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So, I’ve been doing some practicing.  While I don’t necessarily believe that "practice makes perfect", I do believe practice is essential to acquiring any new skill.  Trial and error are goodly things, that lead us to all sorts of discoveries that enhance the learning experience!  I like to take my time and "absorb" things.  I’m rather on the methodical side, I suppose.  This can be rather maddening to those around me! *chuckle*

At any rate, my latest studio messings with Copic Sketch markers have given me a sense of accomplishment, and great satisfaction.  I feel like show & tell is in order on this cloudy, rainy Friday afternoon here on Whidbey Island.  So, without further adieu . . . wanna see? *grin*


All stamp images, Watermelon Tinplate Note Card, by A Muse Art Stamps.  Inks:  Brilliance Graphite Black by Tsukineko, Colorbox Pigment Cat’s Eye in  Daffodill and Papaya Cream, Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink in Lime Pastel; Copic Sketch Markers, Spica Twinkling Markers by Copic

OK, before ya’all mess yer dress looking for the "ground" image beneath the house all over the A Muse website, lemme stop ya’ right now.  You won’t find it.  Why?

Cuz I am BRILLIANT!!! *chortling, arms wrapped around self!*

If you don’t have this A Muse stamp in your collection, #3-5019G Big bl, you need it.  Get one.  Trust me.  It’s one of the handiest images you’ll ever invest in.

So.  Here’s why I say run, don’t walk, and get yerself this stamp:


I just free-hand cut a swoopy line along the sticky edge of a Post-It Note, and then masked off this background stamp.  Inked, removed mask, and stamped.  See?  Brilliant!  Now, this particular image can be used for all sorts of things, but, that’s a good one to add to your stash of slick tricks, eh?! *seriously gleeful chortling going on here*

I have another cool idea now flashing in my head, but, experiencing too much brilliance in one sitting, could result in a brain anurism, so I’ve gotta pace myself. *snort*

I digress.  There is more to today’s entry, so let’s keep it moving, shall we?


Come closer.  Closer!  That’s right.  Up close and personal!  This is what I have been practicing!  Notice the shading to the left of the house and the trees!  Here’s how I achieved it:

I colored the left side of the trees with a darker, olive tone marker, and the house with a turquoise, "hugging" the inside of the image line with the brush tip of my marker.  I think on the house I also added a little stroke of blue green.  Then, I used much lighter colored markers, like a yellow green on the trees, and pale cyan toned marker on the house, going right over the top of the dark color, and blending out to the right, giving shadow and depth to the images.  My sun, over there on the right, plays up the illusion that my "light source" is towards the right, and any shadows are falling towards the left.  Light source:  yeah, that’s an artistic term.  I’m not gonna get overly technical, cuz outside of Art History 101 in college,  I haven’t studied art formally, so I just catch the little tidbits I overhear now and then, and tuck them away in my head, hoping they’ll come in handy later on.  You don’t get to actually make any art in Art History, anyway; they just make you read this big book, and test you later on about dates, and whatnot.

I also used the colorless blender pen, to remove some of the color on the right, to lighten it back up.  This was my first experience with the blender pen, tho.  And, it removed more color than I wanted it to.  No problem! I came back in with my pale cyan marker (actually Pale Porcelain Blue, to be exact), and quickly put some of the color I’d removed back in, smoothing the transition of where the colors met.

LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!  It has a watercolor-like effect, don’t you think?!  AWESOME!  Afterwards, I used the Spica Twinkling Markers to accent the images with some pretty shimmer!  Spicas come in 13 colors + clear.  The ink is made with transparent micro glass flakes, just in case you were curious!  It has no silvery/metallic undertones to it. AaaaAAAANNND!!!  The tip is NOT a rolling ball–it doesn’t freeze or get stuck! 


I continued my practice, and here are some more examples:


Images from Vintage Christmas Clear Art Stamps, Patterned Paper by Crafty Secrets.  Ink:  Brilliance Coffee Bean by Tsukineko, Palette Hybrid in Burnt Umber; Copic Sketch Markers (Rose Mist on cheeks, blended out with Skin White)


I think this vintage Santa is so handsome and gaaaaaw-jus . . . when I close my eyes and imagine Santa,  he would look like this . . . Guess what else I did?  I think it was Trudee‘s blog where I read she had used her Copics to "custom dye" her ribbon, so I tried it using the chisel tip, and holy COW!  *Uber* cool!  And, the ink won’t bleed or transfer to the paper or my fingers when I work with it! It did make the ribbon "stiffer", however, I was prepared for that, based on Trudee’s shared info.


Clear Art Stamp Sets: "Bird Notes", "Cherubs", "Card Sentiments", and "Frame It" and patterned paper all by Crafty Secrets. Sahara Sand Card Stock by SU!. Cryogen White Card Stock.  Ink:  Brilliance Coffee Bean by Tsukineko. Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink in Dune by Clearsnap. Copic Markers in Rose Mist, Sand, and Cool Grey No. 1.  Spica Clear Twinkling Marker by Copic.  1" Clear Dome Sticker by Sticko/EK Success.  Marvy Uchida Extra Jumbo Scallop Circle Punch.  1" Circle Punch by EK Success.  Antique Copper Mini Brads by Creative Impressions.

Before gluing down the strip of patterned paper, I drew a faint pencil line, alongside the strip, onto the white paper, and used that as a guideline for stamping the scalloped border image, to create a lacy effect.  I can’t decide if it needs ribbon or not, but, I rather like how under-stated and elegant it is just like this.  I will probably keep it this way.

Csaviansympathy2_3 I decided to accent the bird with Clear Spica, as well as the border I stamped on the scallop circle punch out.  It’s hard to capture on film, however, and shows much more effectively IRL.

Thank you for condolences regarding the passing of my Aunt (my Father’s Aunt).  I will be attending the Memorial Service next weekend down in Oregon, and am anxious to see and wrap my arms around my cousin, and the rest of my family that will be in attendance.

Well, that’s all I have for today.  School starts next week for the kiddlings, and I’m runnin’ ’round like a headless chicken gearing them and Dave up with school supplies, sports registrations, new shoes, haircuts and the like. 

I have loved having my children home (underfoot) all summer long, but, I’m ready . . . I think they are, too . . . *chuckle*

Have a super Labor Day Weekend!

  1. Love the masked-off ground, Julie!

  2. Great job with the coloring! Great shading and I love the blending on Santa. I’ve been practicing too (and just bought a few more Copics!). I thought I remembered you had Prismacolor markers?? Just wanted to let you know I’ve been using the two brands together and they are compatible. You can see some samples of this on my blog if you want: http://cathystclair.blogspot.com/

  3. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this card!!! Your style is my style…simplicity!! TFS all the wonderful secrets (shhhhh). Give yourself another hug from me.

  4. Wonderful, wonderful. It doesn’t matter that you haven’t formally taken art lessons—you can certainly teach it! I love your way with ink and words. A perfectly fetching combination! Thank you!

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