Saturday, May 14, 2011

Color My World - Digitally!

Welcome to the first VC Rocks blog hop of the 2011 Season - Color My World!

If you were not "hopping" and just popped in to see me, why not follow along the hop trail and see what great things my fellow VC Rockers prepared? 
Home base is HERE
To go backward click HERE.
To go forward click HERE
To see how to watercolor in My Design Studio (MDS) scroll down.

Watercolor Digitally?
You betcha!

I about panicked when I found out our blog hop theme was "Color My World" since coloring is not my strong suit - but then, I remembered what I learned from Leah Fedynak on

This technique involves NO water. I'm going to show you how to color simple things like the center of the flower from Sweet Details (digi download) in a soft watercolor style.

First, I created the basic layout using Framed With Love, a photo replicated 3 times but cropped each time so it looks like I cut it apart, and a daisy from Sweet Details.
so it would look like THIS:

Then I added an oval (see the gray blob in the middle of the screen below?)
Then in the design center (right side) I added a drop shadow  - increasing the opacity to 100% and the blur to "full" - and I changed the color of the shadow from black to Rose Red (see photo below)

This next part is gonna seem a little weird but hang with me. 

While you have your oval selected, in your Design Center click on "paper fill" and fill the oval with ANY paper (I used a black stripe) - see it in the middle of the photo below?

Now click (or double click?)  on the 'paper filled oval' and you will get a screen where you can pull the paper down OFF the oval - see photo below:

So now, you have a blurry edge Rose Red oval in the center of your page. 

I'm betting you know what happens next....

I moved the oval over the flower center and rotated it slightly to match.
You can see that I zoomed in so I could place it correctly.
Zoom is at the bottom of your Design Center.

You may (or may not) want to adjust opacity to get the look you want .

It took many photos for me to teach you - but in reality it just takes SECONDS to do this.  If there is a punch you can use (or stretch and distort) to fill the area of a stamp you'd like to color, you can color it faster than you can walk to the sink and fill an aqua painter with water.  And with this method you can change your mind and switch colors as many times as you'd like without wasting supplies!

Want to know another cool MDS color trick?
You are not limited to SU colors
What if I wanted my background to be Rose Red?

When I did that - the center of my flower doesn't look the way I want.
But I still want ROSE RED as my flower center. 
Stomp foot decisively!

(Stomping will not help)
But, I have a solution.

Click on your oval and click drop shadow again - and click to change the color
Instead of picking one of the SU colors shown so nicely in little boxes -  click on the tab above the colors that says HSB
Then you can move your cursor to pick up a lighter or darker color - slightly off from Rose Red.

Below, you can see where I chose a lighter shade for the Daisy Center.

This HSB color choosing is also how you can have tone on tone stamping.
There is no Versamark in MDS.

You can also "color match" in MDS - there is a little dropper where you can exactly match another color in your photo or project but I'm not getting into that today.

I hope you learned a trick or two about MDS
Have fun with digital coloring!

One more time: 
VC Rocks Blog Hop Home is HERE
To go backward to Maddebug Designs, click HERE
To move on to see what Kelly Mayou, The Weekend Stamper, has for you, click HERE

VC Rocks has all kinds of classes, swaps, challenges and fun.  We are accepting new members this month ONLY.  I learn so much from the Rockers.  Come give us a try (if you can stand our chit chat!)  Read the side bar on the Blog Hop Home page and you'll learn a little more about VC Rocks!


Created By You said...

Very lovely digital design Ellen... so surprised not to see some punchy people, LOL.
Sharon F.

Carey said...

gasp!! What no punches? I do have to say though this is spectacular. Thanks for the lesson. I need to play with my MDS more.

Carey Rogers
aka Roscoe's mommy

Carolyn Sharkas said...

Gorgeous! Wanna fly out to Florida and teach me how to use this darn MDS?

Love the flowers, so pretty.

Thanks for sharing.


Mary Campbell said...

Great work. Thanks for walking us through the steps. I plan on coming back and going over the steps again.

StamperShirley said...

Ellen, you always, always amaze me - I too knew there would be punches (my fave tool) but this really blows me away. I really do need to play with my MDS - it just sits and waits! Thanx so much, Sassy Shirley

Lori said...

I love the 3 column picture split. And great thinking out-of-the-box for coloring. Great tutorial!

Robin M said...

Great tutorial! And I love the design - may have to try it out myself!

Susan Hackney said...

Had no idea you could do that! Cool!

Holly / InkPaperStamps said...

What a great take on the hop theme, Ellen--and so much helpful info, too! Lovely work. . . .

Elizabeth said...

Ellen, you are making this MDS looks so easy to use! The temptation is building!

Tory said...

Wow, Ellen. Pretty and educational. Thanks for sharing how to do that. I need to play more with my MDS.

Tammy Q Howell said...

Gorgeous project and thanks so much for showing how to do this. I need to get into MDS and work on this technique! Love your blog!

thestampinglady said...

Thanks so much for the lesson. I really love your project.

Stace said...

OK I HAVE to learn to use this program. Perhaps classes at VC are in the works??

Ellen Kemper said...


Anonymous said...

Okay summer vacay has got to get here so I can live down in the stampin cave. I have the digital program and do not yet know how to use it. I am thinking I need to retire, summer will not be long enough to do all the "learning" I want to do!!
Marsha W.

Kirsteen GIll said...

I Love the way you did this - very clever!
Thanks for sharing!

Jamie Adcock said...

Gorgeous!!! Thanks for the directions on how to achieve this amazing look in MDS!

Kym said...

Ellen, you rock!! I had no idea you could do that. Guess I need to play with MDS a little more. Thank you for the fabulous tutorial!!

Mary said...

I can't wait for my sister to hand over my dads computer so I can install MDS and start playing. Great tutorial

A Touch of SOL said...

What...No punch art? HUH? How could that be? JK! Thanks for the tut...I love the distorted colored center for the daisy (my favorite flower)!

Lorita said...

Totally awesome. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try it on my MDS>

Elizabeth said...

Gorgeous page, Ellen! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

Deborah said...

Great take on the hop. I love it.

slbt17 said...

very cool!
Sandra ltb

Brenda said...

Wow -- great project. Thanks for the instructions. Love it!

Kimberly said...


I love the look of this MDS project! Would you mind telling me how you got the picture split into 3? I love that look!

my email: