Monday, September 17, 2012

A Review and "How To" about the New CTMH Alcohol Markers

I've FINALLY managed to get my hands of several sets of those much talked about, brand new Close To My Heart Alcohol Markers!  Yesterday, after work, I sat down to play with them and have to say that I was really pleased.
This card is made with pattern papers from the new paper packet called "Moonlight."  I wasn't sure if I liked it but now that I have it in person, trust me, it is really nice.  That adorable scarecrow is from this month's Stamp of the Month called "Fall Favorites."  Is he not tooooo cute?  :o)

There has been a great deal of debate on just how to color with the new alcohol markers.  Are they like Copics?  Why do they bleed through?  Can you blend with them?  Do they "match" the papers?  These are just a few of the questions that I have read but couldn't fully answer them until I got my hands on more than one or two sets.  Let me answer a few of these for you....

1.  The new CTMH Alcohol Markers are like Copics in that the "ink" is alcohol based.  That means, that when you color a larger area your paper will not "pill up."  The alcohol base causes the ink to be absorbed differently by the paper.  A water based marker is just that, water based, and you know what happens when you mix paper and get mush. 

2.  You can't refil the markers, but at $5.95 for 2 versus the $7.95 for one that is not a concern.

3.  There is a brush and a point nib.  The brush nib is stiffer than a Copic Nib

4.  They bleed through to the back of the paper just like a Copic.  This is the nature of an alcohol   marker.  If you don't have "bleed through" you haven't applied enough ink to successfully blend the colors.  Journaling with this markers will not be a problem.

5.  Can you blend with them...what do you think after looking at my scarecrow?  The markers come in sets of 2 markers.  Each in the color name to coordinate with the CTMH papers.  Most of the sets have a marker that closely resembles the paper and a lighter marker.  A few of the sets have the matchy matchy marker with a slightly darker version.
          a.  You can successful blend with the two markers received in the kit.
          b.  Before I placed my "big" order for markers, I studied the CTMH color pallet.  I chose to colors that were in the same "family."  That is...Basic, Enchantment, Adventure, Whimsey.  Color is often defined by tint, shade and value. 
                  Tint is the amount of "white" added to a color
                  Shade is the amount of "black" added to a color
                  Value is the amount of "gray" added to a color
My thinking was if your blended different colors from the same color family you could achieve a richer finished product. 
          c.  Take a look at his jeans...this was the exact process I used and I think it worked!
                   1.  Color the jeans all over in "light" Crystal Blue.
                   2.  Then, along the seam lines, pockets and waist add a touch of Twilight.  (Twilight is one of those sets that has a darker marker as the complement.) 
                   3.  Go over those areas spreading just a little in to the larger jean area with the Crystal Blue. 
                   4.  Go back over the full jean with the "light" Crystal Blue and you will begin to achieve realistic blending.  For just a few small areas, I also did a touch of the "Dark" Twilight and colored over one more time using the "light" Crystal Blue. 
                   5.  Let the stamp do the work for you!  Notice how on his jeans, there are built in "creases?"  Line over those creases with the Twilight to give a natural look!
                   6.  IMPORTANT....always start with your lightest color.  You can always "add" color but you can't easily take it away.

6.  Do they match the papers...yes the first time you color with the marker (not the complementary marker.)  Like a Copic, each time you go over an area with color, it get darker.  The beauty of an alcohol marker is the nuance of shading you can achieve.  This is why you will be able to get a match when journaling because you don't "write" over what you have written.

7.  The markers worked really with with our CTMH papers!  I tried an image using the paper (Bazzill Coconut Swirl) that I normally use with my Copics and the image did not come out right.  Feel free to use that terrific Colonial White for great success.

I have one disclaimer.  CTMH recommends that you use their new pigment inks to stamp the outline.  I only have one set and none of those colors would coordinate with the way that I wanted to color my scarecrow.  I used my Memento Tuxedo Black.  Normal dye based inks won't work with alcohol will bleed into the image and ruin your nib.

I am very pleased with the new CTMH alcohol based markers! I highly recommend them for anyone who wants to color their images.  With a little practice, you too, will feel just like an artist.  Here is my scarecrow one more time...
For Now, Happy Coloring...errr....Crafting!  :o)

1 comment:

Mary said...

Thanks for the info and tips on the markers. I just got a large order in and want to try them. Cute card!