Guest Designer Barb Foster and Sunshine

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy almost Friday!  First off, I would like to thank Mischelle & The Angel Company for asking me to be a part of this fun & excitement-building month of stampiness  { that would be "happiness" with stamps ;) }

Today I will be showcasing the stamp set Sunshine.  And I know what you are thinking...

 ... yeah, right... The Mistress of the Macabre will be working with a sunflower and a happy sentiment?!

{insert loud thud here}

I'll wait for you to pull yourself up off the floor & back into your chair...




Hi!  Welcome back, and yes!  It's true :)  The moment I saw this set I loved it.  And the first time I colored one of the images, I loved it even more!  These particular images lend themselves to be easily used with a large range of coloring media... and you know I loves to color ;)  So today I'm showing you how the same image looks using three different coloring techniques.  You may want to click on the photos to enlarge them.

First up, the good ol' standby:

Prismacolor pencils and mineral oil blended with artist blending stumps

I ACTUALLY made a video of this technique and edited it... but even after cutting it down (and very choppy, by the way) it is still like 9 minutes long.  Oi.  Me thinks no one has THAT much patience to watch a technique video, so I didn't upload it :)

When I color with Prismas & MO, I tend to work dark to light... similar to when I color with Copic markers.  I make sure that I leave some white areas so that I can just swipe over them to wash them with a bit of color to create natural color highlights.  This is a more realistic highlight rather than just leaving an area completely white.  Sometimes I also use the white Prisma to further blend... this particular pencil doesn't give you an "in-your-face" wash of white, but instead is very subtle.

Pencil colors used:  Mineral Orange, Goldenrod, Yellow Ochre, Light Umber, Jasmine, White (petals); Dark Umber, Dark Brown, Tuscan Red, Light Umber, Goldenrod (center);  Kelp Green, Olive Green, White (leaves)

Next up:

Lyra Aquacolor Crayons and the Niji Waterbrush

When I hosted my very first FunShop before becoming an Angel with TAC, these Aquacolors were my first half-price item :)  Love love LOVE them.  And the Waterbrush makes life so easy.  These two items together make you feel like you can be an artist... silly, I know... but it's true.

Notice that this image is much lighter... in color and in the feeling of it overall.  It is much more blended, but the depth is also more subtle.

When using watercolors, you can use a wet-on-wet technique for subtle shading or transparency, or wait for the colors to dry between applications for a bolder & more opaque look.  I used both of these techniques here.  Again, I worked from dark to light, and used similar shading/highlighting nuances as when using Prismacolors with MO.

What I like most about Aquacolors, is that you truly have a limitless color palette.  You can mix so many colors, add black to make it darker, add water to lighten... on and on.  And BONUS... you can color directly to rubber stamps, mist with water, and stamp your image to create a wonderful watercolor silhouette.

Did you know you can remove watercolor paint from paper?  Simply empty your brush of all pigment and wet the area you want to whiten, lifting off the color from the paper & swiping it off on a towel.  This may take several passes, and you want to be careful of over-saturating your paper, but it works.

Aquacolors:  13082, 13083, 13084, 13004 (petals); 13075, 13092, 13076, 13080, 13083 (center); 13074, 13068, 13070 (leaves)

Ok kids.  The last technique covered today:

Copic Markers

Yeah... you knew that one was coming :)  I'll admit it.  I was one of those people that said I would NEVER get into Copics because they are too expensive... and they're "just markers".  I've been eating crow ever since.  I'm hooked.  Let me put it into perspective for you:  I used to be a craft store clearance aisle girl.  I would buy all of this sale stuff thinking that I'd eventually make some cool altered items for gifts, etc.  Ya' wanna know where all that stuff is now?  Yep, on my shelves gathering dust or in the boxes marked for the garage sale :)  This is what I do now:  I still fill my cart with those sale items, but then I count up how much money I would spend on, let's face it, junk.  I then figure out how many Copics that would buy, and I put it all back.  I save that amount of money and put it toward buying more markers.  :)

Yes... yes I do.

Ok, enough story time...  onto the last bit of coloring goodness for today  :)

As you've gathered from reading THE FREAKIN' NOVEL that I just wrote above, I'm one of those people that color dark to light when using Copics.  I think I use less ink in the long run, and I don't worry about over-saturating my paper (which then leads to ink bleeding outside the image).  If you compare the three sunflowers showcased, you'll notice that this one is by far the boldest & richest in color, detailed yet blended, and the most realistic (in my opinion).  I'm sure that the card details (lace, pearls, etc.) help in swaying my mind, but if you focus on just the flower itself in each instance, you can see what I'm sayin' :)

I used a stippling (dots) technique for the center, feathering (flicked lines) technique for the petals, and the usual blended circle motion for the leaves.

Copics:  YR24, YR23, YR21 (petals); E59, E29, E09, E25, E35, 0, YR23 (center); G99, G94, G82, 0 (leaves)

So if you made it all the way to here without getting too bored, I thank you!!  :)  I will continue to see if I can figure out the whole video-tutorial thing, and if I do I will post it on my main blog, FosterDesignHouse.  I plan on making tutorials for many more techniques, so you may want to check back :)  And be sure to come back to the Savvy blog for more February Fabulous-ness all month long!

 ****edited to add:  I FINALLY got the video uploaded to YouTube... and it's a long one :)  You can view it HERE.

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  1. Awesome Barb, as usual!! You ROCK the coloring, great cards too!

  2. Totally amazing Barb, fabulous cards, techniques, explaination - hey what can I say it is 3 am, sniffily with a cold and I had to see what you created :) Now I'm all sunshiny inside thanks!

  3. Barb~ U ROCK! Thank you for sharing your talent with us! Love your coloring! You are an amazing artist! {hugs}

  4. FABULOUS ..... Love that you colored this 3ways! And a video ..... WOW!

  5. great, great, GREAT!!!!!!!

  6. Barb, your cards are absolutely FABULOUS! I love all the detail, the things popped-out on the cards, the lace, ribbon, the coloring. They are all wonderful! what an inspiration you are!

  7. Christine PenningtonFebruary 17, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    Barb Foster who? Oh my I have missed you tons! Darn work! Tell them you have cards to make! LOL Your cards are fabulous {as always}. I want to grow up to color like you, Debra and Mischelle! I love you used a transparency under your cards for the mirrored look too. Thanks for the smiles, I love reading your text too. YOU are one FREAKIN- Rock-star!! ;o)

  8. Barb, these are great!! You are so talented! Your coloring is wonderful, my favorite is the last one!

  9. WOW!!!! These are awesome, gorgeous, beautiful, fantastic..... Viewed your video.....learned a lot from it. Now to go buy some MO and what kind of a mess I can make.

  10. WOW! Totally awesome!

  11. Fabulous! All of your coloring is great... I really think the Prisma and OMS one is my favorite though! It looks so real... and sweet and simple too!

  12. Absolutely beautiful cards Barb! I love your conversational style too!!! I've gotta get me the sunflower stamp for sure!!!

  13. Amazing! Beautiful! Love them all!!!!

  14. Barb, be still my heart. Your talent and eye for card making always blows me away...and on top of it, I love to read what you have to say! :) You are one amazing angel, lady!!

  15. Barb ... I had been happy with the way I had colored my sunflower until I saw YOURS!!! Yours has so much depth to it ... I love it ... I learned a lot from reading your post. I also love the way you showed different ways to color it. Thanks so much for doing this and especially for the video. You are the best coloring expert I know!

  16. GORGEOUS!!! Love your composition on the last one...And your coloring is AMAZING as usual Barb!