Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Testing Inks

When creating a project with Copic, one of the most important things to consider is the type of ink you use for your line work. Because there are so many ink formulations, it is always a good idea to test your ink before you commit to using it on a project.

Copic Marker
Copic Multiliner
Ballpoint Pen
Memento Ink
StazOn Ink
X-press It Blending Card
Step 1 - Testing Copic Multiliners:
Draw a line with a Copic Multiliner onto X-press It Blending Card and place a light coloured Copic Marker next to, but not on, the line.
Step 2 - Testing Copic Multiliners:
Over soak the paper and make the Copic ink move over the line drawn with a Multiliner. A good ink, like the Copic Multiliner will not move or bleed.

Step 3 - Testing Ball Point Pens:
Repeat the first two steps using a bad ink, such as a ballpoint pen, will move when using the testing ink steps as outlined above.
Step 4 - Testing Memento Ink: 
When stamping, or using another ink type, use the same procedure. Stamp the image, place the Copic Marker next to, but not on the line and oversoak the paper. Memento Ink as used in this picture will not move and therefore is a good ink to use with Copic Markers.

Stamped Image by Power Poppy
Step 5 Testing Stayzon Ink: 
Stamp an image in Stazon Ink and oversoak the paper following the above steps. This will result in the ink moving. StazOn Ink is a solvent ink and is not suitable to use with Copic Markers as they are alcohol ink.

Stamped Image by Power Poppy.
Post by Kathy Jones

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Monday, June 1, 2015

The Copic Airbrush System

Today we are looking at the Copic Airbrush system or ABS for short.  The Copic ABS (Airbrush System) allows you to use your Copic Sketch or Original markers in new and exciting ways and provides an easy and relatively inexpensive way take your Copic art to the next level!


The Copic ABS is extremely simple to use, just attach the Airgrip to the Aircan (or compressor), insert the chisel tip of your Copic Original or Sketch marker into the Airgrip and press the trigger to deliver a steady and even colour across porous or non-porous surfaces!  To change colours just swap one marker for another.  Why do you need an ABS or compressor - well to create beautiful even backgrounds, graded colours, amazing blends and it actually uses LESS ink than normal colouring!

If you are new to airbrushing then Copic has several starter kits available, ABS1-N, ABS-2, ABS-3 - more information is available on the Copic ABS flyer.  I'd recommend the COPIC Marker Airbrush Kit #1 – as this versatile kit includes: Airgrip, Air Can 180 (about 45 mins of air time),  Air Adapter, Air hose, and a handy can holder. Everything you need to create airbrush art with your COPIC markers! This  kit also has everything you need if you decide you LOVE airbrushing and want to upgrade to an air compressor in the future (which is why I'd recommend this particular kit). Though you will need to make sure your new compressor comes with a hose, as the air hose included in this kit isn't suitable.


Here are a few quick exercises to help you better use your new Copic ABS system, whether you are using an Aircan or a compressor.

Make sure your marker nib is not pushed too far in or too far out.

Spray Close to the Card 3-4cm - from left to right quickly, fast = light

Spray Close to the Card  3-4cm - from left to right slowly, slow = darker

Spray At a Distance (15cm) from the Card = a finer spray

The trigger is pressure sensitive and will create different effects according to the pressure used.

Give it a try - press trigger down 1/2 way = lighter colour

press all the way down = darker colour

The ABS is pure magic when used with Stencils or Masks.  I've created this using  X-Press Graph-X Stencil Sheets (these have an adhesive backing so give a super crisp result).  Spray your ink from a distance, moving slowly back and forth over the card to achieve a smooth and even result.

  1. Airbrushing uses LESS ink than direct colouring since saturating the paper isn't necessary.
  2. Don't shake or lay aircans on their side while in use.
  3. If your aircan gets too cold (happens after about 90 seconds spraying) then your spray may become splotchy or the airflow may be reduced.  Just wait for a minute or so, until your air can warms back up!
  4. Begin by starting with a light spray.......... you can always add more colour, but you can't take it off
  5. If your project begins to feel tacky you have added too much ink (this will happen more quickly on non-porous surfaces).  To combat the tacky feeling, carefully spray your project with a fixative - make sure it's non-alcohol based or the fixative will react with your Copic ink!
  6. Ensure your marker is aligned vertically with the nozzle - if it's off to one-side or the other your spray pattern will be off.
Have fun using your Copic ABS system, though fair warning it's rather addictive!

Back next month with more,

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Going Green!

Hello Everyone!! Today's tutorial is looking at greens - in particular colouring leaves! Anyone who has followed my work would know how much I love colouring floral images, so of course leaves are an essential piece of this. So let's have a look and see how today's image came together......

Start by stamping your image - I've used Simply Camellias by Power Poppy - in Memento Tuxedo Black onto X-press It Blending Card.

In the Copic family there is a huge selection of greens to choose!  Whether you want soft spring greens, deep greens, bold and bright greens or muted grey-greens, you will find a great combination to suit your project.  Today I've used what would probably be my favourite green combination - G40, G43, G46, G99.  I just love the hues of this combo!

Lay down the base colour of G40.....

Then add some detail using the next darkest colour, in this case G43, particularly along the veins of the leaves......

Deepen the shadow areas with G46 (make sure you get on the underside of the leaves that would be blocked from the light)......

Go back with your next lightest colour (G43) and flick out from where you've added the G46.....

Then lightly go back with G40 (your lightest colour) over the edges of your previously coloured parts.  You don't have to colour over the entire leaf, the parts that you leave will stay light which will give you more contrast and interest.  You can repeat these last two steps until you are happy with the result.

When you blend with your lighter colours, you sometimes loose the depth from your darkest colour, so go back to add the contrast - I like to use G99 to really add some interest.

Then to make your leaves look a little less 'perfect' add a touch of E21 to parts of the leaves (it doesn't have to be much).  I really like the effect this gives.

Finish colouring your image in your preferred colours!!

I've used......
Flower - R00, R11, R12, R14, Y17
Bowl - C1, B0000, B000
Leaves - G40, G43, G46, G99, E21

Create your card!  You can find more details about how I made the card itself on my blog.

Hope you've enjoyed today's tutorial and you're inspired to colour some beautiful foliage yourself!!
Happy colouring

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Copic Coloured Feathers

Hi Copic fans - today I thought I'd try something fun and funky - colouring feathers with my Copic Markers!  As it turns out the most difficult thing about this was finding the white feathers - as for the colouring the feathers, it was so much easier than I thought it would be and rather a lot of fun.

Gather beautiful supplies, I used:

  • Copic Markers: RV17, V09, B16, V17, BG13, BG57 & BG75
  • Kirarina Wink Pens: Candy Set
  • Molotow One4All Paint Pen EF 2mm nib
  • X-Press It Double Sided Tape
  • FabScraps Starburst Sprays: Tea Pot Purple & Time Travel Teal
  • White Feathers
  • X-Press It Blending Card A4
  • Ink Pads: Archival Royal Purple, Aquamarine and Delicata - Golden Glitz

Begin by cutting some of the X-Press It Double Sided Tape to size and trim the ends to fit the feathers, stick a piece of tape onto the back of each feather.  This provides a little extra strength and stops the feather splitting as you work on it.

Using a variety of Copic Marker Colours, carefully colour each feather - I varied my feather colours but used the same process on each.

Begin by adding BG13 - use the Copic Marker to create a chevron pattern.  Try to work in the direction of the feather - it's much easier!

Add some V09.

Use BG57 to begin smoothing out the colours by adding this colour between and over some of the previous colouring.

Finish colouring with BG75 - you can leave some white space if you like.

Once the feathers are coloured to your satisfaction, it's time to add some metallic glitz with the fabulous Kirarina Wink pens and Molotow paint markers - I added dots, stripes and even coloured some of the tips on my feathers.

To create a background for the feathers, stamp some text on the bottom of your white cardstock - I used purple and aqua inks with a little Delicata Golden Glitz over the top. 

Add a few splashes or drips of Starburst sprays and dry with a heat gun/embossing tool.

Remove the backing from double sided adhesive tape on your feathers and press carefully and firmly onto your card front.  Your finished card should look a little something like this.

I can think of all sorts of uses for these Copic coloured feathers now that I've finished this - I think I might make myself a pair of earrings next!

Back soon with more,

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Saturated Canary Hair Tutorial

Hello Everyone!  Welcome back to another Copic Oz tutorial!  Today I'm colouring this super cute Saturated Canary image called Little Loves and focusing on colouring her hair.  There are many ways to colour hair and an infinite number of Copic colour combos that you can use.  Some images have lots of lines to follow to guide you to where shading should be, others have wide open spaces for you to play in.  Some people blend the hair so it's flatter and others use lots of fine details to give a more textured appearance.  So lets have a look at what I've done with Little Loves for this tutorial.

Stamp the image in Memento ink onto X-press It Blending Card (I've used Tuxedo Black)

Have a look at your image and see where the shadows/highlights would be, for example, hair is always darker at the parts/crown of the hair, on the underside of the hair close to the head, on the inside of plats and underside of curls.  Look at the curve of the hair and follow the lines when you colour.  Here I've used another image to show the direction I'm going to add the colours.

Add your lightest colour, flicking it in.  (For more information on flicking/feathering and using the tips of your markers, check out THIS Tutorial.)  I've used E11 for my base colour.

Next add your next darkest colour - in this case E13 and follow the lines of the colour you've already laid down, just don't go quite as far as you did with the first layer.  Use the tip of your maker when you flick, you should have a finer line which ends in a point.

Add your next darkest colour - in this case E15.  Once again use your tips to flick, following the lines of the colours already laid down, just not as far as the previous colour.

Then use your darkest colour - here I've used E18, flicking in using the tips and not going as far as the previous colour.

Now we are going to go over the lines again, but going lighter.  Here I'm using E15 over the E18 and dragging the colour out still using the tips.  With hair, you don't follow the traditional blending, rather adding many layers of colour of the other for a textured appearance.

Again, use the next lightest colour (here E13) to go over the previous colour and drag those lines out.

Use your lightest colour (here E11) to go over the previous colour and fill in those spaces.  You can leave white space for your highlights to add interest and contrast.

Sometimes you'll lose some of the contrast from the darkest colour after adding all the extra layers, so just go back and darken those areas until you are happy with the result.

Finish colouring your image in your preferred colours!

Hair - E11, E13, E15, E18
Skin - E000, E00, E01, E04, E11, E21, R20
Dress/Eyes - G20, G21, G94, G99
Lips - R20, R22
Butterfly - YR00, YR12, YR16, YR18

 Why not try different colour combinations and have some fun!  Make some cards or projects, or simply make it into a resource for your technique journal!

Hope you've enjoyed today's tutorial!  Happy Colouring!Pin It