Practice Makes Perfect?

By | 06/28/2018

Hello!  My school year is finally over for the summer and I actually had time to sit and play with my Altenew Artist Markers and some stamps I recently purchased from Sunny Studio.

I love the stamp and die bundles from Sunny Studio.  They are adorable and they always send me a little die as a thank you for ordering.

I don’t have a card to share today.  I’ve been taking another class on single layer cards and the instructor really packs every class full of coloring tips.  I’m going to have to watch the videos over and over to get all the details.

I’ve taken quite a few coloring classes over the last few months in a variety of techniques.  One thing that every single instructor has said is that it took them years of practice to get where they are.  That every person who wants to learn to color with alcohol markers, pencils or watercolors…whatever medium you are hoping to perfect, you must put the time in to practice.

Practicing coloring techniques does not always lead to making a card to share.

It is extremely relaxing to put on a show or moving on TV and just color and experiment.

Stamping Imperfection Alcohol Markers

You can see from my craft table that I was just playing around.  I really want to make some cards that I can donate to the seaport museum I volunteer for.  I just feel the need to perfect my little sea creature coloring before I bravely take a pile of cards in to donate for them to sell in the gift shop.

I had a few attempts that were more successful than others, but all in all, it was so relaxing.

You can see from the sparse number of blog posts that I’ve added lately that I’ve been super busy since April.  I aspire to blog every day, but life happens and this really is my hobby.  I have that day job that pays the bills that requires a great deal of attention!  Luckily, I do love my job as much as I love my hobby.  When I retire, this can be my job and I look forward to that in the very near future.

Here is a close up of my best attempts:

Stamping Imperfection Alcohol Markers

These turned out fun.  I didn’t really worry about shading a lot on these.  I tried to keep it to just two colors using one for the all over coloring and a darker one to add some shadow in what seemed like some appropriate spots.

I really love the Altenew Artist Markers.  They are alcohol markers and they blend nicely.  There are 3 sets of 12 markers that coordinate with some of Altenew’s ink pads.  They don’t have a marker for every color, but they have a set of 3 or 4 in each of the major color families and the neutrals.

I find these to be affordable.  They have a bullet end and a brush end.  I’m enjoying having a limited number of colors in a price range that doesn’t break the bank.  So if I damage a marker while I’m learning, there is no harm done.  Altenew has now started selling the markers in smaller color family sets of 4 markers along with the original sets of 12.

I feel overwhelmed by the Copic and Spectrum Noir markers.

I actually have Spectrum Noir markers that I bought a couple of years ago at a super sale.  The only thing I don’t love about them is that they have a bullet tip and a chisel tip.  They don’t have a brush tip.  I really like the brush tip.  I feel like the bullet and chisel tips are more for lettering and projects like that.  One of my summer projects is to start using these and watching the disc that came with them to get that figured out.


Have you ever done that?  Purchased a pricey item and then it sat there getting no love in your craft room because you didn’t have time to sit down and play with it and figure it out…I hope I’m not the only one that has done that.

They must be fabulous because a lot of people use them, so I just have to sit down and do it.  For the moment, I am enjoying my Altenew alcohol markers.  Somehow, having less color choices while I’m learning just feels easier.

If you’re anything like me though, you know that I’m falling in love with coloring and I have my eyeballs on those Copic markers with the brush end.  But have you seen the price?!  It is eyeball popping pricey.  No joke.  I bet I could put a student through a year of community college for the price of the set of Copics.  Wowzers!

But they make such pretty colors and you can do all the blending and techniques.  Ugh.

I will not get sucked in!  I will use what I have and get really good with these before I make such a gigantic investment.

Plus, I also love to watercolor.  I’ve been doing a lot of that using all kinds of techniques.  I love the freedom and the fact that you can’t control what the end product looks like.


I had a colleague at work tell me that she wants to take watercolor classes this summer.  She doesn’t want to take online classes because she wants to sit in a class with an instructor and have someone tell her exactly what colors to put down to get a certain finished product.

That’s not for me.  I love taking online classes because I can watch the videos multiple times until I get it.  Plus, I love to experiment on my own with different techniques.  I’m really trying to develop my own style.  I don’t want to just mimic someone else’s style.

My eventual goal is to really become an expert colorist in multiple mediums so that I can teach more classes.  (I love teaching!)  I also want to design my own cards, not recreate someone else’s cards.

My sister likes to recreate beautiful cards that she finds online or in magazines and catalogs.  She wants to be given a supply list and specific instructions to make a card or project.  She doesn’t like creating her own.

I often wonder how the two of us can be so different.  I feel stifled making a card just like someone else’s.  She thrives on it.  What I find relaxing, she finds chaotic.  What she finds relaxing, I find stifling.  Funny.

I’m a lefty, she’s a righty.  I often wonder how much brain science really applies here or if there are other aspects of our personalities that determine that.


Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I look forward to being able to share more cards, tips and techniques with you over the summer.  If you have time, put on a show or a moving and get coloring!

2 thoughts on “Practice Makes Perfect?

  1. Anita

    Hi Kim! Happy summer. I really enjoyed reading this post and since I am a lefty I fully agree with what you are saying. I am having a bit of trouble deciding what brand of markers to start practicing with. I have one pack of Stampin up markers but I feel those are best to color on the stamp itself and for some stamps with smaller spaces. Then I have one pack of zig markers that are so vibrant that for some things they are too bright. Copics are way over the top for me. Too much of an investment as you say to use to perfect your coloring. Do you feel the Altemew markers would be better than the Stampin up? Would love some direction from you. Also I decided to stick with my Stampin up inks since I have already invested in that collection and I love the matching paper etc. I have purchased one set of the mini cubes from Altenew and I think I will slowly make that color collection with all minis. And…… do you think this is good as well? I am not confidant in my choices here. Can you tell lol. so far the water coloring is not for me. I would rather color. Well enough for now. Let me know your thoughts when you have a moment. I look forward to your next post. Enjoy the summer!

    1. kim Post author

      It’s so nice to hear from you! I’m doing an entire blog post to answer your question! Check the post for July 3!


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