Thursday, November 24, 2011

How To Colour A Vintage Santa - Marvy Le Plume Permanent/Copic Markers Tutorial by Leigh S-B!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I'm super delighted to be back today with another Marvy Le Plume Permanent markers 'How To' tutorial!  I'm featuring the Marvy Le Plume Permanents in a series of tutorials but you can follow along easily with Copic markers too!  Stacey, the wonderful owner of Blockheads Paper Arts, has provided a great Marvy to Copic substitute Chart to take the guess work out of it for you!  So grab your markers and lets get started on 'How To Colour A Vintage Santa'!

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to colour this gorgeous Santa image which is on the exclusive Blockheads Paper Arts An Illustrated Christmas stamp sheet by mainly using the Marvy Le Plume Permanent Blending Pen N900 (or Copic 0 Colourless Blender) to blend and soften the colours.  This is a great technique for colouring 'white' areas in your stamped images for a beautiful subtle effect!

Stamp Santa onto Neenah Solar White cardstock with Memento Rich Cocoa ink.
I tore the edges of my Santa coz I was going for a vintage distressed look for the card I used him on.
You can see my finished card on my blog at Leigh S-B Designs!

We are going to use the following Marvy Le Plume Permanent markers:
N900 Blending Pen
Red (R) 812, R815, R817
Orange Red (OR) 823, OR827
Orange Yellow (OY) 848
Green (G) 673, G679
as well as a red Prismacolor pencil, a white gel pen and Tea Dye Distress Ink

Apply R812, which is a pale flesh colour, by outlining just the stamped lines of the face and filling in more of the 'shadow' areas.  I decided my light source was coming from the front and slightly to the left so the right side of Santa's face will be more shadowed.  Go over all the colour with the Blending pen (N900) to soften the harsh edges.  Don't worry about going over the stamped image because the Memento ink doesn't smear and is perfect for use with alcohol-based markers.

Apply R815 to the same areas of the face but concentrate more on where the 'shadows' would be.  So mainly along Santa's brow where his hat sits, his eyebrows coz remember he does have bushy eyebrows, the creases of his eyes, nose and along his beard line.  I also started on his hat at this point.  I used R815 as the highlight areas on his hat so I started with the lightest colour.

Back to the face - blend all the R815 areas with the Blending pen.

Back to the hat - build up the colour on Santa's hat with R817.

Blend all the R817 areas by using R815 as the blending tool instead of the colourless Blender this time.

I added more R817, blended with R815 and did the same again until I was happy with the result.
Usually a stamp image will indicate for you where your shadows should be with cross hatching or darker lines which darkens particular areas.  So in this case that's where I concentrated applying the darker red areas on the hat.

Now for his beard, mustache and eyebrows - I lightly applied R812 on and around the stamped lines of all the hair areas.

Go over all the same hair areas again with the Blending pen (N900) to soften the harsh edges.

Apply OR823 to the same areas to add shading and depth to the hair and blend again with N900 (Blending pen).

Apply OR827 to the white fluffy hat areas, concentrating the colour around the edges where the shadows would be.

I blended over the same areas with OR823 to lighten and soften and then further blended away the sharp edges with N900 as the first step for this area to get a feel of where I wanted the colour to be for the white fluffy areas of Santa's hat.  I'm using the sepia tones coz don't forget he's a vintage Santa!

Apply OY848 for darker shading and depth.

Fill in with more OR827 and OR823, getting lighter towards the center of the white areas of Santa's fluffy hat.  Don't forget to work on his hat pompom at the same time!  Blend, soften and lighten the same areas with N900.

Tip:  the Blending pen acts more like a bleaching agent and will lighten and leach away colour and you can get a nice watercolour effect.  You can see that effect nicely in the white hat area in the photo below!  You can also see I got some overbleed of the brown colour into the face area coz I used the Blending pen a lot but that didn't bother me coz it just looks like a shadow cast by the fluffy hat, especially when you're not looking at the image sooo closely ;0)

Now for the holly - colour in all the holly leaves with G673.

Add shading and depth to the leaves by applying G679 in the shadow areas which is basically where all the leaf detail and cross hatching of the stamped image is and make it darker where the leaves go under the berries.

I wanted the berries to be appear more solid and opaque so they'd stand out from Santa's hat so I used a red Prismacolor pencil to colour them.

Finish off by applying highlights to the image with a white gel pen.

To complete my vintage Santa I aged the image by applying Tea Dye Distress Ink with an Ink Blending tool.

Here's my vintage Santa on the card I made for the Blockheads 'Sanded Colour Block' Technique Challenge!  There's still plenty of time to join in the challenge for a chance to win the $25 gift certificate!  You can read all about it here on the Blockheads Blog!
Then pop on over to my blog to see how I incorporated the technique into my card.

I hope you enjoyed my second tutorial on how to use Marvy/Copic markers.  Click here if you missed tutorial #1 - "Passion for Purple" which is a blending tutorial demonstrating how to colour an entire image just using 4 shades of purple!

Thanks for joining me today and have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Happy Stamping :0)

Leigh S-B

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Snowman Christmas Tag

I just had to make one more tag using the festive greenery die and our Illustrated Christmas stamp set to show the versatility of both.  I also wanted to try a faux patina copper technique I'd been brainstorming since I first tried the new snowcap Alcohol Ink mixative.  Steps for the background are shown below.  The other items used are as follows:
Marvy Le Plume Permanent Marker sets grass green, orange and cool gray
silver paint and cranberry dabber
picket fence, rock candy Distress Stickles
copper, pool and snow cap Adirondack Alcohol Inks
foil tape
#8 tag
seafoam white embossing powder
embossing ink
spellbinders fancy tags 2
Snowflurries and Snowman Texture Fades
snowflake stamp from Winter Wonderland set
white versamagic ink
black cardstock
Neenah Classic Crest Solar White paper
liquid pearls
various ribbons

I used the markers to color and highlight the carrot, scarf and hat on the snowman.  I then took a little brown pigment ink on a sponge to add a little paper aging around the edge of the snowman.  I cut his arms off for this tag to minimize the fussy cutting.  I added picket fence distress stickles to some of the greenery and rock candy distress stickles to the snowman.  The liquid pearls were added to the center of the snowflakes I cut out for the center of the bottom greenery arragement.

By apply copper, about half as much pool and about 1-2 drops of snow cap mixative alcohol inks to your alcohol ink applicator tool you can turn regular silvertone foil into a copper with aged patina.
I applied the foil tape to the front of a #8 tag and trimmed it to fit.  I ran both the foil and tag through my cuttlebug with the Snow Flurries texture fade embossing folder. 
The raised snowflakes weren't as obvious as I'd wanted, so I applied some copper alchol ink lightly to the surfaces of the raised areas and that really brought out the design.
I rubbed an embossing ink pad over the surface and sprinkled white emobssing powder over top.  I didn't want htis much coverage so I wiped awa as much as I could.  My embossing ink was quite sticky so I had to use a wet paper towel to get as much as I wanted off.
After heating the embossing powder, this was my final background.  Now all I had to do was use a little liquid glue to apply all the little items I'd created to complete my tag.

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Holiday Dies are In

New! Sizzlits Decorative Strip Die - Festive Greenery
Come see what's new at Blockheads!
We just got all the new Tim Holtz holiday dies by Sizzix.  You'll find all those items by clicking above.  This is one of my favorites, the Festive Greenery.  I like it though because it's versatile.  In this tag I used it as it is traditionally inteded but see below where it just made some nice embellishments but didn't look like "greenery".  The swirls are great for all seasons as are the leaves and greenery.  I started by just finding all my old scraps 2" wide or more and running through in several different places on the die.  It wasn't long before I ended up with this great big pile of goodies.  I started using paint dabbers on the ones with colors I didn't like and adding distress stickles to the ones that didn't need a color change and suddenly I had a little pile to choose from for my tag.  I didn't use all of these so I have more projects planned!  I think they would look wonderful colored silver for a winter scene.
Stamps: Illustrated Christmas
This card was made with the new Tim Holtz Signature line of Kraft Core'dinations.  Sanding it reveals a kraft colored cardstock.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Technique Challenge

This technique is called Sanded Color Block Card.  The only items you need are any brand of embossing folder, bone folder or burnishing tool, sand paper, glossy cardstock and at least one color of Distress Stains.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Say Oink Oink If You're Thankful for Football!" A DT Thanksgiving Card by Leigh S-B

Howzit Blockheads!
It's nearly time for the big Thanksgiving game!  Do you need some card inspiration for the guys in your life?  Will a Thanksgiving card that involves Football score a touchdown for you?  Then I've got a manly Thanksgiving card to share with you ;0)

I designed this little cutie just for the guys and used the Pumpkin digi stamp and Naughty Pig rubber stamp available exclusively from Blockheads Paper Arts.

I also used Marvy Le Plume Permanent MarkersDistress Ink Pads, Distress Stain, Tim Holtz' Alterations Pocket Watches Texture Fade and masculine Tangle patterns to create this manly mans card that will surely delight the guy in your life!

Please visit my blog, Leigh S-B Designs, for the full project details with more photos!
Thanks for visiting with me today and as always....Happy Stamping :0)

Leigh S-B

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blockheads Design Team Call!!!

Calling all Blockheads!!
Blockheads Paper arts is looking for three creative artist to join the Design Team!! 

And, to commit to a 4 month term.  

To apply for our Creative Team: please email the design team coordinator with your information with attachments of your work you'd like to have considered and a link to your blog.
Design Team Coordinator: Karen McAlpine
Be sure to include:
Personal Info: Full Name, Address, Phone 
Online Presence: Email Address, Blog URL, Any additional online galleries that include your work, a list of any online groups you post regularly to
Ideas for projects: tell us 3 card sample ideas you have in mind

Your responsibilities if chosen:
  • Provide monthly: images of 4 Artistic Cards, 6 ATCs or 1-2 altered items depending on complexity. All projects should use rubber stamps, exclusively from Blockheads and be designed to really make others excited about those stamp(s).
  • Post your examples to your blog with instructions and links to pages on Blockheads where the stamps and supplies may be purchased. Put an image/post on our Facebook page to draw people to your blog to view your project.
  • Submit at least 2 projects that use rubber stamps, exclusively from Blockheads, during the four month period to stamping magazines, such as Altered Arts, Vamp Stamp News, or Rubber Stamp Madness.
Design Team Members will receive:
  • $100 in Blockheads Rubber of your choice ($50 in month 1 and $50 in month 3). Please be prepared to select full, half or ¼ sheets of untrimmed rubber. Each $50 allowance is enough for either 2 full sheets, 3 half sheets or 5 quarter sheets of rubber.
  • Your work will be featured in a special Design Team section of our web site where you may provide links to your blog, gallery and/or Etsy store.
  • $50 supply allowance ($0 in month 1 and $50 in month 3 if requirements were met for the first two months) toward any inks or paints offered at After the first contract, proven design team members will get $25 in products every two months.
  • COMMISSION! If you wish to sign up for our affiliate program (available to all bloggers) you can earn 5% of sales resulting from customers following a link you've posted - 10% if taken as products (
    Publication incentive awards for any projects published in print publications (details provided on the info page of our web site).

DEADLINE: December 20, 2011

Click over to the Blockheads web page for additional details.  

Extra Just Because  Project: Here's a little something I made using the image "Mother and Baby" from the Grunge Collages set.  The color is added by stippling on ink from a Kaleidacolor pad.

Have a super day!
Karen McAlpine

Monday, November 7, 2011

More Mischievous Mice

Hi Blockheads!
I have more mischievous Mice from the Figgy Pudding Mice set today!  I think these images are just a scream and so cute.  Here is what the whole set looks like.

This set is great for using with your Copic or Marvy Markers.  I colored this image with Copics and added some Christmas colored accents.

There is a materials list on my blog , Dreaming and Creating.  Hope you are having a great Monday!
Karen McAlpine

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mischievous Mice Christmas Card

Hello Blockheads,
We are continuing the Holiday theme here on the blog.  I have a Christmas Card for you today using the one of the new Christmas sets: Figgy Pudding Mice.

I used a non-traditional color scheme for my card.   It is fun to change things up a bit with some fun colors.

The image is color with Copic Markers.  Here is a close up of the coloring.  

For a materials list click over to my blog, Dreaming and Creating.    Hope you are having a great day!
Karen McAlpine

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tanglelicious Pumpkins Thanksgiving Card by Leigh S-B

Happy November Blockheads Fans!
Thanksgiving is a few short weeks away and I had fun creating this card featuring Blockheads Paper Arts new digi stamps.  I used their Pumpkin and Happy Thanksgiving images and Tangled up a storm.
Pop on over to my blog, Leigh S-B Designs, for the full tutorial!

I also used the following supplies which can you pick up in the Blockheads Paper Arts store:   
 Black N910, Orange O835, Ash Grey AG873, AG875 and 

It's a simple layout for a highly detailed image that packs a punch and I'm really pleased with how this one turned out!
I've got another Thanksgiving inspired card to come that's just for the guys so stay tuned!
Thanks for visiting with me today and as always....Happy Stamping :0)

Leigh S-B