Houses in progress – and a Copic Trick!

I had a blast making the Steampunk Castle but it was def. brown.  Craving some colour, I went back to what had been the original plan when I had the idea to decorate one of the book-templates, and that was using the DillyBeans digital stamps.  I had a problem with the first set she sent – and to be honest I have no idea if it is her, me, my email, her email, PSE or some other weird problem, but the images were small when I got them.  The artist, Megan, has been brilliant in trying to sort this out, but I’m not sure we are there yet – I’m still seeing them at 96 DPI when I open them in PSE.  Any ideas, please LMK – if it’s some setting and the fault of my machine or tools, I’d love to let her know.

The 2nd set of images she sent work when resizing MUCH better, so I am happy to use them as I planned, and have made a start:

I need to get some A3 black card before I can continue, or play around with some A4 card and see if I can make it work.

Anyway, I’ll be cracking on with that today, but I wanted to share a little trick I found when colouring in.  First, let it be said that I am not a Copic-colourng expert.  I have a shaky hand when it comes to fine detail and while I can usually manage a pretty decent job, I am in AWE of some of the pieces I’ve seen.  Maybe it’s the card, maybe it’s my printer ink in combo with the markers, maybe it’s me, but the ink will seem to overflow the printed lines – more so with my new Canon than it ever did with my Epson. So I have to do the trick of using the colourless blender to push back the ink.  It doesn’t ever seem to work as well as I hope it will, leaving too much of a halo of colour.  But I had some success with a make up sponge in one hand, marker in the other.  I’ll explain and try to show you.

Here you see my intentional mistake – I’m shaky, but not THIS bad.  I did two leaves so I could try to show the difference!

Using the colourless blender and pushing the ink made it better, but by no means GOOD:

And when it dries you can see where we are – the colour is still leaching out from the “stamp lines” and looks…not great:

Now check this out.  By pushing the ink with the blender and immediately dabbing it with the make-up sponge, it gets a lot better:

You should  be able to see the difference between the petals. Now, the slightly greenish cast you see is because I tried this technique with a bold green Copic and there was a bit of that still on the sponge.  DOH!  This won’t make a huge difference with those colours where pushing the ink doesn’t, in and of itself, make a big difference.  Reds and Greens are the worst for that, in my experience, which is part of the reason I tried green, to see how it worked.  It makes a LITTLE difference but not enough that you can really see it in a photo.  But if you have over-spill, why not try this and see if you can make a better fix than just with the blender?  My guess is that the sponge is absorbing the ink, both blender and colour, and drying the card before it has a chance to seep.  But who knows?  All I know is it made a BIG difference on one of my little skellies so I will def. try it again if I need to.

I am liking the Dillybeans – they are more cute-creepy than creepy-creepy like the Stampotique ones (which I still adore) so at least my sister will be pleased.