Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Copics Part 1, and More Scrap Cards

I have completed my first Copic controlled test, and I'd like to report on how it went. First, you must (MUST, MUST, MUST) remember that I am so far from knowing what I am doing, I qualify as 'inept'. I was not an art student; I needed help selecting the basic colors I wanted; I needed help to know what color 'shaded' the first list; I am largely clueless, most of the time; and I am a collector - I must have it all! With those going-in position disclaimers, you may continue reading at your own risk.

Here is one of my original City Card or Your Town Card images. The same one, in fact, I just copied from my store.

This is the one (and only) item I am currently willing to commit the time to make and sell online. Check out that coloring! This was done with SU Classic inks and blender pens. I'd start with the lightest color, do that color on all the cards, re-inking the blender pen a lot, then move on to the next color. I think it makes the buildings look aged.

This is a tried-and-true method, it works well for me, and it costs me nothing extra - I already have all the inks and blender pens! But up close, like in that photo, all the brushstrokes are front and center, and in your face. In real life, people do not have these so close to their eyeballs, and they look normal.

I thought I needed to explore an alternative coloring method if I wanted to sell any of these on the Web. I was also looking for an easier way to color them, as in 'no reinking for every other blender pen stroke.' I was also looking for a reason to purchase Copic markers. ;-) So I got only the colors I needed for this card and here is my first attempt using the Copics to color the image:

The red, green, and yellow buildings are shaded a la Crooked Stamper, meaning all I did was run a line of darker color down the left edge of the building, color the rest of the building with the lighter color, then lay a few more lines of the lighter color next to the dark line...basically darkening the ink alongside the single darker line to make the transition smoother. And if you followed any of that line of reasoning, you are a better man than I am.

Granted, the color I used instead of Burgundy is much lighter, and the Artichoke is more Olive, but getting past that (I ask you to do a lot of that here, don't I?) , I have made the following observations:

1) Copics go on a lot easier, with no need to re-ink.
2) I still get visable brush strokes with the Copics (check out the roofs) (rooves?).

3) Copics bleed through my SU Whisper White card stock. Here is the back side of one of the cards:

And it was worse when I tried using the Colorless blender Copic to try to 'erase' some of the color.
4) Some photos should never be enlarged.

So that's my first pass with Copics. I will probably pick up a different 'light' version of both the Artichoke and Burgundy so I can get the buildings closer to the color I'd like. I am far from ready to commit to a larger investment, at least not without some serious Copics training so I get a clue.

Moving on to something I'd like to think I am okay with: stamping! I have had this Verve set for a while now, and I felt it needed to see ink. I first stamped the birds on the remaining scrap of floral paper from yesterday's cards. I'd always thought it would be cool to do the whole reverse thing, so one bird's body has the pattern and the other bird's wing has the pattern. I stamped the birds again on some scraps of red I had left from my Brother's scrap book, and pieced the floral cut-out images over them.

Then I went in search of something to use as a background paper, and I thought the red in this dotted piece was pretty close. Plus, the reverse side of the dotted card stock was a very cool blue, and I just cut strips of it to use to border the dotted piece.

My struggles were (1) what to do with those birds!, and (2) ribbon. It's always about the ribbon. I tried the retired SU Cranberry Crisp ribbon first, thinking it was muted, like the paper. Eh? It's okay, but I think it is a little too busy with the stitching. I also added Stickles to the scallops, because I thought they looked plain, but afterwards I think this would have been better without Stickles.

Those darn birds still looked weird, so I rounded just the top corners, and it seemed better. Especially after I went back and rounded the corners of the card, too!

This next card is the same except for the choice of ribbon. I thought the glittery sheen of the ribbon was too much for the soft, muted tones in the card stock, but after the experience of the stitched Cranberry ribbon, I do like this one better.

Note: I was actually in search of the right blue ribbon, but alas, in my hoard of blue ribbons, not one was even close. Will it stop me from buying more? Probably not. But it does reinforce my love of all things SU and how easily things just work together.

That's all for tonight. And remember - there's lotsa scrap SU card stock left, looking for a good home. Check out my Great Scrap G-I-V-E-A-W-A-Y and let me know if you'd like any!


  1. Oh Leslie, I love those birds!! They are just darling.

    I know nothing about Copics, but have you ever checked out this blog?


    Just discovered it today and haven't really explored it much but lots of good info there!

  2. I am thinking you did a very nice job for your first try with copics...this being said by someone who has seen copics, but never held one :) Unsolicited advice: If they bleed so much, your city cards (the buildings)could be layered on black cs, then onto the whisper white. That is more work, but you could raise the price of the card for the extra cost & labor OR scan this original picture and re-print on the whisper white. That is quicker and easier..I spent hours upon hours on a stamp that had a quilt, barn, and a barrell of apples from a colored pencil class I took years ago. My mom scanned it and continues to reprint and make packages of notecards she gives as gifts. What do you think???

  3. I LOVE my Copics! And they are supposed to bleed through like that. :D They do that on all papers. In all colors.


I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

PS: I've had to disable Anonymous comments, because the spammers were killing me. If you are unable to comment, please email me your comment and I'll get it posted for you. Sorry. (stoopid spammers)