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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