Monday, June 11, 2012

New Marker Love - Spectrum Noir

Today's product love is brought to you with a big smile and a lot of hope.  This product is actually not something I'm lusting over (shocker)...but something that lives in my home as I write and breathe.  Actually - it's 72 things...72 Spectrum Noir markers to be precise.

I've had these markers in my house for almost 72 hours (this is totally unintentional I assure you) and I'm learning slowly.  I bought the basic packs (12 packs with six markers) which covers the colors of the rainbow, neutrals, and skin tones (which they call pale hues).  I had literally never heard of this marker before I bought my first 36.  I just roll like that - I'm a nutcake as my mother would say!

How did I come to learn about these markers let alone buy 72?  It's a funny story (please feel free to skip this paragraph if you are uninterested).  I was actually going to buy Copic markers.  I had sat down with my paper and determined which markers I needed and then went to the booth with the lowest price.  Now - this should have been easy enough.  However - the vendor had made the brainy choice to place their markers next to their purchase line.  The line was incredibly long and I couldn't get to the markers.  A very nice woman waiting in line gave me a quick tip - these markers were cheaper around the corner.  I had scoured the whole place so I wasn't quite sure which booth she was suggesting - but like a good girl I went looking.  It turned out the booth had sketch markers, not ciao, putting them way out of my budget.  So...I knew it was going to be a waiting game to get the markers at the busy, unorganized previous booth.  I started wandering around and found myself in Bee Creative's booth.  One of the nice ladies doing a demo was talking about the markers and giving some basic information.  I looked at the deals and quickly realized I could get 36 markers instead of 16.  I was sold instantaneously.  I noticed the specially formulated paper but could not afford it - so I moved on with my new pack of six markers.

That night I came home and played using mixed media paper from my Canson Mixed-Media Pad.  I had watched a few videos and knew the markers were "juicy".  I did my very best not to be heavy handed.  I quickly realized this paper was not going to work...

I actually liked the color palette - but the bleeding was too much of a distraction.  I also realized I was not blending the colors as suggested on the charts (more on that later).  The numbers were difficult to read on my packaging.  However...I could see these markers were going to work and would be a fine replacement for my budget at less than $2 per marker.  Please note: I did not have the foresight to record my color choices.

The next day all I could really think about was getting back to that booth and buying the rest of the colors and the specially formulated paper.  So what's a girl to do - in reinforcements of course.  I talked to my special benefactor - and she gave me the money for the additional 6 sets!!!  Since I'm working on cards for my sister and parents - she was more than willing to help out.  Thanks Ma!!!!  So I headed out and bought the remaining sets and paper.  I was ecstatic.

Once I got home, I reorganized my marker stash banishing my ultra fine tip Sharpies to a basket to be taken to work when summer school begins.  After I was happy with the new arrangement...I started to play using the special paper and here's what I got...

Right Image: Shirt (CT4, GB5, OR1), Pants (IG1, IG2, IG4), Two Bags - same color (BT1, BT2, BT4), Boots, (CT4, GB5, GB8); Left Image: Shirt & Boots (CT4, GB5, GB8), Two Bags - same color (BT5, BT7, BT9), One Bag (TB3, TB5, TB6, and TB9), Boot strap (EB8)

Sorry for the big picture - but I thought it was a better size to view my "findings."  My first attempt is on the left.  Using the Indie Chic Nutmeg line as my color inspiration, it became clear that blending the three warm colors was creating an orange effect - something I definitely did NOT want.  Also - the bags weren't the right color and just weren't dark enough.  So I substituted the orange color for a light brown on the boots and liked the finished effect.

I then moved on to the image on the right using my new found knowledge.  The yellow color of the shirt and boots worked wonderfully.  I alternated coloring different parts of the image to minimize the amount of bleeding.  I was worried it would make blending more difficult - but it didn't.  I then moved on to the bags and really liked the darker blue green colors.  Then I moved on to the last bag and really broke the bank.  I used far too much ink covering up a lighter blue shade that just wasn't working.  In the end, I have the colors I want - just in a juicy form.  So I separated out the colors and made sure to write each blend down for later reference.  My plan is to start cranking a few of these out today sans heavy bleeding.  I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

In the meantime, I wanted to leave you with a few resources I have found helpful if you choose to try out these markers.

  • - Do a search for Spectrum Noir markers and a variety of videos are available.  There are even some videos comparing different alcohol based markers.
  • Trena's Stamp Headquarters - She has a lovely blending chart she has created (which I downloaded to my iPad).  She also has a blank chart to allow for your own play time.  It's a really great source.
  • Spectrum Noir Blog, Video Tutorials, & Downloads - there is a lot of good information here, including blending charts and a coloring chart to keep track of the colors in your stash.  
I hope you find this very long post helpful.  I hope you're having a wonderful Monday.  My day is looking to be a rainy one with isolated thunder storms - my favorite (NOT!).  Here's to a productive crafty day and to you.  Until then...

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