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thechecker 08-28-2010 01:53 PM

copics won't blend
Hey Everyone,

I recently won Copic Ciao Marker Set 8 Craft Primary Kit + 1 Multiliner Pen from one of my favorite blogs. I was scared to try them, lol, but finally, after watching numerous videos and reading blogs, I took them out today to try. I don't have any close colors, just the basics, but I wanted to try the blending techniques.

First I did the small circles and colored in a small square in pink, then I did a line down one side with red. I went back over it immediately with the pink in circles, and it did NOT change one bit. I tried multiple times and on several types of cardstock.

What am I doing wrong? I did it just like in the videos.... do these copics not blend?

I also have a Copic blender, which did nothing, tho it seems to have fluid in it, but after research I decided it might be empty. However, the non-blending makes me wonder.

Thanks for any advice,

NancyK. 08-28-2010 02:06 PM

It may mean that you did not have close enough colors to blend. Depending on the shades of red and pink you used they may have been just too different to look well together.
You may have to break down and get a few other colors in the same natural color blend family and try it again. There are three companies that I know of that sell markers in small groups of similiar colors so you may want to take a look at their sites and look at their color groupings. You can then decide which individual markers you need to get a good grouping.
The three companies that I know who sell sets of color groups are Flourishes, Papertrey and JustRite.
As for the colorless blender, it is not really a blending pen (like the dove blender), but instead a color remover. Unless you touch the tip of the colorless blender to the tip of a marker of another color and use it that way, it really serves to take away color.
I hope this helps! Congrats on winning the copic set. My personal opinion is that these types of sets do not really help the beginning copic user undertstand how best to use the markers because you don't have enough shades in the set.

UnderstandBlue 08-28-2010 02:14 PM

What kind of paper were you using? Some definitely blend better than others.

StamperSharon 08-28-2010 02:32 PM

Hi, Anne!
First of all, the Copic reds are one of the highest pigmented of the colors and once it's down on paper, it's pretty hard to move around with a lighter color! But that being said, you should see SOME kind of change to the red, unless the pink you are using is REALLY light and the red is REALLY dark!

I just tried R81 (darker pink) and R11 (lighter pink), with R24 as my red, on both Neenah and Copic Blending Card and saw differences in all my results.

Lydia is correct -- paper makes all the difference. If your paper is very soft & absorbant, then color will "soak" in and you'll have a hard time moving it around, no matter what the color is!

If you have a mid or light-toned brown or gray, try that over some of your other colors and you should see some nice shading.

Or you might try using the pink marker to pick up some color off the red marker and then use the pink marker to apply the color to your cardstock. Sometimes this method (tip to tip) works better when there is a large difference in the 2 colors you are using.

Does that make sense? If not, let me know and I'll try to provide some photographic help!

Stampnf1n 08-29-2010 04:31 AM

I am not an expert by any means but I would try different paper. I learned from and online class alot of basics you might try one of them. The one I took started out explaining what paper to use and what the numbers and letters mean on the marker. I really feel I got a good foundation of information before I started using my Copics.


stamphappy1650 08-29-2010 08:07 AM

Color blending with copics is not a fast process. Flip your cardstock over and look at the backside - you should see a lot of color bleeding through. When it bleeds through you are doing it right. Also, are your pens juicy? If they are drying out you may not have enough ink.

thechecker 08-29-2010 09:44 AM

I tried again today, and got the same results. (I have used GP cardstock, PaperTrey and su! whisper white.) Now I am thinking my understanding of "blending" was off.

To me, I pictured blending like this: You color in something in yellow, then do a red stripe down one side. Going over it with yellow blends it so the red stripe gets WIDER and goes from red to orange to yellow, blending it to yellow.

Now I am thinking y'all are talking about something more like "layering". You put down a yellow, then do a slightly darker yellow, then go over it with the first one. The darker color doesn't SPREAD at all, just gets lighter... but not blending into the lighter yellow, not geting wider.

Is that right? So that is why you need closer colors?


ilikemarkers 08-30-2010 08:15 AM

Don't worry, you're just doing it wrong. It's not the paper, or anything like that, simply technique.

Start with the lighter color, evenly in circles like you did before.

Next, instead of putting a line of red on one side, carefully "flick" a little color in from one side towards the middle. Go about half-way into the shape. What the flicking does is it puts deeper color on one side, then less color as it gets towards the middle. Flick a few layers, so you don't see as many streaks in the red.

Next, come back with the first color and really soak it over the flicked area, from the middle, back towards the darkest edge. You should be able to see the dark red start to fade or wash out to the lighter color.

The problem you had, is if you only used a line of color there was not enough dye to blend. It also had too sharp an edge for a smooth blend. Try flicking, then let me know how it works.

ilikemarkers 08-30-2010 08:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Note: This is from my blog. This is only one way of many to blend. This can be a tricky way to blend, so if it doesn't work for you, don't feel bad. One of the other blending techniques will probably fit you better.

1. Color evenly, really soaking the paper. Color in circles to keep you edges wet and to avoid streaks.

2. While it is still wet, add your darker color to one side. Lift up at the end of the stroke, so you have more ink on the shadow side and less on the edge where it will be blending. You can do this step after your base color has dried, it is easier however to do it while the base is wet.

3. Go back over the darker color with your first color. Add a lot of ink and really soak it in. This is what hides those rough edges and mixes the two colors together to get a smooth blend. If this doesn't work for you, try using colors that are closer in value to each other, or use lighter colors to begin with.

I repeat steps 2 and 3, layering more and more ink until it gets as smooth as I want it. You won't destroy your paper, don't worry.
4. Add a third color if you wish, again, using the same technique. Start with your lightest, add your middle color, go back with your lightest to blend those two layers together, then add your darkest, then go back with your middle to blend the dark into the rest of the picture. Finish up by using your lightest color.

5. If you really want to, use the colorless blender to add a highlight back in. Now my circle really feels like a ball and not a pancake. For a stronger highlight, use Opaque White and paint a white spot back in.

stamphappy1650 08-30-2010 08:40 AM

I follow Kiyomi Krafts method of using an empty CD case for a pallete and watched for video. It really helped me and it may help you.

thechecker 08-30-2010 09:50 AM

Thanks so much! I will try again when I can.

I appreciate all the help.


Colleen Schaan 08-30-2010 02:37 PM

To add to Marianne's tutorial about flicking...I've got a blog post where I show step-by-step photos for the flicking motion too. It seems to be a very effective way to apply ink and makes blending a bit easier.

You can see the tutorial HERE on my blog.

Keep working with them... there is a learning curve, but they are so much fun when you figure them out!!! :)

thechecker 08-30-2010 02:42 PM

Thanks! If I keep practicing, maybe it will be worth buying more colors, lol.


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