Coloring With Copics


I bet you did not know that I am a Certified Copic Instructor! Yep! It is true. Back in 2013 I went through the training and was certified to teach the art of the Copic. There is much I’ve learned and I’d like share some of that with you today.

Perhaps you remember this page from day 1 of The 100 Day Project. It was drawn by a member of my Facebook group Tangle All Around – Heidi Whitney.

Heidi posted this drawing in our group and I asked if she minded if I printed it out and colored it. So that is what I did. I printed it out exactly as she had uploaded it.

I began with this one flower that I thought I’d interpret as a rose. I wanted a subtle pinkish red color and started perusing my Copic collection for the pens I wanted to use.

You may already know that Copic Pens are an alcohol based ink. They are acid free once dry but they are not archival safe because they are dye based. They will fade over time. There are ways to protect the color and make it last as long as possible. For my purposes the Copics work just fine. Here you see two sketch markers. I actually chose three to work this rose – RV32, RV34 and RV95. You may wonder what all those letters and numbers mean. I did! The RV stands for the color family these pens belong to. The first number (3 and 9) shows the saturation of color you will get with 0 being the lightest and 9 being the darkest. The second number (2, 4 and 5) indicates the brightness of color with 0 being the lightest and 9 the darkest. When you are picking a set of colors you want that last number to be spaced out by 1 – 2 digit intervals. With these ideas in mind, I chose the three colors I wanted and got started. In the photo before this, I used the RV32 and colored the entire rose in that one flat color. In this photo you will notice I used the RV34 and started adding a second layer. I worked section by section and added the new color about 1/2 the way into the segment.

Then I took the first pen again – RV32 – and went back over the entire segments, covering up both colors. This starts the blending process.

I colored a few more segments and repeated my process.

Then I brought in my third pen – RV95. I used it to go around the outer edge of each section or petal, covering about half of the RV34. Then I went back to the first pen – RV32 – and colored over each petal, going back over everything I had already colored. This will give you a total of around five layers of color which will blend and add variations to your end product.

I didn’t think my edges were dark enough so I repeated those last steps with RV95 again and going over the entire petal with RV32. And I liked the color variations better now.

Here is the whole flower completed. I got all those colors with just three markers. I had a bunch of other flowers to color and ribbon and wood, and I needed a way to keep all the numbers and letters straight in my mind in case I needed to do any touch up work later. Let me show you a trick for that. So professional, I know you are going to be big-time impressed.

Cheat sheet right here! Hahahahaha! This is how I keep track. I scribble the color on my paper in sets of three. And if I like them, I write the coloring codes on top of the appropriate colors. You notice in that pink section at the top I tried a few things before I found the combination I wanted. Remember – when picking color sets you want that last number to be spaced out by 1 – 2 digit intervals.

As I moved on through the coloring page, I kept track of the markers I used on my cheat sheet. When I store this page in my journal, I will also include the cheat sheet with the color numbers in case I ever want to repeat a particular color set.

And here is my finished page that Heidi so graciously allowed me to color. I used this for day 1 of The 100 Day Project because I wasn’t quite ready to roll with the tiles I plan to use for the duration. I was very thankful to have Heidi’s page to color. And I enjoyed this so much – I have two dragons printed out to work on next. Cause . . . dragons. Yep!

Want to know more about The 100 Day Project? Click here. And if you need some place to hang out while you work on the project or if you are looking for a place to meet some fellow tanglers, I’d love to have you come check us out at Tangle All Around. See you tomorrow!

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16 thoughts on “Coloring With Copics

  1. That was interesting and helpful. The work done with alcohol pens is so brilliantly beautiful. I have been thinking about getting some. This article will be helpful if I do. Is Comic a brand name?

    Thanks, Alice.

    • Copic is a brand name and they are expensive. But – the pens are refillable, so you don’t have that expense except the first time. There are other alcohol type markers available that are not as expensive. Spectrum Noir is another popular brand that gives really pretty results. My son and daughter have the spectrums.

        • Colic also has a less expensive alcohol marker. That’s what I have invested in. The Copic Ciao. I bought some from Amazon and others from Dick Blicks. Just make sure you keep an updated list of what you have already purchased.
          I would also try Spectrum Noir markers, I have their pencils and absolutely love them.
          Michaels brand Artist Loft I wouldn’t waste the money on them. I’ve not liked any product that I enjoyed

  2. It’s beautiful. The colors are so vibrant. Definitely worth the effort you put into it.

  3. Those notations of colour combos are vital aren’t they? It’s so so long ago since my Copics were in use but I have my little swatches of colour families in a notebook. It was good you were able to use a colouring page for your first day of the 100 day project & super seeing your post about the Copics.

    • thanks, Evy! hope you pull out your Copics soon and make some color 🙂

  4. I didn’t know you were Copic certified. You’ve done such a beautiful job with this. You should turn it over and make it into a bleedthrumanade!

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