Floral Pretties - Past & Present

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pencil Blending Tutorial with homemade tortillons and baby oil PT 1

I thought I would show you some methods of pencil blending that I use, I have modified this technique so that it uses materials you should have around your house AND less toxic to your lungs LOL! Before I begin, I must admit, I have just spent this week trying out the baby oil ( instead of OMS) to see what the pros and cons were. A big thank you to AmzdByHsGrace and Darsie from the CoC board. Darsie wrote a tutorial on how she used baby oil and Derwent Inktense pencils ( on Fred's wishlist!) on watercolour paper. Well I have bucked the idea of using baby oil on cards as it can leech out of your paper and onto anything near it. BUT, if used sparingly, I think it should be okay for your projects ( please chime in if you agree or disagree :) ). Furthermore, there are a ton of awesome tutorials out there in web land to try. I posted a few links a few blog entries back. Here is another one from Sue Nelson to add to the list - I love her cards! ... and I can't use "love" too strongly here LOL

I will show you what "I do" with the flowers. This Part 1 will deal with your materials and getting you ready.

Pros of Baby Oil/Mineral Oil:
- it is cheap and readily available
- no toxic fumes! ... and smells baby fresh!
- a little goes a LONG way - I applied the oil once to my blending tortillon and I blended a whole sheet of flowers with it and it was still ticking! The oil doesn't evaporate, but it will dry eventually . OMS evaporates fairly quickly and you are usually reapplying it to your stump during a project.
- I got pretty smooth blending results - I think as good as OMS - WITH a paper tortillon. I did not try my regular blending stumps as I only have a few and didn't want to mess them up. I achieved SMOOTHER results with the paper tortillon and oil on copy paper than I did with my OMS and stump. I also got better results with the tortillon and OMS, go figure.
-they work on just about any pencil, waxy colored pencils, watercolour/watersoluble pencils, chalk/pastel pencils... I have tried them all and they work.
-baby oil did not bleed/smear the ink outlines from my printer.

CONS of Baby Oil:
- oil spots on your paper! If you use too much OMS it can make spots on your paper, but it will evaporate and disappear. Not so with oil. This is what I did. I dipped just the tip of the tortillon into the oil then blotted the tip with tissue, I used the tortillon on a scrap piece of paper and checked to see if oil leeched to the back of the paper or made a spot on the front. If not, I was good to go. If still too much oil, reblot with tissue/papertowel or draw with the tortillon on scrap until the marks are "dry".

EDIT: Carolivy gave me a good tip. If you have it, essential oils are good as a blending fluid. She uses Rosewood essential oil for dorsing in parchment craft and says it works great and doesn't leave oily spots. She also thinks Lavender oil would work as well. Oh can you imagine the wonderful smell while you craft.... :)


So you need materials:
-baby oil or mineral oil, ..... OMS/Gamsol/Zest-It, etc if you have it.

-tortillons ( stumps if you have them) I will show how to make them yourself!

-tissue or paper towel for blotting

-Sandpaper paddle, sanding block, piece of sand paper, or emery board - to sand off colour on tip of tortillon so you can use it for another colour.

-pencils - wax based Prismacolor is what I am using, watercolor/pastel pencils will work too. I prefer wax based, the colours are brighter, although I think those Inktense pencils would rock!

-a pencil sharpener! I almost forgot that one! LOL

-white CS/watercolor/regular paper, something matte not glossy

-image to colour - be it stamped or printed or hand drawn with a black pigment pen.


Find some regular weight paper, the more fuzzy/fibrous the better, eg recycled paper, copy paper, try different kinds, see what works best for you ;) ; you will also need some tape and a "pushing tool" (darning needle, skewer, chopstick, thick wire, etc.)
Cut a full sheet into thirds, no real science or measurement, roughly 3.5" by 6-8". The new cut sheets are then cut straight on a diagonal lengthwize starting about 1" from one side to 1" on the other. I used this tutorial ( great diagrams ) to make mine but did a few adjustments, I rolled the paper on the needle of a paperpricking tool or bamboo skewer ( something skinny and you can hold onto easily while rolling). Roll your paper pretty tight. When rolling, roll the flat side so that it is even and when done rolling use your push tool to push the roll out through the flat side until it comes to a sharp point. I used a bamboo skewer or a chopstick to push the paper roll out. Hold onto the tortillon and roll tape around it to secure. Here are some of mine.

I will post PT 2 soon. Here are some flowers I made. I haven't had time to turn them into cards yet. Yes, I am a tease! TaTa for now!


Anonymous said...

Two very clear tutorials - thanks for sharing.


Myrt said...

....great tutorials - thanks so much - will have a go at it soon. Love those two flowers - and "yes" you are a tease (lol).

Rosemary said...

Thank you for a great tutorial!!