Atlas Jar Tutorial

I’ve been able to create a tutorial to share on how to color a jar. This tutorial uses the Atlas Jar from Whimsy Stamps plus a few more elements from the Polka Dot Pals line that fill the jars. This is the smaller of the two jars available at Whimsy Stamps, the other is Mason Jar and is large enough to fit a character inside.

There’s a lot of tips so you can get the CliffNotes version and look at the pictures or stick with me and read the unabridged version. I’ll be posting cards I’ve made with these on different days.

Important things to keep in mind – I found that the jar concept can be simplified, which is what I’m showing here, but this is just the beginning. I think that creating different shapes around the edges with shadows and highlights adds visual interest and makes each jar unique. Adding colors around the edges too also makes them fun. So once you get the concept down, be sure to experiment with each new jar that you color.

STEP 1: Stamp the Atlas Jar first, then lay down a masking for the highlight. I used Post-It Notes Cover Up Tape that is 1/6″ wide. I arranged the jar’s reflection differently on each jar. The main reflection, and largest reflection, should be on the same side that your light source is coming from.

STEP 2: Leave the mask for the next few steps and begin by stamping your scene inside the jar on top of the mask. If the ink rubs off the masking easily then you will need to replace it with clean masking. I tapered the masking ends on the jars at an angle to help with the highlighting later on in the tutorial. I did this just by tearing it but you scissors would be a good tool too.
STEP 3: Take your darkest color to draw a ring around the jar. You can choose to leave a white reflection on the sides, top and/or bottom, or none at all. This white part between the jar edge and your coloring would indicate how thick your jar is and where more light would reflect through. In my example, the left one has that thick glass look and the right one has a thicker bottom and top. The colors I used in this step are N3 in the right, the middle is N5 and the last uses BG23.
STEP 4: Use a lighter color and start blending from the outside in. I made sort of an oval shape around the center with my blending to help the jar look roundish. The masking is still there so make sure not to hesitate in that area when you color otherwise the color will seep in through the underside of the paper. In this example I used N2, N3 and BG11.
STEP 5: Now use the lightest color and blend it out smooth. I used N1, N1 and BG10. You can also use the Colorless Blender 0 to help with the blending.
STEP 6: This is an optional step. I found that my darkest colors were blended out too much for my preference so I went back in and added the darkest color around the edges again.
STEP 7: Color the rest of the image. Again, be careful not to linger around the masked area or the ink will bleed through and your reflection will no longer be white.
STEP 8: This is also an optional step but a fun one to add. On this step you can adjust the jar as needed – you can add darker areas, shading more, shadows under the jar top or even colors reflected on the side wall. After this step, coloring with Copic Markers on the jar is done.
STEP 9: Remove the masking. Don’t you wish all steps could be that easy? You can see that the blue bleed a little on the right jar, top right. I like that shape so I’m going to keep it there.
STEP 10: Now is the time to add some white so grab your gel pen, gouache, Dr. Ph. Martin’s or whatever white you like to use. This is where I round out the highlight and add a few other reflections in the glass. Some things you want to keep in mind is that the white reflection of the jar would cover the image. If the white spot over your image is too “bright” then you can color in a faded version to help make it one cohesive image inside the jar. I did that on the left one.

NOTE: Each of these jars is a little different so I encourage you to play around with the elements – the color of the jar, the thickness of the jar (like the left jar, would have white between the edge and the jar’s contents, the shading), the jar’s reflections and also the shapes around the jar’s edges will all make your own jar unique and interesting.

Supplies Used:
Hammermill Premium Color Copy 100lb
Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Post-It Notes Cover Up Tape 1-Line
Sakura Gelly Roll White Pen

Whimsy Stamps:
Atlas Jar (jar and grassy tuft)
Polka Dot Pals Atlas (grumpy cloud and rainbow face)
Polka Dot Pals Raden (fox)
Polka Dot Pals Imogen (mushroom and worm)

Copic Markers:
0, N1, 2, 3, 5, 8
BG10, 11, 23
E13, 07, 18, 19
E43, 44
R01, 02, 05, 12, 29
YG00, 11, 23, 21, 13, 17, 67
BV20, 23
W0, 1, 3, 4, 5, 7
V12, 17
B02, 16
Y11, 19
YR09, 16

Polka Dot Pals Harley

Move over Chef, there’s a new Count in town! Here’s another example of Extreme Creative Color Placement on Polka Dot Pals Harley and this time he’s come out as Count von Count. “I am the Count. They call me the Count because I love to count things”

This was a challenge to color a Polka Dot Pals character as a Muppet – HERE is the Swedish Chef and Jennifer colored Animal HERE. We used Polka Dot Pals Harley on all these modifications.

Someone had asked if I could do a tutorial on faces and this one is as good as any. So scroll down and follow along as I color Count von Count.
I start with one of the lighter colors and map out the shadows. This allows me to see what it would look like without investing in the placement. The lighter color can be blended out.
I think jump into the darkest color and start laying down the shadows. IN this example, I realized I didn’t want as much dark as I had originally colored with the lightest color so you can still see a lot of that showing through.
Here I moved to a medium tone and started blending between the darkest color and this medium color. For this example, I’m only using three colors so I’ll be going back and forth between the lightest, medium and darkest colors.
I felt I had blended too much of the darkest color out so I went back in and added some on the areas I really wanted dark. I went back and forth between the darkest and medium colors until I was happy with the depth and blending. Then I started adding the lightest color and blending out the hard line between the two colors.
Here shows what it looks like when I’m finished with the lightest color. As you notice there are some areas that are not colored at all. By leaving some white, this will give me an extra tone and a better highlight on the image. I leave this for the last and then color the area ONCE with the lightest color. Then very lightly blend in any harsh lines.
Lately I’ve been saving the nose for the last and this simple shape made it easy to do so. I colored it quickly and now I can move on to the eyes, monocle and hair. At the moment, this is the same technique I use for all the faces that I color. Hope it’s something that has helped you out.

Here are the supplies I used on my card.

Hammermill Premium Color Copy 100lb
Echo Park Jack & Jill

Whimsy Stamp:
Polka Dot Pals Harley

Copic Markers:
BG72, 75, 78 (cape)
R02, 24, YR16, Y35, YG09, B16, W7, 5 (inside cape)
R24, 27, 59 (shirt details)
W3, 5, 7, 8, BV23, T7
E31, 35, 37, 39 (mushrooms)
E42, 43, 44 (stump)
YG21, 23, 25, 67, G17 (grass)
V12, 15, 17 (skin)
B00, 12, 91, T1 (background)

Liquid Pearls

Polka Dot Pals Harley

Polka Dot Pals Harley is a hardcore character and also one that has many faces, literally! This is a challenge I did with Jennifer Dove to color a Muppets character using Polka Dot Pals Harley clear stamp. She went with Animal and I chose the Swedish Chef. This is considered extreme creative color placement.

Visit Jennifer’s Animal post HERE.
(and a hug thank you to her for the inspiration, wood grain paper, and much more!)

First of all, let’s start with what Polka Dot Pals Harley look like:

This is always a fun thing to see – the original image layered over the colored image. You can see how much was changed from his head to his toes. Below is what the actual clear stamp looks like:
Polka Dot Pals Harley from Whimsy Stamps
I first started with a lightly stamped image and sketched in my details. The face would be the important part and the eye placement worked well for my character. The hat, however, was a challenge to think through. I decided to taper the head and have the hair be hidden within the hat. You’ll notice the shadow I have is actually the top of the hair outline. I also pulled down the chin so there wasn’t a neck anymore.
Next was all about the coloring. I tried to get some texture in the face to match the Muppet but half way through my markers got all gummy so I had to stop. I would fix that later with colored pencils but for now, the face and hair will have to stand out badly.
After the image was colored (you’ll see the finished one below), I came back in to fix the face and hair with the colored pencils. As you can see, on the right is Copic only and you can see how gummy it got. The right side is smoothed out with the colored pencils on top.
Here’s the finished one – “Börk börk börk.” When I colored the stump, I decided to ignore the mushroom details since I already had plenty of details in the image itself.
Finally a challenge wouldn’t be as fun if there wasn’t an accomplice! Pop on over to Jennifer‘s site to see details on Animal. “I want to eat drums!”

Here the list of Copic Markers I used:

BG000, 11, 10
N0, 2, 4, 6
B000, 91, 95, 97
E000, 51, 53, 35, 02, 41, 42 (skin)
E21, 23, 25, 27, 29 (hair)
R11, 12, 93, 95, E04 (nose)
R35, 37, 32, 20
E41, 42, 43, 44
R12, 05, 14, 27, 89
YR02, 04, 09
E70, 71, 74, 77 (trunk)
YG21, 23, 25, 45, G24, 28 (grass)
BV23, 21
Plus some Polychromos colored pencils on the face

Whimsy Stamps:
Polka Dot Pals Harley

Hammermill Premium Color Copy 100lb
Park Lane Paperie Woodland

Don’t forget to visit Jennifer’s Animal post HERE
…and we challenge you to join us! What can you create?

Polka Dot Pals Khadija

I hope this gal isn’t getting too much attention but after doing the Polka Dot Pals faces tutorial, I decided she actually needed to be colored and create my first card in over a year. So without further ado, this is my card using Polka Dot Pals Khadija

But wait! There’s more! How about another tutorial!! This was actually all going to be one giant tutorial but I thought it best to break it up, one for the face and one for the background. So get ready for much ado!

For this tutorial, I wanted to share one way that you could use the sentiments. In this picture, I’m planning out my layout. I try to pick long words and words that can be cropped are delightful such as this sentiment “splendidly.” Did you know I almost spelled this one wrong? That’s right, during production a valuable Whimsy DT member caught my error and I was able to fix it before production. Phew, that would have been embarrassing.
To use the sentiment so it would fit on my project, I chose to reduce it to “splendid” and did this by wiping away the ink on the last two letters. I did this for each time I stamped it.
I also used the music bar element from the set to fill in the area. I could have squeezed in another “splendid” sentiment for four in a row but I actually didn’t have another blue that coordinated. So this turned out to be a happy modification as I really liked how it turned out.
With the washi tape still masked around the outside, I used these colors to give the background more color and to separate it from the image more. (As you could probably deduce, the character was masked before stamping the sentiment. I did that with a scratch paper and covered up the girl.)
Here’s what it looks like after all the masking and washi tape was removed. Now I’m ready to do the coloring on the character. I need to remember to not color outside the imaginary line that is Polaroid photo area. That white border is important for that kind of look.
This was just a mini tutorial for the background so I didn’t take notes or photos while coloring Polka Dot Pals Khadija. The face is from the Polka Dot Pals Syeda stamp set.
The last thing I colored was some glitter using a glitter brush I had to give the dress and pipes some sparkle. It doesn’t show up on the photos very well but in person it’s a nice detail.

These are the Copic markers I used:
C0, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7
R00, E000, 30
B00, 01, 12, 14, 06

These are the stamps I used:

Polka Dot Pals Add-on Faces Tutorial

Welcome! In this tutorial, I’m going to give some tips and tricks on how to add the Polka Dot Pals add-on faces to the Polka Dot Pals.

You’ll find Polka Dot Pals sold at Whimsy Stamps in clear sets with elements and accessories that and interchangeable between sets. So a forward face from one set will work with any of the other forward facing character.

There’s a lot of information here – if you want the reader’s digest then just look at the pictures but if you want the unabridged version like a true die-hard, then stick with me and read the text. 😛

For this tutorial, I used two sets: the character from Polka Dot Pals Khadija and the face from Polka Dot Pals Syeda. Product links shown at the bottom.
First, let’s get to know the characters and elements of the face. I know, you know what an eye and ear look like, but let’s do it for kicks and grins so we’re on the same page when it comes to terminology.

CHIN: The chin is visible on almost every character and is a wide sweeping smile shape. But you’ll also see this same shape on the face’s stamp. The base part that clings to the acrylic block will resemble the same shape which will help with placement. (Here’s an interesting note: sometimes the chin might not match exactly because more stability is needed for a mouth, such as the face shown on the left. When this happens, just ignore the bump and you can focus on the cheeks instead for alignment.)

EARS: Ears are not always visible on the characters especially if they are covered with hair, bows or other accessories. However, when you do see them, they also aid in placement for the same reasons as the chin – the base of the face stamp have those same protruding nubs that will align with the character’s own ears.

EYEBROWS: These are easy to spot but you may find it interesting that they are included with the character and not with the face. Why is that? For those that don’t want to add a face then the pupils and eyebrows are already there to give the character personality without having to add anything on.

PUPILS: This brings us to the pupils which are the beady-eyed dots on the characters. They are positioned the same on every character so that the faces can be added. However, when not adding a face, those dots represent the character’s eyes. The face is a large blank canvas, per se, so there is enough room to play around and have fun – you can add color to the eyes, stamp a face, or color your own face.

IRIDES: Here’s the tricky part, did you know that the plural or iris (as in eyes) is irides?! I had no idea until this tutorial. Ok, so with the tricky part over, let’s talk about the irides. This is the large open circle on the face’s stamp which would be colored green, blue, brown or whatever color for your character. It’s circular because the pupil is curricular. When stamping, the pupils and irides should be centered with each other – hence the reason for this tutorial.

This step is specifically for those to prefer to eyeball (HA!) the position of the faces, like I do. For each face, I like to practice on my paper pad until I feel comfortable with the results. If this makes you uncomfortable, then using a stamp positioning tool will also help you get that perfect placement you’re looking for. But don’t stress it too much – if the faces are off, you’ll see below there are ways they can still be “saved” and you can “just keep coloring, just keep coloring.”
In this image and the one below, I have stamped a few common outcomes. In the example above, the first one is the desired result where the pupil is centered in the iris. For the other two, they appear to be looking down or up but when colored, it doesn’t exactly look right. Why is that? A quick answer from Wikipedia: in humans, the iris is a circular muscle in the eye, responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupil similar to optical aperture. Think of it as camera lenses and how they open and close but the opening part will always be in the center.
In this example, the top two faces have off-centered placement as well so when colored they look a little wonky. But if that’s what you’re going for, then ignore all this. LOL The last one, however, is one of the softest and quickest tips – if you find it frustrating to align the pupils and irides, then just use a cotton swab before stamping the character and remove the pupil. You can color it back in later, as seen below.
Lastly, I wanted to share this with you for two reasons – first on the left you can see these are all the faces from the above examples. I like to stamp my faces in a lighter color so that I can add the depth through color – however, this also allows me to color over the pupil and then later color it in the shape and size of my choosing. On the right, you would hardly notice those same wonky faces when looking at their eyes. The second reason? Just look at those possibilities and how much the pupil and highlights can change the look.

Try Coloring Your Own Faces

Here’s are some videos to watch where I colored in my own faces without using an add-on stamped face. This is a little more difficult but it also opens up the creativity box because you can color different expressions, animal faces, sugar skulls or clowns, or whatever you can think of.

View the finished project HERE.

Fairy and Her Bunny

This is Fairy and Her Bunny from Whimsy Stamps and I have a picture tutorial on how I colored her face. This fairy has been colored wonderfully in so many ways that I had a little trepidation starting. But I thought some pink hair would help me out and decided to get started nonetheless. The tutorial shows how I colored this fairy and I use the same techniques on all the faces that I color in this way. Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for those asking for a tutorial. It’s nice to know what is helpful to show and what isn’t. 😀 So this is how I color a face when I give it larger eyes. I first define the features with the skin tones, then add the pupil, shading and finish up with a white gel pen. The face doesn’t really sparkle until the white is added so keep pressing forward to the end.
(Click on the photo for a larger view.)

These are the Copic markers I used on Fairy and Her Bunny:
E30, 31, 35, 0000, R12, B01, 69, 05, C3, C1, E49, W8, BV23
E04, RV14, R21
BG93, YG11, G21
YR30, 23, Y35
B52, 01, 00, 000
YG63, 17, 99

For the wings, I didn’t color them and made sure to color the clothes and hair under them. Then I used a glitter pen to color the wings and the white gel pen to make some highlights. I also used the glitter pen on the “Hello” sentiment, which is a Make it Crafty chipboard embellishment.