Sunday, June 30, 2013

12 Tags of 2013: June Edition

Ok, so it will only be June for a few more hours but hey, I made the cut.  Tim Holtz's June 12 Tags of 2013 tag is all about Distress Markers and mixing Distress products and water.  I will admit I have not been a really big marker fan-a-tic. I know that it's just about heresy now days to say that with the Copic Markers sweeping the land.  I've just never been a big fan of the look of coloring in a stamped image.  That is until during the dwindling hours of June 2013 when I sat down to replicate Tim's tag using a stamp I actually had, a few markers that I purchased when I took Tim's Creative Chemistry class, and water.  I...Am....Hooked.

I cannot really express enough how much I love this look.   I made 8 tags, all slightly different. What changed me?  I think it's the WATER.  The effect that water has on the Distress Markers leads to a great water-color effect that I just love.  Let start at the very beginning....a very good place to start....when you sing you begin with do, re...oh right.   First let me show you Tim's tag.
Source: Tim Holtz
Gorgeous right? As you know if Tim is teaching something I haven't done before, I like to make at least one version as close to Tim's as possible so that I  can really learn the technique rather than worry about what substitutes what.  Then I like to add my own spin on it-hence the 8 tags.  Want to make one yourself?  You can see Tim's tutorial with step-out photos here.

Now me.  Here is my first take using close to the same products and images.
Made using a #12 Manilla Tag
The trick is to stamp the image on to watercolor paper using Archival Ink and heat setting it a second.  Then using the Distress Markers to lay down some color before using a Ranger Water Brush to drag the color around giving it a water color look.  LOVE IT...but we aren't done and this is where I got excited.
After the main coloring is done it is time to add the 3 new techniques that really add to the interest and texture of the piece.  
  1. Drop shadows were added- Tim uses a Pumice Stone Distress Marker-which I don't have at the moment.  I used the only color I had that was even remotely close and that was Rubbed Sage.  I think it worked ok.  I
  2. I distressed the edges of the watercolor paper with Vintage Photo Distress Ink using a Blending Tool.  Here is where it gets interesting.  I dragged the color toward the center of the paper using the Water Brush.  All the areas that are still white take on a cool, aged patina. 
  3. Finally I added tiny droplets of color splattered all over the stamped image.  So fun and they add so much interest. 
Don't forget, you can read Tim's blog to learn how to do these new techniques yourself.

Oh, but we aren't done with the cool and fun new techniques.  The rules for coloring backgrounds has changed least in my studio it has.  I have not been quiet about my love for Tim's new Distress Paints.  I LOVE the way they look on backgrounds...I LOVE the way they mix with water while they are wet but become impervious when dry....and I LOVE the vivid, opaque colors.  But now I have something I LOVE even more.  That's right folks, we mixed Distress Ink, Distress Stain and Distress Paint to make the best backgrounds E.V.E.R.
All 3 mediums mix with water which allows the wet colors to swirl and blend together.  The contrast between the sheer Stain and Ink mixed with the opaque Paint is just eye candy.  I will admit that I haven't figured out how to get backgrounds as gorgeous as Tim's- mine always get a little muddier than I like and I can't help but wonder if that man ZAPS his colors up in Photoshop because they are always so vivid on his blog.   Anyway, part of the fun of this technique is seeing what you get.  The game goes like this:  lay down 3 mediums in 3 colors, add the magic ingredient...WATER...drag the tag through it all, flip it over and VOILA....everybody wins because the result is always fun.

This is my second tag.  Again I used a #12 tag which left me a little room for a fun little book paper ruffle and more of the gorgeous background is visible.
Now that I buttered you up with how pretty the backgrounds can be I will show you my favorite background from among the DragonFly tags.  If the purple/pink dragon fly was a little prettier it would be the perfect tag.  Eh, what can I saw?  Say "You should have made another dragonfly before you used Glossy Accents to PERMANETLY affix the watercolor paper to the tag...dummy".

 You can really see the opaque and sheer colors swirling together on this #10 tag
My final DragonFly version of the June Tag-I love how vibrant the colors are on this green piece (No not Green PEACE...Green PIECE).  
Coming up: I will show you a really cute take off of this tag with shoes and  a wedding card version.  Wedding?  Who said Wedding? 

Have a day filled with Sunshine and Glitter....

This post was linked the following Linky Parties:
I Gotta Try That- Where I was featured for my post on Altars!


  1. I love the green version of Tim's tag, very beautiful.

  2. Love the water color look. The green one is especially beautiful.


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