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Apr 6, 2008

Copics Made Easy

I'm a little embarrassed to admit - I've kind of been a little fearful to try my hand at some of the fine detailed images by Cornish Heritage Farms (such as Thomas Kinkade or Tom Allen's Friendly Kritters line). They just look so intimidating! But... recently, Liz sent me some Friendly Kritters images and I decided it was time to face my fears!

I stamped the image and wanted to see how Copic markers would work to add color. To my TOTAL surprise, I honestly believe that it might be EASIER to color a detailed image like this than it is a simple line image. The detailed shading on the stamp really does all the work for you! I had such a fun time with this image!

So... I thought I would take it step-by-step and show YOU how truly easy it is to get great results from these images.

First of all, you don't have to have 300+ shades of Copic markers. Sure, it's great to have them all if you can afford them, but not all of us are independently wealthy. :) For this image, I used the markers shown above (+ BG10 Cool Shadow).

STEP 1: Stamp your image. Sounds simple, but you need to pick the "right" paper and ink to get the best results. I love Papertrey Ink's white card stock & Georgia Pacific's (Wal-mart's) white 110# card stock the most. I usually use Graphite Black Brilliance ink, but have found that Adirondack inks work really well too!

Let the image dry COMPLETELY or heat set it with an embossing gun.

Notice all of the shadowing and fine detail that you get just by using black ink! Now let's bring it to life!

STEP 2: Using your Willow marker, color the entire watering can and blades of grass. (no special technique to it... just color it until it's solid)

STEP 3: Now take the Baby Blue marker and add cool tones randomly onto the can. I've found that it really helps to look at the colored image on the wood stamp for reference.

STEP 4: Add "rust spots" to your can using pale sepia.

STEP 5: Now use the Sand White marker and completely color over the watering can. This "blends" all of the colors together and tones it down just a bit. Use the same marker to completely color the chipmunks and ground.

STEP 6: Darken the fur & eye of the chipmunks using the Pale Sepia marker.

STEP 7: Completely color the chipmunks again with the Sand White marker. (again, blending and softening the colors)
STEP 8: Using the Pink marker, color each flower petal.
STEP 9: Color the water dripping from the watering can with BG10 Cool Shadow (I forgot to photo this marker! Woops!).
STEP 10: Color the bottom of the berries with Night Blue.

STEP 11: Color the top of the berries with Baby Blue.
STEP 12: Color the centers of the flowers with Light Grape.
STEP 13: Color the bug's body red (I used a red glitter pen)
STEP 14: Add Ranger Glossy Effects to water allow to dry.
STEP 15: Assemble your card!

See how realistic this looks? It's a little time consuming, but I found it really therapeutic! :)

- Helpful Chipmunks & Sentiment (Tom Allen's Friendly Kritters line) by Cornish Heritage Farms
-Serve one another (Friendly Kritters) by CHF

- Georgia Pacific white CS
- Green velvet printed paper

- Graphite Black Brilliance

- Copic Markers
- Ranger Glossy Accents (to add shine to water)
- scoring tool
- Copper Hardware by We R Memory Keepers


  1. Oh my gosh, was this the first time you've used Copics???????? Good heavens, this is STUNNING! I wish my stuff could look like this. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your work!


  2. This looks great Julie! Thanks for the lesson. Now maybe I can face my fears and try these markers too. See ya, Mary

  3. Awesome Job!! You made it look so easy yet beautiful. Love it. CB

  4. Fabulous, Julie! Thanks for walking us through with pictures. It really helps for us visual learners. :) I haven't adventured into Copic land yet, but when the money is available, I might have to. You made it look so easy! I love your final card - it's adorable. :)

  5. What an "awesome" tutorial!!! I've had my copics for a while--and although I always like the outcome--I'm still not totally comfortable with my ability to use them!!! I'm a very visual person--and after reading through your tutorial--I can hardly wait till tomorrow--so I can play!!! ;-) Thanks for the inspiration!!! KJ


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