When new products come in to the market place it is always so exciting! My first question is always --- are there any new features/benefits that this product might provide as I create?
There are many different versions of dye based and alcohol markers available. Today I want to share my discoveries with you as I tested two different dye based markers --- Memento and Distress Markers.
In these little test samples above I used a Memento marker on the left of each little square and a Distress marker on the right hand side of the square. I used three different types of paper to see if different types of watercolor papers would make a difference. The first column on the left is the Hero Arts Watercolor Paper, the second column is Julie's Favorite Smooth Bristol Paper and the third column is Jennifer's Favorite Watercolor Paper.
If I were to stamp an image before watercoloring I would select Julie's. Due to the smooth finish on the surface it will allow for greater stamp image detail. If I were to create a project that used a heavier amount of water I would select Jennifer's, because it is thicker and more absorbent. Thirdly, if I wanted a super sturdy paper I would select Hero Arts - it seemed to be just a little "tougher" than the super absorbent surface of the other two papers. Yes, paper does make a difference!
The biggest surprise came to me as I performed the first "test." I scribbled the marker directly on the different paper surfaces and then spritzed each paper with a water mister. My surprise came when I saw how reactive the Distress Marker ink was after being applied directly to the paper in this manner. As you can see the Memento ink holds it shape and the Distress ink spreads as it reacts to the water hitting the surface.
For the second row of test strips I once again scribbled directly on to the different papers, immediately following up by painting the ink out with a watercolor brush. Once again the Distress Marker activated the ink and spread it in a completely different manner from the Memento Markers.
For the last row of test strips I scribbled the marker on my non-stick craft sheet and then picked the color up with my waterbrush, painting it on to the paper surface. As you can see there was little to no difference in the result between these two markers.
Conclusion - yes, the markers are both dye based inks, but they definitely react differently to water.
I also did a comparison between the Distress ink pads and markers for color. There are subtle differences in the colors and as we worked with the product we did discover that the dye lots vary with the Distress markers. The color range is true to the vintage look that Tim is known for and so lends itself beautifully to coloring within that palette. Conclusion - create separate color charts for your markers AND ink pads.
Memento Color Chart PDF (for your convenience we have created a Memento Color Chart)
I still do not have all the Memento ink pads and so have not yet had a chance to do a color comparison. I hope to do that in the future because I do find having a chart SO very helpful when creating. Conclusion - if you are a fan of a more vibrant color palette then these are a must have on your list. The color range is spectacular!
When working with these colors and stamped images you will definitely want to use a water resistant ink, with my favorite being the Jet Black Archival.
I decided to complete my test with a project! I had seen Els create some spectacular designs using Peel Off Stickers together with Distress Markers and frankly I could not resist trying out her technique! Peel Off stickers give you a similar look to a heavily embossed stamped image and are so easy to paint within the lines. Julie has shared a fabulous post and video showcasing these together with Copic markers and the beautiful microfine glitter we carry.
I have found the easiest way to adhere a Peel Off to paper is to remove it from the parent sheet with tweezers, placing it STICKY SIDE UP on a smoooth surface.
For this project I decided to work with both Julie's Bristol and Jennifer's Watercolor papers as I found these papers tended to enhance the watercolor look dramatically. Both projects turned out almost identical!
Place your paper straight down atop your Peel Off and lightly press over the entire surface. This helps me to keep the Peel Off's shape intact. If I try to place my peel off down on to a paper surface, it bends and envitably I get it on their crooked and want to curse myself - LOL!
Now, turn your design face up and gently apply pressure over the details of the Peel Off, ensuring that it is firmly adhered.
This design just screamed old house wallpaper to me and so I selected some beautiful Cosmo Cricket Evangeline papers as my color guide. Using my charts I selected several markers to create my palette. It was while selecting my colors that it really brought out the differences between the color palette of the Memento and Distress Markers. The values on the Memento are much brighter and richer, whereas the Distress is much more vintage - I ended up feeling like I needed a combination of the two to get the look I was going for (see list of colors below.)
As I colored the image I tested different ways of applying the marker color. First I applied the Distress Marker directly to my paper surface and used my waterbrush to spread the color.
As you can see the color spread beautifully leaving darker regions where I had applied it directly.
By applying marker ink to my non-stick craft surface and directly to my project, using my waterbrush to blend, I was able to achieve a beautiful watercolor look!
Els had shared that she colors the entire image in with a light color marker, adds darker details using an additional one to two colors, and then comes back in with a watercolor brush to blend.
I tried that as well. As I worked I found myself going back to using the color on my non-stick craft sheet and picking that color up with my waterbrush. Old habits die hard they say - LOL!
To color the background I liked the project in which I added water to the paper before adding color the best. Adding the Antique Linen with the waterbrush first, then touching the Antique Linen marker tip to the paper surface in the spots I wanted to achieve deeper color, created a beautiful backdrop for these gorgeous roses.
I have created a little video of this whole process that I hope to find the time to edit soon so that you can see my actual coloring and testing process. The biggest conclusion that I came away with from this process is that yes, there are differences (do you like my decisive conclusions? - LOL!) These two markers react in subtle, different ways to water and they have unique differences to most of the colors in each palette. Yet, you can achieve very similar looks when using either product line.
The most important thing you can do as you begin to work with a new product line is to create a color chart before you begin. I printed one version on Julie's Bristol paper and watercolored the markers and a second version on Neenah Solar White and simply swiped the marker in each square. Using a chart makes it so much easier to select colors, because the caps do not really show the true color. You can find the Distress Marker chart here at Ranger Ink and we have created a special Memento color chart for your convenience.
Thank you for joining me today and I hope that this little test helps you to better see some of the subtle differences between these product lines.