Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm Certified!

For the past two days I have been immersed in Copic Markers.  Up to my elbows in VB000's, R25's, B12's and the other 341 colors.  I colored and shaded and learned how to air brush.  I can mix colors for the perfect skin tone, add the perfect highlights and shadows to a bouquet of flowers and mix the hard to work with reds to make a perfectly colored Santa Claus.  I learned everything you could possibly want to know about how Copic alcohol ink pens work and why they are so popular among papercrafters and illustrators.

I got to meet some very enthusiastic ladies, most of which were stampers or scrapbookers, something I know almost nothing about but they take very seriously.  After seeing samples of their finished pieces and how hard they work to put together their pages I understand that craft a whole lot more as well.

I now can put my new found knowledge to work on my own drawings and have another option for coloring in my lettering.  All that remains is for my order of pens to arrive.

Hurry up Mailman, before I forget everything I learned!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Always great to learn new things.

If you have been reading my blogs then you may have noticed my art moving from painting with acrylics to discovering the Zentangle drawing methods and that leading me to adding watercolor paint to images that I have added tangle patterns to. Then I took two classes from Joanne Sharpe and learned some very interesting lettering techniques.

I use Micron pens for my ink and watercolor paint or Tombow watercolor markers to add my color. The watercolor paper that I draw on really wears down the tips of the pens and they wear out before they run out.  Not good!  I needed to find something that would give me the color I was looking for but didn't need watercolor paper.  Strathmore makes a beautiful smooth Bristol paper that is so wonderful to draw on but the watercolor just makes a mess when I try to move it around with a paint brush.

Joanne Sharpe mentioned Copic Markers in her classes.  I had never heard about them but added a black one to my drawing pens.  The pen was expensive but refillable and I ended up going to Michaels and buying a few more colors.  Those 40% off coupons bring the price of one marker down to about what I would pay for one tube of paint.  There are over 300 marker colors!  Anyway, I tried them, and they worked beautifully, but it took me a while to figure out the blending and shading that just comes natural to me with my painting.  Again, learning new things.

I was really surprised to see the Copic company offering Certification classes right here in Regina.  I jumped at the chance to take the classes and signed up for both the Standard and Intermediate Certification Classes.  They say I am going to learn shading, color shadows, composition and design, all good things to review and relearn with a new medium.  When I'm done the classes they will add me to their list of Certified Copic Instructors and  I can add Copic markers to my list of classes I teach.

When I have some new Art work done with my Copic markers I will post them to show you and you can tell me what you think.

Hope your day is a great one, Lori

Monday, May 21, 2012

Creative Storage for your Creating Space

Storing all my pens has become a major endeavor.  First of all I want to be able to see them all and reach the one I want without having to fumble through a bin or drawer.  I know I'm not the only one that has this problem because I see other doodlers, zentanglers and alphabeteers asking each other how they store their tools of the trade so I thought I would show you what I ended up doing.

I need all my money for more pens so had to come up with something that didn't cost me any cash.  So recycle, right!
I had some left over wallpaper, the heavy kind that is actually paint-able, but any wall paper would work.  So would a magazine page, brown paper bag or your scraps of card stock but those all need to be glued and the wall paper comes with it's very own glue that actually sticks!  Next was a clean tin can.  Not the one from soup, they are to small, mine were from Hunt's spaghetti sauce actually, it is 5.75 inches tall and 3.25 inches wide.  As long as it is tall enough that your pens don't fall out while on it's side use what you have.  

Measure the paper a good 2.5 to 3 inches wider than the can is long.  In my case, 9 inches for my 6 inch can.  Cut that strip out of the wall paper.

Wrap the paper around the can and cut the length so there is an inch of overlap.  This really isn't rocket science and I know that you can figure this out on your own.

Now the really easy part.  Wet the wall paper and fold it over on it's self.  Sticky glue side to sticky glue side.  I'm not sure why, but when you wall paper your walls they always tell you to do this so I did it to wall paper my cans!  
Roll the can in the wet wall paper making sure that you push out all the air bubbles and wrap the can as tight as you can.  Leave paper over hanging both the top and bottom of the can equally.  Don't worry if you don't get it exactly in the center, as long as you have some on each end.
Tuck the wet wall paper inside the can.  This is going to help hold the paper around the can and it will also protect your pens and fingers from any of those sharp edges that some can openers leave behind.  
This is what it should look like once the top is all folded in.  

Make it nice and smooth.  
Now the bottom edge.  Take your scissors and cut from the end toward the can.  
Don't go past the can.  
Cut all around the edge.  These cuts look like they are about half to 3/4 of an inch apart.  
By making the cuts your paper will over lap nice and flat and since it is pre-pasted wall paper each section will stick to the one under it as well as the can.
This part isn't necessarily but if you don't mount your cans on the wall you may want to finish off the bottom.  Just trace the can and cut out the circle slightly inside your line.  Wet the circle and attach to the bottom of the can. 

Tidy Hey!
Since we are all so creative, we can't leave it just plain.  I took some ribbon and some adhesive.  I ran the sticky line of glue down on the back of enough ribbon to go around the can then wrapped the ribbon around the top edge of the can.  If you wanted you could color coordinate your cans.  Blue ribbon for your blue pens, red ribbon for your red pens.  Get creative!

Here is a picture of the tools I used.  Wall paper, a recycled can, scissors, a ruler, masking tape only if your paper doesn't stick right away and you want to hold it while it drys.  I got pretty good at making these and didn't use the tape for the last batch.  The ribbon and glue to stick it to the can. Washi tape would look great too.  At the time I did these I didn't have any so improvised.  

A  finished can of lovely Tombow markers!  

I took my DH's handy, dandy, power drill, added an extra long bit driver and a screw with a large head and screwed these papered cans to the wall by my work space.  If you look closely at the picture you can see the screw in the center of the can holding my glue.  If you don't have power tools, no worries, you can use a screw driver.  It just takes a little muscle to push the tip of the screw through the bottom of the tin can and hold it while you get it mounted on the wall but You can do it!  

Now go make your creative space tidy, yea right, well organized at least and let me know if you have any other ideas for organizing your work space.  

Thanks for visiting, bye for now.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Make your Art a Habit.

Way back in February I signed up for Joanna Sharpe's Letter Love class and she posted a new lesson every night at midnight for the full month.  After 29 days of having to be creative every day, waking up every morning and starting the lesson even before getting dress and while the coffee was brewing, it became a habit.  A wonderful habit and I have not stopped since.  My computer desk has now become my art space.  As I glance around my lap top I have pencils, water paint, paper, my markers and I feel happy.