Saturday, September 15, 2012

Technique Hop - Alcohol Markers

Welcome to our Technique Blog Hop!  This month there are 7 of us highlighting the NEW Alcohol Markers from the Spring/Summer 2012 Idea Book  

If you are coming from Michelle West's Blog, you are on the right track!  This blog hop is a great big circle so you can start wherever you want and continue through to see all the fabulous artwork incorporating this technique. If you get lost you can see the full list of blogs on Joy's BlogLet’s get started!

I was inspired to create this card from the Avonlea Card WOTG. However, here I am using the Florentine Paper Pack. I first cut my papers, then I stamped my image using the Black Ink. The I got started with the markers!
Next, I laid down a layer of the lighter shade of olive. You can see my sample piece I used to test out the markers.
Then I went over it in places with the darker shade of Olive. I put down the lighter shade of Twilight as well here.
You can see the shadowing better here with the addition of the darker shade of the twilight marker.
 I finished the flower off with the Creme Brulee Markers.
 I distressed all my papers in Cocoa using a sponge dauber.
Finally I added some ribbon, burlap, and some pearls to finish this card off.

Now head on over to Shirley Ross's Blog.  Since I didn't provide much artwork, I thought I would leave you with this list of helpful tips from a variety of consultants!  

New Marker Presentation by Sarah Paige-Gruber 


  • New markers are alcohol based and are very different from our old markers.
  • They come in all 40 shades (There is not a Colonial White or White Daisy however)
  • Each marker comes dual tipped – one end is a brush marker, the other end is a bullet/fine tip
  • Markers come in a 2 pack and retail for $5.95.
  • White Circle means the second color in the pack is a lighter hue of the same color
  • Gray Circle means the second color in the pack is a darker hue of the same color
  • This increases the color variety from 40 to 80!  Plus you can blend colors together to create your own, giving you almost endless options!
  • Markers are disposable
  • Always store your markers horizontally and shake well before using
  • Alcohol inks are waterproof and can be layered and blended on surfaces other than paper
  • There is bleed-through when using alcohol ink markers.  Be sure to use clean scratch paper to protect your surfaces and clean fingers when coloring.  Also, plan on layering your colored images on your project if working on paper.
  • To prevent a ‘streaky’ looking image, evenly soak the paper.  You have successfully and evenly colored your image if you turn over your paper and it is not blotchy looking
  • Blending Pen with Alcohol markers: The blending pen picks up and moves colors, it is more like an eraser than a ‘blending’ pen.  You can use it to create highlights, ‘fade to white’ and fix minor mistakes.  The blending pen also ‘pushes’ color away from it.
  • It is highly recommended that you use our new Pigment Ink pads and heat set your image prior to coloring.  It is NOT recommended to use Staz-On ink.  The reason for this is that Staz-On is a solvent ink.  Alcohol will reactivate a solvent ink, and you risk the image you are coloring becoming streaked with the Staz-On or your marker picking up the Staz-On and permanently discoloring it.  IF you absolutely must use Staz-On then you need to heat set your image or let it dry for several hours before coloring the image.  Even then, care should be taken.
  • The CTMH Black Archival Ink does not seem to react like the Staz-On ink does.  I have tested coloring with the Archival Ink, I did not heat set my stamped image, but did let it set up for about a half hour prior to coloring and did not have any issues.
  • You could also heat emboss your image with embossing powder if you do not have the Pigment Ink pads or Archival Ink pad and would rather not use Staz-On
  • Test your paper – We were advised at convention that our markers are formulated to perform perfectly with our paper.  If you are using any paper other than ours, it is strongly recommended you test your paper to see how the ink spreads as it is absorbed into the paper.  Lower quality paper will spread the ink quickly outside of your image.
Basic Techniques we will be learning today:
  1. Marker blending on paper:
  2. Feather blending
  3. Fixing minor mistakes with a Blending Pen
Marker Blending on Paper – your basic ‘go to’ technique

1.    Color evenly with your lightest color, smoothly soaking the paper and coloring in circles to avoid streaks.
2.    While base color is still wet, add darker color to one side, lift up at the end of the stroke, leaving more ink in the area you want shaded
3.    Go back over the darker color with your original shade to blend the two and create a smoother look
4.    Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you achieve the shading look that you wanted

Feather Blending – this technique works best with long narrow images such as petals.

1.    Layer first color in one direction, press more firmly at the beginning of your stroke and lift as you go – fill in aprox. ¾ of your image with this technique.  The ink may only soak through where you have pressed the marker at the darkest part of the image.
2.    Starting on the other side, use the same technique with the opposite color you have chosen.
3.    Repeat layers until you have smoothly transitioned and blended your colors in the middle of the stamped image.
4.    Tips for this technique:
  • Use the side of the brush not the tip
  • Lots of light layers work best for this technique
  • OVERLAP your colors – don’t stop where the colors meet
Fixing Minor mistakes with a Blending Pen
  1. The blending pen ‘pushes’ ink away from it – if your ink bleeds outside of the stamped image, you can color with the blending pen to ‘push’ the ink back inside the line.
  2. This works BEST with lighter colors and for small imperfections.

Scrapbooking Tip: Alcohol Markers

Collection of tips from Consultants Julie Reynolds, Lynn Como, Linda Taylor, Christine Adams, Jes Ballas and Barb Carico

We have new alcohol markers! Here are some great tips:
With the retirement of our current markers, we knew that something was on the horizon and now we know what's in store for us! We have a brand new collection of alcohol markers that are sold in pairs, one base and one shade-for each of our 40 colors. These markers are not considered to be a Copic competitor, have rigid (not soft) tips, no special paper is needed, and can be blended to create a huge variation of colors. Features include streak free with flat finish plus the ideas shared in below photo.
TIPS shared by Teachers @ Convention: Stamp an image using Black Staz On or archival ink. LET DRY to prevent bleeding. Place blotter or scrap paper underneath your stamped image before coloring in (may bleed through paper slightly). Do NOT color directly on the acrylix stamps, it will just color the stamp & not transfer onto the CS. You can color the marker on plastic and can pick it up with a blending pen to color with. The markers are just like our old markers except alcohol based - which means they are ideal and really designed for blending, not just to be used alone to color in. There are two colors in each set - one is the true color (for example Cotton Candy) the other is either a lighter or darker shade to help fill in the full color spectrum. The alcohol blending pen is really an alcohol marker without color and acts more like an eraser than a blender. Use it to add highlights or soften the color on your artwork.
They are NOT a Copic competitor. They are completely different, have different tips made of different material and do not require special paper.
Our current ink organizer is perfect to store them in.


  1. Rachel, thanks for sharing so much info! I love your choices for colors for the "pot". TFS!

  2. cute card & thanks for sharing the great tips!

  3. Love the card, great use of shading on it with complementing colors.