The arrival of the Earth Art stamps had me chomping at the bit to color, so I am going to apologize right now for not having step-outs of the coloring process, or a photo of the markers and pencils I used. This is because I stamped my image, stuck it in my briefcase and took it home to color in the evening.
To begin I stamped the swan four times on a single sheet of Neenah. I knew that I would need to "figure out" what colors I wanted to use and immediately selected one of the images as my "test image."
Following are some of the color tools that I found work beautifully on these very intricate images:
- Faber-Castell PITT Artist Brushes - Blue, Green, Red, Yellow (the tips on these pens have a finer point then the Sketch Markers and were PERFECT for the fine details of these images)
- Copic Sketch Markers - Brush Tip
- Prismacolor Color Pencils - sharpened to a fine point
I used all three of these products to color in the swan. I followed the same strategy as always, by first defining areas using a very light color. I can honestly tell you that one of the most fun parts of coloring these images is finding the little creatures and plants within the image. Some of the images had me stumped initially, but as I colored in the details a new subject would emerge. The part that had me stumped here in the swan was the little piece right beneath the castle. In looking at it I wondered, is it a pansy, or is it an owl, or??? So I asked Sue and sure enough - it is a pansy. Always trust your instincts is what I decided. These images are like little puzzles and I love "solving" a puzzle :-D
I probably spent a couple of hours coloring in this one image - coloring and then walking away, coming back and adding a little more depth to define each area.
The final addition was a little Clear Glaze in the water and on each creatures eyes (unfortunately I just couldn't capture the sheen - instead it looks frosty in this picture) and a Clear Spica adds glitter to the fish scales, stars, bee wings, lotus, etc.
When I went to put my card together I thought about adding a little ribbon and a couple of buttons, but decided that simple was indeed better. This allows the image to truly shine.
stamps: Earth Art International Swan
ink: Archival Jet Black (I would recommend that you use Memento rather than Archival if you plan on using Copic markers. Initially I was going to just use the PITT Artist Pen, but after realizing I needed some really light tones and the only product I had available at home were some Copics so I just went for it. Working carefully it didn't bleed too much, but it would have been easier if I had stamped my image in Memento ink to begin with for use with the Copics)