Saturday, July 31, 2010

Linda Ledbetter: Super-Simple Airbrushing with Copic Markers

I've always loved the look of airbrushing, but between the expense of purchasing a system and the mess of switching out bottles of ink, I never wanted to actually do it. Then, I started playing with Copic markers and got so into them I decided to get certified as a Copic Designer. One of the components of the curriculum is learning to use the Copic Airbrushing System ("ABS"). What a blast! I fell in love with this incredibly simple method the first time I tried it.

I purchased the Copic ABS-1, which includes everything you need to get started except the markers themselves, so be sure to also get a few Copic Sketch or Original markers in colors you love (Ciao markers don't work in the ABS). I always keep a package of alcohol wipes nearby for quick clean-up, too. Here's my unassembled airbrushing system:

Setting it up is so easy, my cats could do it (well, if they had thumbs they could...). Begin by attaching the smaller end of the Air Hose to the bottom of the Air Adaptor:

Then, screw the Air Grip onto the Air Adaptor:

Next, take the other end of the Air Hose, with the screw at the top, and loosen the screw several turns. If it falls out, simply screw it back in with a single turn:

Twist this large attachment onto the Air Can. The Copic ABS-1 comes with a small air can, but I purchased the larger 180 size, which gives about 45 minutes of spraying time. Place the Air Can into the foam rubber holder so it won't tip over.

Tighten down the screw on the Air Can. This will start the flow of air into the Hose, through the Adaptor and into the Air Grip. Fear not— the airbrush won't spray ink until you press the trigger on the Air Grip!

Uncap the chisel-point end of the Copic Marker you want to use and slide the marker into the Air Grip until it clicks. You can use both Sketch and Original Copics in the airbrush!

Here's a closer view of the Marker in place:

That's all there is to it. You're ready to airbrush!

So... now that you're set up, what can you do with this airbrush doohickey? Why, you can Copic-ify just about anything that isn't moving!

For instance, make custom-colored flowers. I rarely purchase dyed fabric flowers anymore, because I can get the precise shade I want with the Copic airbrush:

Airbrush onto glass, clear plastic and acetate for a soft, translucent color. Here, I stamped onto glass with permanent ink, then airbrushed over the top. To charge colors, just switch to a different marker.

Make your metallic pieces match your project:

Quickly add color to wood and crystal:

Hey, you can even airbrush onto paper! It's so easy to blend colors together. It's my favorite way to create a sky:

Here's a little recap:

One of the best features of airbrushing is how dramatically it reduces the amount of ink you use. Instead of soaking through your paper, the ink sits in a light layer on top, but still gives gorgeous, saturated color. It will greatly extend the time between marker refills!

When you're finished airbrushing, simply put your markers away, loosen the screw on top of the fitting that's attached to the Air Can, and clean up any overspray with alcohol wipes. You can leave the airbrush system set up so you're ready to rock next time!

There are a gazillion other uses for the Copic Airbrush, and I hope this sparked your imagination! If you get really into it, it's worth it (for both monetary and planetary reasons) to invest in a small air compressor so you don't have to keep buying and throwing away Air Cans. When you're starting out, though, this is such an easy and inexpensive way to play!

Have fun!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Reasons to Stamp in August

If you find yourself retreating to the cool of your craft room to escape the August heat, then we have some reasons to 'Reasons to Stamp' to fire up your creativity.


Birthstone: Peridot or Onyx

Created by Sharon Briss

Zodiac Signs: Leo & Virgo

Flowers: Gladiolus and Poppy

Created by Lynn Stevens


1. Girlfriends Day

Created by Irit Shalom

3. Watermelon Day

4. Champagne Day

Created by Lynn Stevens

5. International Beer Day

Created by Irit Shalom

5. National Underwear Day

Created by Lynn Stevens

7. Twins Day

Created by Irit Shalom

12. Sewing Machine Day

Created by Jean Franks Beck

Created by Lynn Stevens

15. National Relaxation Day

Created by Linda Ledbetter

18. Cupcake Day

Created by Joanne Wardle

21. Poets Day

Created by Linda Ledbetter

25. Kiss and Make Up Day

Created by Sharon Briss

Created by Debby Boltman

26. National Dog Day

Created by Katy Fox

30. National Toasted Marshmallow Day

Weeks & Months to Remember

1 - 7 National Clown Week

Created by Lynn Stevens

Created by Joanne Wardle

2 - 6 Psychic Week

Created by Lynn Stevens

10 - 16 Elvis Week

Created by Debby Boltman

Created by Jean Franks Beck

August Inspiration Words

Hot Air Balloon

Created by Lynn Stevens

Created by Irit Shalom

Road Trip

Created by Irit Shalom

Created by Lynn Stevens

Back to School

Created by Sharon Briss

Created by Lynn Stevens


Created by Lynn Stevens

Thank you to our talented design team for all the beautiful artwork they supplied for this post. Happy Stamping!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Debby Boltman: Break Out Those Markers

My tutorial uses Marvy Metallic Markers, glossy paper and water and continues to show the many different looks you can create with markers. And it also shows that it is okay to play and experiment :)

First, I mist my brayer with water. Then, I scribble on the brayer with different colored markers to create sort of a rainbow.

After misting my brayer once more with the markers on it, I then run my brayer across my white glossy paper to create a unique and cool background.

I discovered something interesting while playing with this. I had colored my rubber image with gold metallic marker and stamped on the paper. I wasn't pleased with how it looked so I used a paper towel to wipe it off and I ended up with this cool resist effect. {See image on the left below}

I then overstamped the resist image with Adirondack Black and clear embossed to prevent smearing and came out with a kewl shadowy mermaid. Kinda cool. The image on the right above is stamped with the gold mettalic marker. I'm still playing. ;)

This is the card I made with the shadowy image. You may have seen it previously for the marker challenge. Simply layered on colored cardstock. Great backgrounds make card making easy peasy.

So remember I said I was still playing. I clear embossed the gold metallic ink to prevent smearing. Well, I still didn't quite like the look of just the image in gold metallic marker so again I overstamped with the Adriondack Black and then clear embossed the whole thing again. I know the image looks uh shall we say, not crisp. However!

Take a look at this texture. It was too cool. You can see it and feel it. I love it!

I decided since my markers were out I would try something on black glossy too. I decided to start dabbing my markers all over the paper randomly.

I then sprayed water on the paper and just tillted the paper up to let the markers run.

The paper on the right I pretty much covered by dabbing the markers so there is more ink. That one is also sprayed with water and lifted and tilted to let the inks run freely.

Here, I combined the different backgrounds to create a shimmery pretty card. Image and background are outlined with silver metallic marker.

Here, I decided the background was so unique I wanted it to be the focus of my card.

This black glossy paper is cool beans because the other side is white and I stamped my sentiment on the white. :)

Hope you enjoyed the tuturial and I hope I have inspired you to break out those markers. And have fun! And experiment!

Supplies used: All paper from Paper Temptress. Rubber stamp images are from Hearts In Touch. Rubber stamp sentiment is from Hero Arts. Adirondack ink and clear embossing powder by Ranger. Markers by Marvy.

Other Articles Which May Interest You:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin