Friday, June 6, 2008

Natural Blending Families

Sorry about the awkward formatting of the blog. I'm a designer and I'm used to more flexibility in layouts, so in the future I'll keep my layouts simple.

No, I'm not purposely avoiding answering the question "What stamp ink with what paper?", I am going to answer it next week as a form of survey with blog candy, so stay tuned :) (meanwhile I suggest you go over to Splitcoaststampers and search the forums for ideas). Other people besides cardmakers / stampers are following this site as well, and I have so much stuff to cover! By waiting, I also know that more people will find this new blog by then so we'll get more feedback. Just content yourself to know that I am part of a conspiracy theory that will never directly answer your deepest, most important questions, rather, I will string you along forever...or not *wink*.

Natural Blending Families- I created this fancy term for a simple Copic concept that many people have already discovered, but can never be explained enough. You have a color of marker and you want to find a shadow and highlight for that pen. What color should you use? This is where the code on the cap answers that question.

Here's the scoop: I have paper that perfectly matches my B24 marker. I have a picture I want to color, but I want to make it look dimensional with shadows and lighter areas. My two questions are-

1. What colors will make my B24 look shadowed/highlighted?
2. What other colors will go nicely with those blues and not look strange?
These are both easily answered. First, the color number B24 tells me a few things right away:

B- This is a blue marker
2- This is a bright, but not super bright blue (those would have a 0 ir 1 in this spot), and it's not very gray (or else this would be a 7, 8, or 9)
4- This is a middle blue (pale colors are going to end in 0, 1, or 2; Middle colors are 4-6; and dark colors are 7-9)
To answer the first question, shadows & highlights:

Keep the letter and first digit the same. We know instantly that our shadow and
highlight will be in the B20's. There are two colors lighter than B24, which are B23 or B21, but which one should we get? This takes us to the second rule:

Keep a 2 to 3 digit difference between numbers. So our lightest spot will be B21, our main color will be B24 and our shadows will be B26. Not bad, now we know that any part of our picture that we want Blue will be B21 + B24 + B26. This is what I call a Natural Blending Group. These are 3 shades that naturally go together based on color number alone.

As to the second question, what goes with the blue:
Keep the numbers the same, just change the letter (color family). Ok, so we need a green (G), Red (R), yellow (Y), and pink (RV) to go with our blue. We're in luck- there's an exact match for the first two color families. G24, and R24 will look great with B24. Yellow doesn't have a Y24, but Y23 is close enough. Same with RV, we'll go with RV23.

So we end up with B24, G24, R24, Y23, and RV23 for our color range. Where your colors quickly multiply is when you get into shadows and highlights for each of these-
B: B21, B24, B26
G: G21, G24, G28
R: R22, R24, R27
Y: Y21, Y23, Y26
RV: RV21, RV23, RV25

Aaack! what started as a simple picture with one color now has 15 colors I need!

OK, so this formula is just a starting point, you might really only need 2 shades in each color family. You can also shift colors from here- what if you want the pinks to be lighter? Use just the RV21 and the Rv23. What if you want the reds to be darker? Use R24 as the highlight, R27 as the middle red, and R29 as the shadow. You may totally hate these colors together- it's up to you. Personally, I think I'd ditch the pink in this sequence. If I had a purple to match the pink then maybe it would work better.
This is the final image I colored. Since the picture is so small, I mostly used 2 shades in each family, and I chose not to use the pink, instead I used the R21.
Image Credits: Stamp- Flower Shop by AMuse. Ink- Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black, Paper- Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80# Cardstock Marker colors: B21 + B24, R21 + R24, G21+G24, Y21 + Y23 + Y26

Monday, I will showcase my first color. I'll show it's Natural Blending Group, matching colors from across the color spectrum, aaannnd I have a cool color chart that I programmed into my software that lets me generate other color combos you can try based on other color rules, so I'll show combos that the computer says go well together. Have a great weekend!


Susie said...

Wow! What great information! I love my Copics and I'm sure that love will be growing with your help. Thank you for having this blog.

Michele Kovack said...

See? I did NOT know this about the letters and numbers!! Didn't really know what they meant...until now! Thanks!

Lisa H. said...

great info and you explained it so well. Now I see why I NEED soooo many markers, lol! TFS!

Anonymous said...

I am in heaven!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for jumping in with your blog. Your reputation precedes you Marianne, and it is all good. I'm just so envious of the others who live in the large cities where you are holding seminars - I unfortunately don't live so close any of those large cities. But, I'm happy now! I'll be visiting you daily. By the way, I {heart} my Copics.

Hugs - Becca

huntla1 said...

Thank you so much for this information! I knew there was theory behind the numbering and some things I have discovered on my own,but you are unlocking the mystery. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Terri said...

Marianne, Thank you, thank you, thank you for your efforts in your blog. These markers are wonderful and I want to continue to get better using them.
Please consider coming to Omaha or nearby Kansas City for a class!

Karen (lindse) said...

THANK you for writing about the color matching!! I always struggle with that!! This blog ROCKS, your work is truly appreciated!

Sandy Knecht said...

Great explanation. I was a bit intimidated trying to remember how this should work and you said it perfectly and the visual really helps. Thank you so much for this blog. I'm glad I was directed to it by Cheryl at Inspire me and I have given your blog out to many others. This is great! Thank you.

Conniecrafter said...

I think this is the hardest thing for me figuring out colors but this sounds so easy...Thanks!

Val said...

Thanks for the info on choosing your colours. Wish I had read this before I bought a lot of colours! I need to get more of the lighter colours much to learn!!

Michelle Tech said...

Wow, this is great! I kinda knew (sorta) about the numbering system, but seeing it illustrated really helps! Maybe it'll stick this time! Printing...

Marci Pie said...

I just purchased $196 worth yesterday. Thank you so much for your information. I know that I will be able to use my markers to the otmost and not have buyer's remorse.

shulsart said...

Excellent tutorial, Marianne. You have taken the mystery out of the numbering system. Can't wait for the next installment.

dpkennedy said...

Marianne, this information is fabulous! I added you to my google reader so I can keep up! I love using my copics and although I have read about the way the color system works, to see it and read it the way you have it laid out is wonderful!

Shannan Teubner said...

Fabulous girl! Thanks so much for being such an amazing resource!

Jessrose21 said...

I'm understanding this more! I'm looking for the pale, pastel colors, so if I want a pale pastel blue, I should choose B32 instead of B00? If so, I need to radically change my next marker order! Thanks for the explanation; the pictures help SO much.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I have been looking for. I have always wondered how do I make up my markers. Thank you so much for all your entries. I will look forward to them in the coming weeks.

chinamomxtwo said...

thanks so much for doing these tips and for this blog!! :) I invested money in Copics--and having been practivcing....but this makes it so much clearer!

Barb said...

Know what? I like markers, too. I am just getting my Copic collection underway and I love them. I thank you so much for all of the information you've shared thus far and I look forward with great GREAT anticipation to upcoming posts. May I be so bold as to declare myself your #1 fan?!!

Dawn said...

Thank You, Thank You. I am so happy that you started this blog. I have two sets of Copic and I love how they color, I am greatful for your blog to teach me how to use the colors together to make my pictures pop. What a wealth of information, keep up the wonderful job.
Thanks again.

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wow... this is truly great info.
thank you. I love reading your blog...

Suzanne said...

THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU! I am so happy you started a blog. I might actually start using my copics again as I might end up with results that I like. Thanks for sharing this great tutorials - your blog is fantastic!

Sheri said...

I am learning so much from your blog. I knew the letters meant the color but beyond that I knew nothing. This is amazing information. Thanks so much for starting this.

Dawn Easton said...

Oh my gosh! This is fantastic! I don't know of anyone around here that sells Copics, let alone explaining Your blog is perfect! TFS! I'll be a loyal reader for sure!

Amy Sheffer said...

Thank you for the wealth of info here on your blog!! I'm learning so much!

Tammi said...

Marianne This is going to be the most read blog with all the information you are providing. I am hoping to study real hard so I can be your number one top student at the Chicago certification....LOL

Mary Dawn said...

i'm so glad you have a blog, but i've been missing posts! i've subscribed to you with bloglines, but i'm not getting updates, are you allowing feeds or must i subscribe by email?

marianne walker said...

I think you need to subscribe via e-mail

Unknown said...

I love your blog! I don't own alcohol markers, but surely will end up buying some now. What I love is your explanations, lectures, and tips. What a great resource. Thank you!

Karen Kelly said...

I just found your blog and it's fabulous! I can't wait to meet you in Chicago!

LindaH said...

I'm sure I speak for all of us that live in small town Southern Ontario who will likely never get a chance to take a class from you... I thank you for this blog!

Tamara said...

Great information! ! ! Thank You. I can't wait to learn more.

Whimsey said...

Mish Mash sent me; that chick never leads me astray. Love all the insight Marianne; thank you!!!

Ellie said...

OH I am in Copic Heaven!! This is so exciting to me thank you so much for putting up a blog.. I love my Copics and I see I will be loving them even more if that is possible! lol :)


Cris A said...

I'm truly glad I found your blog!!

Anonymous said...

I never knew that each number had its own purpose, though I figured they must and I just didn't know EXACTLY what it was. This was helpful. Thanks.

Connie Fossenier said...

Love this explanation with the letters and numbers..I have four of the basic sets coming..Now I will be able to make informed choices on my next copics.
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Sylvia from Minnesota said...

Thanks for this explanation, it helps more than you know. sylvia

Crazy Bird said...

Thank you SO much for explaining this!

Deebi27 said...

I think I have finally found the sight that truly helps me figure out how to buy colors than look natural together! Wow! THANKS!

charley said...

Dynamite! I love this. Thank you so much. This is so helpful for a new user like me. I love my Copic markers but am a bit overwhelmed by them. Thank you for this blog!

Suzz said...

I see the light... I now can say I understand what the letters and numbers mean. Thank you so much for writing this wonderful informative blog. I can now justify my Copic Marker buying addiction. Do you know if they sell a complete set of the Copic Marker that comes with everything, such as the blender pen, Copic Airbrush System. The shebang?

Annalize said...

Discovered your blog through Theresa Momber's blog and am so greatful! For the firs time I will be able to buy and use copics with some know how! Thanks for sharing!!!!

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