Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dark or Light First??

If you are new to Copic Markers and have been looking around for tutorials on how best to use them, you may have found that some people start with their darkest colour first and others start with their lightest.  There is no right or wrong way as each person will do what is best for them - however, the girls on on the Copic Design Team and all Regional Instructors start with their lightest first.

Why colour with your lightest marker first?  The reason is that you soak your paper with your lightest colour and 'prime it' so that when you add the darker colour it doesn't take as much work to blend the two into a smooth, seamless blend.  You are also much less likely to have streaks in your work.

Here's a sample I did using some flowers (let's pretend these are hibiscus), from JustRite's Plant a Little Love set.  I stamped it with Memento Tuxedo Black onto X-press It Blending Card.

For the first petal I started using my darker colour, YR07.
Then I added my lighter colour, YR02, blending in circles with the side of my brush tip.  you can still see the hard lines of the darker colour.

For the next petal, I started using the lighter colour first, YR02 and soaking the paper.

Then I feathered in the darker, YR07 colour - at this point the two petals look quite similar.

Then I took the YR02 again and blended in circles with the side of my brush tip just as I did with the first petal, with the same amount of time and effort.  Now you can see a big different between the two petals - the first still has harsh lines and the second has a smooth blend.

Now I'm planning on using this flower on a project, so I complete the hibiscus working lightest to darkest and then blending with the lightest again and reworked the first petal so that I now get that same smooth look as the rest of the flower.  I've coloured the leaves with YG03, YG63 and YG67 and I've also darkened up the centre of the flower with a little R27 and R59 to highlight the stamen.  In real life it has much more contrast - I think my light is too bright!

This has been my first ever tutorial so I hope you've enjoyed it and that you pop back next week and see what tips Mandi has for you!!!  :)Pin It


  1. This is a fabulous Tutorial Kathy. So well explained and love the step by step pictures and instructions. This is a very easy tutorial to read and follow and has wonderful and helpful information, Brilliantly Done, You Go Girl!!!!hugs xxxx

  2. Great tutorial Kathy! thanks for sharing! Those flowers look lovely!

  3. Hi Kath, this is a great tutorial! You have done a brilliant job! You always do such a great job with those flowers! Beautifully coloured....well done all round!!!!
    Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  4. Hi, I'm new to copics and I found your tutorial so well explained. Thank you :)

  5. Its a great tutorial, thanks for sharing.

  6. Nice job on yr first tute Kathy, I am all for the light first too, for all the reasons above, and so that you can change your mind and step the colour down if you really want too :-) That's me, changing my mind all the time!

  7. Hi Kathy
    This is great! Thanks for sharing, I tend to do light to dark also but I've read so many different blogs and it appears everyone does things differently!

  8. Great job Kathy - what a great tutorial. I can see why using the lighter color first would be best. This has given me inspiration to get my copics back out and play around with them (I'm still having a hard time parting with my colored pencils).


  9. Light first...yes ma'am. Great tutorial, Kathy!

  10. Great first Tutorial, I start with the lightest because I found it easier, and now I know why.
    Sue x

  11. I have just started using copics and your tutorial's are brilliant. Many thank's.
    I live in Brisbane do you do any classes here?