PEP tangles - my Zentangle Inspired Art blog

Thursday, 8 September 2011

MCC Colouring 101 Wk 4 - White Inkpads, Tooth & Pencils

After my previous post I sensed my own need to make a structured comparison of the white inkpads that I own in relation to using either the oil-based Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils or the wax-based Derwent Coloursoft pencils. Knowing how my own materials behave with one another is becoming more important to me as I realise that some of my failures & hence hesitancy in using certain styles of images has come about because I've not had sufficient knowledge to pay attention to the combination of cardstock/paper, inkpad & colouring medium suitable for that particular stamp. Add my own slight stature to the mixture - small hands & short height - & a particular project can become very frustrating not to mention time consuming.

I have now developed my own strategies for stamping. I stamp onto a hard surface - my favourite is a glass mat - & I always stand up. If the stamp is large, I place the glass mat onto a firm floor & whilst stamping use my knee (with the full force of my 7 stone weight behind it) on the stamp in order to get enough pressure. This works for me.

stamped onto smooth cardstock

stamped onto cardstock with a little tooth

I deliberately chose a stamp where there was a silhouetted area for colouring onto as well as some intricate detail - as you can see in the smooth cardstock example the butterfly's body & antennae are very finely detailed & quite separate (most apparent on the Adirondack, Brilliance & ColorBox Pigment stamped images) from the wings. I selected two pieces of black cardstock from my stash, one smooth & the other with some tooth.

At the end of the day it will depend upon personal preference (the photos are clickable for enlarging to enable a personal choice) & whether a matt or pearlescent effect is desirable. My wn favourite is the Adirondack inkpad on smooth cardstock & colouring with the Polychromos pencils.

The following is a summary of my findings:
  • Amongst the inkpads the Adirondack & Brilliance stamped with the best definition on the smoother cardstock although they also performed well with the rougher cardstock.
  • The Polychromos blended & layered the best on the smooth cardstock but also very well on the less smooth. The Coloursoft definitely gave a better finish on the rougher texture as it was difficult to achieve a smooth even blend when layering onto the smoother cardstock & there was some binding with increased layering.
  • Overall detail is easier to achieve with the Polychromos as they maintain their sharpened point very well & leave little debris whereas the Coloursoft need to be used more carefully so as not to smudge any of the pigment from their dusty debris into the cardstock. The Coloursoft also need sharpening more frequently.
  1. With Polychromos - use Adirondack or Brilliance inkpad on either cardstock.
  2. With Coloursoft - use Adirondack or Brilliance inkpad on the rougher cardstock.
  3. With Adirondack inkpad - use either pencil & select cardstock accordingly.
  4. With Brilliance inkpad - use either pencil & select cardstock accordingly.
  5. With smooth cardstock - use Adirondack or Brilliance inkpad with Polychromos.
  6. With rougher cardstock - use Adirondack or Brilliance inkpad with either pencil.
Stamp Chocolate Baroque UDLSP0154 Butterfly Blush.
Inks Adirondack - Pigment Snow Cap, Brilliance - Brilliance Moonlight White, ColorBox Pigment - ColorBox Pigment Frost White, Chalk - ColorBox Chalk Alabaster, StazOn - StazOn Cotton White. 
Colouring Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils & Derwent Coloursoft pencils.
Cardstock Smooth & not so smooth from stash.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

MCC Colouring 101 Wk 4 - Fantasy Colouring

from my sketchbook

Week 4 centres upon using the dynamism of the colour wheel principles for colouring fantasy images. Although I have been aware of colour theory it hasn't really penetrated into my conscious thinking until recently. It's as if my mind has somehow begun to absorb an understanding of how colours relate to one another & I find it utterly exciting. 

I love the freedom in fantasy colouring & how it is possible to trick the eye by colouring realistically in accordance with light & shade but using fanciful colours. With these examples I have continued to use maritime images - in fact images & types of stamps that I have shied away from using as I've not been confident in either stamping or in colouring them.

Stamp Chocolate Baroque UA5SP0261 Seashell Collage, Ink Adirondack Pigment Snow Cap,
Cardstock Assorted Black from stash. Colouring Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils
I used Brilliance Moonlight White ink with Derwent Coloursoft pencils last time & found that I had to use the less smooth cardstock in order for the ink not to pool & to provide the Coloursoft pencils with some tooth. Smudging from the pencil debris was also a problem. The scenario proved very different using my recent purchase of the Adirondack Pigment Snow Cap inkpad (see the two uncoloured examples above: left - Adirondack, right - Brilliance). In addition, with little debris from the Polychromos & the much easier maintenance of a sharpened  point there was minimal smudging & I love the clarity & brightness  I was able to achieve against the black cardstock even when using dark brown & dark blue colours.
Edited Apologies - this is in fact incorrect (I was writing in the early hours of the morning) what I should have written was: see previous post for Brilliance examples & above left for Adirondack on smooth cardstock & above right for Adirondack on less smooth cardstock). It is the combination of cardstock tooth with the inkpad plus the pencils that affect the outcome.

Stamp Chocolate Baroque UA5SP0327 Seadragon; Ink Memories Black; 
 Cardstock Cotman Watercolour Paper Cold Pressed/NOT Grain Fin 190gsm
edged with Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink;
Colouring Body & Spines - Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils with a dry paper stump & Derwent Burnisher
 Pencil for body only, Wings - Cotman Pan Watercolours 

Stamp Chocolate Baroque UA5SP0327 Seadragon, Ink Memento Tuxedo Black,
Cardstock Neenah Solar White 216gsm edged with Tea Dye Distress Ink,
Colouring Copic Markers with ProMarker Colourless Blender

I haven't quite developed the knack of slanting the camera to compensate for the shift in perspective during close-up photography of right angled shapes.