Thursday, 22 December 2011

Door 22 over at Kuretake - Magical Kurecolors

In December Kuretake are doing an advent calendar of tutorials, if you haven't seen them all you should check them out here. So today, Door 22 is ME!
I seem unable to escape from the adorable Neighbours stamp range a year on from when we launched them, no-one gets sick of seeing them which is amazing! I must admit even I still adore them each time I create a new scene, I really do think they are my fave stamps of all time ever. So below is a quickish tutorial on using Zig Kurecolors which are a totally awesome alcohol based marker. If you're wondering WTH is Nikky doing, has she given up Pro and Flexmarkers - the answer is no! but we all have to get a bit of variety and different markers have different properties and can give you different results. I love the Kurecolors because of their rich juicy pigments so when I want to produce something really vibrant I pick up these babies. The blender is awesome and guess what - it really does blend rather than bleach! You can use them with your other products anyway and as you know I'm a big believer in mixing your media and materials whenever you can.
I also tried out a new technique on this tutorial which turned out even better than I thought it would!
Enjoy, peepsicles...

You will need: (all products used are available from the website here)
Selection of Zig Kurecolors & blending pen, Clear Mushroom stamps from Polkadoodles, Wink of Stella Gold penWhite Zig Chalkwriter pen, Memento inkpad, Zig Alcohol inks - clear blending solution

Using the memento inkpad, stamp your images and create a little scene by adding lots of trees and bushes.
Kurecolor alcohol markers change colour as they dry so it's really useful to make and keep a colour swatch chart every time you buy new colours. The handy storage wallets are already in pre-selections of bright and muted tones. I store mine in colour families within the wallets in numerical order but if you struggle with putting colours together you will find the pre-selected colours really helpful as it makes selecting colours that work together really easy peasy.

 There is no right or wrong way on how to colour but with I tend to work light to dark depending on the image I'm colouring. For this image I will use a lot of the skintone colours to give me a nice soft look to my project but I try to restrict my colour palette to less than 10 colours as I find when too many are involved you can end up with a garish result with too many colours clashing. As you can layer Kurecolors you can achieve as many colours as you wish by simply mixing colours together and this means all the colours in the palette you use will work together well. The Kurecolor markers have a really precise point which is far more accurate than many other markers and means you can get right into fine details.
 The Kurecolor blender is an awesome tool for achieving soft blending techniques. If you find the colour you have is a shade too dark, add some of the colour onto the tip of the blending pen and then sweep across the image in small circles to spread and blend a more muted form of the colour.
 You can also use this technique to mix colours together - simply add 2 colours onto the blender to make a third variation and get a lovely smooth blend when you colour. The colour will simply flood out of the blender as you use it so you will never spoil the blending pen, you simply reload the colour again if you need more.
 Kurecolors have brilliantly strong pigments and give super-rich coverage but not all your projects have to be vibrant and strong. I want a more muted, softer look to my project so I decided to try out an idea I've had for a while...scribble some blue onto a piece of acetate or acrylic block (as a palette) and then add some clear blending solution, mixing with a paintbrush.
 You need to work quite quickly as alcohol ink does dry very fast, but take a paintbrush and swirl the colour across the sky to give a really soft look which looks a bit like watercolour! Great technique, it worked so well! If you run out of colour or it's a little patchy just add more blender and blend it around until you're happy. I ended up with a really soft wash which looked broken up by clouds. If I'd done this any other way it would have taken me ages and lots of blending!
Now start to add some more colour and foliage colour - don't forget you can mix your colours together which  I find handy when I'm trying to get the right tones for foliage.
 Once I'd built the colour up I decided to make my lanterns light up. Use yellow 106 in the centre of the lantern and then using the blender pen swirl round and round the head of the lantern in a circular motion to spread the light.  Then take the same colour and add touches of it where the glow would be picked up on the house and on the mice etc.
 Remember to add the casting shadows and glows too for added effect. Again I used the paintbrush to get the wash across the grass in the front of the picture.  Take a white chalkwriter pen and highlight along the lanterns and anywhere you feel you need to get a little contrast. Finally, take a yellow or gold Wink of Stella pen and add to the lanterns and windows and some of the flowers for a little sparkle.
 Finally make up into a project for any occasion.