Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Back to Basics

Hello Everyone and welcome back to another Copic Oz Tutorial!  Today we are going Back to Basics!  For many of us, it seems such a long time ago that we ventured into the Copic Universe, but we have to remember that many have only just started on their journey, so for those beginners - this one is for you!!

Let's start at the beginning - did you know there are now 358 Copic Colours!!!  I know - awesome right!!  :)  There are FOUR styles of Copic Markers - Original (square body), Sketch (oval body), Ciao (round body) and Wide (short, wide body).  Most of the Papercraft Tutorials that you'll find online or in stores will use the Sketch and Ciao markers - both of these use the Super Brush Nibs which are perfect for blending!  The main difference between these two marker types is that the Sketch comes in ALL 358 Colours, you can airbrush with it, it's a little more expensive because it holds 40% more ink than the Ciao.  The Ciao come in 180 Colours and isn't designed to fit the airbrush system.  You CAN absolutely have both types in your collection and use both at the same time as the inks are the same.  I have a collection of both! do you choose colours??  A good starting point is the Copic Colour Wheel!  You can download your free copy of the Copic Colour Wheel from the Copic Marker Australia Library - or simply CLICK HERE!  The Colour Wheel has all the colours on it, grouped in Colour Families (Blue, Blue-Violet, Violet, Red-Violet, Red, Yellow-Red, Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Earth, Cool Grey, Neutral Grey, Toner Grey, Warm Grey.).

When you look at your markers you'll see a number - for example B00.  If you look at your Colour Wheel you'll see that the B stands for the Blue Colour Family.  The first NUMBER (0) tells you how vibrant or saturated the colour is.  The second NUMBER (0) tells you how light or dark the shade is.

Here's an example of a Natural Blending Pair.  That is, two colours with the same letter, same first number and the second number 2 - 4 digits apart.  In this example I've used B00 and B02.  When you look at a Colour Wheel, these colours will be on the same track that goes around the wheel.

Now I'm sure you've seen that usually as people become more confident with their Copics, they use more than two colours.  A natural blending partner for the above two markers is B05, because it is 2 - 4 digits apart from B02.  You can see in the example that the vibrancy of the colours is the same, but the shade gets darker.  This will still be on the same track of the colour wheel.

So what happens if you change the first number instead of the second number?  In that case, you are changing the saturation/vibrancy of the colour.  Below I have B05, B45 and B95 (all ending in 5), however look how much more GREY the colour becomes as you change that first number?!  These colours will be on different tracks on the colour wheel - the greyer it becomes the closer it moves to the centre of the wheel.

Disclaimer - the E Family (Earth) doesn't follow this rule with the first number - it does with the second number rule though.  Earth is that rebel in the know what I mean, we all have one don't we!  ;-)

So, lets colour!  This sweet image is called Wendy's Bouquet by CandiBean and I've started colouring her dress in the example colours above, beginning with B00.  When starting to colour, I always lay down the LIGHTEST colour first - this is like priming you paper ready for blending.

Next I've started shading with B02.

Notice I've flicked in the darker colour from the sides?  Usually people only talk about the 'flicking' style when talking about Feather Blending, but this is a really good habit to get into as those trailing edges are *SO* much easier to blend than hard, blunt edges.  Your flicking should use the SIDE of your brush nib and have a trailing edge like the bottom example, not hard lines like the upper ones.

After you've flicked in your darker colour of your pair, go back and LIGHTLY blend with the lighter colour where the two colours meet.  In this case, it's B00.

If you want to try 3 or more colours, the same basic principle applies, follow the steps above and then add the darker B05 for your shading.

Then once again blend when your NEXT lightest colour - in this case B02.

Then blend again with the next lightest colour - B00 in this case.

You image should now have much more contrast and depth of colour!  For basic blending on skin, I've used E000 as my base colour.  Once again, lightest colour first to 'prime' your paper for blending.

Next I've used E01 (E000 and E01 are within the 2-4 digits apart for basic blending pairs) and flicked this colour in from the sides and under the fringe.

Very lightly blend these colours together along the edges where they meet with E00 (the lightest colour).

If you want to really step up your skin colours once you've had a little practice with basics, have a look at the advanced skin tutorial that can be found HERE!

Finish colouring your image in what ever colours you like!!

The colours I used are....
Dress - B00, B02, B05; YG21, YG23
Hair - YR20, YR21, E33, E17 (I know, completely breaking the rules!  Intermediate rules!)
Shoes - E13, E17
Cat - E11, E13 (RV000 for ears and nose)
Bow - Y11, Y15, Y17
Roses - Y21, Y35, Y38
Leaves and Stems - G43, G46 (Eeep - missed two leaves!  Sorry, imagine they are coloured!!)

That's all from me today, I hope you've enjoyed today's tutorial!!  Have you heard that we are looking for designers to join the Copic Oz/Xpress It design team??  We are an Australian based team, so this is a call for Aussies only (sorry to our international fans) - want to know more??  CLICK HERE!

Happy Colouring!
Kathy  :)Pin It

Friday, April 11, 2014

Would you like to join the Copic Oz Design Team?!


 We are so excited to announce that we are looking for some talented new crafters to join our family of blogs! If you are a talented papercrafter, scrapbooker, card maker, mixed media artist or anything in between – then we want to hear from you! 


To find out how to apply please visit The Inspiration Lane Blog!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Caring for your Copics!

Hello Everyone and welcome back to another Copic Oz Tutorial!  How much do you love your Copics?  If you are anything like me, they are precious, carefully stored and NO-ONE in my family is allowed to touch them except by special invitation and under careful supervision!  :) 

Today I'm going to talk about looking after your Copics, because like me, you've invested a lot into your collection and if you give them a little love, they will love you back forever!  :)

How exciting is it when you get that brand new, just opened Copic Marker?  It's so clean and shiny, inside and out!

Soon, you're using it all the time, lids going on and off and your busy creating.  One day you look down at your once clean and shiny marker and it looks like this...... Poor G28!  :(

Hmmmm.....time for a clean!  So, what is the best way to clean your Copics?  Well, there are a few different products you can use, just remember to keep away from touching your nibs and focus on the barrel and lid.

Here I'm using a cotton tip dipped in Copic Colourless Blender to clean the barrel....

And the lid.... Eeeek!  Look at how much is coming out of that lid!!

You don't have to use Colourless Blender solution though!  Any alcohol based product will also work, such a Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol) and even hand sanitiser!

Another  product I came across is alcohol wipes, like the type used to clean glasses!  I can thank my Dad for giving me a hand full of these to clean my sunglasses.....until I realised they smelt of alcohol and now they live in my craft room!  :)  Just remember to stay away from the nibs so as not to damage them!

You can also add some rubbing alcohol to a tissue to clean the barrels and lids, just keep away from the nibs.  Once you've given your poor neglected marker a make over, it will look just like new!  Hard to believe it's the same one as above isn't it!  :)

It's important to look after your nibs and know that you should stay away from some products if you are using Copics........the ones below should never be coloured over with Copics.

Things that are not friends with you markers are.......
1. White Out or Opaque White
2. Un-fired Clay
3. Acrylic Paints (or paint pens such as Molotow)
4. Chalks or Oil Pastels
5. Untested inks or pens
6. Solvents or oils (such as Stazon, a solvent ink)
7. Pencil - won't damage it, but will discolour your nibs
8. Coloured Embossing Powders (this includes opaque white, gold and silver)

I know there is a trend at the moment to stamp and image, emboss it with white embossing power and colour over the top with your Copics.  If you do this, please remember that there is a pigment in Coloured Embossing Powders (clear is OK!) that can clog and damage your nib!  You may find a white patch appears on your nib and you can't get it off even if the ink is still flowing through the nib. This is the EP melting into your nib and eventually the whole nib will clog - much like a small blockage in an artery will one day become so bad that a repair is needed. 

A general rule is if the product smears when it gets wet and is opaque, STAY AWAY!  If you must colour over something like this, airbrush it instead.

Of course, Mixed Media is hugely popular right now and if you want to use Copics you can!  Just do your Copic work first and then your other media types after!

We are sometimes asked about Watercolours......  Watercolours are so thin they generally won't cause a problem, however, they may discolour the nibs.  If you want to use watercolours with your Copics, you can and we suggest using them after you use your makers!
Perhaps you've been reading through this and realised that perhaps your nibs aren't as healthy as they should be!  Thankfully when good nibs go bad, there is a quick fix!

If it is just a case of a lid being left off and one nib has dried out, remove the nib and let it soak in a few drops of blender to 'clean the pores' so to speak.  Make sure the blender solution has evaporated before you place it back in your marker and it should be good as new!

What if it's dried out beyond a quick cleanse or you have solvent ink or something nasty on your nib?  Copic sell replacement nibs and it is as easy as removing the old nib from your maker, by carefully pulling it out and replacing with a new one!

Remember, love your Copics and they will love you!!  Hope you've enjoyed today tutorial!!

Happy colouring!!  :)
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Colouring CandiBeans

Hello Everyone!!  Welcome to another Copic Oz tutorial!  Today I'm using a sweet CandiBean image by Little Darlings Rubber Stamps called Izzy's Bumblebee and thought we'd take a look at colouring her using basic colouring taught in the Standard Certification Class and then stepping it up to use techniques from Intermediate Certification.  (If you want to know more about Certification Classes in Australia, you can find all the details HERE!)  X-press Graph-x is now a distributor for the CandiBean range and you can contact them to find a stockist in your area!

Here is Izzy stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black onto X-press It Blending Card.  With Standard Colouring, we teach you to find a colour you like and then a 'friend' to go with in.  Usually this means, find a colour, look at the number and then find another marker with the Same Letter, Same First Number and the Second Number 2 - 4 digits apart.  Always start with your LIGHTEST colour!  Here I've used E000 and E01 for her skin.

For her hair I've used YR21 and YR23 (a colour 2 digits away from the original colour)

Once again, using two colours, E23 and E25.

Continue colouring using pairs of markers to complete your image and she'll look a little something like this.....
Other colours used here are....
Dress - R81, R83; Y11, Y15
Flowers - V20, V22
Greenery - YG03, YG63
Vase - B0000; Y21, Y26

Now she's looking lovely, but what if you wanted to step it up a bit??  Why not take your image and place a piece of acetate over the top with diagonal lines drawn on it.  Imagine this is your light source.  Where the lines hit first (on the image) will be where your highlights are (also imagine that she's not flat, so it will hit the rounded parts of her hat and dress too).  The areas further away will be in the shadow and therefore darker.

Using this template as a guide, start colouring your image! I've begun with her hat using E21
 And E23
 And E25
 And E27
 And for even darker shading, E79.  The more contrast, the more interest and dynamic your image will be!

Next start on her hair!  I've started with YR23.

And E99 (Colouring hair is perfect for breaking the colour rules and mixing colour families and numbers since hair is made up of so many colours!)
Add some E18
And E39

Now lets look at skin, remember that we are imaging that our light source is coming from the top right side!  I've laid down my base colour of E000.
Then added some shading under her fringe on on the left side of her face, arms and legs with E01.

So far we've done exactly the same colours as in the standard colouring at the start of the post, so lets see what some more contrast will do!  Add some E11!
Add more shading with E13 and lightly blend your colours using E11, then E01 and E000.

Keep colouring your image....
Dress - R81, R83, R85; Y11, Y15, Y17
Flowers - V20, V22, V25
Greenery - YG03, YG63, YG67
Vase - B0000, BV31; Y21, Y26, Y28
Bee - N5, N7; Y11, Y15

Let's compare....

So what do you think of the differences by adding a distinct light source and use of stronger contrast with more colours??  So much fun!

Hope you've enjoyed today's tutorial and hope you try adding more shading and contrast to you images for exciting, dynamic results!

Happy Colouring!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Using Your Tips!

Hello Everyone!  Welcome to another Copic Oz Tutorial!!  It's scorching hot here in the Australian Summer and with Australia Day this week-end, I'm sure everyone's thoughts are turning to keeping cool and for those close enough, escaping to the beach!  Today's tutorial is beach inspired and I'm going to talk about TIPS and I don't mean handy it's all about using the tips of your brush nibs!

Usually when you start using your Copic Markers, there is a lot said about using the side of your brush nib to get a nice smooth coverage, which is perfect for a lot of occasions, however there are times when using just the tip will give you just the effect you are looking for!

I'm using this lovely relaxing beach scene (can't you just imagine yourself here!) by Our Daily Bread Designs.  And at first you may see those palms and think how can you colour and the sky too?  The easy thing to do is colour the sky first!  I've used B000

Next take your G24 and practise using just the very tip of your marker!  This also helps you develop a light touch which is very important - a heavy hand will leave big chunky streaks of colour.  You barely need touch the paper to get neat thin lines of colour.......let the marker do the work for you!

Now use this technique to add flicks of colour over the palm trees!

Now lets add some contrast by using G28, not quite as all over as the previous layer, but enough to add interest!

Now to tone it down a bit, I've gone back over with G24.....but NOT blending!  All of this is done only with the TIP of your brush nib!

So I'm happy with the tree tops and perhaps you are thinking that's all your tips have to do.....but no, now let's colour the sand!  Colour your base using E41 (with the side of your brush nib).

Now lets add a little texture by using the TIP of your brush nib using E42 and dotting on colour.  (You could also colour an entire image with this technique, known as pointillism!)

I'm enjoying the texture and decide to add more contrast with E43.  I've also used this colour to enhance the shadows of the trees on the sand.

What about the ocean?  I've base coloured with BG10.

Then, use the TIPS of BG11 to add a few lines of colour in the ocean for waves/ripples and the tip BG72 across the horizon (the ocean always looks darkest at the horizon).

I got to the part and realised I hadn't coloured the trunks of the trees.....and yes, you can use your tips here too!!  I've base coloured with E21 and added a little blending with E23.

As most people who follow my work will know, I love contrast, so take the tip of E27 and run it down the sides of the trees where the shadows would be! (It's easy to find on this stamp as that is where the heavier lines are.)  Remember - have a LIGHT hand, practise on scratch paper if you need to!

Finish off your image!  I've used the tip of E23 to add a little colour to the hammock (couldn't do that with the side of your brush nib!) and also a little E84 for more shading on the sand and a little YG93 for the plants in the dunes.

So next time you're colouring, even though you do use the sides of your brush nib a lot - don't forget all the interesting effects you can create simply by using your TIPS!!

I hope you've enjoyed today's tutorial and whether you are by the beach this Sunday, in the pool, having a BBQ or a little backyard cricket, I hope you all have a wonderful Australia Day!

Happy Colouring!
Kathy  :)

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