How To Use Gamsol and Add Sparkle…

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Have you ever wanted to color and blend your stamped images, but thought, I am not an artist so I will just stick to the basics?  Well, I have a few tips for you that will help you to take your “coloring” to a new level.  First you will need to get some colored pencils.  I prefer Prisma colored pencils, but use what you are comfortable with.  Next, you will need a blending liquid called, Gamsol.  Lastly, you need blending sticks.  The sticks can be purchased separately or in packs with various sizes, or they may even come in a kit that has other items included.  I bought a small kit to start that included a sanding block, an erasor, a sharpener and various sized blending sticks (all in a cute case).

So the first thing you want to do is stamp your images and let them dry.  As you can see from the pictures below, I started with some fun images from the Stamps of Life, and I used Crafter’s Companion dye ink.  The Happy Birthday stand up card is also from Sizzix, the Stamps of Life, designed by Stephanie Barnard as well as all of those cute little animals!

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I colored the images with my prisma pencils, and I was not overly careful.  I put down color where I wanted it, and left some areas blank so I could lightly pull color there.  In other areas, I added more than one color so I could blend them.  Once the color was on, I dipped the  blending stick (small to medium size worked best for me) into the gamsol.  You will see the stick darken as it gets wet and it is fine if the liquid moves further up the stick.  I lightly rubbed the stick over the colorings until they were blended to my liking.  Take a look at some of the close-ups below to see how I was able to achieve smooth blending….

For shading, the best tip I could give you is to outline the objects (first pic) and then try pulling the color towards the middle so the edges remain darker and the center lighter.  For blending, I used multiple colors on the images and pulled the colors toward each other so they would eventually blend.  You need to work with your images to see what works and what you like.  As a finishing touch, I lightly brushed sparkle on all of the butterfly and floral stamps with my crafter’s companion, Spectrum Noir sparkle pen for some added shine.  You can never have to much sparkle!!!

Don’t be afraid to experiment.  There is no right or wrong method – do what works best for you!  Happy coloring!