Thursday, July 15, 2010

Copic Puppy Love or Coloring Techniques II

Continuing the thread I started in the last blog post, here's the same stamp set colored with Copic markers on a new original card right next to the Gamsol coloring technique I did previously so you can see the difference in the results. I was inspired by the folding mechanics on the other card so the new one is a gatefold card that opens in the center but stays closed when the image is tucked behind the words. I also liked with the idea of making the card male friendly so I went with a male friendly blue base and some metal embelishments. Click on the card image to go to the website if you want details or bigger pictures.


You can see the colors in the Copic image are much richer and darker since you apply marker ink to the whole image. The coloring technique I am about to describe is not the official Copic technique, but it works very well for me. First I put down the darkest brown against the edges. Then I took a medium brown and colored/blended over the darker brown and extended the coloring into uncolored area some more. Finally I took the lightest brown I was using and colored over the entire area, both the previously colored areas and the white areas, pulling the colors over further but leaving part of the image with just the top coat on it. You need to do this while the other browns are wet to get the colors to blend together well. The one key thing I didn't do that you are supposed to do in the official technique is to color the entire brown area in the lightest color first and then add the other colors and finish with a top coat of the lightest color. This is supposed to help keep the area wetter longer but it also means you end up putting down two coats of the lightest color, which gives you a darker final color than you get if you just put down the top coat to get everything to the same tonal value. A lot of times, I want the lighter color because it offers more contrast and I can't get that if I follow the official method. I repeated the same three color process for the gray. The pink and red are just simply one coat coloring. The pink was applied over the gray.

How does this compare time wise? I think its fairly quick if you have good hand eye coordination and can move the marker around accurately because the ink flows very freely from a Copic marker. In fact, you need to be fairly quick about it because you want to apply the next lighter color while the other one is wet. Other than that you mainly lay the colors down over each other with a circular blending motion and then let it dry and the blending solution in the markers does the rest of the magic. It's hard to gauge when its wet because the colors will look darker wet than they end up when it dries.

How about physical effort? You sort of do the same circle blending techniques with the blending stumps in the Gamsol method but you have to put more physical pressure and effort in to get the blending effect with Gamsol where the ink flows from the Copic marker to the paper with slightest of contact pressure. After a while with the Gamsol technique, my hand needed a break from coloring but I could sit all day and color with Copics if I had enough things stamped out.

How does this compare cost wise? At a suggested retail price of $6.50 per marker, eight Copic Sketch markers cost more than the box of 24 colored pencils and a bottle of Gamsol and a pack of blending stumps and the stamp did combined.

As always, you can click on the card image to see the instructions for making it, including exactly which Copic marker colors I used. I haven't uploaded a new index yet so both of these remain exclusively accessible to blog readers right now.

Up next (week?), I'll do a watercolor pencil/Dove blender pen version of the puppy love image.

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