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Old 05-08-2013, 03:19 AM   #1
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Question Copic coloring question

Why do the images that I color with Copics/alcohol-based markers turn out so dark? Even when I start with lighter colors, my images turn out much darker than I had planned. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:29 AM   #2
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It could be several reasons. How often are you going over the image with your darker color, are you using to dark of a second color, are you blending your colors? Have you tried to remove some of the darker color by going back with your lightest color> Have you looked at Copic coloring on the copic website or any of the many designers that have done tutorials. This is just one of the tutorials posted: Copic Coloring Tutorial | COPICMARKER.COM
Do you have an image to share that may help others answer your question. Sorry for so many questions.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:53 AM   #3
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I often run into this in classes when students have the impression they need to apply marker over an image several times to color correctly. Every time you apply a layer of ink (even when using the same light color for each pass), you will increase the vibrant appearance of the ink on paper. The layers will continue to build on top of each other on an uncoated paper.

Prairiecrafter is correct, you can try to color over with a lighter color or colorless blender, but that will often alter the final color tone of your image. The best course of action for light coloring is to try minimizing the total number of layers of color.

Another thing that often surprises people is that highlight areas are most vibrant and clean when left white from the beginning. To color an entire image and then try to bring back the highlight with colorless blender can leave you with a muddled mess. If I know I want a highlighted area to be the lightest shade of yellow, for example, I will often leave it white from the beginning and only apply yellow to that space when I make my final pass over the entire image so that I only have one, single layer of yellow ink on that portion of the image.

Please share an image or two for discussion, and that will help us help you.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:26 AM   #4
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Thank you so much, ladies! What you've said makes sense, and I will try to upload a photo later to show you what I mean. Thanks again, and I'll give your suggestions a try.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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I've noticed if I use a paper that is not a true bright white color, the final coloring will be darker than if I did use a true bright white paper. Hope that makes sense (I'm tired).

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Old 05-08-2013, 04:47 PM   #6
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Do you have a piece of plain white paper underneath the paper that has your image on it? Why? Because with you coloring you will pick up the color of whatever is beneath your paper.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:27 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for your replies. I'm using Copic paper, and I have plain white copy paper underneath when I color. I did some coloring last night, and it was better. I still have to work on the shading, but I chose lighter colors, and the results were better. I'm going to take a picture of the card later. Thanks again!
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:08 AM   #8
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Default copics and paper

I find that the paper I use can change the color quite a bit... so much so, that I keep separate color charts on both the bleed-proof paper and the cardstock I most frequently use. Try different papers and see if one works best for you. I also make sure I have the lightest colors in each range and start there.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #9
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You can also try coloring from the sides inward, leaving the middle empty till the end. Use a whisking motion with your pen. Remember, the pens pick up color as they move along the paper. If you color around the edges with a V0000 and then you add some V01, go back to the V0000 and use that to move the V01 around a little, blend it in. Always start with the lightest pen, and use that pen for blending. StampMomma suggested leaving more of the page white till the end, and that's the correct way to work. You don't have to color the whole image till the very last layer, and even then it's not absolutely necessary.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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Try colouring from dark to medium to light instead of light -medium -dark -medium-light. Especially if you are jumping too far in the numbers like going from a number ending in 1 to 5 for instance. If you don't have very pale colours, you can tip-to-tip blend with a deeper colour and the blender pen. Also, before applying a colour that you know you want to fade out to nothing but its a bit dark, pre saturate a larger area of the paper than you intend to colour with blender. Quickly Add your colour which will now be easier to blend as it hit moistened paper to start with. The colour won't move if its dry.

I also find that colouring images with shading around BOTH edges, which happens when you imagine your light as coming from the front, can look darker than if you imagine your light source as coming from one side. It seems that many people who are newer to colouring choose this method because they don't have to think so hard about where shadows and shading go. You will rarely see a professional Copic designer like their teachers use full frontal lighting. If they do, there is usually something specific about the image that made make that choice.

This means for a person for instance, you have shadow under their hair and shading (they are different) on both sides of their face plus shadows under their chin. The same goes for other parts of their body and clothing, accessories etc. When you colour as if light hits one side of their body more than the other, that side is brighter which can lighten the whole image.

And the other suggestions above are great. Flicking, leaving the middle white until last if you do light-dark and back and starting with paler colours is an obvious one! that's why Copic came out with the super pale colours.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:29 AM   #11
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Wow - these are great ideas! Can't wait to give them a try. Thanks very much!
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