25 November 2011

Can you colour white?

Make it Crafty Challenge
"Colour White"

I guess it is easiest if I post my image first:

The image was coloured with Copics, the background was airbrushed with Caran D'ache pencil additions to the hair and clear gel pen on the halo.

I am going to try and do a "How to" section with the Make It Crafty Challenges from now on - in an attempt to make my posts a little more fun and fingers crossed - informative!!

How to Colour White
(well Jane's method anyway)

I've coloured the above image with Copics, but whatever medium you opt for will require similar colours to get this effect:

The temptation when you are faced with a white dress or at this time of year, snow, is to leave the area completely uncoloured.  But that just leaves you with a very flat, somewhat boring image and if we're honest none of us want that.

To avoid this you actually need to colour the shadows and thereby give the impression of a white object - in this instance the little Angels dress and bow.

If you still think I'm being daft look at "white" objects around your house and you will see that none of them are pure white - they are basically shades of grey - to show what I mean here is an image of my radiator below:

Shock, horror - it's not plain white!!

I like to start with the palest grey and build up to the darkest shades - believe it or not from C00 right up to C5, blending as I go. I also added a dash of BG0000 and B0000.  The only parts that I have left uncoloured are parts of the right sleeve and the two front folds and parts of the bow - everywhere else has been coloured with various shades of grey.

Why not give it a try yourself - and enter this fortnights challenge, posting your entry HERE

...............and I'd like to enter my little Angel into the following challenges:
Make It Monday - Anything Goes
Creative Card Crew - Monochromatic
Deep Ocean Challenge - "C" is for Christmas and Cool Blue
Digital Tuesday Challenge - Sparkle and Shine
Papertake Weekly - Christmas Crackers

Happy colouring

20 November 2011

Christmas Card Challenge

Dustin's Design Team Challenge

Christmas - Anything Goes!

This little gem was from Goody Bag 3 but if you like Dustin's snowglobes he has drawn some fab new ones that are currently available in his
100 Days of Christmas - $20

...............and here is one of them
ideal for those of you who celebrate Christmas wearing shorts!!!

So come on lets see how many entries we can get this time
"the more the merrier, ho ho ho!"

Post your entries at Pike's Playground for your chance to win a Doodle Dragon Digi

As always, thanks for dropping by

16 November 2011

Published in Pixels

Our very own Dustin Pike is featured in the November issue of the online magazine
Papers and Pixels

As one of his DT I was lucky enough to get my little old effort used in the article, how cool is that!

Apologies for the lack of a Copics colour list,  I had to get this done in a hurry to beat the publishing deadline, but oh boy I had fun adding texture and depth with a mixture of Copic techniques, gel pens and glitter, not to mention the beautiful die cuts from Memory Box and Die Namics.

Copics techniques:

The Penguin hat and scarf is really simple - just dots of a slightly darker colour on top of a pre-coloured image.

For the Polar Bear I just built up layers of dashes, starting with the palest greys and working up to the darker ones.  As you can see the knack is to be brave and leave gaps between your pen strokes.  I've found this method the best for me to get fur, try it out for yourself, I'd love to hear how you get on and whether it works for you too.

As for the dies, although I used the Snowflakes Corner die, I opted to resist the urge to place it in the corner of my card, using it instead to break up the straight lines of the central image.  Yes it means a lot of the die is hidden behind the penguin but it sort of works - what do you think?

Ribbons, Snowflake paper, machine stitching, glitter glue and a Viva Decor Pearl pen finished it off.

 I thought I'd enter these little chaps into a couple of challenges
Craft your Passion - Let it Snow
Digital Tuesday - Christmas Time
Oldie but a Goodie - Let it Snow
ABC Christmas Challenge - Christmas Sports (Polar Bear Racing????)

If you like this image and others I've posted lately why not pop over to Doodle Dragon Studios and see what digi's Dustin's been doodling.

Thanks for dropping by

11 November 2011

I challenge you to...........

Colour an image with a light source from a lantern or candle within the image!

Yee gads, I hear you shout (or words to that effect)

That is the challenge we are currently running over at

If you have a current copy of the new Magnolia Ink magazine you may have seen Zoe's guide on how to colour an image with a lamp - hence she decided to set us the challenge to try it too!

Well, ahem, where do I start on this one - having stamped out my image I masked her with Eclipse masking tape (awesome stuff) and covered the snow area with a roughly torn piece of kitchen towel and set to work with my Copic Airbrush (Oh boy that piece of kit is fun to use)

Then the hard work began, colouring by hand.  As with Zoe's tutorial, you must pay attention to your light source, but equally to the shadows - and don't forget to use your greys!!!

I had a blast with the snow, it is probably the most realistic representation of fresh snow that I have achieved since I started using Copics - not quite there yet, but I am getting there - and if I am totally honest it is a little too "white" for this composition.

That's enough arty waffle..............here is the list of stuff used:

Magnolia - Midwinter Tilda
Craft Creations Christmas Scrolls - Red
Ribbon from stash
Die-Namics - Fancy Flourish
Make it Crafty - Swirly Corners
Copics (see below)

OK this is the bit I love - inviting you guys to have a bash at our latest challenge and ask you to post your entries in the gallery HERE

In the meantime I am going to enter this little girly in to the following:
Charisma Cardz - Cutesy
Cute Card Thursday - Reds for Remembrance
Little Miss Muffet - Simplicity
Stampavie - Anything goes
Anything goes challenge - Stitches, real or faux

As always thanks for dropping by

8 November 2011

Copic Storage

Oh my, I've spent so many hours trying to solve the problem experienced by many a Copic owner..........STORAGE!

As my collection grew so did the storage dilemma - initially I used the plastic boxes that the Copic sets come in, adding more as required.  I stored them on their sides to keep the pens horizontal - holding the boxes together with parcel tape. 

Unfortunately the pens are only gripped at the end and as you can see they dip downwards and the more boxes you stack the worse this gets - when you pull one pen out several follow!!
Not to mention this type of storage is not overly stable and even after adding blu-tac to stick the boxes to the wall I was greeted several times with a cascade of Copics all over my desk.

I am sure I don't need to tell you that various solutions are available - Totes, Racks, Cubbies and boxes but I wanted something that keeps the pens horizontal and allows me to store them in colour order and gives space for additional pens.

One solution then caught my eye - some people were using "eggcrate louvre" as used in suspended ceilings.  However, I personally didn't like the wooden dowels that were being used to suspend the eggcrate - so I challenged my hubby to come up with a cleaner solution.

And here it is..............

This little beauty will take 396 Copic Sketch!!

If this is a solution that would work for you too here are the details you might find useful:

Storage Box - we chose a "Really Useful Box" (11 litre) because unlike a lot of boxes its square inside - no annoying internal bulges.
2 x Eggcrate Louvre - I got mine online as they aren't so easy to find here in the UK
Transparent silicone sealant
Hack saw
Handy-man Husband (Oh boy, the mess I would have made trying to do this myself)

Oh and I mustn't forget the Sizzix mat that was sacrificed..... you can see a portion of it attached to the front on the box - it was well worth cannibalizing the poor mat as it makes the whole box rock solid - I did not want the pens falling all over my desk anymore!!  I am not saying you have to chop up your prized Sizzix mat, it's just what we used - you just need something of reasonable density to ensure the stability of the unit.

And in case you were in any doubt here's a side view:

Because the eggcrate is siliconed in at the base of the box and the top the pens are held securely and of course without the use of dowels you are not losing valuable pen space!!!

*****Additional Info*****
I've had quite a few emails asking where you can source the items required to make this storage unit, so here goes:

Storage Box:
In the UK, Really Useful Boxes are quite common, mine came from Hobbycraft.
Rest of the World -use Search Engine for suppliers
Any similar box will do, it just looks smarter if your box is square inside and saves you cutting your Eggcrate into a strange shape and of course maximises marker storage.

Eggcrate Louvre:
USA - Try Lowes or Home Depot
Rest of World - use Search Engine (that's what I did)
size of squares: 15mm x15mm

NB. This storage system is suitable for:
Copic Sketch
Copic Ciao
*****New Information*****
I have had a couple of emails recently asking how you attach the top eggcrate to the box.
Cut your eggcrate to size and before applying silicone sealant around the edge of it attach 4 pencils with wire, one in each corner.
Having applied the sealant carefully place the eggcrate inside the top of your box.
Now adjust/twist the wire so that the pencils lay firmly across the corners of your box, this enables you to hold your eggrate securely in place whilst the silicone sealant dries.
Once dry simply untwist the wire and remove the pencils
Then all you have to do is to put in all your markers

I am chuffed to bits with my new storage - it stands with pride on my desk and the knowledge that it has room for quite a few more pens is a bonus!

What do you guys think??

7 November 2011

It's Maggie Monday!

Well that's what I'm calling it today any way!

And why you may ask, well it's a good excuse to show you one of those Swedish cuties that I have such fun colouring. 

This one is a sweetie and I thoroughly enjoyed colouring her dress.  I've also been playing around with tracing paper, adding white dots to create a delicate lace like effect.

Here's what I used:
Magnolia - Tilda with a small gift
LOTV - Corner Swirls & Christmas Circular Sentiments
Stempelglede - Vintage Garden
First Edition Paper - Festive Treats
Tracing Paper
White Gel Pen
Copics & Caran D'Ache pencils
Ribbon from stash
Sewing Machine
Distress, Memento and Chalk inks
oops and nearly forgot a dot or two of Liquid Pearls

And I thought I'd enter her in to a few challenges:
Crafty Catz - anything goes
Just Magnolia - anything goes
Catch the bug - anything goes
Dream Valley - anything goes
Magnolia Stamp Lovers - Christmas Challenge

Thanks for dropping by

6 November 2011

Anything goes at Dustin's!

OK, everyone Dustin has an "anything goes" challenge - so get your creative juices flowing and come join in the fun over at Pike's Playground!!!

All we ask is that you use a Doodle Dragon Studios image - the rest is up to you!
Post your entries HERE

I decided to do a Dudley - well he was responsible for me finding Doodle Dragon Studios after all.

Doesn't he look a dapper chap in his shiny armour.

As you can see I had fun with pins, dies, punches and ribbon, but as always my favourite part was the colouring................how about you?

and look I even remembered to take a pen piccie

Ooh and talking of pens, how many of you are getting frustrated with a lack of decent storage solutions for Copics - especially if like me you want to keep them in colour order!!

Well if you are then you won't want to miss my blog post later on this week here at Box of Colours.