Thursday, August 26, 2010


Blogspot, the software that I use to create our blog can sometimes be tempermental and uncooperative. Sunday night I sat down and created a couple of posts for this week. One was on Copic markers and the other was on clear stamp storage. I published one immediately and scheduled the other for later publication. Well, the software has decided not to cooperate with later publication and has re-ordered the posts so the Copic one shows up after the storage one. The storage one has some good information, so please scroll down and enjoy. I'm sorry for the technical difficulties.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Intro To Stamping With Copic Markers

Our friends at Hero Arts produced this video on using Copic Markers with your rubber stamps. I thought that I would share it with you because it has some helpful information. Just a couple of comments:

She is using the original Copic marker, which has a writing tip. At SYHO, we carry the Sketch marker which has a brush tip instead of the writing tip. I think that it is better for coloring stamped images because it is more flexible. The Ciao marker also has the brush tip. The difference between the Sketch and the Ciao is the size of the well inside of the pen that holds the ink. The Sketch holds more ink; but it is the same ink as that used in the Ciao. For example if you have a B12 Sketch, you would refill it with the same ink that you would use to refill a B12 Ciao. At SYHO we routinely carry the refill for the blender pen. We can order a refill for any color that you need.

Another difference between the Sketch and the Ciao is that the Sketch comes in more colors than the Ciao. The Sketch comes in 334 colors and the Ciao comes in 144 colors. The Ciao was invented for children to use so the cap has holes in it so that children won't choke on it if they accidentally swallow it. The Copic website does advise that the markers are intended for use by artists 12 years old and older.

The woman in the video uses a different paper than we carry at SYHO. We carry Neenah Crest in white and cream. It is a great paper for Copics. There is a new paper that was introduced at CHA from Australia. We are working hard to find a supplier for the paper so that we can add it to our Copic supplies.

In the video, the woman added her shadows at random. Marianne Walker, the Copic Product Specialist who taught my certification class has a degree in Art. She emphasized to us that we have to decide where our light source would be coming from and our shadows would be on the opposite side. So, with this cute little deer, if the light was coming from the left, that side would be the lighter side; the right side and underneath portion of the deer would be darker. We can learn a lot about how to shadow our objects by looking at our surroundings. Take note of where the light is coming from, and see where the shadows are. I find it helpful to lay a pen on the paper that my image is stamped on, angled to indicate where my light source is; it helps me to be consistent and more realistic.

To avoid your coloring looking splotchy, it is helpful to keep the tip of your pen to the paper and keep the edges of your coloring wet. On this little deer, I would start at the front of his body and work to the back of his body, coloring in a circular motion, as she does on the video. I then would color his legs, one at a time and then his head and ears. If you were to color a portion of the front of his body, then jump to the back of his body, and then to the middle, the color would not have laid down smooth and splotches would clearly be seen. Don't be afraid of the color; the ink blends best when you have colored enough so that it goes through to the back. The nice thing about the Neenah paper is that it will not pill when you are coloring and blending.

Once you have colored the entire image, then go back and add your shadows and your highlights.
If you are just getting started with your pen collection, you can add shadows with the original color. Wait for the ink that you put down originally to be completely dry, and then add the shadows. The shadows will be slightly darker than where you originally colored. You can put in highlights by carefully removing some color from your selected area with your blender pen. I think of my blender pen as my Tide pen: it works to remove color. When I accidentally color outside the line that I stamped, I use the wide end of my pen and carefully push the color back under the line. I find that it works best if I "erase" with my blender a little bit at a time. I push a bit of color back, let it dry completely, and then do it again if necessary.

Marianne Walker has a wonderful blog. I encourage you to read it. It has wonderful tips on using the markers. There is a link to it on the right side of this blog.



Sunday, August 22, 2010

Clear Stamp Storage

I love clear and cling stamp sets. The challenge is how to store them. I have some of them in CD cases, but they seemed to take up a lot of room on the shelves in my stamping room. I have others (too many...) stored in boxes that I have to shuffle through when I am looking for a particular stamp. I have been frustrated when a stamp has fallen off of its backing sheet and I can't find it. I need to get more organized!

Jennifer McGuire from Hero Arts has a great system for storing her stamps that she shares in this video. I had stored my small 2 x 3 sets in the baseball card pages but Jen gives some great ideas for how to store larger sets. I'm going to add some dividers with categories to make it easier for me to find the stamp that I want to use. When I have time for my art, I love just to sit down and start creating. But every once in a while I have to devote some time to getting organized. I'm on my way to the local office supply store!

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Just sharing

Last week the fabulous Julie Nutting taught a class here at SYHO. You have seen Julie's exquisite ladies in the magazines published by Stampington. She also donated pieces for the silent auction for the Power of Pink the last two years. She very graciously allowed the Power of Pink to use one of her pieces last year as the artwork for our magnet and invitations.

Beth, one of the employees at Stampington, came and took Julie's class. She posted some wonderful thoughts on her blog about the class, SYHO and Claremont. Beth used to come to SYHO when she was a young girl with her mother. Check out the August 16th and 17th entries at I borrowed the picture above from Beth's blog; it is of her creation in Julie's class.

I had the pleasure of taking one of Julie's classes last month. I had a great time and went home with a great piece. She is an amazing teacher who brings out the best work from her students. She will be teaching again in the months to come and I encourage you to take one of her classes.

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