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Magical Marker Techniques (AECP Level 2)

Today I have three more cards to share with you as part of my Altenew Educator Certification Program Level 2.

The cards were made for my assignment based on the Magical Marker Techniques class with Sara Naumann. There were six lessons in this masterclass, each with a different perspective on using artist markers in different ways.

I used to own most of the Copic markers, but I wasn't using them because I was working with detailed stamps and found that I was getting frustrated when I wasn't staying in the lines. If you've been following my work, then you'll know staying in the lines is important to me lol. (I am getting better at being a bit artsier since doing this programme, though) So, I bundled my enormous box of pens and sent them down to my best friend, using my Zig watercolour pens instead.

After a while, I realised there were things I missed about them, though. The way you could colour gems, ribbons, twine and more. As I watched this masterclass with Sara, I realised I wanted to get something similar, and Altenew has filled my void! I love that the Altenew Artist Markers have the brush tip like Copics but also have a bullet tip which Copic didn't have. This means I can colour my detailed characters (think Lawn Fawn, Mama Elephant etc.) and ribbons and gems. Win:win :D

The only thing I need now is for Altenew to increase their colour range, so I have something to match my fab Copic collection :)

Onto my cards:

Card One: Coloured Sequins & Basic Colouring

My first card is super simple. So simple that I ended up making loads of different colourways of it! I enjoy creating multiple cards at the minute, lots to sell at craft fairs and for me to send when I need them. Am I the only card maker who never seems to have a card to send to others when I need it?! What is that all about?!

Using the gorgeous Altenew Inky Bouquet stamp and some artist markers, I coloured my image. I wanted to do something non-traditional with the flowers. As my friend says, 'It's a card, you can do any colour you like!' I used the Tropical Garden set with oranges, warm greys and greens. Once coloured and die cut, I die cut another two bouquets in scrap white cardstock and stacked them on top of each other to create a 'chipboard' image. To finish the bouquet with a bit of sparkle, I added some Zig Wink of Stellar shimmer pen over the entire image.

To add interest to the background, I used the Altenew Fine Tulle stencil with Altenew Morning Frost dye ink so that it complemented my coloured flower.

Tip: When choosing background colours, when you've got a big colourful focal point, go for softer colours in the background. I chose this grey-brown to create a subtle effect that wouldn't overtake my florals.

Sara talked about colouring in gems to get a great match with your overall design. She also talked about creating a mottled effect in lesson three, so I tried this technique using sequins. I made another card using the mottled effect in its intended way; more on that soon.

As I was testing out my pens on some gems, my Altenew Satin White Sequins were sitting on my table, so I wondered if you could use the markers to colour them. Sure enough, you can!!! I'm SO pleased because they have a lovely shimmer about them too. No need to buy loads of sequins now. I can just colour them in. For this card, I coloured my sequins with warm greys, Limestone (TG02) and Silverstone (TG03).

Tip: Keep your pen moving as you colour the sequin, or you get a little line. I don't mind it, but if you want a nicer finish, use a mottling technique by colouring the sequin in a light colour and then moving up to a darker shade, adding some stippling to create a mottled effect. It's really cool in real life.

I'm still learning sequin placement, so I keep experimenting with different ways of doing it. I thought this was interesting, the card on the left is okay, but something felt off. When I did the sequin placement on the card on the right, I realised why.

Experiment: With my first card on the left, the sequins were all competing with the main image and each other, and my eyes were going all over the place trying to figure out where to look, whereas card two made me feel calmer. It just goes to show that less is more lol. The gallery image feature has knocked out my third sequin, which was to the right of the yellow flower, creating a nice triangle which our brain likes. Who knew?!

Tip: Create visual triangles with your sequins, and notice how your card makes you feel when you look at it. If you feel 'off', it's likely your recipient will too. I'm learning lol.

Card Two: Alcohol Ink on Metal

In lesson one, Sara teaches how to use artist markers on metal. She used a lightweight silver metal sheet for the technique, which I didn't have, so I improvised by cutting open a soft drink can and bending it so that it was flat and ready to use with the silver side facing out.

I had a plan in mind initially to use some die-cut leaves with the Altenew Areca Palm 3D embossing folder, which I then coloured using my markers and spritzed with alcohol to create a fun water-marked effect. When I started planning out the card, though, it was all a bit too busy, so I knew I needed to pull the design back a bit. I also tried colouring some brown between the leaves to create a background, but as you can see, it looked awful!

So, back to the drawing board, I started again with a second tin can and die cut the 'metal' piece using the Altenew Rounded Rectangle Die set.

I then ran this piece through my die-cut machine with the new Altenew Playful Circles Embossing Folder to create an embossed, riveted metal effect. Using the Grass Field pen (G515) from the Altenew Sunshine Valley set, I coloured in the circles. They look brilliant in real life with the two-tone effect.

Tip: Die-cut your panel before embossing, as the process of embossing will flatten the 3D effect otherwise.

I created a kraft card panel using a rectangular stitched frame die that I added to a plain white card base, and feeling inspired from lesson 4, all about splatters, I used my markers to create some brown and green markers on the kraft background. I then added some chocolate brown strips across the card in line with where I wanted the sentiment to be to provide a focal point. I also die-cut a smaller kraft panel using the Rounded Rectangular Die set.

Next, I set about making my two leaves. I die cut two leaves using the Altenew Mixed

Leaf Die set. Using the Mountain Pine (G446), Shadow Creek (G425), and Grass Field (G515) pens from the Sunshine Valley set, I coloured in white cardstock.

For the left-hand dotted leaf, I covered the base in Grass Field, then coloured the top layer in Shadow Creek, and then created a mottled effect with Mountain Pine.

For the second leaf, I did the opposite, with Mountain Pine and mottling on the bottom layer and Grass Field on the top layer. I added some Zig Wink of Stellar to glitz it up a bit.

Once coloured, I attached all of the elements together, adding some natural coloured twine (that I also coloured using the Espresso (Y762) marker to the central kraft panel before attaching it to the 'metal' panel. To finish, I stamped the sentiment with Altenew Obsidian Black Ink, die cut it using the Altenew Featured Sentiments Die set and layered it up twice on some scrap cardstock to turn it into a 'chipboard' sentiment.

Card Three: Mottle on Vellum

For my last card, I used the beautiful Captivating Blooms stamp set. I stamped two sets of flowers onto vellum using Versamark and Altenew Rose Gold Crisp Embossing Powder.

Side note: I don't trust myself that much with embossing powders, I find I don't get very good results with them, but this powder is really lovely. I was very pleased with the outcome. I'm looking forward to the Altenew Impressive Heat Embossing masterclass that I'll be doing next.

I used this Fusion Card Challenge Sketch, rotating the sketch and using the central panel as the strip:

Back to the card: With my embossed pieces complete, I turned them over and coloured in the reverse of the vellum. The reason for doing it this way is that it creates a lovely soft effect, and the top side can also cause damage to your markers, so it's a safer method to use. Sara showed a flower she had created using a mottled effect with her markers, and I thought it would work beautifully with Captivating Blooms as the flowers have a nice open space to show the technique through.

Again, not wanting to go with tradition, I chose to create khaki flowers with yellow leaves. I love how you can see a marbled effect through the vellum. It's so pretty. I didn't want to take away from the flowers, so thought I'd create a delicate stencilled background using the Fine Tulle stencil, this time with Altenew's Citrus Burst dye ink. I had started with a different stencil but found that something with a smaller pattern worked better as it provided more coverage. Another thing I love about the markers is that they match the Altenew inks, so it was a simple decision choosing the Citrus Burst ink as it's from the same colour family I used for colouring the leaves.

I attached the two coloured panels to some double-sided adhesive sheets so that I didn't need to worry about any glue showing. I then fussy cut these out and attached them to the stencilled card base. I added some gold watercolour splatters. I then die cut a slimline stitched rectangle piece in white cardstock and die cut the word 'thanks' using Altenew's Script Words 2 die. Again, I layered this on two layers of white cardstock to create a chipboard piece, with the final one being cut out of gold glitter cardstock. I finished the card by adding Satin Gold sequins.

I was surprised by how much I liked the techniques in this class and will definitely be saving that mottled vellum effect in my bank of go-to's; I love the look of it!

Thanks for popping by. I'd love you to leave a comment telling me what you thought of today's cards :)

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Erum Tasneem
Erum Tasneem
Aug 17, 2022

Thank you for sharing your incredible work and gorgeous photos along with a very well explained post. I love the Fine Tulle Stencil, it always next to me. And of course the first thing that caught my eye was the vellum card as I LOVE playing with vellum and alcohol markers. Your cards look fantastic!

Ruby 2 Shoes
Ruby 2 Shoes
Aug 22, 2022
Replying to

Thank you so much. I'm loving how this Altenew certification programme stretches your creativity :D

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