My Copic Color Swatch Book

One of the things I learnt from my Copic Certification Program is to write down any colors you use (especially the ones that you like) because you will not remember when it comes to recreating it for the next card. My Copic instructor, Debbie Olson, even brought her Copic Color Book for a show-and-tell and it is a truly astounding resource.

So, based on Debbie’s advice, I created my own Copic Color book. Mine’s obviously not as filled out as hers but I plan to fill it out as I discover colors I like.

I created 13 sections – 10 sections for each Copic color family; and the last 3 sections are for hair, skin and fur colors (imagine blond, brunette, black, red hair variations; Caucasian, Asian, African-American, Native American skin tone and all the different bear/dog fur colors – you will have enough favorites for them to have their own section.)

FYI – there are companies out there who have already coordinated nicely blended colors in each colors family – Papertrey Ink, Just Rite Stamps, Flourishes, to name a few on my radar screen. Try out those colors as a starting point for your book.

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Lessons from Copic Certification Program.

Good morning!

Wow!! The Copic Certification Designer Program was very intense and rigorous … in a good way. Almost 8 hours of listening, testing papers, ink, blending and airbrushing techniques and loads of information. More than you could ever get off the tutorials and YouTube videos on the internet. There are alot of information on the internet that gives you an overview and basic level of information. This program goes beyond that basic information and really arms you with more in-depth information that you can actually teach someone and I left with the intense curiosity to try out more papers and practice all those techniques I learnt.

Here are my major takeaways. Please watch for future posts of specific tutorials because there is simply too much information to put in 1 post.

1) Product Basics (Marker, Paper & Inks):

- There are 2 ways ink will move on a paper: saturate (or soak through) a paper and feather across the paper (or the image line). Soaking/bleeding through a paper is not necessarily an indication of a good or bad paper. Because a thicker paper will not bleed through as much as a thinner paper.

- You have to learned the properties of the paper you are using. Any paper will give you the results you want as long as you learn where the saturation point of that paper is. While other artist may like 1 paper over another, you have to find the paper that suits your coloring style (e.g. how “heavy-handed” you are with coloring). Before the program, Neenah Solar White paper was the paper that came highly recommended to me by others but I found that no matter how careful I was, my colors keep feathering outside the line and I kept over saturating the paper. I found that the thicker paper like Papertrey Ink Stampers Select and the Copic X-press It Blending card works best for my coloring. You just have to try it and find your own.

2) Coloring, Blending & Color Theory:

- Color values (light tone, mid tone or dark tone) is what makes an object realistic – doesn’t matter what color you choose. A purple apple will look realistic if you use a right value – everyone will know it’s an apple, not a round circle or a purple blob.

For more details of the Copic numbering system, see the Copic website.

- Any color that is too vibrant or intense can be muted with grays, follow the Copic Color Wheel to determine which grays to use.

: Y/YG – use W grays

: G/BG – use T grays

: B/BV – use N grays

: V/RV – use C grays

: YR/R – use T grays

You get more than 346 colors if you add grays to your arsenal.

- 4 different blending techniques for different detail level of image and blending different colors.

3) Mixed Media, Ink & Airbrushing:

- You can do so much more with the colorless blender (and the refill) beyond just correcting your mistakes. There is a whole world of texturing you can do to your colored image using a bit of fabric and blender solution. Imagine your little stamped person with real imprint of jeans textured into your jean color!

- ABS 1 is the kit to get – it’s portable with room to grow into a compressor with just a larger hose; ABS 2 is solely a portable kit with 15 mins of air; ABS 3 is solely an air compressor kit.

4) Shading:

- Just get Marianne Walker’s Shadows & Shading book. It will tell you where to put your light, mid and dark tones & where the shadow should go for different shaped objects.

Did I say this program is intense!! It is well worth the investment and it certainly open my eyes to the world of artistry.

Many thanks to Debbie Olson and Lori Craig for taking the time to share your amazing talents.

And last but not least, here is a picture of my goodie bag.

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