First off this is not a tutorial on Copic markers I'm simply sharing what I know and making an attempt to answer some of the questions I've had lately. If your not familiar with Copic markers, they are an alcohol based marker which blend and shade beautifully and come in a large variety of colors and pen styles. I use the Sketch Copic markers mostly because I like the paint brush tip to color with, it does take some practice to get used to coloring with Copics because the second you set the tip of your pen down the color starts to flow.
The chart above is my Copic Color Chart that I printed off from the Copic Marker site here, I recommend that you print this chart off on the white card stock you would normally be coloring on. As you can see I don't have all the colors but I'm happy with the ones I have slowly collected. One of the most wonderful sites to get information on Copic markers and coloring with them is I Like Markers with Marianne, I'm sure that those of you that have Copics already know about her awesome site because its packed with great information.
This next chart to the left is a simple one that I printed off in Excel just so I can use it as a color/blending reference (a suggestion that Marianne makes on her site). This chart does not have all of the colors that I have on it but just shows which colors blend nicely together starting from light to dark. In the far right column are colors I use for skin tones and hair. I'm sure there are hundreds of color combinations but these are the ones I use the most.
The color chart below is my messy chart that I actually took to the store and filled in colors that they had (yeah that sounds bad) but it is soo hard to choose a Copic marker color by looking on line, a book or even at the caps of the markers, so whats a girl to do! Doing this really helped me on choosing the right colors for me to use, that and since Copic markers are on the expensive side I didn't want to waste my money on buying markers I didn't need. Which leads to the next question, yes I bought the Copics I have individually from a variety of different places but the majority that I have were all bought on sale at 30-40% off and I was able to hand pick the ones I have.
On to answering a few more questions.
Where does one start in their purchase? Honestly this would depend on what type of images your interested in coloring, for instance if your looking to color images of people I would suggest starting with skin tones and hair colors. (For a great tutorial on coloring skin and hair visit my talented blogging friend and design team leader Suzanne). If you know that most of your stamps are flowers choose floral colors. It sounds crazy but most of my colors are pinks, reds and greens and those are my favorite colors and I tend to use them the most. I've looked at the site and am totally confused with all the colors and kits. Can you help? If you know that in the long run you would like to collect majority of the colors that Copic markers come in, than starting off with a kit would be a good way to go. If you've never used Copics before I would defiantly suggest purchasing a few colors just to get your feet wet and to practice, practice, practice. Having an art back ground and college degree in commercial art defiantly helps me when it comes to coloring but with practice anyone can become good at what ever they'd like to accomplish. If one has all of them, how do you choose which to use with their elements so close in color?
The nice thing about using the Copics is that they offer so many colors within a color family, this helps when blending and shading an image. I always start off coloring with the lightest shade of the color I'm using and add at least one or two other darker shades and then go back in with the lightest color again to blend so that I get good light to dark contrast in my image.
Another question I've been asked a lot is what colors do you use to out line an image with.
This depends, most of the time I use the color T0 which is a light grey but if the image is one that looks like it could be outside in nature I tend to use B000 or B00 which is a light blue color. Like I said before I'm not an expert in using Copics this is just what I feel works for me. I would love to become Copic certified if the classes were offered any where in my area but they aren't.
For more Copic tutorials from Suzanne (other than the link above) please stay tuned to our Follow Your Heart store blog for Susana's Custom Art & Card Design where Suzanne will be sharing some more fantastic Copic marker tutorials!
Sorry for such a long post. I hope this helped to answer a few of the questions I've been asked about Copic markers.