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Vendor Spotlight: Letraset ProMarker Blending Sets

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

The Letraset ProMarker Blending Sets come in Pastel, Muted, and Vivid color sets.  Each set comes with 12 Markers, a Blender Pen, and a Blending Chart.  You can also find a color chart available for free download on the Letraset website, which is helpful in planning your projects and keeping track of what marker colors you currently own.  ProMarkers are alcohol based inks which are popular with Manga artists.  They are permanent on paper, so plan accordingly.  The ProMarkers are non-toxic markers.  The side of each marker is labeled with the ink color and corresponding color number which makes it extra easy to refer to the color charts.

I am new to working with alcohol based markers, so I played with them a bit to see how versatile they really are.  I found that the ProMarkers are fairly fast drying.  This means you do have to prepare your supplies ahead and work quickly to achieve maximum results in using them to color your projects.

The ProMarkers are double ended and equipped with  dual nibs.  One is fine nib and the other is a chisel nib.
Thus, you can get achieve variety of color lines, depending on how you hold the nibs.  The fine nib was designed for detail work.  It is great for drawing Manga art, drawing fine lines, and filling in small areas. Also, if you hold the fine tip on its side, you can achieve a broader looking line that is good for filing in a larger area.

The chisel nib also offers some versatility.  You can achieve a wider line by holding the marker on its side.  The width will vary in accordance with how you hold the pen to the paper.  Also the chisel nib is great for color blending and filling in larger areas with color.  Then to achieve a thinner line with the chisel tip, you just need to hold it on its tip.  I was able to get a few different widths just by adjusting how I held the marker.

Each set comes with a dual nib blender pen that can be used to pick up unwanted color on certain surfaces, as well as be used to blend colors on various surfaces.
The ProMarker blender pens was very useful in creating a softer texture on the colored images.  Color in the image first, then go over it with the blender with dots, lines, circles, etc. to create texture or to soften the color.  The blender pens are easy to use.  For a quick demonstration, just view the video below to see how to use the blender pens to remove color from a paper flower.

For my first project, I decided to take a wood block, paint it, then accent it with assorted papers and die cuts to create a temporary book end. I then used the paper flower from the demo video as a center accent on the paper flower die cuts.  
Since it will remove excess ink from the image, the ProMarker blender pens are great to fix mistakes on your colored image. Depending on the surface, it can help smooth out lines on your colored image and lighten the color a bit.

Also, when planning your project, you may want to consider using bleed proof paper.  Below is an example of how the ink reacts with inexpensive regular printer paper. This is the back of the colored 
Ink Bleeds through Regular Copy Paper 
image and it did have some major bleeding.  You can see that it does not have the same crisp lines that you would get using bleed-proof paper.   You can avoid this problem by using your favorite brand of bleed-proof papers. I did notice that Letraset does offer their own line of papers on their website for Manga and other specific applications.

Personally, I had really good results with the Canson Watercolor 140lb cold press papers and some heavy cardstock (which I bought at a local stamp show).  I would recommend pre-testing a small piece of the paper you are planning to use and see how the ink reacts with your own papers.  On my second project, I used a black water-based ink pad to stamp a couple of butterfly images onto the heavy cardstock.

Once the images dried, I colored them in with ProMarkers from the muted collection and cut one of them out.


I found that if you coat the heavy card stock with the blender medium as a base, it will give you more time to achieve better color blending results.  I was trying for a slightly faded denim look at the top of the butterfly.  I found by laying the blender medium then the color, it was easier to blend the color and then remove color from some areas of the card.  This allowed me to achieve that slightly faded look in specific areas.

The Letraset ProMarkers also works really well with the Memento inks. This is because the Memento ink is dye-based and does not smear as easily as other inks might.  
For my third project, I decided to test the ProMarkers on a variety of surfaces to see how they would perform.  So I decided to use them on the embellishments that I was going to put in the mini album that I am working on for my daughter.  I started with the chipboard cover pieces and covered them with a variety of papers and embellishments.


Then I used one of the coordinating muted markers to line the outer edge of my page.


I used “Pale Pink” and “Pastel Blue” to outline the cloth flowers with a little touch of color. The mini frame was white, so I used the same two ink colors to make it coordinate with the paper and flowers. After the ink dried, I added some glitter, a charm, and rhinestones to the frame.


On the page below, I used the ProMarker to outline the lace so it would coordinate with the other elements on the page.


Then I used the ProMarkers to outline the vellum envelope and the green corners.

Tips:
Start with the lightest color and color image in.  Then apply the other colors in a similar order (light to dark)
Use the blender pen according to manufactures directions to get the best results.
Use the blender pen as a base coat then quickly apply the ProMarker colors you are trying to blend, before it dries to maximize use of the blending medium.

Try shade apply the color onto paper surfaces by layering the color on until you get the desired result.
The blender pen allows for versatility with the color applications and is a must have if you want to be able to do more shading in your color application
Pros:
  • The pens are good for multi-surface applications.  You can use them on paper, card stock, vellum, acetate, glass, wood, metal and some plastics.
  • The pens are very affordable and are available in about 145 different colors to suit a variety of projects. 
  • The pens are also sold in color coordinated sets which are more cost effective.  The sets are well labeled to the type of media or art they are best suited for.
  • The dual tips are very versatile and allow for a variety of lines for use for both crafting and manga drawing.
  • The blenders are great for using to blend colors, remove color, and for achieving different types of shading techniques (depending on the type of project you are using the ProMarkers for).
Cons:
  • These are alcohol inks so they will bleed through some papers and there is some distortion on the less expensive copy paper.
  • The colors are translucent, so they will not show up well on clear plastic or clear glass.  Opaque plastic or glass would work better.
  • These are alcohol inks and will dry quickly.  So you have to work quickly to achieve smooth strokes.
  • The markers are not permanent on every single surface.  I would test them the intended surface to make sure the ink will be permanent.  Different surfaces can have hidden chemicals and/or oils that keep inks from adhering to them.

Giveaway

The great folks over at Letraset are giving one lucky reader a set of markers. To enter this contest, simply answer any of the questions below or on the other Letraset review in the comments section of this article on our website.

Have you tried Letraset Pro Markers yet? What alcohol ink markers do you use? Have you found something fun to do that is outside of the box? Please share!

One entry per person please. Contest will close Monday, May 16th at 6pm CST.

CHA Embellishments: Petaloo

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

We could not walk past the Petaloo booth without stopping to see the vast display of new scapbooking supplies,  and collections they have ready to release.  As you can see from other posts on CHA, flowers are big this year!

The “Mulberry Street” collection is their most recent release and is available for shipping to your local craft store.

This is a fabulous example of a fun way to use these blooms.

In addition to blooms, they now offer sparkly things to set off your lovely creations.  Here is an example of a beautiful collage of the flowers, paper, glitter and sequins.  From the “Dazzlers” collection, we have the following selection.

The memory book cover below is a great example of how you can combine the various products to create  a fun, personalized cover.

The “Sweet Pea” collection (Premier Devon Collection), was scheduled to be released on February 5, 2011.

Close up of one of the “Sweat Pea” flower sets.

These flowers looks so cute on the cards below.

The “Expression” collection also offered an interesting selection of florals.  This collection is scheduled to be released on February 28, 2011.

 Below is your sneak peek at these new florals.

 The “Bohemian Paper Silk” flowers in this line are simple and lend themselves well to to be used on wearable projects like the hairbands below.

A very exciting addition to their line is the “Color Me Crazy” collection which is scheduled to be released on May 1, 2011.

These flowers are made from a variety of media (cloth, paper, etc.) and can be colored with different media (inks, paint, chalks, and more) to match your project color theme.  Below is a small example of the different varieties of flowers available in this collection.

Rosebuds
crochet florals

Rose Buds

Dendrobiums

They also offer trims in the same collection.

An example of flowers that were colored to match the memory paper.

The “Canterbury” collection is scheduled to be released on May 31, 2011.

Here is a look at a couple of the flowers you can find in this collection.  The first is from the mini “Canterbury” collection in the color pink.

The next is a lovely violet vine flower.

Below are some lovely examples of different projects you can create with this particular line.

The next collection was the “Estate” collection which is scheduled to be released May 1, 2011.

These flowers are made from knotted ribbons that are accented with a lovely crystal accent piece in the center of the bloom.  They come with a pin so that you can put it on a variety of items like hats, purses, etc.  Here is a close up of the darling little toddler dress that is accented with flowers from this line.

The Petaloo booth was like walking into a candy store.  Their new trims offered a fun filled assortment of textures and textiles.  The color and selection was truly inspiring. The question is, what would you make with these beauties.

Mini Rose Trim
Crochet Trim

Crystal Trim
Paper Garland
Paper Garland

Here is one great way to use the paper garland trim.

Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in this booth to see all the exciting products that Petaloo is releasing.  The aforementioned is only a part of what they had there.  You can visit their website to see what is new and when it will be released.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA Paper Lines & More: Jillibean Soup


Hello from the CHA floor! For all you paper crafting fans, Jillibean Soup has some great offerings. Karen Nuce was super nice walking through the “new-ness” with me, the CHA newcomer.

Check out their fun corrugated cardboard shapes that come now in stars and alphabets!

Baker’s Twine (10 yards at $2.99… seems pretty reasonable) comes in six new colors!

And their paper lines, all so creatively named. Each line has adhesive borders, twill and new Journaling Sprouts that are color coordinated.

Christmas Chestnut Soup

Love the organic coloring! We’ll be seeing more earthy, natural looking, brown-kraft paper colored backgrounds this coming season.


Pasta Fagioli

The retro designs are captured with the vintage cameras. Atomic Soup

A scientific motif turned crafty cool! That periodic table of elements is actually correct.



Monster Stew

The monster motif is really popular with kids and adults alike!

Booth visitors also had a chance to make window cards with the new designs.


Come back soon for more CHA exhibits, products and project ideas!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!