Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Trends - Distress Markers

Hi There She Goes fans! Sarah here to talk about a trend I love - coloring with Distress Markers from Ranger.

Like any form of watercoloring, using distress markers can give you a look from soft and subtle, to rich and vibrant. My first card today I was going for a softer look.

I LOVE the Sock Goblin line. They are so adorable, but best of all I love that the shading is cross hatched right on the image. It makes shading simple. I consider myself coloring challenged, so this is a big help!

I was hoping to make a video for you today, but I have a bad cold so that wouldn't really be fun for anyone! Luckily it's super simple, so here are a couple of photos.

Stamp your image on watercolor paper. I'm using the adorable Wilbur. I like to use Brilliance Black ink, then heat set with a heat gun. I find I get a good impression with this ink. You can also use Stazon or archival ink, or use embossing powder to seal your image.

You'll also need a water brush or a thin paintbrush and water.

Scribble on some color where you want it to be darkest. I'm using Antique Linen here.

Use your brush to blend the color up to where you want it to be lightest (this is a really light color so it looks almost non existent here!)

When the paper is already wet, you can scribble on a non porous surface - I use a stamp block because I always have one on my desk - and pick the color up from there. I'm using Scattered Straw here.

Paint on the darker color. If you go over the line, or it bleeds a little, it's easy to fix...

Just scribble the color off your brush, and push the color back where it belongs. 99% of the time I can fix mistakes like this. It's important to remember to let each area dry before moving on to the next to avoid bleeding as much as possible.

I've colored the rest of the image the same way...

Where you want the darkest shadows, apply the marker directly to the wet area...

and blend. I'll often use a little unblended marker right where the shadow would be darkest.

I finished Wilbur using Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint markers.

Here's another card I colored using the same technique for our latest release using the fab Happy Fall.

For this card I went with more saturated color, and also created a bit of a glow around the image by outlining, then pulling outwards with my water brush. 

You'll notice the white highlights on the pumpkin - these were added with the Picket Fence marker, which has a great opaque ink.

You can definitely adapt this technique to other water based mediums - I have had good results with stampin' up! markers as well.

On this card I colored Amalia's Daisy the same way, using SU markers and LOTS of water to get the water stain look. You can really enhance that effect by wetting the image well, then quickly hitting with a heat gun to make it dry fast.

I hope you enjoyed this little look into an alternative to (amazing) copics, if you try it out, please let us know, we'd love to see!



  1. I love my distress markers! Your work with them is beautiful! Thanks for sharing some tips!

  2. How lovely these cards are, and your coloring as well. Thank you for sharing!!!

  3. Coloring challenged!! That's me! THANK you for the amazing tips! I love my Distress markers, but have trouble with them at times....this will help!

  4. These cards are beautiful Sarah! Wonderful inspiration!

  5. Thanks very much for a good tutorial very nicely illustrated. I like all these cards and especially the last one.


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