Merry Christmas

I wish everyone the very best for a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Technique Class - Colouring Digital Images

Colouring printed digital images is one technique that seems to generate a lot of questions and causes a great deal of frustration.  The printer ink bleeds or fades altogether, the paper pills or it ends up all buckled and difficult to work with!  Grrrrrr... it's frustrating just writing about it!
Today I want to show you an easy and inexpensive trick for keeping your ink in place - heat setting.  And just to make it interesting we'll do a comparison of a couple of different methods.
Before we really get going, I would like to point out that the type of ink you use in your printer as well as the type of paper you print on will have an impact on the results you get.  Try to buy the best quality ink for your machine that you can afford as well as the best type of paper for the colouring method you want to use*.


HEAT GUN
Heat guns produce a stream of very hot air, topping out at around 400C / 750F.  In paper crafting we generally use them to melt enamel and embossing powders or to dry inks and paint.

The downside to using a heat gun is that it tends to leave the paper warped, more so if you are heating a large area.


HOT DRY IRON
Another method is to use an iron, but make sure you turn off the steam setting first.  (Who knew there would actually be a useful purpose for an iron!?)


The downside to using an iron is that it's relatively easy to scorch the paper, as you can see in the image below.  It will leave a yellow cast to the paper... brown or black if you leave it longer!!

COLOURING
I coloured three of the images with copic markers - one image with no heat setting, one image heat-set with a heat tool and the third image heat-set with the iron.  Have a look at the differences between the following pictures...




Notice how the image with no heat setting has a slightly muddy look to it, particularly in the pink of the flowers.  The second image, set with the heat gun, has much less of a muddy appearance, but it is still obvious that the ink has run.  The best result, in my opinion, is from the hot, dry iron.


DISTRESS INKS
I repeated the same process again but coloured the images with distress inks.  Interestingly, this colouring method did not seem to cause the printer ink to run as easily as it did when using the alcohol markers.  I assume this is because the blending process with the markers is a lot more involved, giving the printer ink a lot more opportunity to bleed.





It's a good idea to compare different papers, colouring methods and inks until you are satisfied with your results... and who knows, maybe irons will make a comeback!



* I have an Epson ink jet printer and only use Epson brand ink.  The cardstock I used for today's tutorial is Whisper White by Stampin' Up.  I am not affiliated with either company.

33 comments:

  1. Fantastic tutorial Beccy..Loz

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  2. This was very interesting....thanks so much for taking the time to do this. Now off to do some ironing. :-)

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  3. Great tut Beccy, am sure heaps of us out there will find this usefull..♥

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  4. Thank you very much! I have trouble with the ink running...I notice it especially in faces. I have tried a heat gun but not an iron! This will be fun and easy ironing! LOL Brenda

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  5. Beccy, I've worked with digital images for years and the easiest way I've found on any kind of paper is simply to rub an eraser over the image. The eraser removes ink that hasn't set in the paper and you are good to color with whatever medium you want. Just thought I'd share that with you and your readers.

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    1. Thanks Beccy and Holly! I am going to try both!

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  6. This is just fantastic, sometimes I do have a mudding problem with copic, especially if I use the very pale colors, like the 0000, I will certainly try heat setting. thank so much for sharing. Hugs;.

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  7. Great tutorial, Beccy!
    I use a lot of digital images, but for me, the end of the problem was to print with a laser print :)

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  8. Thanks Beccy, I will be trying the iron! Who knew:O)
    hugs
    glenda

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  9. Thanks Beccy, looks like I may have to get the iron out now :) Viv xx

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  10. Beccy, thanks so much, I don't have copics but do have the distress markers as well as some waterbased markers. This is so helpful and now maybe I will give it a try!

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  11. GREAT ideas!! i just sray fixative over any work i do. works teriffic, no runs or paper color change... but i really dig trying new stuff! thanks so much for sharing! xo

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  12. thank you very much wonderfull help,
    xoxo Doro

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  13. Thanks so much for this Beccy. Will have a go. :o)

    Love Joan xx

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  14. Thanks for this wonderful tutorial and the beautiful inspiration card.

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  15. Love the coloring with Distress inks... Also, I use various brands of alcohol-based markers, and it seems to react with some printer inks and not others -- even some within the same "brand" or "line" of printer ink. I haven't come up with any solution other than trial and error to see if the alcohol inks will react with the printer ink. I recently switched over to a laser printer, and I have a much more consistent result with that not running or bleeding, but I've also read that it's not always consistent with laser printers either.

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  16. I have this flower image already and coloring with colored pencils. Sometimes I used the blower to after I printed my images.
    Thanks for always take the time and sharing beautiful images and tutorials.
    -Sony
    Sonia-Studio60

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  17. Great tutorial, thank you for sharing. I am wondering if we print them on Watercolor paper if that would help some. I like both the heat gun and iron, either one is acceptable.

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  18. This is an interesting. What I would like to know is how do you color digital images with water colors? What paper, etc. I have tried everything ( I don't know alot) and it does not turn out right. I honestly would appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks.

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  19. What an awesome tutorial. How I love pintrest and that's how I found this wonderful bit of knowledge. Thanks so very much for sharing this tip! Will save me a boatload in stamps :)

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  20. I heard this way of colouring too. Not yet tried it. Using the water based inks (distress) stamp the pad colours of your choice onto a plaint white tile or something white and non stick, then using a water colour painting brush use those colours as your palette.

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  21. Thank you so much! I will try this as I have been unable to colour any of your lovely images that I downloaded so far!

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  22. Thank you for sharing this with us. I have tried every time to colour digi,s, but it does n't works without bleeding.
    I am so glad with tutorial.

    Greetings Bep

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  23. Thank you for this. I am very new to coloring digis and everything makes my ink run. I will try this.

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  24. Awesome blog post and tutorial, this will be very helpful!

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  25. Thank you very much for sharing it...

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  26. Thanks for going through all the different settings and showing the differences in the three. I usually print my images with a laser printer but the printer is getting older and I keep having problems with the streaks of toner. I might have to switch over to my inkjet.

    Ive been making cards and using Copics for about 5 years now and from the time I first started I was always told not to use my Copics with Stampin' Up! cardstock because it ruined the nibs. I used to be a Stampin' Up! Demo and even my upline warned against it. Just wondered if you ever noticed any damage to your markers?

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    1. Hi Peg. I didn't notice any extra damage to the tips of my markers but I use the bullet tips, which may be a little stronger than the more common brush tips that have longer fibres. I've never really worried about damaging the tips of my markers since the tips are replaceable anyway. I also feel that I'm buying the markers to do a particular job and if I don't use them to do that job then I've wasted my money buying them.

      Having said that, I do find I get the best results when I use card that is manufactured specifically for alcohol markers. Blending is easier and more even across the image, which is a lot more satisfying.

      I would definitely encourage you to play with your markers Peg. Try them on different surfaces and for different reasons... they are very versatile and can do so much more than just colouring images. Try them on metal, buttons, rhinestones and brads. Don't be afraid to damage them, as I said, the tips are easily replaceable. Have fun!
      Cheers,
      Beccy

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  27. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!! I wish I have seen it before, I got the Spectrum Noir markers, but I am a novice and got frustrated, tryied watercolors but did not work either - user error LOL!!- and I got so many digital images I would love to be able to print on my inkjet, you are very kind for sharing your experiments with us, I might put my brave hat on and tried this again!!
    have a wonderful weekend!

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