Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Certification update

Time to announce certifications again! Our classes are filling fast, so if you are on the fence about attending one of our classes, and one comes within a few hours of your home, don't wait! We can only visit so many places each year, and it takes a year for us to come back.

Standard Papercrafting Certification
This is the best class to take if you are new to Copics, and just want to know all about the products and get ideas for how to use them better. This class is also a prerequisite for the Color & Ink workshop, so be sure to take this class first if you are planning on attending one of our other workshops or the Intermediate Certification class. For more details, please visit our website and download applications and information on each class.

April 5 Peachtree City, GA  taught by Lori Craig only a few spots left!
April 12,  Toronto, ON Canada taught by Sherrie Siemens
April 12,  Indianapolis, IN taught by Lori Craig
April 19, Glen Allen, VA taught by Debbie Olson only a few spots left!
April 26, Greenville, SC taught by Cindy Lawrence
May 3,  Lyndhurst, NJ taught by Lori Craig

Opening soon:
May 24, Hanover, MD taught by Lori Craig
May 31, Columbus, OH taught by Cindy Lawrence
May 31, Salt Lake City, UT taught by Marianne Walker

Intermediate Papercrafting Certification
Do you enjoy the notes I write on my blog about adding shadows in strange colors, or tips on coloring quicker? If you want to know more about light and shadow, and how to color faces and hair, then this is the class for you!
Join us for a day chock-full of new ways to look at the world around you. Last year, these classes were sold out in record time, so don't wait to sign up! For more information and for applications, please visit our website.

April 6, Peachtree City, GA  taught by Lori Craig
April 13,  Toronto, ON Canada taught by Sherrie Siemens
April 13,  Indianapolis, IN taught by Lori Craig
April 20, Glen Allen, VA taught by Debbie Olson FULL
April 27, Greenville, SC taught by Cindy Lawrence
May 4,  Lyndhurst, NJ taught by Lori Craig

Opening soon:
May 25, Hanover, MD taught by Lori Craig
June 1, Columbus, OH taught by Cindy Lawrence
June 1, Salt Lake City, UT taught by Marianne Walker

Color and Ink Workshop
Time to get inky! Our new workshops have been great! We have a couple workshops coming up soon. So, if you are looking for an opportunity to play with inks, learn more in-depth techniques on faces & hair, airbrush your heart out, and a chance to experiment with Copics and mixed media, then participate in a group critique, this is the workshop for you!!

Register now for Boston, May 3-4, taught by Debbie Olson and Cindy Lawrence

Soon our Toronto and Calgary locations will be opening for registration, so be prepared to sign up and come to an awesome event! You can register at the Copic Website.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Feed Me!

Color layers
I was making a birthday card for someone down here at Copic, and I thought you might like to see a few steps in the coloring process. I drew this image with a 0.3mm Multiliner onto X-press It Blending Card.

The lucky birthday guy grows plants in his office that eat bugs. He has quite a few little plants that eat things, so a natural topic would be Little Shop of Horrors. This card is totally inspired by that musical!

I started with the flowerpot, colored with Y21, then I blended in Y19, YR18, E35, and R39 for the deepest shadows. You can see I didn't color very evenly with my base coat because I knew that I would be soaking in a lot of layers of color, so there wasn't a need. I tried to keep my shadows consistent, with the light coming from the upper right.

I colored his tongue with R24, Y00, and R39

Next, I added the palest yellow to his lips and the tips of his leaves. I blended this into YG06, as this is a very vibrant, rich, bright green color. For the shadows, I added YG63 and G28.

On his head, I dotted onY00 over the YG06, to give it a slight texture. Eventually, I also dotted on some YG03 and YG06 as well

The deepest, darkest shadows, or leaves in back I colored first, so I could better define the leaves in front. You'll notice on the bottom left leaf a hint of red/brown. That's because I added R24 to those shadows, since red is the opposite of green, and when the two mix it makes nice shadows. It also helps to tie the red tongue and flowerpot colors into the plant.

As you can see from the next step, you don't notice the red as much as I layer on the darker greens, and start defining the veins on the leaves. The vine holding the cake needs to stay the lightest area, as that gets the most light.

I colored the chocolate cake with E35, R24 and R39, and the candle with YR18 and Y00. While those two colors are really far apart, on an area this small, it works. Don't catch yourself getting locked into having to obey color "rules". Many times I just go for whatever markers are handy, and just make them work. To make the leaves look more textured as well, I dotted Y00 over the darker greens to fade and wash them out.

Sometimes I go outside the lines while coloring. On this image, I know that I will be coloring around it with a light blue, so I don't bother cleaning up my pale green mistakes. Once I go back with my blue, it will push the mistakes back into the image.

Here's the final card. I added B41 as my blue, with dots of G12, BG01, and Y21. I also added dots of greens throughout the rest of the plant. The little yellow border was drawn with a Y19 marker.

The birthday guy loved his card, and I hope you enjoyed it as well. Happy Spring!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sketches from my Demo

Pattern, Texture, and Depth of Field
I had so much fun at my demo yesterday! A lot of the students who purchase Copic markers at the University of Oregon are Architecture or Product Design students. They love seeing texture and patterns on buildings, objects, and foliage. When I demo at the bookstore, I have found that people love seeing me experiment with buildings and plants.

Here are two sketches I worked on while I was there. Sorry, the photos are from my phone, so they aren't that great.

This first drawing is actually a design sketch for some paintings that I am going to make for the Copic offices.I made this on some big scratch paper I was using for my demos.

This drawing is just a little bigger than a regular size sheet of paper. Since this was a concept sketch, I was worrying more about placement of objects instead of details, so all my lines are rough and I'm OK with that.

I don't remember all the colors I use when I demo, because people stop by and ask questions and I get sidetracked. But,  I know that the reds are R24 and R59, and that I used a lot of YR21, YR27, and E44 on the wall. The ground is C3 or C5, plus a bunch of other colors, and the plants are G28 and G82.

 I mocked up the walls with E43 and a scrap of washcloth dipped in colorless blender. Architecture students love seeing that technique!

The yellow-orange background texture was made with a couple layers of different YR's, and a quick scribble of warm grays.  Then I airbrushed some speckles of YR27 over the area. I then dripped colorless blender straight onto the colored area. For the smaller dots of blender I used my blender marker and dabbed it on.

Start to finish, this sketch took about an hour.
Depth of Field, Making things look near or far
My next drawing I spent a lot more time on, and I didn't finish. I'm guessing I spent about 3+ hours on this one already (minus interruptions). I wanted to work on how I render depth of field, or how to make things look farther away in a sketch. This is on a 9 x 12 Copic Sketchbook.

I worked with a lot of greens! I know I used YG11, YG41, G85, G28, G43, and G46. I probably used more, but I can't remember.

Although it is not done, what I want you to notice is that the leaves closest have high contrast- very light greens, mixed with shadows of G28 and C7. These are bigger and because of the contrast, they really appear to be closest. As I moved backwards in the sketch, notice how the contrast and level of detail gets less and less. The plants in the middle of the page have lost that lightest shade of green and the darkest shades as well. Move up even more and see how there is even less contrast and the colors are grayer, less vibrant.

The trees in the background are YG93, G85, and BG75. The lantern is made with warm grays, and the unfinished steps are an assortment of warm grays, and browns.

Notice on the steps as well, although they are not finished, the use of depth of field in my color choices and details. The bottom step has the most contrast, gradually getting less and less as you move up in the picture. I'll try to get this one finished sometime and show you how it all comes together.