Zig Clean Color tips and tutorial...

Hello my fabulous friends!

I'm sorry my poor blog has been slightly neglected the last few weeks... I've been busy with thedailymarker30day color challenge, and posting daily on my Instagram account. (click HERE to check it out!)

Most of what I did for the daily challenge was coloring images, not completing projects, so I didn't have much to blog about... The good news is,  I now have a bunch of things colored and waiting to be turned into cards and blog posts. ;)

That being said, I've had some people asking questions about how I colored some of the images. I know I've done walk throughs for this in the past, but I took some pictures of my experiment with pinks and purples and thought I'd share it here in hopes of answering the questions I got. 

Step 1: Stamp the images (Altenew Spring Daisy) on Bristol paper using VersaMark ink and heat emboss the images with clear embossing powder.

What this does is create invisible lines that you won't see until the color is added, and once the color is there, it remains delicate and subtle. I love the look! It also makes watercoloring easier... the embossed lines will resist the watercolor and create little wells, making it easier to "stay in the lines".

Step 2: Add your first color (Lilac 083) one petal at a time by scribbling some ink into the areas that will be the shadows (for me, near the center of the flower and wherever petals overlap). Use a water brush or slightly damp paint brush to pull the color out into the lighter areas. This can take a little practice, but once you get the feel of how much ink and water to use, it goes pretty quick. 

Step 3: Once your first color is dry, add your second color (Pale Rose 230) the same way you did the first layer... One petal at a time, scribbling a little ink into the shadows and using your damp brush to blend the color out. You will need a lot less of this color.. This is to create variations of color, so you don't want to completely cover your first layer, just add a little interest. I only added the pink to SOME of the petals...

Step 4: Add your third color (Violet 080) the same way you added your second color... This time, color most of the petals you didn't add pink to, and a few of the ones you did add pink to.. This creates a lot of variation and interest to your flower. 

Remember to keep your shadows and highlights in mind. 

Step 5: Color the center (Yellow 050) and blend it with water. Dab off some areas with a  paper towel to create some variation.

Step 6: Color around the outer edge of the inside of the flower (Light Brown 061). Blend inward with water, leaving the center Yellow. Dab off some areas with a paper towel. 

Step 7: Add your first color to your leaves (Mid Green 046) the same way you did with the petals.

Step 8: Add your second color (Olive Green 043) into your shadows and blend out the same way you have for the rest of the project.

Now you have a gorgeous variegated flower!  I love this color combo!

1) Practice! It can take some practice to figure out how much ink and water to add for the effect you want. 

2) Patience! About halfway through the first color I look at the coloring and think it looks awful and want to throw it away. For a long time I thought I just couldn't watercolor well, but then I finally figured out that if you STICK WITH IT, and finish all the layers, it ends up looking awesome!

3) Keep scraps of the same paper you are working on near by so you can test out your colors, try layering in a different order (yes, that can change the look!), and just figure out what you are doing without risking your project. 

4) Paper towels! You can lighten your colors or add highlights by going over the area you want lighter with clean water and then dab it off with a clean paper towel... The smoother the better. If you have a very textured paper towel, that texture will transfer... So, unless that is what you are going for, smoother is better.

5) Went outside the line? Don't throw it out! Try painting over it with clean water and dabbing it up with a paper towel. You may need to do this a few times, but for most colors, I've had a lot of luck "erasing" mistakes.

6) Use a CLEAN paper towel! Yes, I have ruined a project by using a paper towel that had dark red ink on it when I was working with yellow.... Ink on the paper towel will react to the water on your project, and you will end up with colorful splotches in places you didn't want that color.

7) Wet the whole area! What I mean by this is, when you add layers. make sure you wet the whole area... clean water where you want to keep the current color, and the blend of the new color where you want that. This will help keep a smooth look. When you rewet some areas of watercolor, but not the whole area, when it dries it tends to leave harsh dark lines along the edge of where the water was... 

8) Experiment! Try mixing different colors. Try layering them in different orders. Try adding more or less ink, or water.... you can get so many different looks just by making small adjustments.

9) Have fun! After all, that is what it is all about!



Tammie said…
I absolutely love your watercoloring technique! It looks easy and something I definitely want to try! I bought some Zig w/c markers a while ago and really need to use them. This is the perfect tutorial for me to finally try them. Thank you for sharing your technique and the inspiration ❤️
Kiwigirl said…
Thank you for sharing this and for each step by step instruction along with the hints of what not to do. The daisy is beautiful.
Karen M said…
Just found this on Pinterest. Your colouring is amazing and oh so helpful that you've added the colours you've used. Thank you