Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Copic Journals

Copic journals - where do I begin??  When people talk about Copic Journals they are often discussing different things without even knowing it, from now on I will be calling mine by the following names:
  • Copic Art Journal - a visual art journal or diary in which Copic Markers are used, and
  • Copic Colour Journal - which records colour combinations, ideas on colouring, techniques and often a printed chart with purchased/wanted marker colours.
Now these could be combined into the one book but many people (myself included) have a separate book or journal for each of these purposes, mainly because my Copic Art Journal is a tiny bit messy - just a little bit.  Now on to a few examples...

Beginning a Copic Colour Journal
To start your own Copic Colour Journal the following items are essential:

  • Copic Markers in assorted colours
  • Copic suitable card (my all time favourite is X-Press It Blending Card A5 as it's already cut to perfect journal size and works so beautifully when blending)
  • Copic Multi-liners in assorted thicknesses
  • Digital or rubber stamps
For my Copic Colour Journal I purchased 3 packets of  X-Press It Blending Card (A5 size) and some matt board/book board and took these to the local print shop where I had them bound with spiral binding into a neat little book.  I split the book into sections - colour chart/list, colour combos, colouring ideas (hair, water etc) and lastly techniques.  You can see a few photos of my Copic Colour Journal below, of course you can put anything you like in yours!

 I have several pages with combos for flowers.
Copic colour journal flower colours
 A page listing the colours I have, and those I need.
A quick list of some techniques I've seen used - I should have made this section larger!
 Plus a section at the back for techniques I've created or am working on.


Beginning a Copic Art Journal
I created my Copic Art Journal in just the same way as my Colour Journal, but without any sections. To start your own Copic Art Journal the following items are useful:

  • Copic Markers in assorted colours
  • Copic suitable card - X-Press It Blending Card
  • Copic Multi-liners in assorted thicknesses
  • Molotow Paint Marker - these are amazing white paint markers
  • AtYou Spica pens in assorted colours
  • anything else you like to use - fancy papers, paints, pencils etc.
The rest of this post refers to creating in my Copic Art Journal.  This is one of my art journal pages and this particular page was created and coloured using all Copics.  YES this did take a while to finish and not all of my pages in here are like this, but I wanted to play with my Copics and this is the result.


Copic Colours used on 'K' page:
  • N3, N5, N9, Black 100, 
  • YR15, YR27, 
  • V01, V12, V15, V17, V28
  • BG 01, 05, 07, 09, 11, 53, 57
  • B 01, 02, 04, 06 18, 21, 23, 24, 37
  • YG 03, 05, 07, 17
  • AtYou Spica: Lilac, Pink, Clear and Lavender
In my Copic Art Journal I'm not interested in perfect blending, I just want to lay colour down FAST - so I use the following technique to quickly get colour on the page, have it still look blended and get a nice amount of shadow - all achieved as quickly as possible.  This is basically blending colours using 'flicking'.

Draw image using Copic Multiliner pens and choose colour palette.  For my journals I use 2 or 3 colours from a blending family (eg: V15 & V17) and then a marker which is roughly 12 higher on the colour chart in this instance V28 for shadows and depth.
Copic Journal 014
Lay down the mid tone first - V17, starting from darkest edge and 'flicking' towards lightest area.
Copic Journal 014
Add your palest colour - V15, starting from about halfway up the V17 you already coloured and 'flicking' towards the lightest area.
Copic Journal 014
Add your darkest colour - V28, colouring over the previous layer of V17.
Copic Journal 014
Add the second layer of V17 and colour over most of the previous layer of V15 (keep the top edge light and wispy so that some of the V15 peeks through.
Copic Journal 014
Add another layer of V15 - going over the edge of the V17 and flicking further into the centre of the lightest area - this will help to blend the V17 and V15.
Copic Journal 014
Flicking from top down, fill the rest of the lightest area with V15 - keep flicks light and wispy so as not to end up with a flat colour.
Copic Journal 014


I've used this same technique to create all the elements of the 'K' Art Journal page, as this flick colouring technique is relatively quick and gives great blended results, perfect for pages, but you can use this same technique to colour images.

If you look closely at the flower petals, circles or green flower stalk you can see the 'flicks'
002a
I used a little more care on the 'K' as it was a larger area and I wanted to make sure I had a nice graded blend.
002a

Challenges when using Copics in journals
  • The markers bleed through the card, so you get colour on the reverse side of page. 
    They sure do, I cover my reverse pages with pretty paper, gesso, cut out images or I just stick another layer of clean paper over the back and keep colouring. 
  • They don't perform well in journals with watercolour card or normal (non copic safe) card.
    I remedy this by colouring my image on copic safe card (X-Press It Blending Card) and then gluing my image into my journal.
  • Colouring a whole page with Copic Markers uses a lot of ink.
    While this page did take a while to colour and I'm sure it used a bit of ink, not all my pages are 100% coloured with Copic markers, sometimes I only colour my main image, sometimes it's just doodling or colouring text, I often then add spray inks, ink from ink pads, paints, paper, pencil etc - while Copic Markers may not perform well on non copic safe card, all those other yummy mediums perform just fine on X-Press It Blending Card!
I hope this post has cleared up the difference between Copic Art Journals and Copic Colour Journals and maybe even inspired some of you to begin your own journal.  If you already have a Copic Journal (of either sort) we would love to see them.  If you feel like sharing please post a photo of your Copic Journal or favourite page/s onto the Copic Marker Australia Facebook page.

May your day sparkle,
KatePin It

8 comments:

  1. this is really interesting Kate, did you bind your own journal?

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    1. Hi Mary - yes I did bind my own and am considering making a second I'm liking it that much!

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  2. Lovely art journal page Kate. I love the colours you've used. I've actually coloured up images for my copic colour journal and written the colours used beside the image. Just another option!

    Cheers,
    Kasey

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    1. Thanks Kasey - are you going to share some of your pages on the Copic Australia Facebook site as I'd love a look :O)

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  3. Kate, your tutorial is FABULOUS!!! Your journals are absolutely fantastic!! :)

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    1. Thanks Kathy - they are heaps of fun and I get to play just for me.

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  4. A GREAT way to keep all your copic thoughts and combinations Kate... Looks great!

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