What is COPIC Various Ink? Various Inks are the economic and environmentally friendly "filling station" for COPIC markers. There are numerous tutorials and information shared showing how easy it is to refill a COPIC marker. Copic Marker has a fantastic demonstration on their site here - How to Refill Markers.
The Various Inks can also be custom mixed to create an infinite color range. Intermix the colors or mix them together with Colorless Blender Solution for a diluted tone value. I shared a tutorial on my blog Simple Dreams showing how to create a custom color Copic Sketch Marker some time ago. Since that time I have learned to be more precise - first measuring the amount of Colorless Blending Solution that I am using and then counting the number of drops. Document it on the bottle or on a special chart so that I can recreate that same color again.
I am completely surprised by the fact that I have not seen much of any information showcasing the amazing range of artistic possibilities that the Various Ink holds and so I want to begin to explore these and share my findings with you.
Today I want to share some not so scientific studies I have done to compare the Copic Various Ink to the Ranger Alcohol Ink. Ranger and Tim Holtz have lead the industry sharing some absolutely wonderful techniques using alcohol inks. After having used the Ranger products for a number of years it was so incredibly exciting to now have this incredible medium in a marker format (which is SO much easier to control!) and then having so many different colors of coordinating inks to refill the markers as well as available to use to create fabulous "artsy" projects!
I am so excited to share my learning curve with you today because I think that we are just going to hit on the tip of the iceburg and the discoveries that are yet to be made are just awaiting our exploration. I hope that this once again gets you thinking outside the box. How else is it that I can use my Copic products? How can I combine them with other products I might already have? What is it that I can do with my Various Ink other than just fill my markers?
COMPARING COPIC PRODUCTS TO RANGER PRODUCTS
To begin I selected Ranger's Cranberry Alcohol Ink and Copic R59 Various Ink. The colors are quite similar and I thought that they would allow you to see how these products can be used together and how they compare. I also poured some of my Copic Colorless Blender Solution into an empty Various Ink bottle. I would like to recommend that you each purchase one of these smaller containers to help you control the amount of liquid that is poured. The nozzle on the larger solution bottle does not allow you to control the number of "drops that you drip," whereas the empty Various Ink bottle is much easier to control.
In the upper part of the chart below I used applicators and felt as shown above. It was not until the end of my "study" that I started becoming more precise and controlled in how I compared the products. I thought it might be interesting for you to see my learning curve and what it is that I did.
Included in the chart above is a little legend:
- AB - Adirondack Blending Solution
- AI - Adirondack Alcohol Ink
- CB - Copic Colorless Blending Solution
- CI - Copic Various Ink
I am including this legend here just in case it is too difficult to read when on the screen. I have indicated beside the different "puddles" what products I used to create each puddle.
Using a clear plastic sheet (this is the same product that I use when creating my clear cards - I am sorry that we are currently out of stock, but I plan on remedying that shortly.) I began at the bottom of this sheet and applied the different products directly to my test sheet. With each "experiment" I worked my way up the chart.
This photo shows the remaining "ring" that the Adirondack Blending Solution left on my project sheet. I apologize for the horrible photo, but it was the only way that I could capture that ring to share with you. Each one of the combinations that included this solution had that small ring remaining around the edge. This leads me to believe that perhaps there is another product in their blending solution, but being this is a not so scientific comparison I don't know what it is. The solution did feel a little "heavier" than the Copic solution and yet the Copic solution seemed to dissapate into the air more slowly than than the Adirondack product. So in other words it took a slightly longer time frame for the dots using the Copic blender solution to dry.
In the second line from the bottom I dripped blending solution on the plastic and then a drop of color was added to that solution. The Adirondack Blending Solution is on the left with the Copic Blending Solution on the right. This is one of the only photos that I saw a difference in the way that the products "flowed" on the plastic.
The third row from the bottom has an AB (stands for Adirondack Blender Solution) at the front of it. This is when I began using the applicator and the felt. I wanted to see what happened when movement was more controlled. I first dripped Adirondack Blender Solution on my felt and then added Adirondack Alcohol Ink. I repeated this then using Adirondack Blender Solution and Copic Various Ink (also alcohol based ink.) As you can see my first "experiment" was not well defined.
The fourth row from the bottom has a CB (standing for Copic Colorless Blending Solution) at the front of it. I now became much more controlled in my test. I dripped about a dime size amount of Colorless Blending Solution on to the felt and then followed with a drop of alcohol ink.
The fifth row just shows the comparison of the products side by side when using Adirondack products together and Copic products together.
In these top three rows I did not see much of any difference in the movement of the products. The only difference that remained was a slight "halo" around the samples that I had used the Adirondack Blending Solution. As well the samples with this solution seemed to dry a little more quickly.
After all that - I guess you could say that I did not find much of any difference between these two product lines and so I decided to now try putting the products to use. This study would not be complete without a cost comparison though. It's a good thing I was good at math - LOL! OH VEY - turning a product that is measured in CC's (which is equivalent to teaspooons) and then translating it back into ounces almost gave me a headache :) Following are the cost comparisons using today's prices (Copic Colorless Blending Solution - $10.85/bottle and Copic Various Inks ($5.79/bottle).
- COPIC Colorless Blending Solution - $1.54/oz vs. Adirondack Blending Solution - $2.49/oz
COPIC Various Ink - 6.47/oz vs. Adirondack Alcohol Ink - $6.66/oz
COMPARING SKETCH MARKERS TO VARIOUS INKS
The next question you might ask is "Why try and use the Various Inks when you have such wonderful control when using the markers?" The answer became clear to me as I played with the two products side by side - depth of color! When working on plastic or glass it is completely different then working on paper. When trying to layer the colors they would almost become "gummy" and would end up with wierd streaking. Whereas when I utilizied my cheap little paintbrush I achieved a beautiful, rich deep color on the first application. I have shared my results in the little picture above so that you could see for yourself the intensity change.
VARIOUS INK TECHNIQUE #1 - Painting on Glass
So how does one apply this. Being I am not the best at sketching and drawing I began with a stamped image. I decided to try and "pool" the color and after playing with it on a sample of glass I decided to stamp the cardinal and then emboss it to create little edges on my glass. The glass sample on the left was created by stamping the image using Brilliance ink and clear embossing powder. The sample on the right used Brilliance ink and fine detail black embossing powder. It is difficult to get all the little black specks off the glass, but using my wipeout tool (which we are also out of - I am SO sorry) I was able to get a nice dark image.
I once again wanted to share the difference between a marker color image to an image painted with the Various Ink. As you can see it truly does make a difference!
To clean my brush I put a little colorless blending solution into my palette and swirl my brush first in this before once again cleaning it in water. This lead me to test what would happen to the image if I applied colorless blender solution to it. Interesting effects can be achieved, but I wanted a full, rich color for my final project and so reverted to my deep colored cardinal. The wonderful thing about this application is that if you mess up you can simply use a little colorless blending solution on a paper towel, wipe your project clean and start painting all over again Ü For people like me - that's a good thing!
I added YR24 to the beak and feet and my painting process was now complete and dry! The dry time is almost instantaneous.
I then wanted to complete my ornament and so using my glue pad and Bold Curls stamp began the gold leafing process. For complete directions please see these posts - Gold Leafed Three Wisemen and Soldered 3-Layer Ornament.
As you can see in this photo - alcohol ink looks spectacular backed with gold leaf! I remember when I was a child attending Vacation Bible School making a piece of glass art which we backed with aluminum foil and it has me now guessing as to the product that we used to color the glass. I'm wondering if it was Sharpie markers??? Boy do I wish I could remember. I wonder if my Mom would know? I guess I'll just have to call her and ask, but not tonight - I must get this post completed and the newsletter put together!
I painted the beak with Lumiere to add glitz in that area only.
I then inked Kissable Trees with Adirondack Willow and "kissed it" with Paisley inked with Adirondack Meadow and stamped it on the Green Tea paper in the MochaChica Paper Pack. After positioning my glass slide over the background I used my Fiskars knife to cut around the edges.
Simply slip your completed project into one of the Ranger Memory Frames and it is ready to hang on your tree or jazz up one of your Christmas packages!
VARIOUS INK TECHNIQUE #2 - Painting on Plastic or Acetate
Sorry for the poor quality of the picture. Why is it that cards using plastic are so beautiful and yet so difficult to photograph? Trying to get just the right angle when photographing is almost impossible. If anyone has any tips I would LOVE to hear them!
To begin I stamped the holly on to plastic using Palette Noir. This is by far my favorite ink to use on glass, plastic and metal. It dries quickly and seems to stay put! It is important to remember though that you can't color on the same side as you have stamped. Alohol ink will just smear these inks all over the place. I used three different color to complete this project - R29, YG63 and YG95. As I played with the painting process I was able to achieve different looks depending on how I applied the ink. Just take a piece of scrap plastic and start experimenting. Created dappled, whispy, and pooled looks. Experimenting is the key to success!
TIP: I think I need to write Cuttlebug and tell them that it might make more sense to place their images upside down in their embossing folders. So start spreading the word! I wonder which manufacturers will come out with their folders more useable now Ü? Who will heed our thoughtful ponderings?
You can get around this though, but don't get mad at me if you loose one half of your folder! Be certain to keep them taped together at one end. I simply cut my folder apart along the top edge and inserted my card front in to the folder and embossed it with the image correct on the face of my card front. This also works well for a continuous series of embossing. If you are using the Swiss Dots and want a piece longer than the folder typically provides just continue to emboss, move it, and emboss it again.
VARIOUS INK TECHNIQUE #3 - Altering Cardstock, Craft-a-Board or Chipboard Colors
I cut a small tag from Craft-a-Board and then using my Alcohol Ink Applicator applied R59 Various Ink directly to the tag on both sides. I was amazed at how quickly and easily I was able to alter the color of this tag. In hindsight I should have probably used R29, but time was of the essence and so I carried on as quickly as possible.
I then applied a dime size amount of colorless blending solution to a clean felt pad and tapped gently all over the surface. What a cool effect! I can totally see using all sorts of different textured products together with the blending solution to create unique effects on our projects!
Once dry I inked the edges with Versamark Dazzle and dipped it in Egyptian Gold embossing powder. I then stamped "Noel" in Dazzle and embossed it as well.
TIP: To attach my tag to the project I use my tweezers to hold my main ribbon together and tie on my tag. I then finish my knot in my main ribbon. These tweezers are a wonderful tool for those who are all thumbs when tying knots.
VARIOUS INK TECHNIQUE #4 - Altering Metallic Painted Surfaces
I am guessing that many of you are following Tim's 12 Days of Tags series. I was completely taken with how Tim altered his new Distress Metallic Crackle Paint and so following his directions to the letter I decided to see if it would work to turn Craft-a-Board into ornaments. I began by cutting the Nested Birds out of Craft-a-Board. I then sent them back through my Big Shot with my Cuttlebug folder to emboss an image into them. Next I applied the Pewter Distress Metallic Crack Paint as shown above.
Once dry it is important to note that you need to cut the excess paint from around the image. To complete a two sided image with your embossed birds just make a second bird facing the opposite direction. You can then adhere these together to complete a two sided and thicker ornament. For this project I just simply painted the back side of the bird so that I would be able to see the comparison of the two sides.
Next I used another clean felt and place a small amount of R29 Various Ink on my applicator and stamped the entire dried metallic surface with the alcohol ink. At this point you could actually use a couple of different colors, but I really wanted to test what a single color looked like first.
Absolutely EXQUISITE!!! Tim you are a genious! I absolutely love these simple little bird ornaments. What incredible possibilities!!!
Fabric is next on my list to try - Various Ink and Silk, Sticky Back Canvas - you name it let's try it!!! I highly recommend that you purchase your various inks sooner rather than later being prices are increasing in the new year. Thank you for sharing in our in-depth tutorial this month - I hope that it challenges you to try using your Various Inks in "Various" ways :D