I was playing around with a card tonight and in trying to decide which method I wanted to use to color in this cute little mouse, I thought I'd share with you some differences between several Stampin' Up! products. Here are 5 different methods to color in this image from the new Happy Heart Day set. I used the same colors on all examples - Ruby Red, Old Olive, Brocade Blue, and whichever Gray each method allowed. I have included my own personal description of the pros and cons below each image. I hope this gives you some insight on the many ways you can color your images!
1) Blender pen with ink pad lids
For this method, you take a Blender pen and dip it into a well of ink that you create inside the the lid of your ink pads by squishing the ink pad together while it's closed. If you need more ink (the squishing technique typically doesn't give enough ink for the lighter colors), you can squeeze a drop of ink from the re-inker bottle directly on the inside of the lid. Tip: You should always start coloring where you want it darkest, and then blend it out from there.
Pros: Quick method; creates a strong, vibrant look; easy to blend and make areas darker than others (the Olive shirt looks fabulous using this method!); not limited by colors because all 48 standard Stampin' Up! colors are available plus In Colors and neutrals
Cons: Not practical for larger areas as the Blender Pens only blend so far before needing to re-ink (I do not like the way the big heart turned out using this method... it was too big); if you color too long in one area (ie. to make an area darker) you will rub the cardstock raw
2) Watercolor Wonder Crayons with Aquapainter
Pros: Fairly quick method; this is by far the easiest method to blend; all 48 standard Stampin' Up! colors are available plus black, gray, white, ivory, and sand; creates a vibrant, but more loose look
Cons: A little more difficult to create dark areas (notice the Olive shirt is not as dark and vibrant); you have to be careful at how much water you use - too much water prevents the vibrant color from showing
3) Stampin' Pastels with QTips
The Stampin' Pastels come with several fine-tip applicators which I use for small areas (like the Brocade stripe and flower). For larger areas, I just use QTips.
Pros: All 48 standard Stampin' Up! colors are available plus black, white, and gray; you can use the eraser (included) to remove errors; very affordable at $24.95 for the whole set
Cons: Not practical for small areas; hard to blend; not as precise as other methods (ie. the color doesn't go all the way to the lines); typically a lighter look
4) Stampin' Write Markers
Self-explanatory method... I prefer the markers when I'm coloring very small, detailed images, like a bunch of flowers. This is not the method I would normally choose for an image such as this one!
Pros: Strong, vibrant color; all 48 standard Stampin' Up! colors are available; you can purchase the markers individually, in color families, or the whole set; markers have a brush tip and a fine tip, so it's easy to color larger areas as well as small, detailed areas
Cons: Cannot blend at all; not available in In Colors; not all neutrals are available (that's why the mouse is not colored - there's no gray!)
5) Watercolor Pencils with Blender Pen
For this method, you start by loosely coloring in the image with the pencil, and then use the Blender Pen to blend it all together.
Pros: Easy and fast to use; very affordable at $19.95 for 24 colors
Cons: Colors are not Stampin' Up! colors so you have to just pick the best one to match; hard to gauge how much to color because once you use the Blender Pen on it, you can't add more color
And there you go! Wanna know my personal favorite? I typically use either method 1 or 2... but I do reach for the other methods when the circumstances call for them. What about you?? Have I left anything out? Do you have a Pro or a Con that I should add to my lists? (it's late and I'm sure I've left a few things out!)