Letraset Aqua Markers - yum yum!
OK - the lovely Jane Davenport introduced me to these, I couldn't resist after seeing the amazing journal art she produced with them - so being me, I ordered ahem... a few. When they arrived I stared at them and wondered what I was going to use them for - I'm not quite in Jane's league so drawing directly into my journal with these was a little intimidating. So ...... I stamped on some of my normal card and started to colour - OMG what had I done, they were not what I expected at all - the paper pilled from the marker tips, the blender left patchy sort of separated looking colours everywhere and they were blotchy. Nooooooo - now what?
Right first things first - browse Google and find out what other people were doing - hmm not as much info as I hoped there would be - check Jane's clip - not using them that way yet hmmm - in a last ditch attempt I read in the instructions - I KNOW groundbreaking huh! Buried within the instructions was the comment 'recommended for use with watercolour paper' - OK I had that, thought I'd give it a try before listing these on eBay - but how much difference could paper make right?
Answer: The paper makes a HUGE difference when using Aqua Markers - I turned from disappointed to lovin' them in minutes - simply beautiful! If you are going to spend the $$$ on the Aqua Markers then you MUST spend the $$$ and buy watercolour paper or card to go with them - without it - don't bother! I used the Arches 185GSM smooth watercolour paper and it was fabulous.
I'll pop back and do a full review of these in a later post - just wanted to share the following tips and this amazing technique with you all ASAP - Aqua Markers applied with a Waterbrush - so worth it.
What I used:
- Aquamarkers in the following colours (available from the Institute of Cute in Australia or direct from Letraset in the UK:
Leaves: Celery & Fern Green
Flowers: Rose Carmine, Scarlet & Mauve
Hair: Mahogany & Sunburst Yellow
Skin: Mauve, Eggshell, Cherry Blossom & Mocha
Wings: Peacock Blue, Teal & Spring Green
Dress: Peacock Blue & Spring Green
Background: Lamp Black
- Arches 185GSM Watercolor Smooth paper
- Versafine Onyx Black stamp Pad
- Sweet Pea Stamp - The Arrival of Spring by Connie Fong
- Spellbinders Nestabilities die -
- PanPastel - Dark Brown
- Copic Spica pen - clear
Things you might want to know about Aqua Markers:
MUST use waterproof ink - either Ranger Archival, Stazon or Archival Versafine
MUST use watercolour paper/card - I really liked the Arches smooth 185GSM
These are amazing when applied with a waterbrush, I scribbled on a piece of acetate and used the waterbrush to pick the colour up from there - allows you so much control over how much colour you lay down.
I found that laying down a light wash of your base colour first, gave the best results.
The initial layer allowed for super smooth blending of subsequent colours.
Streaks, spots - forgot to blend? No fear - just dab at the edges with a clean waterbrush and they magically blend into the background, even when dried.
You can add additional colours direct over the top and if you want them to subtly blend, just dab the edges with a clean waterbrush and the colours blend at the edges only - very handy for cheek blush.
You can use the broader tip to lay down more intense colour, when used over already wet and coloured areas, it gives the illusion of shades of the same colour - wonderful for subtle shadows.
As with all colour it's easier to add more than to take away - with these markers they allow you to layer the colour - you can let it dry and keep adding more over the top - beautiful. Enlarge photo and look at the area under her neck and the arms, layers upon layers.
For intense colour apply fine tip direct to dry paper, for colour graduation continue applying colour with waterbrush - this gives different shades of the same colour - perfectly coordinating!
To keep edges crisp - try not to work on adjacent areas while both areas are wet eg: working on the hair while the face is still wet can result in colour bleeding - might not be what you wanted.
Up close you can see how beautifully these have blended - simply WOW!
Now my image colouring above is just a little snapshot - you can watch the whole thing and get all the tips on my YouTube clip below...