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Old 12-27-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
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Default Prismas and baby oil, what am I doing wrong?

Okay, after a lot of struggling with this technique, I am at a loss. I am using Premier Prismas (so good quality pencils) and baby oil. When I use the pencil around the perimeter of a shape, and leave the center white, I can use the baby oil to blend the color in towards the center. That seems to work all right. But if I layer one color over another, when I use my blending stump, all it does it break up and smear the top layer of pencil into streaks, there's no blending of the two colors. Is this the way it's supposed to be?

I have worked on Neenah Solar White, Whisper White and Stonehenge papers. I'm using just plain Johnson's baby oil and blending stumps. Yes, they are made in China, not Taiwan, but could that really be the reason I can't get two layers of color to blend?

I am not willing to use Gamsol. I'm hopng I can make the baby oil method work for me. Any suggestions would be welcome.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
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I'm playing with it a bit to see what your problem may be... my pencils have been sadly neglected lately, and I don't work with baby oil very often. I'm going to guess that you have too much oil in your stump, so rather than moving the pigment into the paper, it's floating on the surface. You don't need to saturate your stump, and you may not even need to re-dip it. Are you getting an oil 'halo' at all?

There is a bit of a learning curve to working with baby oil and getting just the right amount, so that will take some practice... you may also want to try a paper with a little more 'tooth' or rougher surface, like the Georgia Pacific cardstock that you can get at Walmart.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:49 PM   #3
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Thanks so much, Dini. I'll give those suggestions a try tomorrow. I am working with my jeweler's optivisors on, so I can really see what's going on. And I am seeing the pigment floating on top of the layer beneath. So I can well believe that too much baby oil might be the issue. As for a halo, if you mean a halo of oil around the edge of the image - no, I have not noticed that, although I'll go back and look more closely.

I have some toothier papers also. I'll give that a try.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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When I do the technique, I put the oil onto a little cotton square (actually, a stack of cotton squares) and then touch the stump to the cotton.



Do you perhaps need to sand down ("sharpen") your stump to get rid of any color/residue on it? Sometimes, that gets a little smooth and matted and doesn't work as well. I sand it off on an emery board.



Are you working in small circles to blend?

Like Dini, it's been a while since I got out the pencils, but those are the only tips I can pull from memory (and from photobucket).
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:10 AM   #5
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I have one of those sharpener things, the wooden thing with the sand paper. I did play a bit more last night and I do think I am/was using way too much baby oil. I wasn't working in small circles, either, but last night I instinctively started doing that (it was really helpful to be wearing my optivisors, so the magnification showed me what was actually happening), and I did see an improvement. I will keep practicing. That' so much for posting those pictures, Emily.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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The other thing that I think may be happening is that your baby oil isn't penetrating the wax in the first layer you put down, so your top layer is just slipping along on top. Perhaps a little bit more pressure too might help push the baby oil through both layers of wax in the pigment to allow them to blend. I don't use baby oil, so this is of course is just a guess...
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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Honestly, I started with the baby oil and there is a huge difference using the gamsol. I also find that if you lay down the first color and then your other color beside it directly on the paper the color will adhere to the paper better. It is almost like the first color down is the dominant color. I hope that is clear?

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Old 12-29-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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I thought you are supposed to do all the coloring with pencils and then the baby oil blending is the very last thing you do???
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:37 AM   #9
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Is there a tutorial for this technique. I have just used my SU blender pens with my watercolor pencils. It works okay, but I would like to try this technique. What is Gamsul? Where can you get it?
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by arlenevita View Post
I thought you are supposed to do all the coloring with pencils and then the baby oil blending is the very last thing you do???
You can do all your coloring and then blend, or add layers of color and blend as you go. Play around with it and find what works best for you!
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by houstonarmymom View Post
Is there a tutorial for this technique. I have just used my SU blender pens with my watercolor pencils. It works okay, but I would like to try this technique. What is Gamsul? Where can you get it?
The theory of using the baby oil is the same as is shown in this tutorial, just using a different solvent. Gamsol is a name brand of odorlesss mineral spirits (sometimes referred to here as OMS) that is used by some artists. I use a generic OMS that I bought in the paint section at Walmart. Same stuff.

Splitcoaststampers - Gamsol Magic Technique Tutorial by Cecilia Ross

The tutorial above doesn't have a video, but here's one I found on youtube... my connection is super slow and it's not all loading for me, but she is using mineral oil, which is the same thing as baby oil without the scent. I like to add more color after I've blended, to deepen shadows - I may have to do a video just comparing different kinds of blending. Hmmm... wheels turning.

FDH- Prismacolor blending w/ mineral oil - YouTube
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:08 AM   #12
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I first learned about Gamsol Magic technique years ago using the information from Inky Antics. They have a video and an instructional pdf. I always had great results using their technique.

The overall effect of GM was to create a look of watercoloring which means you have some white space and the effect is soft and smooth. If you color the entire image and blend you get an entirely different look. Both are nice, just different.

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Old 01-02-2013, 05:36 AM   #13
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Rubber Stamp Madness magazine had an article about Terry Medaris last summer. I played around with his technique.

Dini, I have seen that mineral oil YouTube video, and that's why I was surprised when my blending didn't seem to work as easily as hers. I'm practicing with less oil. It does seem to work better, but not as well as hers. I'm using baby oil. I have mineral oil. I can't believe there would be a difference but I guess it's worth a try.

I know this technique needs practice.

I also know I am probably being too critical of my own work, and need to lighten up.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:24 AM   #14
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I use the baby oil with an old SU blender pen, but I do usually lie all my colors down, them basically color with the oil to blend it all together. This works with the SU as well as the Prisma pencils. I have found that doing it this way, I don't have as much trouble with uneven shading.

If you are using SU Whisper White, you really have to use a light hand because it is not a heavy cardstock. My technique also works better on this, because you aren't layering so much.

As with most things, start with less and you can always add more, if it is color or oil.

I think we all know it is to be our own worst critique! WALK AWAY! LOL
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:29 AM   #15
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Great info.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:38 AM   #16
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People also say the blending stumps from Taiwan are better than those from China. So I ordered some of those. sigh. You probably could tell me it would work better on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or if I were standing on my head, and I would rush off to try it that way.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #17
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Our experience has been using the blending stump ends your ability to add more color on top without muddying up the colors. We use the white Prismacolor pencil to blend out or a good art eraser. When using the eraser, don't rub . . . pick at the color and keep kneading the eraser so you're not putting the colors you've picked up back on. Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Our experience has been using the blending stump ends your ability to add more color on top without muddying up the colors. We use the white Prismacolor pencil to blend out or a good art eraser. When using the eraser, don't rub . . . pick at the color and keep kneading the eraser so you're not putting the colors you've picked up back on. Good luck!
Are you saying you use an eraser or white pencil instead of mineral oil?

I assume from your description you mean a kneaded eraser. Correct?
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:37 AM   #19
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Yes, the kneaded eraser.
For blending colors, we use the white colored Prismacolor pencil, not the blending stump. It's not used in place of the baby oil/gamsol.

hope that clarifies.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:49 AM   #20
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For blending colors, we use the white colored Prismacolor pencil, not the blending stump. It's not used in place of the baby oil/gamsol.

hope that clarifies.
Not really. You mean you use the white pencil with baby oil (hard to picture), or you are referring to "blending colors" as distinct from what baby oil is used for (which I thought was to blend colors), and you use both baby oil and a white pencil, for different purposes.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:56 PM   #21
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You can actually buy a special blending pencil for pencil crayons. Helps blend the colours.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:20 PM   #22
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When you use a blending pencil or white/light colored pencil to blend, you don't use a solvent.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:07 PM   #23
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I have Faber-Castell Polychromos the whole lot, a few Prisma colour and a handfull of Caran D'Ache.

I haven't used any of them for quite a while although pre Copic that was all I used.

Perhaps this year I could try to use all my art equipment!!

I normally use the pencils themselves to blend using the lighter colours to blend over the darker colours, on the rare occasions that I did use a blending agent I use "Art Spectrum Odourless Solvent"

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:11 PM   #24
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Rachel, the stumps made in Taiwan really ARE much better than those from China - you will notice a difference.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:17 PM   #25
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I will look forward to that! Like I said, I'll try anything to make the mineral oil thing work a bit better.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:19 PM   #26
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There is something else you can do to blend other than gamsol or baby oil. It works like a charm it's called Goo Gone. You don't need very much on a stmp since it doesn't dry as fast as gamsol and it isn't as oily as baby oil. It breaks down the wax in pencil crayons (Prismas, etc.) very nicely and allows you to blend. The nice part is that here in Canada it can be purchased at the Dollarama (a dollar store), not sure about dollar stores in the US. I know that stores like Michaels, Jo-Ann, Home Depot, Staples, Office Depot, etc. carry this product as well. The product was actually made to remove labels from store purchases on plastic, glass, etc.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:34 PM   #27
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Anything that contains a solvent will work for blending - I remember someone using some kind of laundry detergent too. Zest It is another product that works well, and smells better than some of the alternatives.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:35 PM   #28
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Zest-It is my personal favorite - it's made from orange oil and is non-toxic. Makes my room smell fabby.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:02 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjzim View Post
Rachel, the stumps made in Taiwan really ARE much better than those from China - you will notice a difference.
It's a matter of personal preference... the ones from Taiwan are definitely softer, and the ones from China are hard, and there is a time for each... My favorites are the ones marked "Creative Mark" - not sure where they are made, but they have a good balance of firmness and softness, and the tips seem to hold their shape better. I keep one stump for each color, so I don't have to worry about mixing colors or sanding down the tips.

Here are photos to compare the 3 - it's sort of interesting to see how the ends 'wear'.
Attached Thumbnails
img_2099.jpg   img_2100.jpg   img_2101.jpg  
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:13 PM   #30
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Here's a link to the Creative Mark stumps on Amazon....

Amazon.com: Blending Tortillions (Dozen) Medium: Arts, Crafts & Sewing
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:55 PM   #31
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Thank you for taking the time to post pics, Dini! Now I obviously will have to get some of those to try.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:11 PM   #32
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I hear if you use them on Tuesdays and Thursdays while standing on your head, they work better too.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:57 PM   #33
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!!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:17 PM   #34
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Speaking of GOO GONE... I just picked up a small bottle from the TARGET DOLLAR SPOT!
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:55 PM   #35
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subbing because someday I will try using my Prismacolor pencils again! I swear it!
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:24 AM   #36
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Quote:
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There is something else you can do to blend other than gamsol or baby oil. It works like a charm it's called Goo Gone. You don't need very much on a stmp since it doesn't dry as fast as gamsol and it isn't as oily as baby oil. It breaks down the wax in pencil crayons (Prismas, etc.) very nicely and allows you to blend.
I use GooGone all with time with my Prismas! I had no luck with Baby Oil. I lay down all of my color and then blend with stumps and Goo Gone. After I'm done blending I go back and add darker colors where needed and blend again. Works like a charm! Good luck!
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:06 AM   #37
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Worth looking into, thanks! We may have some of that somewhere. Whether I can use it will depend on what's in it.

You know what the latest thing in the colored pencil artists community is? Low heat for blending. Those folks are working with colored pencils for hours on a daily basis, and even highly refined Gamsol is no so great for you if you are sitting over a drawing board for extended periods and constantly. Thus, the Icarus Board. I suppose if I won the Lottery I might buy one to play with, because at $300 they are hardly worth it for a card maker who needs to color in some images every so often. But I thought it would be interesting to link to it so others can see what it is. I wish I knew someone who had one!

Icarus Art Drawing Board: Fresh new look at wax based mediums!
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:50 PM   #38
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I've used both Gamsol and generic odorless mineral spirits with good results. I usually put a dark line of color around the edges and where I want shading, then lightly color close to the dark line (with the same color) and blend in small circles to smooth the transition from dark to medium to light (the white space). The cardstock I've been using is White Luster from The Paper Cut...I love their cardstock and pre-scored cards in all sizes!
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:11 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelrose View Post
People also say the blending stumps from Taiwan are better than those from China. So I ordered some of those. sigh. You probably could tell me it would work better on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or if I were standing on my head, and I would rush off to try it that way.
I have used the blending stumps from Taiwan & China. I do think China has a nice paper. I am frugal and usually make my own stumps from a variety of paper I have found some good art tutorials Googling for homemade blending stumps and their examples. I just did a search make your own blending stumps.

I hardly use Gamsol or Baby Oil for coloring. I am one of the color pencil girls that blend using just my pencils.

I like Gamsol & Baby Oil for a certain look. I do think Gamsol lays down nicer than Baby Oil. I wanted to throw out some other ideas for blending stumps. I have used Q-tips with great success. I have used Fantastix.
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