Today, I wanted to share this adorable one-layer scene card I made using the BB Our Story stamp set from My Favorite Things. This card was my first time creating a scene using Copics to color the entire image! Usually, when I make a one-layer scene card like this one, I will mask off the images and ink blend the background, but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone with this one!
As this was my first time coloring such a large space with Copics, I wasn’t exactly sure how to begin. However, now that I have tried a few different techniques while coloring this card, I learned quite a bit about making your coloring look as good as it can!
*NOTE: I am by no means a Copic or coloring expert! These are the things that I found were beneficial to me, but just like you, I am still learning!*
Your Paper is Just as Important as your Markers
I know, you have probably heard that a thousand times, but it’s so important, I have to say it again! When I started coloring with Copic Markers, I was coloring on the Hammermill White 110lb paper. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that paper, it is not what you should be using to color with alcohol markers. Hammermill, and many other papers you have heard people use, is a printer paper, meaning: it was made for printer ink. While these types of paper are also great for stamping and ink blending, these types of paper take way more marker ink to get a smooth blend. More importantly, it will take you longer to get a smooth blend, meaning more ink is being used, and more money will be spent on marker refills.
Now, I will say that if you are only coloring small images with two or three color blends, you can still use printer paper. However, if you are planning on covering large areas with color, or you feel like you are having a difficult time getting a good blend, I would recommend buying paper specifically for markers. (My preferred marker paper is the Strathmore Marker Paper Pad.)
‘The Flick’ is your Friend
Chances are, if you have watched or read any alcohol marker tutorials, you have heard the term ‘flicking.’ This term refers to the way the marker should be used against the paper. Instead of applying the same pressure to your marker during the length of each stroke, flicking, or adding more pressure at the start of the stroke and less at the end, creates a more triangular-shaped stroke. This type of ink application is important when blending because it will make the transition from one color to the next smoother.
The Less you Blend, The Better the Result
This is almost a subcategory to both the paper and flicking sections, but it is important to note that the more you blend, the less definition you will get of each color, or your colors will start to lose some of their integrity. When I blend, I tend to only go from darkest to lightest. This minimizes the blending, but also makes it easier to determine shadows and highlights.
If you look closely at my background, you will see I over-blended. My colors are not as vibrant as they were when I first put them on the page, and there are some white spots poking through. These are both from over-blending.
Shadows are Important… But Not That Important
I’ll keep this one simple – while creating shadows allows you to create depth and movement in your coloring, shadows are not the end-all-be-all. When coloring, make sure you choose a light source and then work around that. One this card, I didn’t have to choose because there was a light in my image, so I knew everything around that needed to be lightest, and work its way out to dark. However, I will be the first to admit my shadows and shading are not perfect. Some areas are exaggerated, while others fade too slow. But it still gets the point across, right? (I hope you agree, or else this entire section just got real awkward…)
You Don’t Have to do All of This on Your Own
What I mean by that is – don’t be afraid to find resources to help you! I will frequently look at color blends that other people use on their cards or projects, and try to find the markers they used or ones similar in number. Here are a few artists I find helpful:
Alberto Gava (Instagram): https://www.instagram.com/loshakeratoalberto/
Sandy Allnock (Instagram): https://www.instagram.com/sandyallnock/
Mindy Baxter (My Creative Scoop blog): https://www.mycreativescoop.com/
Vanilla Arts Blog: https://www.vanillaarts.com/blog
And, here are the combos I used for my card:
I hope this was helpful! Thanks for stopping by!