Monday, November 23, 2009

Shadows Part 13 - Shading & Cast Shadows

Someone in a recent class asked me why I had soft blends in some areas when I color and crisp lines on my shadows in other areas. This got me thinking that I haven't really explained the difference clearly enough between shading and adding cast shadows.

Flat Coloring
The first thing that people notice about images colored with Copic markers is how smooth everything looks. By coloring in small circles and evenly soaking your paper you can finally get a flat area to look perfectly flat.

This also gets boring real quick because we know that the world is not flat. This Granny image is from the new release over at Our Craft Lounge. She looks pretty lifeless with plain, flat coloring. I used R83, YR000, YG11, E35, B41, and BV31. I like Granny because she is a character who is very much alive and has personality - NOT destined to be flat her whole life (especially with all those chocolates she's eating).

Shaded Coloring
When we want things to look more alive we add shadows. If you look at the whole list of shadow posts you can see all my directions over the last year or so about adding shadows. I have tried to simplify shadows as much as possible, so don't get overwhelmed if you think you can't do it, just scroll to the beginning and start there.

If you look at this simple diagram you can see the difference between something flat and something with volume and substance.

When Shading, the first step is to pick our light source. In this case, it is coming from the upper left corner. I leave my green cylinder (YG11) white on the side closest to the light and faded in BG93 to create the shading. Because this object is rounded my shading from light to dark is smooth.

Here is Granny with simple shading added. She looks much more alive than she did at first. I added R85 & R89 to the R83, E11 to her skin, and BG93 to the chair. I smoothed darker colors in by layering light-dark-light, so an area like her skin would have been colored YR000 + E11 + YRooo. So far, all of these are smooth blends from light to dark.

I think she's still missing something, though.

Cast Shadows
If you look back at the shading diagram you'll see the volume of the cylinder has left a shadow on the ground, or a Cast Shadow.

On a cast shadow you see the edges are crisp, with no soft shading. This is because the light is blocked in a straight line by the hard edges of the object. This adds to the illusion of volume and we can really feel that our object has substance. However, this is a simple object.

The world is made up of much more complex shapes and objects than the cylinder. If we add a top to our shape then the shadow changes as well.

Look at the first "lamp" in my diagram. The shadow it leaves on the ground mimics the shape that we know the object would have in real life. So we have the cast shadow of the whole image.

But look at where the "shade" overlaps the base. There needs to be a shadow here as well because the top is blocking light on the ground AND on the base.

The shadow the top casts will have hard edge because it is blocking the light in a straight line. By adding the darker shadow on the green area we can really get feel for the dimension this "lamp" has.

Let's look at Granny again.

Her dress hangs over her legs, so let's cast a Crisp shadow on her legs. Her head sticks out over her neck, so she gets a shadow there, too. Don't forget the chair, as Granny is blocking the light that is hitting the chair, so those will be crisp shadows as well. Her hair casts a shadow, as does her box of chocolates.

By deepening the shadows and making some crisp while leaving the basic shading smooth you can really get a sense of granny's volume. Look at how much more dynamic her legs are in particular (you never thought of granny's legs as being dynamic, did you?)

Here is my final Granny. I used a gray multiliner 0.05mm to add scribble flowers to the upholstery and I added a hint of B41 to the ground and behind the chair just to give her a bit more life. I hope this helps you in your coloring. Have a great week, and enjoy eating your own sweets. Don't forget to check out the other fun stamp sets in the new release from Our Craft Lounge!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thinking Ahead to Winter CHA

It's Friday and I'm back from a busy week of travel and a trade show at the University of Oregon. I just want to give a quick rundown of upcoming events. January may seem like a long time from now, but we at Copic are getting things ready for Winter CHA.

Jan. 22 & 23 CHA Craft Supershow, Open to Public
Stop by the SplitcoastStampers booth any time during the show for a free make-n-take hosted by Copic. If you wish to attend the show, the Coupon code CRAFT20 will take $5.00 off of the admission cost for the CHA SuperShow. Tickets may be purchased online at

When CHA class registration opens there will be some fabulous Copic cardmaking classes hosted by Jennie Black. These are a great way for the beginner to get a flavor of Copic and learn how to use their markers better. These classes are in conjunction with Our Craft Lounge.

There will be many vendors at the Craft Supershow selling Copic markers, so be looking for some great places to shop at the show as many of your favorite companies will be there.

CHA Copic Certifications
Applications are now available for the two certification classes on Jan. 22 & 23rd at the Anaheim Marriott, across from the CHA Convention. If you need an application please e-mail

Each class runs from 9 am to 4pm with an hour break for lunch. These will be taught by Sherrie Siemens and each of these classes will also be assisted by two of our other new, Regional Instructors.

Also, we will have a list of upcoming Feb. 2010 certifications available next month, so keep looking for more details.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Wow! What a fabulous response to the Copic giveaway! I must admit that I haven't read all the comments yet, but there are some really great comments that have been posted on each blog in our celebration. Thanks to all of you for helping our new team feel welcomed and appreciated.

For now, I'd like to announce the winner of my prize drawing. There were 439 comments on my blog alone. And with the help of the following winner was chosen:

Blogger Colleen said...

Congrats to everyone! Love the Copics because of their versatility and the ability to airbrush just makes them that much more fun!

Congrats Colleen!!!

And a big congratulations to the winners from the other blogs. You'll have to let us know how you use your prizes once you get them.

I'm hoping to post a tutorial early next week, so check back here for more tips and ideas for coloring. Have a fabulous weekend, and see you next week at the U of O Trade Show in Eugene OR.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Granny Birthday card

This month celebrates three anniversaries for me. One of which is coming up this weekend, the other two are closer to the end of the month. The anniversary I'm celebrating this weekend is the first anniversary for Our Craft Lounge! Last year on November 14th OCL went live to the public after months of behind the scenes work. My other two anniversaries are 9 years working for Copic and 7 years being married to my dear husband.

Today we are also celebrating the birthday of someone here at work, so I made her this lovely Granny card. This card was made using the set Granny's Secrets, one of the 5 different Granny sets currently available from Our Craft Lounge.

Pre-Soaking with Colorless Blender
One technique I used on this card that you may not be aware of is the gray area under Granny's chair. I didn't have a light enough shade of gray within easy reach so I used my colorless blender and pre-soaked the area in which I wanted a shadow. Then I added my C3 and it was much lighter because the paper was already wet. It was also much easier to fade out the edges with the blender because the paper was pre-soaked.

Another thing you can't tell is that because Granny's dress has such a tiny pattern I colored it with the fine end of my Copic Original markers. The middle of each flower was colored with my R35 then I lightly touched it with blender to get it to wash out. One layer of the white silk flower I touched up with a yellow marker to accent the rich yellow center.

Markers:YR04, Y15, Y11, E33, E37, R35, C3, 0, E00, E11, assorted Spica pens, Paper: Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Prism Papers, Other: Prima Say it with Crystals and leaves for the photo.

I hope each of you has a chance to head over to the forums at Our Craft Lounge or their blog to check out their scavenger hunt and get a chance to win some fabulous prizes. You still have one more day to leave your entry on my last post to win a special Copic prize as well. Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Regional Instructors & Blog Team 2010

Note: Commenting on this post is now closed. Thank you for your comments!

You may feel that I have really dropped off the face of the earth right now but actually I have been very busy making it even easier for everyone to get the Copic instruction they need. Now Certifications will be coming closer to your home town...

Over the last few days we at Copic hosted a special training session. Not a regular Certification, but a special training to add some very talented ladies to our team of Regional Certification instructors.

You can meet each of these people at CHA and if you are a store looking to have a special event hosted by Copic you can contact them directly in your region to arrange something. Stores attending CHA can also ask our great team for ideas and advice on how to teach their own Copic classes and build their customer's knowledge, so look for their table at CHA (And we are planning for the future, so if you thought a regular Certification was fun, just you wait). Each of our new instructors will begin teaching after Winter CHA, in addition to our current team. (For more photos like this one visit Debbie's blog, as we seemed to be too busy to take photos. Thanks Debbie for remembering!)

If you are a store interested in contacting one of the Regional Instructors please send e-mails to Be sure to include where you are located and how large your classroom space is. We will forward your request to the instructor nearest you and they will personally contact you. If you are wanting to attend a class in your area also e-mail Nancy and she'll add you to the mailing list for that area.

We have switched a few people on our blog team as well, but all the names are ones you should already be familiar with.

And so, without further fanfare...

The new Copic Instructors and their regions are:

Colleen Schaan
Colleen will be covering the Southern US. She has been teaching some absolutely fabulous online Copic classes through Our Creative Classroom and has visited stores in here area. Now you can take Certification Classes from her and ask her to host something special in your store if you're in her new region, as she will soon be moving to Atlanta. Welcome Colleen!

Lori Craig
Lori will be covering the Central Midwest, US. Lori should be a familiar name to many stampers, and I think we all adore Lori just as much as she adores grits (a wink right at you Lori!). In addition to her duties at SplitcoastStampers, Lori will be occasionally teaching Certification classes around Kansas, Missouri, and nearby states, so welcome to our team!

Sharon Harnist
Sharon gets to visit stores and teach Certifications from her home state of Texas up to Lori's area, and I'm sure the two of them will be co-teaching classes as well, since they are great friends. Sharon is a name you've seen around here for a while, but she also helps Ellen Hutson, Just Rite Stampers, Inchie Arts, Lockhart Stamp Co, and Taylored Expressions to name a few! Now she's on our Blog team as well, so thank you Sharon!

Kathy Sanders
Kathy will be teaching in the Northern Midwest/Chicago area. Kathy is a name you might not be familiar with unless you're on Splitcoast and recognize her as making some fabulous cards & tutorials. She has also taught Copic classes to papercrafters at her home store in Brookfield Wisconsin, Creative Pals, for over 6 years! If you've ever seen Whipper Snapper design's colored card examples most likely it was sweet Kathy who colored it.

Then, some other names you already know on our Design Team and some are also teaching Certifications:

Sherrie Siemens- Certification Instructor, Western Canada and Pacific Northwest. Look for more classes from Sherrie not just in Canada, but also in Washington and possibly Alaska (Betty, Nancy that's just for you!). Now Sherrie is also on our Design/Blog Team.

Sally Lynn MacDonald- Certification Instructor, North Eastern US and Eastern Canada. Sally Lynn already has a full schedule for 2010 scheduled so check out her blog for dates and locations. She has also been added to our Design/Blog Team, so look for great inspiration from her as well!

Debbie Olson - Certification Instructor, Regional Floater. Debbie may occasionally fill in and teach or assist at Certifications all across the country and she'll be helping us a little more with special projects, so look for more great things from Debbie.

Marianne Walker- me. I'll be floating around like usual and covering classes more in California, Oregon, and the Southwest region. I am also proud to announce that I made the blog team (oh wait, I guess I was already on the team, sorry!)

Michelle Wooderson - She's still our steadfast blogger, out there making faboulous projects using Copic Markers like she has for the last few years. We love you Mish!!

And we want to leave Trudee with a big warm hug and thank you! Trudee hasn't been doing as much papercrafting recently, but we thank her for all her gorgeous work as a past Copic Design Team member.

Go visit the blog of each of these people to really get to know them better. We are so lucky to have them on our Team and are looking forward to 2010!

Copic Giveaway
To celebrate the new team we are offering a special giveaway. Simply go to each blog listed below and leave a comment. The winner gets to PICK their prize: Either 12 Sketch of their choice or an ABS-1.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post letting us know either how you use Copics, which Copic products you use, why you love them OR why you wish you had Copics. Be sure to include contact information/link so we can inform winners.

You have 8 chances to win, since there are 8 blogs to visit. In addition to one winner from each listed blog, we at Copic will be reading through comments. If we find a testimonial that we really like, then we will contact that person to use their story for the CHA booth and whomever we choose would get an equal prize to the random winners. So make your comments good, and make them different on each blog for even more chances to win! There will probably be two or three winners chosen total on comments, as well as the one winner for each listed blog (The testimonial winners will not be announced right away, but random winners will).

The drawing begins on Wednesday, November 11, and ends on Saturday, November 14 at 11:59pm. This varies from blog to blog, by the way.

Blogs to visit:

Marianne Walker, Copic Product Specialist, Certification Area: West/Southwest, Floater

Debbie Olson Copic Blog Team, Certification Area: Floater

Sherrie Siemens Copic Blog Team, Certification Area: Western Canada, Northwest US

Sally Lynn MacDonald Copic Blog Team, Certification Area: Northeast US and Eastern Canada

Sharon Harnist Copic Blog Team, Certification Area: Southern Midwest

Lori Craig Certification Area: Central Midwest

Colleen Schaan Certification Area: South

Michelle Wooderson Copic Blog Team

Kathy Sanders Certification Area: Northern Midwest and Chicago area. No blog yet.

Good luck and have a great time coloring!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Certification and Thank You

I'm back from a fabulous trip to Grand Rapids last week. The Certification was a lot of fun and I was happy to meet both old and new friends there.

When I went to the certification class in Coos Bay a week ago I took my husband with me. He makes videos and in his spare time he made this simple promo video for the store that the class was hosted in - Memories of Time. Here is the nice video he made for Michelle, owner of Memories of Time.

What a cute store! I love going around the country and seeing all the different little stores. I'm glad my husband was able to make the video for her, and I can't wait to go back to visit her store someday.

Meanwhile, I need to update everyone on upcoming certification classes and events.

On November 18 & 19 we will be participating in the University of Oregon Bookstore's annual Tools of the Trade Show. The show theme this year goes along with the U of O Art Museum's current Gallery Show - Art of the Superhero. I will be one of the featured artists at the U of O Tradeshow event and I'll be coloring some appropriate comic artwork just for the event.

In conjunction with that show I can also be found this Saturday evening down at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art here in Eugene doing airbrush demos and letting people draw or color their own superheroes. Don't miss it! Nov. 7th from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

The evening of November 19th I will be hosting a beginner Copic Marker class for fine art & landscape architecture at the DIVA Gallery, 110 W. Broadway here in Eugene. To register for that class you need to contact DIVA directly or through their website.

December 5th I will also host a Holiday Card Making class at DIVA. This is not a class where I make a kit and everyone makes the same card. Rather, this is a fundraiser for DIVA and I bring down a mixture of papercrafting supplies where we are creating our own mixed-media/altered arts creations. Bring some embellishments to share or swap with classmates. Your class fee becomes a donation for DIVA.

Although the year is winding down we still have some great locations coming up. In January we will announce our schedule for Spring 2010, and you'll see a whole bunch of new locations, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, here are the remaining classes between now and CHA in January.

21st Montreal, taught by Sherrie Siemens Full
22nd, Montreal, taught by Sherrie Siemens Opens to Public this Friday
22nd Columbia, SC taught by Sally Lynn Opens to Public this Friday

13th San Antonio, TX taught by Sally Lynn Open to Stores & Designers
14th San Antonio, TX taught by Sally Lynn Open to Stores & Designers

January, 2010
10th Sarasota, FL taught by Sally Lynn Applications go out next week

And, for those who are attending CHA:
22nd Anaheim, CA taught by Sherrie Siemens Applications go out next week
23rd Anaheim, CA taught by Sherrie Siemens Applications go out next week