I discovered a new toy, Chameleon Color Tone alcohol pens (www.chameleeonpens.com). These are self-blending pens that allow you to get a wide range of color tones from just one pen. I discovered these on the new craft shopping channel, Create and Craft USA (www.createandcraft.com). They had a special one day sale on the 5 pen set. There is a 20 pen set that costs about $100.00, but I didn’t want to commit that much money if I did not like the pens. I bought the primary set, which has red, yellow, blue, green and black pens. The pens have a blending chamber that you connect either the brush or the bullet end of the pen to; the blending pen nib “kisses” the color pen nib and lightens the color of the ink. The longer you “charge” the pen, the lighter the color. Both Create and Craft and Chameleon Pens have videos on their websites showing how the process works.
I have wanted to try using alcohol pens, I got a few Spectrum Noir pens from a class I took at a scrapbooking convention, and I played around a little, but I haven’t really developed the skill yet. I decided to play with these Chameleon pens to see what I could do. Since most of my stamps are floral, I thought that the primary set would be more practical to start with. There are other 5 pen sets, but you do save some money if you can buy the complete set. These pens work very nicely, once you figure out how long you need to let the pen tips blend. The brush tip end is really nice, and it softens up very quickly. In the demos, you see the artists use the brush tip most often. I had a little bit of a problem getting the green pen to lighten up, but after a few tries, I got it to work.
I decided to stamp a feather stamp (from Hot Off the Press) and stamped a bunch of feathers on a piece of ivory cardstock. I used a brown Memento ink pad (Memento ink pads are recommended) and heat set the images. I tried various color combinations, one of which is using the blue and green pens. You can see the shades of green that the pen can do just to the left of the image. You can get additional shades by applying one color over another. I applied a light green over a the blue shades and got a nice turquoise color.
I then tried a couple of flower stamps from Close to My Heart’s Budding Friendship stamp. I used Spectrum Noir’s smooth white cardstock for the flower stamps. I used the yellow pen on the daisy stamp and blue on the forget-me-not looking stamp. I tried to follow the implied shading in the stamp image for the darker yellow colors and used the upper left as the light source on both of the flowers. I lightened the red pen and applied it over the yellow daisy center to get a golden color. For the forget-me-not, I used light green and light yellow for the center.
I am definitely a beginner with alcohol pens, but the blending is a lot easier with the Chameleon pens than with the Spectrum Noir pens. The folks at Chameleon Pens say that you can use any of your alcohol pens along with the Chameleon pens, but don’t try to blend those pens, the Chameleon alcohol ink has been specially formulated to work only with the Chameleon blending solution. Regular blending solution will not give you the same effect with your other alcohol pens.
Feather Stamp: http://www.paperwishes.com/products/4101149
Flower stamps: D1602 A Budding Friendship stamp, http://www.closetomyheart.com