Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Twooooo Cute for Christmas!!

Hi! Hope you're all behaving and enjoying the *coughs* lovely wet UK summer weather around here! 

We are well and truly in Christmas mode here at Polkadoodles so if you haven't yet got your 2015 Festive fix on, make sure you head over to the store and take a look at our lovely new collections - and a lot of you are also looking at our previous ones too if you missed them last year!

If you want to see more of the lovely things you can make with this collection I will be sharing some of my favourite samples from the team over the next few weeks!

Seriously adorable!
See you tomorrow! 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Duo Tones Colouring Challenge at Graph'It markers sponsored by Kenny K

It's the start of a brand new challenge today over at Graph'It and this week we're sponsored by Kenny K.

ENTER the challenge HERE

As usual I forgot to check what the colour challenge was when I started to colour, got an idea in my head and then just went for it LOL,  but luckily how I did this fits into the Greys and Browns haha! I absolutely loved this image when I saw it over on the Kenny K website so I just had to use it...it looked really complicated to colour but actually it wasn't, it's just because there's a lot of detail in the image to guide you.  I really wanted to achieve a strong metallic and fur feel to the image and to get contrasting metals such as steel and bronze or iron so that it suited her armour...
I couldnt find the right colour palette for my 'vision' so I coloured it in first and then made the palette below so you can see the palette more easily. I love how the Graph'It greys all work so perfectly, you'd think I'd put loads of colour into this image when in fact all I used were Greys, Brown and Skintones! I added the background foliage just with flicks of the same colours and made sure that I used lots of mid and dark greys to make it really atmospheric, finished with the Graph'It Shake white marker to add some highlights. Grounding your image with just a tiny amount of grass or a flick of a twig really makes  a massive difference, helps you create a scene and helps to ground the image so it's not just floating. I have to admit I love how this one turned out, she really tells a story and when I saw this palette below and the inspiration I just imagined her standing in all that mist in the photo having just slain some mystical creature lurking from the fog...
Unfortunately I forgot to write down the colours I used but it would have been something like this:
Skin: 4101, 4105, 4125, 4150, 3105, 3120, 3210
Clothing: Metallics - 9101-9109 Blue Greys
fur boots: 3210 - 3290
fur cloak: 4125, 4150, 3105

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Pink, Yellow or Orange - Colouring challenge at Graph'It markers

Hello again! Week 2 of our Graph'It challenge please go and enter your colouring makes if they fit the theme you can win some lovely markers and digis!

Adore this cute 3 little Summer Girls  created by Wendy Burns, it's SOOO cute! THis was a really hard image for me to colour because stupidly I printed it really small so the bodies were tiny and I could barely get a nib in there LOL! So I had to keep my colouring quite simple but the colour palette is one of my all time favourites because I adore aqua colours, aqua aqua aqua love love love drool drool drool LOL!! So the image to me was crying out for a little seasidey scene to accompany the cuties, they just looked like they should be paddling for me...
As there are 3 girls I decided to do 3 different skintones to give you some good combos to use...So, from left to right these are the colours: Hat girl:
Skin: 4105, 4125, 4150, 3105, 3120, 4145
Clothes: Hat: 7220, 7240, Grey brushliner for shadow, 5110 & 4110 for flower
Hair (I've left my oranges somewhere so I struggled to get the orange tones and I forgot to write them down but I think it was 1110, 2105, 2150, 1150
Dress: 5110, 5125, 5130, 5160
Middle girl: Skin: 4105, 4125, 4115, 4150
Hair: 1130, 1180, 1250, 2120
Bucket: 4170, 2120, 2150
Dress: 7140, 7220, 7145
Rubber Ring girl: Skin: 4101, 4105, 4110, 4120, 4145, 4135
Hair: 5110, 5125, 5130, 5160, Grey brushliner
Scarf: 7220, 7140, Grey brushliner
RIng: 2160, 4110
Bucket and Top: 1150, 1180, 3105
Sand: 4110, 4170
Sea: 7105, 7140, 7145, 7180 denim, 7220, 7240 Graph'It White Shake pen (blobs and smudges!)

Pink, Yellow or Orange Colouring challenge at Graph'It

Hey! I'm a little behind myself this week but this is our current challenge over at Graph'It this week...

I used the  Love to Shop image created by Wendy Burns - so adorable! I really loved this colour palette, it reminds me of Tooty Fruity Sweets and this combo is all about sunshine and feeling great I think!  When I found this photo it just made me think of lemonade days...
The key to creating great colour combinations is always to ensure you get the right tones. This sometimes confuses people when using Graph'It as it's easy to assume that the markers work in numerical order, but this is not the case. My biggest tip for anyone whether you are advanced or a beginner is to always make sure you colour your own chart in so that you always have it to hand. I never ever colour without mine because it's so easy to pickup the wrong colour by mistake! If you use the wrong tones together you will end up with dirty, murky looking blending which just doesnt work.
Graph'its used:
Left-hand girl: Skin - 4105, 4125, 4150, 3105; Hair: 1150, 5115,, 2126; Clothes: 2120,8210,8220
Middle girl: Skin - 4105, 4125, 4150; Hair and clothes: 5115, 6150, 6160, 1150
Right-hand girl: Skin - 4105, 4125, 4150, 4155; Hair: 1150, 6150, 2120; Clothes: 5115, 8210, 8220

Monday, 22 June 2015


Shop for my Digital stamps here:

Friday, 19 June 2015

Pink and Pretty

Hello! Time for another colouring challenge over at Graph'It this week and the theme is Pink. We're sponsored by East Wind images which are fabulous and as soon as I saw this amazing image which is called Angel I knew just how I wanted to colour her. Sometimes less is more and I love using just a hint of colour sometimes rather than the full on heavy coverage we love with Graph'It. This image sums up the exact colours I had in my mind when I started...

I used:
Skin: 4105, 4125, 4150, 3105, 3120, 4145, 4135 cheeks
Pinks: 4110, 4125, 4135, 4150, 4160
Greys: Graph'It waterbased brushliner

Make sure you go over and join in the challenge - the rules are very open and you can win markers and digis so well worth a little entry! 

See you soon!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Feeling the blues

Time for more colouring over at Graph'It blog today! Go see what's occurrin!

We're all trying to use colour palettes for inspiration to stretch our colour choices more but I have to admit I'm finding it rather hard LOL! I'm kind of a get on with it gal when it comes to my colouring and I just go with the flow but this was the palette I had in mind for this week...
Gorgeous tones! I'm such a muted fan it's really hard for me to venture into the 6150 area which is round where you will find cyan and the brighter blues shown on the palette here. Cyan is a cornerstone of any blue combination, it's one of the core colours which make up the entire colour wheel along with magenta, yellow and black, so it's important. When i'm trying to choose a blue I always look at cyan as my midtone and then tend to choose more of a muted version so the 61's are the colours I tend to use more in my colouring. I veered off this colour palette a little as I was viewing it on my phone and didnt realise I had a colour filter applied as I was viewing it haha! I'm such an idiot sometimes LOL! I basically used the palette as a guide but went with a more muted version of the colours as I wanted a really soft look to my sad little girl (this is Oddella Twigs from Polkadoodles).  
I actually added way more colour to this than I originally intended, I wanted to show you that you don't always have to colour really heavily, sometimes a few flicks of well placed colour is all you need so really I just paid attention to the face, hair and the water so this only took about an hour to colour...
I used:
Skin: 4105, 4150, 3105, 3120
Hair: 6101, 6105, 6110, 6119
Clothing: Dress 4110, 3210 Tights: 6180, 3210, 4110 with Grey brushliner Boots 3105, 3210, 4110
Water: Grey Brushliners plus 6150 applied over the top, 8120 for the grass
Graph'It White Shake, Graph'It Fineliner .005 and Graph'It Brushliner (all 4)

I am also loving using the brand new Graph'It waterbased Pigmented Fineliner pens - these are super fine and are available in a range of different size blacks which are perfect for getting into those tiny areas and adding some really dark black shadows just where you need to fill in - you know where you get a tiny bit of white that you just cant get even the finest nib into. The .003 Fineliner is just sublime and there is only one other pen brand that has this tiny size, it's so fine it's barely there but they finish off your images perfectly.

Graph'It have also just launched a new set of Black and Grey Fine Brushliners - and OMG you NEEEED these!!! The fine brush is just superb! These are currently available in black and 3 shades of grey and again are waterbased pigmented. I have been experimenting a little with these and I'm loving using them again just to finish off and add some extra definition to my work at the end. I used them here on the water under her feet - they blend a little but allow you to still get some texture and the brush is just amazing to work with, again if you find it hard to get the fine alcohol marker nib into some areas these are perfect for assisting you. They are really designed  for sketching and drawing but I am seriously in love with them.

See you soon! x

Friday, 5 June 2015

Stormy Skies and Distress Inks

Hey yo!

I often get a late night inspiration flash just as I should be thinking about sleep - it usually happens about 10pm and it's SO annoying because I just HAVE to do something or I lie there awake until I do LOL!

Anyway last night it happened at 9pm instead so I tucked up in bed watching Big Bro (well listening Big Bro), got my Distress Markers out and I only had Winston printed onto my watercolour board so it was him or nothing.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with DI colouring...love the finished result but hate the process I find it quite tedious but I think I make hard work of it if i'm honest. I think because I love watercolouring so much I use my brush way too wet and my brush way too tiny so it makes me slow as a sloth and I work and work and work LOL!

Anyway 2 hours later and here we are, as I said at the end I love it but halfway through I always almost bin it in boredom.

Hope you like...this image is from my Winston Bear collection.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Serenity...in more ways than one.

Hi!! Thought today I'd share an image i just love from my new Serenity Fairy collection which you can find at the end of this post.

I'm not a patient crafter, I'm the kinda gal that needs instant gratification so if things take me too long I lose interest very quickly, I've never been the sort of person that can dip in and out of the same project over a few days like a lot of people do...it gives me brain drain! even with decorating I'm the same - the whole entire room has to be done in the same day or it never gets finished, probably the reason I'm so desperately in need of decorating at home LOL.

Anyways, I've neglected my Prisma's for a while and I'm a big believer in just going with the flow and doing what you FEEL at that precise moment. I got the pencils out a few weeks back and I totes wasnt feeling the love so I put them away with a MEH! yesterday I got them out again, stroked and oo'd a little and got to work.

The reason I love pencils is the texture you can achieve and you can get such a soft look or you can layer and layer and get real depth depending on what you do with them. I see so much talk about using the blender pencil with Prisma's and I think this is a bit of a falsey really...yeah it's GREAT having the blender pencil but to be honest I think if you're treating your pencils right, you don't really need it and it prevents your work getting too 'waxy' if you keep it to a minimum.

As with any colouring medium, whether it's paint or watercolour or whatever - if you don't give yourself the skills of knowing about light and how colour works you'll never achieve 100% of what you can do and get what the medium can give you back.

With Prisma's, IN MY OPINION, it's very much about layering. Layer on layer on layer will produce the depth of colour and smoothness you want.
I also see a lot of hoohah about using xyz cardstock or paper for pencils....yada yada....

You can use ANY medium on ANY substrate and it will perform, it's just that it performs differently so it really depends on what you want to achieve. Again I see a lot of 'you should be using a paper with tooth like watercolour board'...erm for me, you should be using what you feel like! Ok so i know everyone wants to be the best they can but really, we should all stop trying to be what we perceive everyone else to be and just CREATE. If you let go of the chains of comparing your work to others who you perceive to be the best it will help you find the freedom in your work to improve as you see fit.
This whole thing is about DISCOVERY.
Discover what your Prisma's are like on a super smooth card compared to a watercolour card - you never know, you might like it!
Personally I much prefer my Prisma's on Super Smooth! Now admittedly, not every SS will be the same and as always I use my Ultimate Graphic 160gsm which for me performs for everything except watercolours. I dont like pencils on watercolour board unless it's a really really smooth board because the paper gives me more texture than I want. I want to dictate to the pencil how much texture I want, rather than the substrate dictating to me! Call me bossy I don't care, it's my piece and I want it how I want it! so there!

Anyway, so getting back to this, I like my points blunt so I can blend better and dont get hard lines, and I like my strokes verrrrrry soft like feathers.
Light feathery strokes.
Lots and Lots of layers - build up the colour gently and as you go you will find the blending happens on it's own with a softness you'll never achieve with a Blender pencil.
And remember - once you get that blender involved it pushes and waxes that pigment up so it becomes harder to then layer and move that colour around again.
I use the blender when i want to set the pencil basically. But that's my way.

I totally messed up the face on this by not leaving it alone when I should so I wanted to share my secret - I got a paintbrush and some Sansador fluid and basically removed some of the colour back out so I could restart on the face (it was the cheeks which I picked the wrong red up and ended up with an almost Aunt Sally across the cheek area). So brush it right out, really gently and slowly and then you can redo. a godsend.

By this time I'd lost the will to live I'd been faffing so long, so for once in my life I walked away. And finished it again this morning. Whoop! So in total I've spent about 3 or 4 hours on this compared to my normal max 1.5hr boredom threshold.

I forgot to add that I also added a titchy tiny bit of Vintage Photo Distress Ink...tiny bit with my DI marker in the hair to add definition in the darkest points and I used a paintbrush under her bum and legs on the mushroom just to get a nice smooth shadow (be wary if you try this, the inks sit ON the waxiness and move around a lot so you need a very light touch or you'll mess it up!)

And in the end I was quite chuffed, but mainly because I loved the mushroom.

The image is Serenity Blossom and you can get her here from the Polkadoodles website.


Friday, 15 May 2015

Anything But Square - Graph'It colouring challenge

Today is challenge day over at Graph'It and despite my eyes falling out by the time I get home from being glued to a screen for 9 hours a day solid, I've done loads of colouring lately for various things. I'm trying to be a much better blogger! hahah I hear you snort!

Anyway today is all about Anything Square and I've used our sponsor image for this one. I colour up first - it always surprises me when I see people say they choose their papers first.
Of course it's each to their own but when I colour an image I don't have a plan really - ALWAYS start with skin because thats the biggest booboo part, then hair, that's an even bigger booboo possibility. So I just pick the colour hair I fancy there and then and see where that takes me. You can then co-ordinate the clothing to contrast because you have many many more colour choices for clothing. Simples!
And then - biggest choice of all, choose your papers at the end! The papers should compliment (in my opinion) not dictate. It's like choosing your carpet to match your wallpaper - you wouldnt really do it that way around would ya? Anyway, s'up to you and I'm no Kim Wok Chung or whatevs his name is!

Now, SKIN, let's talk SKIN with Graph'It. I've been using GI's for 2+ years now and there is only one combo i really have found I love and stick to and it's this one which I've listed below - it works every time for me. And whilst we're here I really need to reiterate something:
If you don't, you're going to be unhappy as hell quite honestly! 
The biggest reason you need to colour in your chart PROPERLY (and I dont mean some half-assed scribble here, get 3 layers of colour in each block and NO WAY should that colour have streaks in it - this is the ONLY way to do it! believe me!)
On Graph'It the numbers kinda fool you a little. Because this is a new brand of marker, they clearly cannot just suddenly produce a million marker colours all in one go, even though we'd love them to. So, GI have been VERY clever. Because the inventor used to work for both Copic and Letraset, she knew what she wanted. And this brand is in it for the long term, not a fly by night, cheap craft product that's low quality and will be here today gone tomorrow.
So the colour chart is set up FUTUREPROOFED
These numbers will be filled as and when the range grows. But if you think about it, of course there are gaps!
But, as a user, you MUST take this into account and remember it!!
If you don't, your colour blends WILL NOT WORK and you will end up with dirty smudging where you've been mixing the wrong colour families together.
It kills me, but I see this ALL the time, even with 'experienced' users. You MUST remember this to get success!
Once you have coloured in your OWN chart - PROPERLY - this will be more obvious to you so long as you're not colour blind and look properly and follow my advice, which is borne from experience in the early days - i very quickly learned why I was getting patchy faces! URGHHHH measles!

For instance, PINKS....
5110, 5115, 5120, 5125, 5130, 5135 etc....
So you look at this list and can see there are 5 number gaps between each colour, right? Yep!
BUT there is another thing here! 5110 and 5115 DO NOT BLEND!
Well, they do, but they're different colour families on the colour wheel! 
If you put 5110 and 5115 next to each other, 5110 is clean and 5115 has some grey/blue in it. 5115 is a dirty pink. So mix a clean and a dirty and you get patchy and not great.
Instead, look at the chart - you can SEE the tones that work together and they skip around a little because within the pinks we have RED pinks and BLUE pinks. If all the numbers were filled they would blend right across the colour wheel but you need to take account of the gaps.  Generally (but not always) you will find a PAIR of colours next to each other, or maybe 3, but generally it'll be a pair, skip one and then the 3rd colour you need.
ie Purples or rather Violets as theyre known in the colour world: 
6110, 6120, 6125, 6130, 6140, 6150 is a great example of this:
6110 and 6120 can be mixed as they're both so pale but really they shouldnt be. 
6120 really belongs with 6130 and 6140 (I'm typing without my colour chart so this might be a little one out) and then no way would you go 6110, 6130, 6150 - 6150 is a Red Violet and is a totally differnet colour and should never be mixed with any of the numbers in front of it! 
But the only way you see it is by doing the colour chart the way i do it.
Now, I am working with GI to bring a revised chart with the colours split into the colour wheel more so it's more obvious to those of us who aren't colour experts and pro designers. And I've also requested that they split this further into some proper blend sets too because that will make it so much easier, but this is a mammoth job so it's underway and when it arrives i will be one happy bunny indeed! 

Anyway, enough of the lecture but it's something I wanted to iron out once and for all because i KNOW this will help you massively if you are a GI user. 

So back onto what I made - this has turned into a mammoth post, sorry! 

I coloured this little chicky up (see the GI blog for more info) a couple of weeks before i made the card and when I went back to her she looked such a little misery I made her a little cloud of doom LOL.
  I knew my good friend would love this having the same twisted SOH that I do and she is going through a really tough time right now, she needs some motivation to keep her going when everything is hitting the fan so I just kinda went with the flow and threw the other bits together. I put her slouching on the frame cos she is just soooooo MEH!! with her attitood dont ya think? Slouched there like the world is about to come to an end!

 The dies are by Sizzix, first time I used these I got them in their bargainous sale and I love them. I always always cut in white so I can then colourise the cuts to match what I'm making. I am so lazy it's a massive inconvenience for me to reach down to my feet to pickup my Big Shot and move stuff on the desk to put it there so when I cut, I cut, and I cut loads together, so doing them in white saves me a ton of time and lots of energy. I coloured them with the black coarse sparkle Pan Pastel which is a perm fixture on my desk now, I cannot live without the blighter, I have often wondered what it would look like as eyeshadow! 
The little squares I wanted to be Stampbord but then realised Leonie flipping Pujol STOLE all my stash!! shock horror, she's such a lightfingered madam!! So I had to impro and purely by luck my Pan Pastel'd fingers came across some spare Docrafts/Papermania tiles in the bottom of my toolbox so I flipped em over and added some scrawl. 

Skin: 4125, 4150, 4150 & 3120 mixed using Mix'It palette, 4135 outer cheeks and 4145 inner cheeks. (9402 added later as extra shadows under the hair and 9400 used as shadows around the eyes)
Hair: 9502 added on top of 9400, 9403, 9405, 9407, 9409
Clothing: 4125, 4150, 9400
Wings: 4125 (use this loads, can you tell?), 7220, 7240, 7260, 9406, 9408
Plus my faithful cannot be without Graph'It Shake White pen - THE best white pen ever!!