Sunday, April 30, 2017

My Dear Puppy Stamp Using Mermaid Markers by Jane Davenport

This is such a sweet image of a boy and his puppy. Puppy hugs are the best! It makes me miss having our own pups. I colored the image with Mermaid Markers by Jane Davenport and American Crafts. There's a mini-review in the video and some final thoughts below the step-by-step.

I dug out my Doodlebug Design paper pad "Puppy Love" to use but I had already colored the image, so many of the colors didn't really match (I need to keep reminding myself - pick paper first, then color!). I did however find the perfect piece to make an embellishment; it came on a page of labels within the pad. I also used a couple sheets from their "Gingham-Linen Rainbow Petite Prints." I think I need to order more of this pad. The colors are fantastic!

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Making the Card

1. Cut red cardstock 7 x 10 inches; fold in half to form a 5 x 7 inch card base. Cut Desert Storm cardstock to 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches. Cut kraft cardstock to 4 1/2 x 6 1/8. Adhere kraft to Desert Storm, centering at bottom, leaving 1/8 inch space. Adhere turquoise ribbon by wrapping around top of panel, centering in gap, folding ribbon around the sides. I used tape runner along the back of the ribbon. Adhere panel to card base.

2. Cut Doodlebug Designs Gingham-Linen Petite Prints blue/green gingham paper to 4 3/8 x 6 inches. Adhere to center of kraft.

3. Cut watercolor paper to about 4 x 4 inches. Stamp My Dear Puppy image with waterproof ink (e.g. VersaFine Onyx Black). Watercolor the image using Mermaid Markers by Jane Davenport as shown in video below.

4. Die cut image using 2nd largest square (Spellbinders, Classic Squares Large). Die cut red linen sheet from Doodlebug Designs Gingham-Linen Petite Prints using largest Fleur de Lis Squares (Spellbinders). Adhere to card base as shown. I used On Point Glue by Imagine Crafts to get into the detail areas. Use dimensional tape to adhere image to center of Fleur de Lis frame.

5. To create the embellishment, I used the Making Memories Tag Maker along with the Large Circle Rims. The one I used is about 2 inches in diameter. I didn't realize that they are no longer being made until I started writing this post. Tim Holtz and Idea-ology are coming out with a Tag Press tool that's similar but I only saw the circle rims go up to 1 1/4 inches. You can, however, still get the Making Memories tool and a variety of tag rims at a reasonable price on eBay and Esty. I just traced around the rim on the image (from Doodlebug Designs Puppy Love, label page), cut inside the traced circle so it would fit inside the rim, then used the tool to flatten it. Adhere to card where shown using dimensional tape.

6. Tie a bow using the turquoise ribbon. Adhere where shown (I used Glue Dots).

Mermaid Markers Summed Up

These markers are bright and highly pigmented! Note that the dye based inks are not lightfast, meaning you should not expose them to direct light for very long or the colors may shift and fade. If you would like to preserve your art, you could coat it with a UV filtering finish, or just scan it and print it. The water brushes perform like most other decent water brushes - they sometimes distribute too much pigment but at other times not quite enough. Experience will help in knowing when to squeeze the base for more color as well as how hard to squeeze. Once empty, the brushes my be filled with water to use as a regular water brush or they may be filled with pigmented water or other dye ink. Some examples include a few drops of a Distress Ink reinker and water, Fireworks spray, or Distress Stain (add water as desired).

I did have a slight issue with markers having a few bristles on the brush bent down. I cut them off since there were not many. The instructions mention using warm water to reshape but since they were new, I didn't want to chance ruining the tips. In the future I may try this if any need reshaping.

The colors blend and mix well. I was able to make a variety of shades with these pigments, just like watercolor. They are transparent and may be layered like watercolor as well. Don't paint next to wet colors or the colors may bleed together; instead work on one area then move to another non-adjacent area until the first has dried. Once dry, you may add layers (glazing) to darken or change the color, just don't scrub too hard or it will reactivate the layer below. The paint may be lifted (lightened) somewhat by adding water, letting it sit for a second, then applying a paper towel. The paper will likely be stained though. You will get better results on paper with sizing, such as good quality watercolor paper. The colors don't seem to granulate, probably because they are dye based.

Using the markers tip to tip can create a beautiful, smooth gradient blend. Use colors that are not too close for best results (see video). Be sure to scribble off any excess of the other color before storing. The tip may have some staining but it will perform properly (this is also typical of other water brush markers).

This markers are fairly portable and since you may mix them, you can create virtually any color not in the set. For example, they would be good to take to a crop. I wouldn't recommend them for travel by plane unless in checked baggage; you might have to throw them out at security. Even in checked baggage, they may leak due to the pressure.

Overall, I think I will enjoy using these markers most for making background papers and in places where bright colors are suited.

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