16. The ProMarker Ultra-fine Nib
ProMarkers come with two nibs, one a wide, chisel end nib, and the other a small bullet end nib, but there are times that even the small bullet end nib is too large to colour in images which have small areas and fine detail. That is where the ProMarker Ultra-fine Nibs come into their own.
- Having lately got a couple of packs of ProMarkers that came with Ultra-fine Nibs I’ve now got more to work with. As I’d managed to loose around half the small number I had previously by them dropping out of my storage, I decided to keep one of the plastic cases the pens came in and put all my nibs in there.
- This is the chizzle, broad, nib of a ProMarker.
- This is the bullet, ordinary, nib of the ProMarker.
- The tiny bit at the end of the metal is the Ultra-fine nib on the head that clips on over the bullet end when find details need colouring in.
- The nibs come with a cap.
- The cap on the ProMarker is taken off and the ultra-fine nib put on in its place. The nibs can be left on for however long you want, with their own cap in place to prevent drying out.
- These three lines show the relative width of the lines created by the chisel, bullet and Ultra-fine nibs.
17. Colouring In Detailed Digital Stamps 2
In section 14. I said “There are two types of what I’d called “detailed digital stamps” – the type where there are a lot of small, intricate, areas that have a lot of detail on them that need to be picked out and coloured a tiny bit at a time, and the type where the designer has added lots of detail such as shadow lines and creases in clothes, etc., so that the person colouring in knows exactly where light and dark goes, and sometimes doesn’t even need to do a lot of shading.” Well this time I’m going to show a series of photos of the stages I used to colour in a digi-stamp that had a lot of very small, detailed, image that I couldn’t have managed to colour in without Ultra-fine Nibs.
- Digi-stamp used – Hollie by Karen Wyeth
- Marker Pens used – hair – Honeycomb, Raw Sienna, Cinnamon; dress – Meadow Green, Leaf Green, Grass; flowers on dress, hair bows, hat bows and socks – Yellow, Gold; hat and shoes – Honeycomb, Raw Sienna; grass – Grass; rabbit – March Hare; skin – Ivory, Satin; lips – Rose Pink.
- I started off using the Ultra-fine nib on the lightest of the brown’s and coloured in lots of the hair, working in short flicks in the direction of the hair shown in the image.
- I then added the second colour.
- I added the darker shade at the crown and under the side plaits, then more of the second colour over the top of the dark and light.
- I finished off by adding flicks of the light colour over the other colours, blending them in and flicking from the darker areas towards the centre of the white area to cause the shading to just meat but leaving a faint white sheen.
- I started to colour in the dress with the bullet nib,
- before putting on the Ultra-fine nib and colouring up to the edge of the little flowers.
- I used the Ultra-fine nib on the middle colour over the areas I thought would require darker shading on the dress.
- Again with an Ultra-fine nib I used the darker green to colour the collar on the dress, the ruffle at the waist of the dress and the two stripes near the bottom of the skirt.
- I added more of the dark green over the top of the collar under the hair to add further dark shading. This picture has a bit of a contrast added to show up the added colour better.
- This is a further look at the colouring at the same area without the contrast.
- I finished working in from the edges of the collar towards the lighter area, flicking the fine nib in short strokes to achieve the light and dark. I also started working the blending of the sleeve and dress front.
- I finished using the lightest green to blend in the dress green colours.
- I used a fine nib on the yellow ProMarker and coloured in the little flowers and hair bow with yellow, and the leaves in the darker green.
- I put a fine nib on the gold ProMarker and touched the centre of the flowers on the dress and as shading on the hair bows.
- I used the same yellows to do the hat bow and socks, and the same colours as the hair to do the shoes, again using the Ultra-fine nibs on the ProMarkers, starting light, adding dark, then working the light from the dark and into the lightest areas.
- I then started on the legs, working in two colours. I started by putting down the light colour, just leaving a small white area down both legs as a hilight.
- I added the darker colour round the leg and under the hem line. This again has a slight contrast applied to make the different areas more visible.
- I then went over the leg area, working from the outside towards the area left as a highlight until practically meeting, blending in the dark to light area.
- I coloured in the arms using the same light, dark, then blending with light colours as I’d used for the legs.
- To colour in the face and neck I put down a layer of the lightest skin colour over most of the face, once again using the Ultra-fine nib.
- With an Ultra-fine nib on the darker skin colour I went around the edge of the face and the neck, around the eyes and adding a second layer of the darkest colour I’d chosen for the skin under her chin and hair line.
- I then used the lightest skin colour once again to blend in the areas and used the Ultra-fine nib on the pink to dab some colour onto her lips.
You can see the picture and details of the card I made using this coloured in digi-stamp on my blog post – here.
18. Blending Three Colour Pens – The ProMarker Colour-Blend Sets
I’ve heard some people who use alcohol markers say that they’ve bought Spectrum Noirs, rather than ProMarkers, because Spectrum Noirs come in sets that blend together. But so does ProMarkers! I can only assume that some people are not aware of this fact. Nothing wrong in using other types of alcohol marker pens if they are what you like, (there’s not a huge amount of difference between how they work as far as I can see and they all produce lovely results once you’ve played around and worked out how to get the best results with your way of colouring,) but don’t go for them just because of a misconception about blending ability.
I tend to do a lot of playing around and just picking and mixing colours from my ever growing collection when I’m working – sometimes, as I’ve shown in previous sections, using only one pen or two pens to build up and shade colours, but I do also have some of the ProMarker Colour-Blend Sets as well.
These are just some quick swatches made using the colours from just three of the Colour-Blend sets available. Please click on the thumbnail to have a better look.
ProMarker Colour-Blend Set – Orange – which includes: Apricot, Amber, Pumpkin
ProMarker Colour-Blend Set – Red – which includes: Lipstick Red, Berry Red, Crimson
ProMarker Colour-Blend Set – Cyan – which includes: Sky Blue, Aegean, French Navy
- For each of these sets I’ve firstly coloured in a small square and written the colour name using each of the individual pens.
- Then I coloured in rectangles of the colours touching, so that you can see the difference, and built up the colours towards the right of each rectangle so that you can see the colour build up possibility with just the one pen.
- Then I did a couple of upright rectangles of the three colours blended, lighter at the top and darker at the middle.
As I said, these were only quick swatches. I didn’t take any particular time with the blending or building up the colours, just quick scribbles that took less than a couple of minutes per colour set, so I’d probably get a better blend if I too some time over things.
Don’t forget having a look at the Letraset’s “Basic Colour Theory” leaflet if you need assistance choosing colours to complement each other and to see a wheel of the colour blend sets.
19. Dappled Backgrounds
I’ve heard people say that they are worried about not being able to colour in smoothely, especially when doing large areas such as the backgorund behind a stamped image or digi-stamp. There are many ways to get around this – but the most obvious is not to try to colour in backgrounds smoothely. For digi-stamps of jungle animals, or forest glades, or areas that could have things in the background but you don’t want to actually put in trees, hills, etc., one method is to put in a dappled or camoflaged background.
- For this pictorial guide I started by using a black liner pen and just drawing a roung rectangle and squiggling a line to represent a side of a digi inside the area.
- I started by taking the lightest green and colouring in a line using the bullet point of the ProMarker …
- until there was a line all the way outside the drawn line. I do this to give less of a chance that I’ll go over the drawn line when colouring the whole area.
- I then went to the chilzel end and coloured in accross the rectangle from the line Id coloured
- I kept colouring until the whole area is coloured – but you’ll notice that there are flecks of white area still visible as I don’t try and make the colouring in smooth.
- I then take the next colour and start dotting in colour in clusters using the bullet end of the ProMarker. The spots vary in size and in cluster size.
- I kept going until I had lots of sploges all over the green coloured area.
- Then another colour was added in the same way.
- And another …
- And another, until the whole area was splodged and dotted in a mish-mash of shades of colour.
Making up a panel in the same way is also great for cutting out leaves of various sizes using either an electronic cutting machine such as the Silhouette Cameo, or dies in a die-cutting machine. When lots of cut out leaves are to be used on a project the dappled look of the panel gives the leaves different shades which can make them more interesting than cutting leaves out of one shade of green.
You can also make up a panel in shades of brown for cutting out branches from. Again it gives different shades to the finished branch which makes it look different to just cutting branches out of a one tone brown cardstock.
- Again I laid down a panel of the lightest shade of brown I’d chosen.
- And then spotted my two other shades over it to get the blotchy/dappled effect.
20. Adding Clouds
Another thing that doesn’t need to be totally smooth is sky. Rarely would you actually see a completely smooth, even coloured, sky without any whisps of white sky in it, so you can either not lay the colour down smoothely, or you can use a blender pen to create effects.
I did as a 5 minute challenge to myself, so after drawing out sketch outline I allowed myself just 5 minutes to complete the colouring in and adding the cloud effects. With more time for both the colouring in and the introduction of clouds I think the effect would have looked better as I could have worked it a bit more, but it doesn’t look too bad at the end of 5 minutes.
Now I’ve heard people say that the Blender Pen can be used to bleach out colour – and this highly anoys me. The Blender Pen does not contain any bleach. It contains the same alcohol solvent that is carying the colours in the other Pro and Flex marker pens. So the Blender Pen can be said to dilute the colour put down by another pen, or to disperse it – putting on a lot of blender makes it quite wet and you’ll find that the ink colour gets pushed either to the back of the cardstock or to one side on the image.
- For this pictorial guide I started by drawing a landscape outline to work with.
- I used the brush end of the FlexMarker to go round the outline of the shapes – note that I try to keep a little out of the sun to leave a fine white border.
- I went around the whole area of the outline.
- I then started roughly colouring in the background, again using the brush end, not trying to make it neat and even.
- If you look at this picture you’ll see that I’ve finished colouring in once roughly, but I’ve gone over the area on the left once again, which gives it a smoother look – so if you do want a smoother backgorund area to your colouring in, going back over an image in another direction, quite soon after the first colouring before it has the time to dry compeltely, can help evening out the colouring.
- To create whispy cloud effects I took a small piece of cotton wool and a ProMarker Blender pen.
- Using the chizel tip I wiped the blender pen over the cotton wool several times.
- This was then quickly put down on an area of the picture.
- When the cotton wool is lifted off the colour has been diluted and dispersed in the area where the cotton wool had been placed. I did this a few times.
- I also bunched up the cotton wool and again wipped the Blender Pen over it. This time I wiped it over areas of the sky to even out some of the “whispy clouds” I’d already created.
- I carried out doing this until my self imposed 5 minute time limit ran out. The blue of the sky would have been closer in colour all over if I hadn’t done the one area of re-colouring, and the “clouds” can be made whiter by re-applying more of the Blender pen. And the sky can have a more grey cloud look by lightly flicking over Cool Grey 1 or Cool Grey 2, depending on how much depth of colour you want on your clouds.
If you’ve been looking at each of the pictures in this guide you may have noticed that I’d put some of the sky blue over a bit of the “sun”, but that by the very last picture it is nearly vanished. The Blender Pen was used to achieve this as well by flicking the nib of the pen at the edge of the colour and pushing it towards the edge of the sun until the colour became so diluted it’s barely visible. If I had taking a picture of the back you’d be seeing that the colour has come through to the back a lot.
Please do come back and have a look at these pages again in the future as I hope to continue adding pictorial guides to some of the colouring I’ve done.
- Other than the craftsUprint badge and the photos of Letraset products, the photographs used in this pictorial guide were all taken by me and are copyright to me – so no taking copies for your own use in either paper or electronic format.
- The digital stamps I’ve been colouring in are copyright to the designers. I’ve bought the digi stamps (and been given one as a prize from the designer) and have used them in my card making. I’ve just used selected areas in these pictorial guides to show one way that they could be coloured, but if you buy the digi stamps you can colour them however you prefer – you will quite probably make a better job of it than me. I’ve provided details of the stamp name and the designer for each one, plus I’ve put in links to where they are legally sold, so if you like them you can go and buy your own.