence is perfect for dark backgrounds or highlighting. Goes on clear, but dries white!
  • designed to coordinate with Tim Holtz‘ Distress Ink Pads and/or Stains
  • reactive to water
  • work on a variety of surfaces, including manilla tags, variety of paper including glossy and specialty stamping paper
  • used for watercoloring and/or stamping
  • blend without worry of contamination of markers! 
  • markers are NOT refillable like ink pads.
I tried to use the markers and stamping inks on Bee Paper Company 110lb Artist Marker Pad. The first issue I faced was most of the stamp inks (all except Staz-On) didn’t seem to dry properly on this paper. Even now 6 hours later the stamp ink still smudges.

Then I tried using the markers to fill in the stamps and the colour didn’t move easily to blend and fill the space. In many instances the markers still made the smudging stamp ink run.

Next, I tried Strathmore 300’series 140lb cold press watercolor paper with the same stamp inks. Only a few inks worked well - Ranger Archival, Versa-Magic and Staz-On.  However, without water blending the marker was again difficult.

I did find that when I pre-wet the area before applying the colour, it was easy and the markers worked well. It isn’t always easy to get the colour nicely blended as they leave hard to get rid of stroke marks and harsh straight lines. When I worked too long, the paper started to pill.

The samples I tried are shown here:

The way I found that works best for me is to “colour” with the markers on a non-stick craft sheet or an acrylic block. Then pick up the colour with a water filled brush (as if I were painting) and color in the image with the brush.

In my bird samples I started with Tumbled Glass in the head, then added Stormy Sky and ended with Faded Jeans. The beak is just Spiced Marmalade and his body was coloured using Scattered Straw and Worn Lipstick which gave me a nice orange colour. All this was done with the water filled brush, not just the markers on their own.

I was really excited when I got the markers, and I love most of Tim Holtz' products. However the jury is still out as to whether I will like using them in the long term. I was watching his video again and it appears that maybe I have to use both his archival ink and specialty paper for it all to work?
 ~ Sharka

Friday, May 11, 2012


Do you recall at the beginning of the year I said I had two goals for 2012? One of them was to paint four 36” x 48” canvases.  Well, I just finished the second of the four. The more I’m thinking about it, and after completing two I think three may be good! I started this second painting on February 28th and it has taken me a long time to finish.

I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning and headed into the studio early and was determined that today, Friday, was the day! My hubby came by with a bubble tea - I love those black tapioca bubbles. He gave me a few critiques while sipping his bubble tea, I made some changes, put my signature on, and voila, she is finished!

I have to tell you that I found the photo to paint from on the internet. It belongs to Johan Peijnenburg, from NiO Photography.  I emailed Johan to ask if he was ok with me using his photo for a painting, he thought about it, gave me the ok, and the end result is finally here…Bessie!

Johan has some gorgeous photos on his website. I recommend going to check them out. His photos will inspire you!
~ Sharka ~