By Alex Whisman
When Sue Jordan posted about EzyShaid pigments and a link to her Sue’s EzyShaid Colour Facebook page, my initial thought was “they look nice, but do I really need another colouring product on top of my pens and pencils??” (“who doesn’t ??” I hear you say).
The answer was yes. Not only did I need another colouring product, but yes, I needed EzyShaid.
EzyShaid have 2 main products: the coloured “Shaid” pigments and the super-fine “Shimmer” glitter powders.
The Shaids are a non-toxic, erasable, water soluble fine pigment powder. The easiest way to use them is to tip a little onto your paper and rub it in. You can use a cosmetic pad, daubing sponge or your fingers. I use my fingers as it gives a deeper colour. I clean my fingers with a little water or wipe them with a baby wipe.
I prefer EzyShaid’s versatility over using pastels or makeup for backgrounds. You can use a paint brush to add water to the Shaid you applied to your paper, which creates a water colour effect. You can put some Shaid in a little container, add water and create a water colour you paint onto your picture with a brush. You can blend dry colours together in a little container to expand your colour range. You can erase dry-applied Shaid if you add it somewhere or if you want to lighten certain areas (you can’t erase if you add water). You can texture EzyShaid.
Shimmers are applied with glue or with an adhesive spray. They don’t stick to your picture like the Shaid pigments do. Being super-fine they give a smoother look than traditional craft glitters and come in a very wide range of colours.
You can use EzyShaid in your books. I put a blank piece of paper on top of the finished picture when I have finished it to prevent the EzyShaid from rubbing onto a facing page. This is highly recommended if your books have pictures on facing pages. Whether they are in a book or on a printout you should spray your finished pieces made with either Shaid or Shimmer with a sealant or fixative to protect them.
I have become an EzyShaid fan. They are versatile. They are easy for kids and adults to use. They can be used for colouring, card making or other crafts. I can create quick backgrounds without using up my expensive pencils.
Quick, Smooth, Vibrant Backgrounds:
In general it is best to apply the EasyShaid first to your background, especially if adding water. Dry Shaids will fade slightly if I apply it before I colour my picture, as my hand and arm will brush some of the looser Shaid off before I spray it with fixative. When this happens I sometimes leave it as it is for the effect or I will top it up with a little extra colour. If you are using it dry you can also apply it as you colour your picture or after you have coloured it.
Create a background with EzyShaid by tipping a little Shaid onto your picture and rubbing it in. You can rub it all over your picture, even over the image. If you get some into a part of a picture you don’t want it you can colour over it or erase it. Anything you don’t use can be put back into the bottle.
I made a vibrant background using EzyShaid all over my picture, “Dances of the World: Turkey” picture by Laura Anne Passarello from the June 2016 Color On issue. I tipped the orange-brown (#10170) Shaid around my picture a little at a time and rubbed it in. I rubbed it in hard to give it a deeper colour.
You can use one or more colours in selected places to make clouds or multi-coloured backgrounds.
In “Netted” by Ellen Million from the May 2016 Color On issue, I tipped sky blue (#10160) in a few places in the sky and rubbed it in lightly only in those spots to create clouds. I used my EzyShaid brush to push the stray bits into “clouds” so I could rub them in better. The brush is useful to move the dry powder where you want it as well as to remove the excess Shaid off your picture so you can put it back into the bottle.
I tipped very light patches of a different light blue (#10163) into the bottom area to create a subtle water.
Blending on Your Page:
Tipping a colour out on a page makes a lovely background, but I wanted more.
I started blending my Shaids on the page. You can tip one colour, rub it in, tip a second colour slightly overlapping the edge of the first, rub it in and so on. It is a nice way to create a sunset or sunrise.
In the picture from Carnival Carnage by JA Early Riser & TJ Crayons I used 2 different blues (medium blue #10162,light blue #10160), red (#10120), orange (#10130) and yellow (#10140)
I started with the medium blue at the top of my picture. I tipped more Shaid at the top, a little less down towards the carousel and rubbed it in. I rubbed with more pressure at the top and less as I went down the page.
I overlapped light blue over this next and rubbed it in, making sure to rub some into the medium blue to blend it like I would if I was blending with a pencil.
I tipped the red out and rubbed it in, again overlapping the blue lightly. I repeated the process with the orange and yellow. Once I had all the colours how I wanted them, I lightly brushed the extra Shaid off and coloured my picture.
These techniques will give you more options for creating beautiful backgrounds that are easy to do. I don’t use EasyShaid in every background, but it is nice to have this tool in my colouring toolbox. It adds that extra wow factor to my pictures, with only little extra work.
In my next article I will discuss using EasyShaid in a couple different texturing techniques that will bring yet another dimension to your backgrounds.
If you are interested in EzyShaid check Sue Jordan’s EzyShaid Facebook page. She has videos and tutorials here: https://www.facebook.com/suescraftobsessions/
She has a Facebook page where people post their creations made with EzyShaid at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1211796638831690