Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Speedy Fox Beginner Copics Tutorial - 06-26-2012


Mark's Finest Papers, a Heinrich Co.

Kathy Bradley


          Let me begin by saying – I am not an expert with Copics by any stretch of the imagination.  I have been using Copics for a couple of years and still have much to learn.

           Copics are alcohol based markers and the two basic types of Copics are Sketch and Ciao.  I prefer the Sketch – mainly because it feels better in my hand.  You never have to throw out a Copic – you can buy a refill and also buy new nibs if necessary.  The Sketch Copic has two usable ends – the brush nib and the chisel nib.   The brush tip is what is used for coloring images. 

          The letters/numbers on a Copic marker give you needed information to be enable you to blend your colors:  For example: let’s take the Copic YG05.  The YG is from the yellow/green color family; when you match the first number “0” it will keep the tones on the same level; and the last number “5” lets you know how light or the dark the shade is.  For my coloring sample, I used R27, 24 and 22 – which gives enough variation for blending.  You should always try to keep 2-3 numbers between your Copic colors.  As another example, my leaves for my project will be colored with YG 25, 23 and 21.  Remembering this will help you purchase your Copics.  If you randomly pick B04, B18 and B99 which are lovely colors, however, they won’t blend – because as you can see the B is for the blue family, but the middle number for the tones and the last number which reflect how light or dark they are – just won’t blend properly.  When purchasing your Copics, select colors you know you’ll constantly utilize and remember to purchase them in their blending groups.
          Again, there is a lot of information about Copics from different sources on coloring, but just remember – it’s what works best for you.  I’ve seen many tutorials that teach Copic coloring – using your lightest color first and adding the darker colors – and that’s fine if it works for you.  However, I found that laying down my darkest color first and going backwards to the lightest works best for me – that doesn’t mean it’s the “right or proper way” – it just means it works best for me. 

          Two more things before the tutorial – when you are pulling colors and blending – a light touch (almost like a sweeping upward motion) works best when blending.  Using a heavy touch only puts more ink down and will not blend your colors.  Secondly, the type of paper you use is important.  I have tried every type of card stock on the market and what works best for me is Premium Heavy White 140 lb. card stock from Mark’s Finest Papers, a Heinrich Co.  I’m not saying that because I am on two design teams for Mark’s Finest Papers, a HeinrichCo., I’m saying it because it lets me blend my colors perfectly.  I don’t have any bleeding between colors on the surface of my image.  Again, you will have to find the paper that works best for you – but, remember - a good paper is important.
          Okay, let’s get started! 

           I chose an easy image to color from a stamp set called Love Remains by Mark’s Finest Papers, a Heinrich Co.:

     Tools for Coloring

Image is from Love Remains stamp set by Mark’s Finest Papers, a Heinrich Co.

Stamped image to be colored

First and darkest color to go down – R27.  Only color small portions of your image at a time because if you lay too much color down – it will dry before you can get the next color down to blend.

The next color is R24 – I lay it down and pull some of the R27 up into it to blend it out a bit.

Now our final red color – R22.  Lay it down and I gently pull some color up from the bottom to the top to blend it out.  Next, we’ll go onto more petals.

I lay down R27 again into a few new areas – remember to not color too much of the image at once – or the color will dry.  The key to blending is that the colors are wet and blend easily.

 As you can see, the process is ongoing – now it’s R24 again – sweeping color from R27 up into R24 – not too much – you want to see the blend.

Okay, now we are back to R22, pulling from R27 and 24 so it blends out.

We continue the same process throughout the rose bud until it’s completely colored and blended.  R27 at the top of the bud.

R24 pulling a bit of R27 up into R24.

Now the final portion of the bud.  I want it just a little lighter, so I am going to take the final petal of the bud and put down R24 and not R27.

 You can see that on the final petal – R24 at the base of that petal is not as dark as the base of the other petals where I used R27.

Okay, I've put down R22 pulling up from R24 (softly) and not putting down too much color - so that it all blends.  Remember, when it dries - it will lighten a bit.

This is the final bud colored – now we’ll move onto the leaves.

 Now I’m laying down the darkest color YG25.  Leaves are usually different colors – so, we’ll try to make it look like a real leaf.

Our next color is YG23 – lay it down and pull some YG25 up to blend out the two colors.

Our last shade for the leaves is YG21 – lay it down – and pull up from the other colors to blend it out – remember light sweeping upward motions.  [Note:  I hold my Copic almost on its side when I’m coloring – so I get that light sweeping motion].

 Now we’ll start our next leaf.  Again, I want this leaf a bit lighter than the other, so I’m starting with YG23 instead of YG25.  Lay down the color.

YG21 – lay it down and pull up from YG23 – lightly blending.  If you pull too much color from the other color(s) – you won’t see any difference in the colors you’ve attempted to blend out.

Okay, my finished image.  As I said, I am the farthest thing from an expert, but I thought I’d share what I know.  I struggled in the beginning – trying the technique of light Copics to dark Copics first – it didn’t work for me, so I use my darkest colors to my lightest colors – and that does work for me.  But you will just need to experiment and figure out what does works best for you and your Copics.

This is my completed card.  I just cut my image panel to fit over the red panel.  I selected an embossing folder and ran it through my Grand Calibur and then popped it on the red card, added a little red ribbon and a small sentiment from the set stamped down in the corner.

          I hope you didn’t get too bored with the step by step – which is why I picked a small image to color.  I hope you beginners might have learned a little bit and that you’ll keep going and enjoy your Copic coloring. 

Thanks for checking this out!!


  1. WOW..striking card! That was a great tutorial. The sentiment is beautiful where you placed it on the card.

  2. wow gorgeous sheet with stamps kathy.
    your tutorial is fabulous.
    your coloring is great and beautiful.

    greetings karin

  3. great tutorial and I love how the image pops against the white background. The embossed frame is beautiful.


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