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Old 07-25-2013, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default How do you blend Copics nicely?

I'm not sure how to word what my difficulty is. I've taken a couple classes, I've practiced, I've read and re-read the Copic Coloring Guide, etc. But I still have difficulty making my blends seamless and look natural without the color switch standing out. I want to be able to blend them nicely like so many others do. I appreciate any hints and helpful ideas that you have learned.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:13 AM   #2
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Anyone have tips on how to make the shading seem more realistic and less evident of switching markers from a low to a higher number etc. I want them to look more polished, more professional, less little girl colouring (not that there is anything wrong with little girl colouring but I'm wanting to look more polished and less childlike)
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:07 AM   #3
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Sorry, I'm an over-blender, lol! A good person to ask this question to is BeckyTE. That gal rocks those Copics! Maybe you could send her a pm?
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:24 AM   #4
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The best place I know of to learn online about Copic coloring is Marianne Walker's blog:

I Like Markers: Basic Coloring Troubleshooting

My link takes you to a very early post there. I would start there and work my way up, looking for the "beginner" flags on her posts. She has a lot of good tips and explains very well. You can also search for You Tube videos with Marianne.

One reason your colors may not be blending well is if the colors you are choosing to blend are too disparate. Also, you can try layering the same color for a darker shade. I think the trickiest thing for a lot of people with alcohol markers can be overblending. You will get a better dimensional effect by distinguishing well between the light areas and darker/shadow areas of your objects.

When I used Copics, I didn't choose my colors based on number (for example, choosing colors that are one number away from each other). It just didn't work for me and I simply found the colors I thought worked best with one another. I find that Spectrum Noir markers accommodate that number system much better for me but it still doesn't work every time.

You can try using your lightest color first, then add a dark color for the shadow area, then go back and blend it in with the light color rather than trying three colors.

Keep playing with them and keep a swatch book for when you find that perfect combination! Good luck .
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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I agree with Phantom to go to Marianne's blog 'I like markers' and I'd add that you might want to go to any of the other members of the Copics design team for that matter (the designers are probably all listed on Marianne's blog).

Also lots of videos on YouTube. I learn visually so, for me, watching someone color 'real time' helps me more than reading an article and/or looking at static pictures.

Your paper can make a difference re: 'blendability' (is that a word? haha). I use Neenah Solar white heavy cover, but there are a number of different papers that work well with Copics.

And a technique that I learned in the advanced Copics class that was a little scary LOL is to actually go to a large gap between color numbers to really beef up the contrast. I found the result to really take the coloring results up a bunch of notches as far as looking more professional.

Some Copics artists like to go from dark to light - I think whatever works best for you is what you should do.

Have fun and good luck !
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:48 AM   #6
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Do you have a local stamp store that give classes that you can ask to have a one on one time with.

It may be that you are no putting enough color down to blend. Might be a little to light handed with color is all. Maybe just need to blend more color over the area is all???

I saw a suggestion on paper. Paper can make all the difference. Neenah in my area is very expensive, I would give Ginak a try, Awesome paper for copic coloring.

Give the videos above a chance, that would be sort of like a one on one class I guess.

I did take a local stamp class, but that was sort of like learning how to color with just markers. I was upset they did not teach more for the $20 fee.

But then I was lucky enough to take a CHA class 3 years ago, which saved my life. But it was with a room full of like 60 people but they treated the whole class like each person was special, it was very nice. They showed us a bunch of different techniques and was well worth the $ spent.

Good luch ith self teaching I do know what it is like!!
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:04 AM   #7
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I've been to two classes at my local store and one at a convention but I'm still not getting the look I desire. It looks so easy and then I try it and not so good! I've read and watched and practiced but still not getting in. Guess I keep reading, watching and trying and hoping I get it. I should probably try different paper too. I used to buy some that was specific to Copics but now by LSS says they don't carry it any more and just use any cardstock. Perhaps that is my problem.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:39 AM   #8
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The right card stock makes a huge difference in blending. Your LSS is wrong.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:41 AM   #9
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YES. Your LSS is Wrong!! As I mentioned above try GinaK

I can't believe your LSS said to use any cardstock for copic

Sorry, if you are located in London, I don't know what Ginak shipping would be for international. Sorry about that.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:07 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone! I am in the States so shipping will be okay. Yep, they told me it doesn't matter what type of paper I use when the first class I took was specific to not use certain types. Too bad I can't order a Copic trial pack of paper instead of buying various papers from various companies. Guess I'm doing some more online shopping!
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bound4london View Post
Thanks everyone! I am in the States so shipping will be okay. Yep, they told me it doesn't matter what type of paper I use when the first class I took was specific to not use certain types. Too bad I can't order a Copic trial pack of paper instead of buying various papers from various companies. Guess I'm doing some more online shopping!
When I first started using Copics I was able to get a sample pack from Welcome to PaperTemptressPaperTemptress.com. There were 5 different papers to try with 2-3 of each.
It was listed as the "Copic Sampler Package. I don't remember the price but I don't think it was pricey.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:31 PM   #12
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If you've already watched videos and such, I think it is just a matter of practice. You understand the blending from a technical standpoint, but you have to really get a feel for it and become comfortable with it. Practice practice practice. You will so get it!
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:17 PM   #13
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I have a few simple simple "tricks" that I learned from watching copious {pun intended} of YouTube videos((in addition to the suggestion of using Neenah Solar White paper)) that really helped me:

- keep a "wet" edge, in other words work in small segments at a time
- color the entire segment in with your lightest color to "prime" the area
- use small little circular swirly strokes rather than back and forth strokes. Don't ask me why this works but it does!
- then go back and blend with the first lightest color and don't be afraid to blend a lot, Neenah paper can take it!
- stay a hair away from the edge of the image, especially w reds since they tend to bleed

Keep trying, there definitely is a learning curve
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:41 PM   #14
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I think the paper you use makes a BIG difference in how the copics blend. Do a search for the most popular paper to use. Try a few different ones to see which one you like. I would also say, watch lots of YouTube videos, there are many out there that might help.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:13 PM   #15
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Look at Suzanne Dean's website. She is awesome. I had the pleasure of meeting her and taking one of her classes.

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:14 AM   #16
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I have tried everyone's card stock for blending the copics and the one I totally love and makes it so much easier is the 89lb cryogen white from cut card stock. Buy Cheap Cardstock for Invitations, Scrapbooking, and More at CutCardStock.com it has a little bit of shimmer to it and blends beautifully. Plus you get the shimmer even after the image is colored, it is NOT a real bright white though. They also have an 80lb text weight and it works well for going thru the printers.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:57 AM   #17
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Practice is very important, and the quality of paper is vital, you can not use regular paper. Copic sells small sketch books that I love to use as "coloring books." I stamp in my new design a couple times on one page and then when I have time to "color" I have it all ready to go. Keeping the middle of your design nice and juicy is really important, and you always want to start with your lightest color and add layers. You can get a nice deep shade just by laying the same light color over and over. Don't get too close to the edges of the design, it will spread just a little by itself if it's wet enough. One final suggestion- you want to be very careful about what colors you choose to blend, because some shades just will not blend and that's that. Flourishes sells a little set of cards with a ring in the upper left corner, and they have pre-selected Copic colors all figured out for you. For instance, the Petunia Collection is RV09, RV19 and RV99. It makes setting up your designs so much easier and colors blend better.
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juble View Post
When I first started using Copics I was able to get a sample pack from Welcome to PaperTemptressPaperTemptress.com. There were 5 different papers to try with 2-3 of each.
It was listed as the "Copic Sampler Package. I don't remember the price but I don't think it was pricey.

Thank you for this! I'm about to get a sampler myself, less than $10 with shipping isn't bad for a sampler pack!
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:47 AM   #19
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The right paper makes a major difference. I have used Neenah, X-Press for Copics and Gina K heavyweight cardstock. All have worked well. The Gina K doesn't bleed through unless you use a LOT of color. Be sure it's the heavy weight, not layering weight.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:38 AM   #20
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My creative classroom has an online copic class I took several years ago and it was very helpful.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:48 AM   #21
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I have had no time to play this week. Hoping things will settle down next week and I can play some more. Definitely think I should order some different papers to try, seems like lots of different opinions on which is best. Guess I order some and try them out. Love all the hints. If you have more, please share. (I've read through a ton on I Like Markers, lots to learn!)
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:41 AM   #22
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Here is a link to Annies Attic and a video on how to use the markers. There are also a few others on the right hand side bar. Hope this helps, sometimes watching a visual is much easier than reading about it

CopicŪ Coloring Guide - Copic Marker Project Demonstration - YouTube
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:52 PM   #23
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Bound4london - don't give up! As many people here have said, the paper makes a big difference. I'm sorry that your LSS gave you bad advice. There are a number of papers that work with Copics, but each will blend just a bit differently. We like to recommend X-Press It Blending Card as it gives the blendability of a soft paper with the denseness of a tighter paper (less bleeding and feathering). I also like Make It Colorful's cardstock (they are in Australia) and if you just want something for practice that gives good blending results, you can purchase Color Laser Copier paper from an office store. (Has to be Color Laser Copier paper, not just plain copy paper.)

The other thing that might help is to bring your color choice closer together. I mean... use colors that are closer together in shade (last number) and use more of them... that way, you won't have such a big shade difference to blend out. For example.. instead of using R20/R24/R29 use R20/R22/R24/R27/R29

And of course, keep practicing and playing... it does get easier!
Happy Coloring.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:12 PM   #24
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So glad I read this thread! I have 4 Marianne Walker books and have found them excellent! Am adding my enthusiastic recommendation for these resources. I really appreciate the paper suggestions.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:51 PM   #25
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Thanks for the advice Colleen. I've been gifted some paper from some sweet stampers to try. I look forward to trying them out. And I will use some closer numbers too.

One thing that confuses me is that some people say to use circles and cover with your lightest colour, then use your medium colour, then the darker. Others do the flick type move the entire time. I'm guessing I just need to find the technique that works best for me. I do have the books which are wonderful.

I'll keep working and hoping that I can figure out what works best for me and makes beautiful images that I have seen others create. I may never get there but at least to a point that I like.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:04 AM   #26
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Bound4london,

When we teach beginners, we usually use the "small circles" method for applying ink because that really helps to saturate the paper and a wet surface will blend more easily.

As we all have found "tips and tricks" that work for us, we have added teaching the flicking technique to apply ink because that already starts the blend, giving a darker to lighter gradient all in one stroke. That makes it easier to blend the colors together.

It all depends on your own inking style. Me... I slap on the base coat (with strokes or circles) and then I flick each of my additional darker layers on.

I have a tutorial for flicking on my blog HERE if you are interested.

You will get there... just make sure you have fun on the journey too!
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