Category Archives: Copic Marker tips

Tips for using copic markers in craft projects

Flowering Spring Trees – new digital stamp set

Hello all,

Spring is in full bloom here – with the cherry trees and the early magnolias.  This is my FAVORITE time of the year.  I simply love watching all the plants unfold and checking out my gardens to see the perennials peaking through.  Its kind of like welcoming back old friends.

With spring on the brain – I came up with a new digital stamp set – Spring Flowering Trees.

I thought I would run through how I colored the flower in case anyone is curious.  I used the same reference photograph that I used the sketch the stamp image.  The flower is a brilliant, almost fluorescent magenta pink in real life (I actually toned it down some in my version).

I’m writing this for someone new to Copic Markers.  If you have more experience than me, you won’t need the detail (you probably don’t need the entire post LOL!).

The first thing I would suggest for a new Copic user is to make a color cart of your markers on the paper you will be using for your images.  The colors actually look slightly different on different papers.   Don’t try to rely completely on the cap color or the numbering system.

As for a paper to use – for years I’ve used Neenah Solar White or Baronial Cream.   Recently I started using the X-Press It Blending Card and I really do like it.  It is pricey though, so you need to weigh that into your choice.   I used the X-Press card in this sample.

Using my color chart, I chose a series of colors for the flower based on the photo (you don’t need a photo – just an idea of colors you want to use).

I chose my darkest color (RV-29) and colored in my “darkest darks” of the images.  In most of my stamp images, I try to indicate where the darker shades are by some stippling in the image.

I chose the next color (RV-25) and colored the next darkest shades – layering slightly over the first.

I chose the third color (RV-23) and layered over that.

This image still looks choppy (not blended) and I want more darks – so I just go in with my darker shades again and add more.  Then I blend over the whole thing with the RV 23 to smooth things out some.

Then I go in with a little RV-10 and use it to take some color out where I want highlights.  To me, this is one of the greatest things about Copics – the ability to remove color and add highlights just by blending over with a lighter shade – awesome!

I simply repeat the process with greens and browns for the flower base and stem.

A couple comments:

If your Copic ink is bleeding outside your image lines, it might be that you are over saturating the paper and you need to let it dry slightly between blending steps.  But also consider the paper you are using.  Often, the bleeding is caused by paper that is too soft and allows the ink to roam all over.   Also, if your blending is blotchy and it seems like you are pushing the ink around instead of having it blend, your paper might be coated.

If you go outside the lines, you can try to fix it by pushing it back in with your colorless blender.  Simply color with the blender from the outside towards the stamp line to push the ink.  You might be more successful if you try this after the image has dried.  Also, think about it before you try it with red shades.  Often trying to fix red just makes things worse.  Red is very highly pigmented and seems to travel all over when you try to fix it.

Just my take on Copic coloring.  There are tons of tutorials out there and many different styles.  If you want more Copic info, you might want to check out the I Like Markers blog.  Marianne works for Copic and has a ton of info on her blog (she taught my certification class (and many more since then!).

Oh… and don’t forget to enter the Hybrid Project Challenge.  You still have 2 more days to win 3 stamp sets of your choice.

Happy Spring everyone!

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A distressed spring….

Actually, I’m not distressed over spring (although my back yard is a bit like a mud pit right now and with a big, hairy white dog – that is a bit distressing…..).

I said distressed because I used the sketch over at Our Creative Corner and they asked for some distressing too.  I’m not very good at distressing (although my children excel at it – you should see my furniture) but I tried.

For my card I used one of the Lenten Roses from the new Spring Blooms 2 digi stamp set.   Its colored with Copics, here are the colors I used (plus warm gray for shadows).

I also tried the new X-press it Blending card instead of my usual Neenah card stock.   I thought I’d share some of my somewhat rambling impressions of the blending card.  I know – way behind everyone else, but why not.

The blending card is very smooth and dense.  It has a crisper but slightly thinner feel and is a cooler white than the Neenah solar white that I usually use (side by side – the X-Press has a more gray tone).   The blending card is quite a bit more expensive than the Neenah – about twice the price.

As for coloring, it seems like the ink floats on the surface more.  I had the distinct impression of using less ink (but I have no proof of this).  It blends pretty smoothly and I did not have any feathering outside the lines (just my usual “I’m not getting bifocals yet” goofs). 

I did not have to “scrub” as much as I usually do when blending.  Because these flowers use colors close to opposite on the color wheel, I used the feather blending technique for the petals (which I am not great at).   The feather blending was easier on the blending card.

 The printer ink did not bleed at all and, testing it with Memento Tuxedo Black, I did not have any bleeding of stamped ink either.

The colors were a little lighter and brighter.  If I decide to switch over to the blending card, I will probably remake my color charts.

Here are my 2 flowers for comparisson.  I used the same colors on each and tried to use the same techniques.

Here is X-Press it card:

Here is Neenah Solar White:

I’m going toplay around some more, but I am tempted to make the switch.  The extra cost hurts, but with the time I spend coloring images, it might be worth it.

Anyone have any opinions on the X-Press card that they would like to share?

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Lads, Dads and Grads Garden Walk

Welcome to the Paper Garden Projects Lads, Dads and Grads Garden Walk

Take a stroll through the blogs of all the Paper Gardeners and enjoy some friendly inspiration.  This month we are focusing on the all the men, boys and graduates out there.

While you visit, subscribe to each Gardener’s blog and take note of each designer’s name and their special garden walk word in their blog post. Once you finish your garden tour, send an E-mail to custserv@papergardenprojects.com with the list of designers and their garden walk word.  (the words make a little sentence – just for fun!)

Everyone who sends the correct list of designers and words will be entered in a random drawing to win a prize. You need to send an e-mail to the address above; please don’t leave your list as a comment. You have until midnight (EST) on Tuesday, May18 to send your list.

And the prize? How about these cute little lads form Eat Cake Graphics (the Boyhood Adventures cling stamp set):

So enjoy the garden tour (feel free to bring along a lad, Dad or Grad!).  Here is the garden tour guide list:

 For my blog hop project, I wanted to make a Father’s Day card (for a “Dad”) and a little gift.

 

I used two brand new stamp sets from Flourishes – the Antique Map clear stamp and the Guiding Light clear stamp set.

The coaster is made from a tumbled tile (from Home Depot).  This was the last one I had left and its surface is a little rough – but that makes it more antique looking, right??  Sometimes tiles like these are open stock, so you can sort through and find the ones that have the smoothest surface to make stamping easier.

I cleaned the tile surface to remove dust.  I stamped the Antique Map in Versafine Vintage Sepia ink and embossed it with clear embossing powder.  You need to have patience – it takes a lot longer to heat the tile than to heat paper.  After embossing, I simply colored the image with Copic markers.  Here are the colors I used:

These tiles have rough bottoms so to prevent them from scratching furniture, I put a cork square on the bottom.   What I like to use best is cork shelf liner (also from Home Depot!).  It comes in a pretty big roll and is self adhesive.  Just cut a square and stick it on!

For the card, I used the same Antique Map stamp on kraft paper to make the background.  The ship image and the sentiment are from the Guiding Light stamp set.

I cut out the sentiment and a matte with the Spellbinders Labels 11 die.   I colored the image with Copic Markersand applied  Antique Linen Distress ink  at the edges of both pieces with a duster brush.  Here are the Copics I used for the card:

 

To finish it off I added a little piece of twill and a copper brad.

So that is my project.  I am Cathy and my hop word is:  Greetings

Next go visit Amber and see her wonderful creation.  Have fun!

 

 

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Flower Fairy picks….

I admit – I’m a total pushover for flowers.  I buy them everywhere, even the fruit market (they have great deals!).  And of course I love to get them as gifts.

fariesinplant

I got these two potted begonias at the fruit market and thought I might give them as a little gift to friends for Mother’s day.  I added a few little flower fairies to make them a little more personal.

To make the faries, I chose 3 images from the Flower Fairies cling set, stamped them in Memento ink and colored them with Copic markers.  (Here are the marker colors I used in case inquiring minds want to know).

fairy-copics

To hold my little fairies in place, I used floral picks.  You can get them anywhere they have flower arranging stuff – they are green wooden picks with a wire attached at the top.  I wanted my fairies to be able to move and bounce around – so I converted the wire at the top into little “springs”.  You simply wrap the wire tightly around something pretty thin to create a coil.  I used the thick end of my stylus – but you could also use the end of another of the picks.  Make sure you leave some straight wire at the end to adhere the fairy to.  When you are done coiling, just slide the wire off.

springs

I cut out my fairies and then created a matte for them out of dark green cardstock.  The easiest way I’ve found to do this is just temporarily adhere the image to the cardstock and then freehand cut around it.  Here are all my fairy parts.

fairypieces

To assemble the fairies, just adhere the wire to the front of the cardstock matte and adhere the fairy image over the top.  Easy!  Here are close-ups of my fairy friends…

fairy1

fairy2

sprout

I also wanted a card to go with my gift – so I used a different fairy from the same Flower Fairies cling set.  I also used the mushroom from the Fairy Fauna cling set  (the sentiment is computer generated).  These images are also colored with copics. 

fairycard

I cut out my sentiment and image with a Spellbinders oval die.  The image is matted on the new Spellbinders Labels 11(I think I’m going to use this one a lot!).  The patterned paper is Basic Grey Green at Heart. I created the sky and grass background using this technique (only I didn’t bother masking…shhh, don’t tell…).

It still needed something – so I decided to add flowers.  I don’t have flowers in a lot of colors.  I usually just buy white flowers and color them to match my project with ink, paint, or in this case Copics.  I tried to color each a little differently, and left it a little streaky (on purpose – honest).

coloringflowers

If you have flowers – you might need some leaves.  So I colored one flower green and cut it up to make leaves.

makingleaves

So that was today’s project.  Great new stuff coming into the store – I REALLY want to play more.  But my garden is calling me too!

cardandfaries

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Hearts Bloom

Wow – this month is moving fast.  Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!

heartnest2

I really like Valentine’s Day.  We keep it pretty simple around here – but my girls get a little surprise during dinner.  Last year I decorated Target mini mailboxes.  I’m not sure what I’ll do this year.  I guess I better get thinking!

But I did want to let everyone know about the new Hearts Bloom Paper Kit in the paper garden Projects Store.  I think the papers are so fun and also versatile.    It really is a fun kit to play with

I used the Hearts Bloom kit to make this card.  I also used the Impression Obsession Heart’s Nest cling stamp.  I just love this stamp – the image really makes me smile. 

To make it easier to color all those thin branches, try embossing it instead of just stamping.  For this card I stamped in Versafine Vintage Sepia and then embossed in clear.  Then I just colored away with Copics  – the embossed edges keep the marker point inside the lines.  ( Note – the Copic markers can dissolve some metallic or colored embossing, but is fine with clear embossing.)

All the papers and ribbon are from the kit.  Here is a picture of the kit contents:

 valentine2010_LRG

Kit Contents:

  • 6 sheets 12″x12″ Pink Paislee double sided patterned paper from the Cupid Collection.  (2 sheets each of Bow and Arrow, Hearts Bloom, and Bullseye)
  • 2 sheets of 8.5″ x 11″ Prism cardstock in Suede Brown Dark
  • 2 sheets of 8.5″ x 11″ Prism cardstock in Frosted Teal
  • 2 sheets of 8.5″ x 11″ Prism cardstock in Baby Pink Light
  • 2 sheets of 8.5″ x 11″ Prism cardstock in Blush Red Dark
  • 2 sheets of 8.5″ x 11″ Prism cardstock in Spring Willow Medium
  • 5 yards of different coordinating ribbon including Sheer Pink organza, 2-tone aqua and green woven satin, red grosgrain, brown grosgrain, celadon green grosgrain.
  • A packet of coordinating buttons and pearly Champagne Dew Droplets

I hope everyone has a great weekend planned.  I’m supervising 2 Girl Scout Cookie Booths – but the weather is supposed to be in the 40’s thank goodness.  And the girls do have fun at the booths – especially when they are not freezing.   I’m hoping to do something crafty too!

Chester is settled into his new home.  He had a little puppy playdate with one of my friends’ dog and he is exhausted!  He had to get a bath though – what a muddy dog!

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