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Old 04-08-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default I just realized I don't like to color things in!

For months, on every one of my to-do lists of things to work on as a paper-crafter there has been some variation on "Practice Coloring":

"Decide once and for all on a coloring medium and practice with it."
"Spend more time coloring."
"Get more stamps to practice coloring with."
"Buy better books about coloring."

and so on.

"Get better chair to sit in while you color."
"Consider buying more Prismas/markers so you have more colors to work with when you color."
"Study examples in the gallery of good coloring."

and so on.

This morning I realized with a start what my problem was - why I was never satisfied with my coloring and was eternally looking for the one secret ingredient I'd overlooked in my quest to become an expert colorist:

I don't enjoy it!

In truth, I will happily do the most finicky paper piecing, the fussiest cutting, the most labor-intensive masking. I will joyfully work for days on the exact placement of collage elements. I make all my own DP.

But coloring things in? For me, a chore.

Wow. What an "AHA!" moment! And what a relief! Now I can stop putting "coloring" on my list. And just enjoy all the wonderful coloring I see here on the gallery!

It's so easy to get caught up in wanting to be able to do everything. There are so many great techniques and wonderful styles out there it makes your head spin!

But it takes real effort to get good at any technique we decide we want to include in our creative arsenal. I see it here on the gallery - people who have become so masterful at one thing or another. Or one thing and another and another, some of you are just super multi-talented. But I guess the lesson for me is that sometimes you have to step back and ask yourself if you've really chosen to practice and refine something because you love to do it or have you just put it on your "list" because other people are making beautiful cards doing it so maybe you should be, too.

Now, I've only been at this for a short time. Maybe somewhere up the road I'll fall in love with the ACT of coloring (as opposed to the result) and spend countless hours happily coloring away. Not saying that won't ever happen.

But for now, I think I'll just quit fretting about it. If I need to fill in some outlines, I'll do it in a simple way. So I can get back to the techniques I really want to be doing. The stuff I love.

This is, after all, supposed to be fun. Right? Oh, yeah, right! Fun!
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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I am with you on this! I am not happy with my coloring, no matter what medium I use. I see so many beautiful cards showing great coloring, but when I try to replicate them,
they look awful.

For this reason, I no longer color in images.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:21 PM   #3
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I'm with you Rachelrose. I just realized within the last year, I think, that I don't like to color. When I had to color, I used Crayola pencils, and a few Prismas, but never really liked the results. And, I don't particularly like the images that are made for coloring--people, animals, scenes, etc. If I liked to color, it would probably be flowers and trees. Anyway, I did buy a nice selection of Spectrum Noir markers, just to have some if I needed to fill in a little something here and there--not interested in shading or anything elaborate.

I do love to stamp in various colors, especially two- and three-step flowers, with separate stamps for stems and leaves. I love die-cuts, too. Yes, when I finally realized I didn't like to color, it was very freeing. I don't feel like I have to talk myself into getting on the coloring bandwagon.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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LOL I'm just the opposite! Piecing gives me anxiety but water coloring is sanctuary.

I think everyone has to find their niche and not force what's not natural. Nenjoy!
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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yes! good for you, now you can get back to Full Enjoyment.

I always LOVED to coloras a kid... so I am not surprized that I still do

but I totally agree with you..... why practice so much, when you don't even enjoy it- this IS supposed to be a fun hobby.. and with all the stamps out there, there is no need to color at all
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:00 PM   #6
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Yay! I'm so glad you said something. I feel the same way about most of it! I couldn't afford Copics but did invest in Promarkers and have found that it's just not my thing. I have tried and tried to like coloring...no luck! Now if it's simple watercoloring, no real shading, I can do that no problem. But for me, the less fuss, the better
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:03 PM   #7
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Do what you like and enjoy it! I'm one that loves to color in images, it's very relaxing for me. But there are lots of other techniques that I've tried and either didn't like or found them too stressful for me so they got crossed off my "to do list". As others have said, this is supposed to be a fun hobby so if coloring is not your thing, do what is and have fun!
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:44 PM   #8
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I'm with you! I have a hard time with my need bifocal eyes, hurts my back to be all bent over my project- you get the picture. Frees me up from getting all into the Copic and various markers craze. I have a decent selection from when I started stamping and I am ok with just having those.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:57 PM   #9
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Whenever an image "needs" coloring, I stamp that image on small print designer paper, and cut it out (or cut out a portion of it). Love this look much better, and one doesn't need to color!
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:27 PM   #10
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Thanks for posting this! I love to color - whether with markers, colored pencils, watercolors, whatever - so I'm not on the same page with you as far as that goes, but...

I've been making myself kind of stressed out trying to choose "the perfect colors" of "the perfect inkpads". The REAL problem? I almost NEVER use colored inks! I usually stamp in a neutral (black, brown, kraft or gray) and color in the image. Every now and then I'll use a color for an element or two, or for my sentiment, but not very often! Maybe I'll just leave off the search for now, with no qualms whatsoever...
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:32 PM   #11
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Although I love coloring (with pencils) I kind of went through the same thing you went through before deciding it's not for me. I just can't get the hang of copics, so I finally told myself to not even try (because it just frustrates me when I look at the results). I just use my pencils now and have fun with them. My copics will only come out when I color flowers or other easy to color images.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:41 PM   #12
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I'm exactly the same!
I've fretted for ages about buying Copics and 'jumping on the bandwagon'. I've had an online cart full a number of different times, and often thought of skipping my quarterly stamping purchase to buy copics... but then I remember the cramped back, the squinty eyes, and the sore hands from colouring, and I realize that I don't enjoy it all that much, and I would only be doing it because everyone else is!
My style is quite simple (I like CAS, with a few extra layers) and I use a lot of bold images. I sell my cards at a market on a regular basis, so once I design a card, I make (I kid you not...) 20 of each design. This would drive some people crazy, but it works for me. I do it assembly line style, and I love seeing all of the pieces lined up, ready to go. Now, the thought of colouring in 20 of the same images? That is TORTURE! I could never do it. I get bored colouring in one image.
I'm so glad you posted this, because it's made a lot of us realize that we don't need to justify NOT following a trend. I often thought that my cards wouldn't be considered 'good' or 'cool' or whatever if they weren't coloured, but it's not true. Be true to your style, and only do what you like. If you enjoy it, then that, by default, makes it 'good', 'cool' and more. I've had people ask me if I do 'coloured cards', and I've always come across as 'well... um.. no, not really... but i suppose i could....' and now I don't feel the need to answer like that. a simple 'no, it's not my style' will suffice!
Thanks again to the OP, you've offered guilt free liberation to a lot of us, possibly without even realizing you were doing it!
Happy stamping, in whatever style you enjoy!

P.s. - to the OP - Collage is something else that I don't enjoy - again, just not my 'thing'! Glad it brings you joy - I can always admire a great collage, mine simply always turn out like a kindergarten craft gone wrong!!
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adalia Disa View Post
I'm exactly the same!
I've fretted for ages about buying Copics and 'jumping on the bandwagon'. I've had an online cart full a number of different times, and often thought of skipping my quarterly stamping purchase to buy copics... but then I remember the cramped back, the squinty eyes, and the sore hands from colouring, and I realize that I don't enjoy it all that much, and I would only be doing it because everyone else is!
My style is quite simple (I like CAS, with a few extra layers) and I use a lot of bold images. I sell my cards at a market on a regular basis, so once I design a card, I make (I kid you not...) 20 of each design. This would drive some people crazy, but it works for me. I do it assembly line style, and I love seeing all of the pieces lined up, ready to go. Now, the thought of colouring in 20 of the same images? That is TORTURE! I could never do it. I get bored colouring in one image.
I'm so glad you posted this, because it's made a lot of us realize that we don't need to justify NOT following a trend. I often thought that my cards wouldn't be considered 'good' or 'cool' or whatever if they weren't coloured, but it's not true. Be true to your style, and only do what you like. If you enjoy it, then that, by default, makes it 'good', 'cool' and more. I've had people ask me if I do 'coloured cards', and I've always come across as 'well... um.. no, not really... but i suppose i could....' and now I don't feel the need to answer like that. a simple 'no, it's not my style' will suffice!
Thanks again to the OP, you've offered guilt free liberation to a lot of us, possibly without even realizing you were doing it!
Happy stamping, in whatever style you enjoy!

P.s. - to the OP - Collage is something else that I don't enjoy - again, just not my 'thing'! Glad it brings you joy - I can always admire a great collage, mine simply always turn out like a kindergarten craft gone wrong!!

AMEN! Although I enjoy coloring, I loathe repetition, so "colouring 20 of the same image" would be torture for me, as well! I had to make seven puzzles for the grandkids for Easter, and I was over it after TWO!


I totally agree that realizing that we don't have to follow a trend (I'll never be happy with chevrons) to make "good" cards is very liberating! We're supposed to be getting enjoyment out of this hobby, not stress! Great topic, great thread!
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:00 AM   #14
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I feel so much better to know I am not the only one! I much prefer stamping a solid image with colored inks or embossing. I never mastered coloring and I probably won't because I don't enjoy it. Thanks -- confession is good for the soul.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:17 AM   #15
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LOL You come over and do my paper-piecing and masking for me, and I'll colour for you! I LOVE the look of paper-piecing, but hate doing it so much that sometimes I will attempt to replicate the look by colouring!! And I can't stand masking so much that I would rather leave part of the stamp un-inked, and draw in the missing lines at the overlaps after stamping everything - which takes just as long, or even longer than masking!
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:57 AM   #16
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I'm almost the opposite - I love to color

Like SophieLaFontaine, I love the look of paper piecing but find it just too cumbersome to do!
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:42 PM   #17
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I love coloring with prisma pencils but I adore paper piecing - the tinier and fussier the pieces, the better. If you all decide to get rid of your dies with lots of pieces, let me know first!!! I never tried copics but I love the look of the prismas, so I never felt the need to branch out.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:17 PM   #18
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh .. This thread makes me smile!

Like the rest of us, I enjoy many, many things about stamping & paper crafting. But focusing on one specific technique or element is just too limiting for me. Aren't we fortunate that there's always something else to try in this creative endeavor?! Yay!
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:28 PM   #19
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I understand....I have gone through the coloring dilema myself. I am glad you figured it out and found peace with it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:10 AM   #20
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This thread made me chuckle, because, I'm the opposite. I LOVE to colour, but I do not like making cards! I've only recently made peace with that and realised that I need to stop forcing myself to keep doing something I don't love.

So yeah, good for you! Do what you love - that's the best approach.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:22 AM   #21
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I do colour in, I like to colour in but I'm basic ... I can do the simple stuff but not the great shading that a lot of people here can do. I just scrape by lol
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:43 AM   #22
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I am the exact opposite I love colouring and I love colour, I am happy using any medium but Copic Markers are my favorite, I love the way they flow on the paper.

I'm in my own bright colourful world with not a care when I start colouring it's as good as meditation for me but I'm told I'm a little strange any way.

One of our parchment group refuses to do anything but white work she hates colouring.

It would be a vary boring world if we all liked the same things.

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Old 04-10-2013, 04:10 AM   #23
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I believe this is why I like the watercolor pencils and blender pens - you really don't have to be that good at coloring for the images to look so nice. I am sad to see SU is discontinuing their pencils, but I believe there are other ones out there. The only area I need some practice is color matching and with time it has gotten easier - basically if I like the colors together, they usually work.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:37 AM   #24
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Everyone has their niche...I love coloring and paper piecing. My coloring may not be the best, but it is the most relaxing thing in the world for me. Enjoy what you like. Strive to be the best at it. Don't try to always do better than the next person, especially if its something you don't enjoy. Most of us can't do it 'all'.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:12 AM   #25
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I'm with Tinalala. I barely use my Vagabond, all that cutting and piecing makes me very anxious. But sitting and coloring is the most relaxing part of crafting for me. Copics, colored pencils, water color, Pan Pastels, Crayola, doesn't matter. I can sit and color for hours!
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:57 AM   #26
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I like what one person here stated, there are so many different techniques in this hobby. I have gone through some of the same struggles with 'to color or not to color'. For a long time I used solid stamps, so I wouldn't have to color. Now I'm in love with coloring (prismas are my favorite) and also watercolor pencils. Wow, you can make it look like you can watercolor paint. Amazing! So, if you enjoy it, do it! If not, just find another 'niche' that you do like. Easy-peasy...
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:05 AM   #27
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I got into the copic coloring; hoping that it would pique my interest. It hasn't yet. Now, I am gong to try SU my digital studio. It states you can use other digital stamp images and a lot of the digital images are colored now. so many benefits to digital images; I'm trying more of that. My digital studio has dropped in price to $19.95
and so many benefits, no smearing of image, always a straight image, can resize to fit punches, die cuts etc; and now these images come colored and so reasonable in cost.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:23 AM   #28
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I"m not that big on coloring either - especially with my Copics! When I use them, I feel like I have to worry about shading and uber-blending, which isn't any fun. I do like to use watercolor pencils/crayons and my ink pads, not as "sophisticated" a look, but I feel the effect is pretty. Of course I have a 100+ Copic markers...before I figured it out!! LOL
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:03 AM   #29
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I love to color but I also love the ease of just scribbling on the stamps with Tim Holtz markers. They blend right on the stamp and you can layer colors without getting a muddy look.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:15 AM   #30
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I LOVE coloring with my Copics. Prisma pencils and Gamsol are my second choice. I did take lessons on the Copics and learned a ton of great tips that made my coloring come alive.
I agree if coloring is not your thing, use whatever makes you happy.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #31
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I agree with you but then again I don't. Some people truly don't enjoy something until they become good at it. Practicing frustrates them but once they succeed, not only do they feel a huge sense of accomplishment, but all of a sudden, something that was a chore isn't anymore. Then again, there isn't a magic time when all of a sudden you become 'good'! It's a slow process.

I consider myself pretty accomplished with Copics but still struggle with hair for instance. So if you have it more time, might you eventually enjoy it? Only you can decide and sounds like you have. But in case others are considering the same thing but aren't as sure as you, if you are determined enough, even if you dislike it now, it might be with giving it more time and seeking out some help in person if books and videos don't cut it. Not everyone can learn that way. Some of us need feedback in person to both motivate and help us continue to move forward.

Just balance how much you dislike it vs how much you'd enjoy the final product once you got good at it. Some people just don't have a talent for it. Not everyone has a knack for every paper crafting skill. If you think it's pointless, don't frustrate yourself!

I don't really enjoy cutting out tiny pieces for paper piecing. But I love the final result. So it's worth it. If it was expensive and took at lot of practice, would I persist? Not sure...
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:30 PM   #32
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A valid point of view, Rebecca. And I'm not saying I have thrown away all my Prismas and markers! Or my outline stamps! I'm just taking the pressure off myself to become an expert colorist. There will be times when I need to apply color to an image, and I'll figure out a simple and attractive way to do it.

I've just taken it off the list of thing I want to seriously "work on." I have other things that I'd like to get better at, things I already love to do, and practicing them is relaxing and fun, so I'm going to focus on my efforts there for now.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:48 PM   #33
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Reading this thread now makes me think I should not try so hard with my copics and go back to my various pencil colouring and then I may not look so basic in my colouring LOL
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #34
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I love colored pencils smoothed with mineral spirits and I also watercolor with reinkers and a water pen. I am blessed with a good eye for color so that helps.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:48 PM   #35
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Oh, I am loving this thread! I'm one of those that want to be wonderful at ALL techniques, and have spent a ton of money on supplies trying to get that way! And coloring is my big bugaboo! I've watched hours of video and downloaded more than one book. My coloring is definitely improving, but I've finally accepted the fact that I probably won't ever feel like I do well enough to attempt coloring "people" stamps. But you know, that's okay, because I create awesome little works of art anyway!
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:19 PM   #36
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I think if I were able to use Gamsol or OMS with my Prismas, or use Copics or other solvent-based markers, I might not have become so frustrated. But I can't, and so I can't get the look I want.

People say you can get a nice look with water-based markers, but whenever I see coloring that I admire, it is always Copics or Spectrum Noirs.

People say that you can blend Prismas with mineral oil. But I watched a video demonstrating several ways to blend pencils, and when the OMS method was shown against the baby oil method, I saw that I was never going to get the look I wanted with baby oil. Seeing that video really turned on the light for me - I saw why I was struggling. I saw why coloring has been frustrating for me, not relaxing.

So I don't enjoy it. I know in advance that I am working with one hand tied behind my back.

(Gee, this thread is turning into a therapy session for me. I didn't expect to go in this direction! Ha!)
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:55 PM   #37
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I used to love coloring when I was a kid---I mean really love coloring. However, now I love stamping---I mean really love stamping. If a stamp need coloring water coloring or crayons are my choice. Easy and quick and I think lovely, so I'm content with my ink pads and crayons.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:58 PM   #38
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Hey, therapy's good! And we're cheaper!
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:30 AM   #39
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Hmmm Crayons? I think I've missed something there.
I do use the Prismas with the white spirits and that smoothed out my colouring lines a lot better.
With the water colours I did much better with those when I realised, or saw a tutorial on using a wet brush on the pencil and NOT wetting the pencil colour on paper!!
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:42 AM   #40
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I love the look other people get with colouring stamps (see LOTV website) and the finished look with loads of flowers and embellishments. But no matter how many tutorials and videos I watch I can get nowhere near this level of expertise and I settle for colouring in a 'cartoon' style - all one shade, maybe a bit darker round the edges or some streaks in the hair.

Don't like the finish of crayons or Copics - I use Promarkers (which are half the price of Copics in the UK).

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