Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Demo Tomorrow, Winnipeg Canada

I realized that I forgot to mention to all my blog friends that this week I am in Winnipeg, Canada demoing at Artist's Emporium. Tomorrow evening you can come see me from 7pm-10pm at their AMAZING annual open house.  Food, Prizes, posters, freebies, and more await you!

Today I drew this fun pirate picture and colored it at the demo. Sometime next week I will try and post a few step-outs of the coloring process, though I may forget the colors I used.

Meanwhile, if you are in Winnipeg, I hope to see you there! If you aren't in Winnipeg, come take one of my upcoming classes in a city near you: in a few weeks in Pittsburgh and Salt Lake, or in the Chicago area at the end of May.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vellum Sketch and Upcoming Events

I have a lot of events and classes coming up, but before I leave town, I wanted to share a quick sketch and process with you.

Coloring on Vellum
It's been a while since I posted something made on vellum. I had a drawing in my head, and I thought this would be perfect for a vellum sketch. I'm using a deluxe, heavyweight drawing vellum, so it has a slight grayish cast to it, but takes marker ink beautifully.

1. I started with a pencil sketch and overlaid a piece of vellum. I taped it down with masking tape to keep it in place as I colored.

2. Next, I work back to front. I begin by laying down some solid swatches of B45.

3. With my colorless blender, I went back over all the blue, to soften at the edges. I colored in the same direction as the original streaks. I want some streakiness to remain, just not as harsh on the edges. Then, I use my colorless blender to clear out the inside of the vase. Because marker ink does not soak into vellum, the colorless blender can completely remove ink, if you soak it enough. I was careful to wipe my blender marker tip clean on scratch paper after each stroke over the blue. 

4. Then I added E33 and E27 to the pitcher. I left the white area clear, and did minimal blending. Blending on vellum can turn streaky quickly.

5. Next I added the YG17 and G99 right over the top of any other colors. Although the greens are lighter, they will simply push other colors out of the way.

6. I added R43 as my pale pink. If you notice, all colors appear a little lighter on vellum, so go darker than you regularly would when coloring, or colors won't show up.

7. I touched up the pinks with RV29, and minimally blended it with the R43.

8. I finished up by pulling the sketch out from underneath and looking at areas that needed cleaning up. I darkened the brown with E49 and touched up a bit more RV29 and G99 to add details.

I love how soft and simple the finished image looks. And, it was very quick, as you can't go back and blend without causing streaks. If you don't color on vellum much, I strongly recommend trying it sometime.

Upcoming Classes and Events
This weekend I will be teaching  a couple classes in San Diego. I still have a few openings in my upcoming classes in San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Pittsburgh. We have other copic classes coming up in Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Seattle, and Minneapolis, so visit our website to register or get more information. You can also email nancy@copicmarker.com for more registration information. 

Just this week we added a bunch of new classes:

May 31, South Chicago area, IL, Whimsical Faces & Hair, taught by Marianne Walker
May 31, South Chicago area, IL, Tracing Memories, taught by Marianne Walker

June 6, Ottawa, ON, Canada Standard Certification taught by Sherrie Siemens
June 7, Ottawa, ON, Canada Intermediate Certification taught by Sherrie Siemens
June 7,  Hanover, MD Whimsical Faces & Hair, taught by Lori Craig
June 7,  Hanover, MD Airbrushing for Papercrafters, taught by Lori Craig

Local Demos:
If you are in Oregon, I will be hosting a free drop-in studio event at the U of O Bookstore on May 17th. Click here for more details.

Ongoing: $5 Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30pm Tracing Memories drop-in dinner classes at Sheldon Park Assisted Living, Eugene. Call 541-344-1078 to RSVP.





Thursday, March 13, 2014

Coloring a Goose, Part 2


New Opaque White
Final touches make all the difference in my opinion. Yesterday I showed you my goose, at the 95% done stage. Today I'll show you what I did to complete the image.

Contrast is the key to a well balanced image. When you have nice crisp whites, and rich dark colors, your image looks much more complete. But, fine areas are tricky to leave white when coloring with markers, so artists use Opaque white, a thick white waterbased paint to add white highlights back when coloring.

For a couple years, I have been working with .Too, the manufacturer for Copic products, to create a different version of our Opaque White paint. Because the Opaque White is so thick, it won't flow through traditional paint markers in a way that we were happy with, but we've wanted a better way to apply fine details with it.

So, we developed this new bottle with a built-in, super-fine brush. These are now available and very handy. I use mine for everything, and it has a spot right in the middle of my desk. I love it!


As you can see, the brush is very fine. It is perfect for all the little white glints on the goose feathers, the white around the beak, and any other fine highlight areas.

Whenever you apply opaque white, be sure you are completely done coloring with markers, as you can't color over the top of the of Opaque white without risking damaging your marker nibs.

I love how fine the details are! The brush tip is perfect for very precise detailed areas, much finer than the detail you can get with a white-out pen or white paint marker. The long handle fits your hand perfectly, giving you enough length that you feel more like you are using a traditional paintbrush. The white paint is very thick, meaning that even though strokes are fine, they are very opaque.

Here is my goose, with the final touches of opaque white added, and color-corrected on the computer. 
We will be using the new Opaque White with built-in brush at our upcoming workshops and classes. For those of you who want to use your own applicators, you can still purchase our larger bottles of traditional Opaque white.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to register for one of our classes. They are filling fast and are a great way to get a chance to experiment with our products.

Upcoming Classes
New classes just opened on our website!

I will be teaching a Whimsical Faces & Hair class along with a Tracing Memories class in Salt Lake City on May 10th. You can now register for those classes here. Either of these classes is perfect for beginners, no Copic experience needed!

There are many classes that still have space in them, so check this list carefully for upcoming locations near you. Register soon, as classes are filling quickly. Register on our website under each class type Standard, Intermediate, or Workshop

March 22nd, Portland, OR Whimsical Faces & Hair workshop  taught by Debbie Olson FULL
March 22nd, Portland, OR Airbrushing for Papercrafters  taught by Debbie Olson FULL
March 28th, Calgary, AB Standard Certification  taught by Sherrie Siemens
March 29th, Calgary, AB Intermediate Certification taught by Sherrie Siemens
March 29, San Diego, CA  Whimsical Faces & Hair workshop, taught by Marianne Walker
March 30, San Diego, CA  Tracing Memories workshop, taught by Marianne Walker

April 11, Chicago, IL Standard Certification taught by Debbie Olson
Filling Fast!
April 11, Dallas, TX  Standard Certification, taught by Lori Craig
April 12, Chicago, IL  Intermediate Certification taught by Debbie Olson Filling Fast!
April 12, Dallas TX  Intermediate Certification taught by Lori Craig Filling Fast!
April 12, Phoenix AZ Whimsical Faces & Hair taught by Cindy Lawrence Filling Fast!
April 12, Phoenix, AZ Airbrushing for Papercrafters taught by Cindy Lawrence
April 29, Pittsburgh, PA  Airbrushing for Papercrafters taught by Colleen Schaan
April 29, Pittsburgh, PA  Whimsical Faces & Hair, taught by Colleen Schaan

May 1, Pittsburgh, PA  Tracing Memories  taught by Marianne Walker
May 1, Pittsburgh, PA Alcohol Ink Painting taught by Colleen Schaan
May 2, Pittsburgh, PA Standard Certification taught by Cindy Lawrence
May 2, Seattle, WA Standard Certification taught by Sherrie Siemens
May 3, Pittsburgh, PA Intermediate Certification taught by Cindy Lawrence
May 3, Seattle WA, Intermediate Certification taught by Sherrie Siemens
May 10, Salt Lake City, Whimsical Faces & Hair workshop, taught by Marianne Walker
May 10, Salt Lake CityTracing Memories workshop, taught by Marianne Walker
May 16, Minneapolis, MN Standard Certification, taught by Debbie Olson
May 17, Minneapolis, MN Intermediate Certification, taught by Debbie Olson
May 24, Dallas, TX Whimsical Faces & Hair workshop, taught by Lori Craig
May 24, Dallas, TX Airbrushing workshop, taught by Lori Craig


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Coloring a goose, Part 1

Monday I was at the park, on a rare sunny spring day (it usually rains in Oregon this time of year). The park was covered in geese, so my daughter and I tried to get them to come close enough to photograph, but without any food, they really weren't interested. I was able to snap a quick shot of one, and today I wanted to draw and color it.

Today's tutorial is the first half of coloring the goose drawing. Tomorrow I'll show you the final touches.

Coloring a Goose
Recently, I've shown you a lot of photographs the computer has converted to outlines for me. Yesterday, I drew the duck with a 0.3mm multiliner, then photocopied the drawing onto nice paper.

The overall tone of this goose is a warm gray, so I start by blocking in the basic W1 to define shadows. I didn't soak the paper too thoroughly, as I knew I would be blending more colors in. I left his white belly alone, as in the photo, you can see that is a very cool gray area, whereas the rest of the goose is warm gray.

Next, I layered in W4 for the shadows. Always look at the photo for reference on the shadows and details. On the neck, I added a few rough feathers with the W4 as well. At this point, I haven't blended anything.

The next step is to blend the W4 with the W1. Any areas that faded out too much, I let them dry and added more W4. Contrast is the key to having a believable image.

Next I added W7 for the darkest feather areas. Again, I blended it with the W4, but in areas that became too soft, I let them dry and added more W7 over the top. I was careful to keep the cheek and the top of the head as light as possible, to match the coloration from the photograph. If you look close, you can see that I applied the W7 in small, irregular strokes on the wings to simulate the edges of feathers.

For the yellow/orange beak and feet, I used Y32, Y38, and added deepest shadows with W4. I know I can shadow the yellows with Warm grays, since yellow and orange are warm colors.

 On the white belly, I colored the edges with BV20, as that is a nice, gray blue-violet to contrast the warm grays on the rest of the goose. I threw in a few hints of Y00 and W1 onto her belly, to warm up those tones as well.

Next I begin on the grass. I added YG03 as a base coat to the grass. This was applied as lots of short, irregular strokes, in kind of a scribbling pattern. Without any other colors, it already begins to look like grass. This is a great texture to practice. For best results, hold the brush more upright, as you will get finer lines.

I didn't feel like overwhelming the picture with green, so I stuck to creating a basic ground-plane for the goose to be waddling across. Even though the photo shows the whole area green, it is my artistic choice as to how much green to include.

Here is the final goose, with a few more details. I added YG09 and G28 to the grass, again in the short, crisp brush strokes. I added hints of E27 to deepen the shadows on the feet, and on some of the darker feathers. By adding brown, it gives a hint of color variety to the shadows. I also added a tiny bit of YG03 very lightly to the edge of his white belly. Although it is not in the photograph, I did this to suggest a reflection of the green from the grass.

Tomorrow I will show you a few more final touches to this goose. I hope the step-out today helped you see my process.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Quick Class Update

Oregon Coast
This weekend I was at the coast and took a quick photo at one of my favorite beaches, Devil's Elbow/Heceta Head. This afternoon, I converted it to outlines and colored it in.

I colored the sky with B41 and 0. The trees are YG01, YG03, YG61, YG63, YG67, G28, C7, and hints of YR18. The old log is Y28, 0, E49, V99, BV23, and E27. The bridge is BV23, BV25, C3, C9, B41, and V99 for the deepest shadows. The water is YG63, B45, C7, and YG67. The sand is W1, E50, Y28, Y00, BV23, BV25, with 0. It took me about an hour to color.

As you can see, this was quick. But, each time I look at it I think of so many memories with my parents, my siblings, my husband, my kids, my friends...It makes me happy!!  This will be one of the images we color on Wednesday if you are in Eugene and come to my Sheldon Park Assisted Living dinner session. $5 reserves you a spot and dinner, 4:00 to 5:30 pm. All supplies included (these sessions are weekly, just call ahead to reserve your spot  541-344-1078).

Certifications & Workshops
If you don't live in town, and you want to take a Copic coloring class, you're in luck! We have more classes open right now than we ever have had before. They are filling fast, so register now. Register on our website under each class type Standard, Intermediate, or Workshop


Registration now open for:

March 7, Columbus, OH     Standard Certification     taught by Lori Craig      
March 8, Columbus, OH    Intermediate Certification   taught by Lori Craig FULL
March 22nd, Portland, OR Whimsical Faces & Hair workshop  taught by Debbie Olson FULL
March 22nd, Portland, OR Airbrushing for Papercrafters  taught by Debbie Olson FULL
March 28th, Calgary, AB Standard Certification  taught by Sherrie Siemens
March 29th, Calgary, AB Intermediate Certification taught by Sherrie Siemens
March 29, San Diego, CA  Whimsical Faces & Hair workshop, taught by Marianne Walker
March 30, San Diego, CA  Tracing Memories workshop, taught by Marianne Walker

April 11, Chicago, IL Standard Certification taught by Debbie Olson
Filling Fast!
April 11, Dallas, TX  Standard Certification, taught by Lori Craig
April 12, Chicago, IL  Intermediate Certification taught by Debbie Olson Filling Fast!
April 12, Dallas TX  Intermediate Certification taught by Lori Craig Filling Fast!
April 12, Phoenix AZ Whimsical Faces & Hair taught by Cindy Lawrence Filling Fast!
April 12, Phoenix, AZ Airbrushing for Papercrafters taught by Cindy Lawrence
April 29, Pittsburgh, PA  Airbrushing for Papercrafters taught by Colleen Schaan
April 29, Pittsburgh, PA  Whimsical Faces & Hair, taught by Colleen Schaan

May 1, Pittsburgh, PA  Tracing Memories  taught by Marianne Walker
May 1, Pittsburgh, PA Alcohol Ink Painting taught by Colleen Schaan
May 2, Pittsburgh, PA Standard Certification taught by Cindy Lawrence
May 2, Seattle, WA Standard Certification taught by Sherrie Siemens
May 3, Pittsburgh, PA Intermediate Certification taught by Cindy Lawrence
May 3, Seattle WA, Intermediate Certification taught by Sherrie Siemens

Opening Soon!!
Salt Lake City, Minneapolis

Friday, February 28, 2014

Tracing memories, Coloring an old building




Thank you to everyone who stopped by and visited me! Yesterday I had a fabulous demo down at the University of Oregon Bookstore. I spoke to lots of great students and professional artists from around the community. During the event, I also had a chance to color a beautiful Tracing Memories illustration of the oldest building on campus, Deady Hall. Here is an outline of my process.


Tracing Memories: Deady Hall, University of Oregon

I've known for a few months that I would be demoing at the U of O bookstore, but only a week or so ago had I decided what I really wanted to color....an old building from campus.

Last Friday it was actually sunny, so my family and I went for a walk around the U of O campus and took some photographs of a few neat places. This shot of Deady hall, through the mossy, fern-covered branches really stood out to me. I like this photo because it has good contrast and an interesting composition. As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to color it, but to draw it would take hours.

So, Thursday morning just before I went to the demo I converted it to outlines on the computer and printed it large, as I would be coloring in front of  many people. This picture is about 11x14"

Usually I suggest that people should keep their images smaller to have better success coloring large areas. This image has so many details that it was actually much easier to color it large.

The first thing to do when coloring a complex image is to "block in" colors. I picked out the sky with B32, BG10, and the colorless blender. Notice that I colored right over where ferns were growing, as there is daylight between the ferns. (I took these process photos on my cell phone as I was working, so the colors are not accurate.)

I blocked in the building with W1 and the trees with E44. These are not the darkest colors I see in those areas, rather, these are the lightest tones, and I will build up darkness and shadows from there. I avoided complicated areas, like the bottom left corner, as I hadn't decided which shade of gray to use as a base there yet.


Next, I worked on the building itself, slowly darkening shadows with a full range of warm grays, and picked out the blue windows with B26, B34, B32, and E04 for the frames. I felt the warm gray was a little too bland, so I threw in YG91 and Y21 in the highlight areas. This shifts it to more of a warmer feeling building, even though the photo was taken in the evening and has a cooler tone to it.

I began darkening the first branch with E29, W7, W9, E49 and the greens are YG13, G28, and G99. Look at how the dark contrast on the branches really helps pick out the foliage. 

The image really begins to pop out with the addition of darkest dark colors and adding subtle tones into the light areas. 


Here is the color-corrected scan of the final artwork. I love how it came out! This took 6 hrs to color. Each time I look at it, I think of the math class I took in this building while I was a student, or sitting in the courtyard in front of this building feeding squirrels while I was supposed to be drawing things. I also think of the walk with my family on Friday, and the fun times I had yesterday coloring the image. This really holds a lot of special meaning for me, and part of why I love the Tracing Memories program.

Needless to say, people loved the demo! I will be teaching even more workshops and demos in the future, so be looking for them. Meanwhile, if you want to take a class in your area, you might be in luck!!

I still have a few openings in my upcoming classes in San Diego and Pittsburgh, so visit our website to register or get more information. We currently have over 20 different classes and workshops open, so take a moment and look around our site for something near you.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Basic Blending

Rarely do I go back and repeat myself, but I figured it's been a few years since I have done a beginner post on simple blending in a circle. The world around us is not flat, and to make things appear more interesting, we should try to color in dynamic ways that make objects appear rounded. Today I will step you through a few different ways to blend a circle to make it look rounded.

Basic Circle Blending
To make a simple smiley face appear round, we will need two or three colors in the same color family.

In this case, I am working with a Y11, Y15 and Y38 Sketch marker. Sketch markers are our bestselling product, due to a range of 358 colors and the flexible super-brush nib. Ciao Markers also have the super-brush nib, but they only come in 180 colors. The unique brush nibs make it easy to blend colors, so whenever possible, I reach for either a Ciao or Sketch marker.

Begin with the lightest color, the Y11. Color with the side of the brush, in a circular pattern, evenly soaking the paper. When done, your circle should look nice and smooth with a single, flat color.

Next, I use the side of the brush and "flick" in the darker Y15 shadow along one edge. The flicking motion lays more ink where you first touch the pen down and less ink as you lift up. This takes practice, but will help you achieve smoother blends.

Then, with the side of the brush, I come back with the Y11 and again color in a circular motion. I color heaviest where the two colors meet. I try to leave the darkest area alone. Notice the whole smile gets a shade darker? This is from the second layer of Y11.

Last I come in with the Y38 and add another layer of dark. Then, I blend that back with the Y15, and if needed, blend that with the Y11.

In summary, start light, add darker colors, and always blend with the lighter marker. I try to keep a good range of contrast, so you can easily tell which side is light and which side is shadow. If you over-blend then your smile will look flat.

 Compare the 4th face to the third one. The added contrast makes the whole smile seem more dimensional. If you over-blend and lose the contrast, then go back and layer it in again. This makes the picture more interesting.

Do you have to color a smile just like the one above? No. Here are some variations.

Compare the top pair of faces in this image. Both use the same colors, but on the first one, I made the blend much tighter. You might prefer this look.

Contrast makes things look shiny. On this second set of faces, I used hardly any Y11, and a lot more Y15. The main difference is that I left a strong highlight of the white of the paper. The first face has a softer highlight, the second face has a much sharper highlight. Again, you can choose which you prefer. But, compared to the first two faces, these look shiny.

The last one in this set I tried to color like a marble or as if it were slightly transparent. Light goes in through the top highlight area, then passes through the yellow ball, exiting along the bottom edge. I darkened the deepest yellows on this face with a layer of E33, as this makes the yellow less intense.

Try coloring something as simple as a circle and see how you can make it look more rounded or like a ball. If you want it to really look like a ball, it helps if you throw in a simple cast shadow.

On this last sample, I added a circular shadow to match the ball. I blended N1 and N4 into the shadow. Notice the shadow is darker closer to the ball, and lighter as it get farther away. This is because up close to an object more light is blocked in a shadow, so it looks darker.

I hope this gives you a few ideas for coloring rounded objects. I encourage you to experiment with different looks until you find ones you like.

Just a reminder, on Thursday I will be participating in a free demo at the U of O Bookstore from 10am-4pm in Eugene, OR. Come see me color and ask questions.