Information on Copic Markers + Giveaway

I have been receiving a lot of questions about Copic Markers, so I decided to do a post on them.  Please keep in mind that I use them "my own way" and some of these points are just my opinion.  However, I will be sharing links to the "official" stuff, too.  Enjoy!

Copics

THE BASICS OF COPIC MARKERS

Copic Markers have been around for a long time in the architecture and art worlds.  They are high quality, long lasting (won't dry out for years and you can store upright or on side), color consistent, non-toxic, acid-free when dry, refillable and come in 334 fabulous colors. They are permanent (color your gems and buttons) but don't cross contaminate – you can't ruin one marker by touching it's tip with another. 

They are alcohol-based dye markers, which means a lot of great things. No matter how many times you color over an image, it will not cause the paper to pill.  They give smooth results (no more stripes in your colored images!) and the ability to blend.

There are four types of Copic Markers.  You can find info on each HERE, but I recommend the Sketch.  They are most common in the industry and come in the most colors.  I also like that they have a VERY durable nib in Medium Broad and Brush.  The brush end is soft, flexible and never frays.  Amazing marker.  Sketch markers also have an oval body, which prevents rolling – love this.  They can even be used in the airbrush system (more on that in a bit).  Here it is…

Copics Sketch I do a have a few green pens in the Original Marker since they have a bullet tip good for coloring in tiny stems on flowers.  Here it is…

Copic Original
The Colorless Blender Pen is a must.  However, the name is a bit misleading.  It is not really a blender, but actually can be used to "erase" mistakes, make colors lighter, highlighting, push color, etc.  I promise to show you lots of techniques with it in the future.  Get it. :)

Copic also has some great glitter pens called Spica.  They have tiny glass flakes, offering a gorgeous sparkle.  They can be bought individually HERE or in sets HERE (my fave) and HERE.  (Regular Copics can be stored upright or on their side, but Spicas need to be stored on their side.)  Here is one…

Copic Glitter
Copic also has a Multiliner SP fine-tip pen in 10 different tip sizes.  I like to have the black 0.3 – it is fabulous, acid-free, archival safe, won't bleed with Copics, etc.  I use it for all my journaling, touching-up of stamped images, etc.  Here it is…

Copics Fine
"Official" information can be found HERE from Copic.

TECHNIQUES

There are many techniques that you can use Copics for.  It is not just about basic coloring.  You can blend, create patterns, feather, etc.  I will be sure to share these with you on my blog via videos.  But I did want to mention that these aren't just markers that are wonderful for basic coloring.  There is sooooo much more.

COLORS

The Copic color coding seems complicated, but it really isn't.  And to be honest, you really don't need to pay attention to codes if you don't want to.  I tend to ignore them and use what I like. :) But I will explain the numbers anyway. Here is the cap…

Copic Cap

  • The Letter(s) – The letter in the code is the color family.
R = Red
YR = Yellow-Red
Y = Yellow
YG = Yellow-Green
G = Green
BG = Blue-Green
B = Blue
BV = Blue-Violet
V = Violet
RV = Red-Violet
E = Earth
N = Neutral, W = Warm, C = Cool, T = Toner

  • The First Number – This tells the color saturation or intensity.  Lower numbers are more vibrant.  Higher numbers are more gray.
  • The Second Number - This tells the color brightness.  Lower numbers are light.  Higher numbers are bright/dark.

This color coding system helps when picking which markers can be used together as a "natural blending group."  Look for markers with the same letters and first number.  So, B21 to B29 work great together.  When blending two markers, pick ones that are two to four digits apart.  So, B00, B02 and B05 would blend great.  Some colors don't follow this rule, but usually they do.

If you are getting started, I don't recommend just going out and buying random colors you happen to like.  To really get the most out of your Copics, you need to have 3 or 4 markers that can be used together as that "natural blending group" – various shades of a color.  So, if you want to start out with 10, for example, just pick a 3 of your favorite colors and get sets of them, along with a Colorless Blender Pen.

I get asked a lot about my favorite colors.  Now, keep in mind that I use Copics for bold coloring, not for a ton of shading or shadowing or softness.  (If you like softer, please check out advice from Debbie Olsen HERE.)  So my colors are bold.  If I really want lighter, I use my blender pen to pick up a darker color… creating a light color.  (I will share this technique later.)  You may want to add in a few lighter colors.  (ETA: You don't need to have as many Copics as I do to enjoy them.  Keep in mind – this is my job, thus having them makes a lot more sense.  I likely wouldn't have as many for a hobby! :)

People ask about my favorites – ones I reach for often.  Some are part of a natural color grouping, and some are just random good colors.  (Notice under Pinks I have some R's and some RV's.  Sometimes colors with different letters work well together.)  I have a lot listed here…

Copic Favorites
If you are looking to try out some, here are a few suggested color combos that I find fun to use together.  Remember, if you want a very light color, you would need to add that in, as I like more vibrant.

Copic Suggested

Another great option for starting out is to look at the sets HERE.  This is where I started.  I picked a price range and started my addiction. :)

As for refills, you can get them for every color.  However, I wouldn't get any right away.  I have yet to need to refill any of mine!

PAPER AND INK

To prevent bleeding of colors, it is important to use specific papers and inks with your Copics.  There are many options, but my favorites are Neenah paper and Memento ink.

Neenah Solar White cardstock works great with Copics.  You can buy it in packs of 25 sheets HERE, or by the ream (250 sheets) HERE.  I highly recommend the ream.  This is the white cardstock I use for EVERYTHING.  I use it to mat my photos… for regular stamping… for copics.  I just adore it.  Yum.

My favorite ink for Copics is Tsukineko Memento.  I use the Tuxedo Black ink HERE most, but all the colors work.  This ink makes me happy.   Here is the ink…

Copics Ink
AIR BRUSHING

Something really cool that you can do with Copics is Airbrushing.  There are a few systems.  Two of them use aircans that can be replaced.  The other is a mini air compressor.  You just pop your Sketch or Original Copic into the handle, press the button and spray away!  It is great for sky's, etc.  I have the air compressor and will share it in future videos.  I am surprised how much I love it.

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STORAGE

And, as collectors of stuff crafters, we need to know how to store these, right?  There are a few ways, but I prefer the storage units from Studio 3 HERE.  They are perfect and by far better than the many other storage options I bought and tried.  (I use the extra shelves for my white pens, refills and Memento Ink.)

Copics Cubby
By the way, since Copics are air-tight, you can store them on their side or upright.  Doesn't matter.

WHERE TO GET COPICS

When I decided to start buying Copics, I went to the craft store that originally "brought" Copics to the stamping arena – Ellen Hutson.  I did this for a few reasons.  First, I like to support the stores that help the industry.  Also, she has put a lot of information and tutorials out there.  (Check out the store's blog HERE.)  Finally, she has some great sets for sale that offer a wonderful place to start, while also carrying them individually.  She usually ships same day – which rocks my world – and has low shipping and free shipping for orders over $150.  Oh, and one more thing I like – she carries the paper I love most – Neenah.

I also like Eclectic Paperie.  They have great service, too, along with a lot of Tim's products that I love.  They also have a great blog and videos.

Another site that has good prices and service is McCallisters.  Their prices are a few cents lower. However, I am all about supporting our industry's stores (like Ellen Hutson and Eclectic Paperie) most.  But I have ordered from and love all three of these options.

RESOURCES

Here are some places for more Copic help:

  • Copic's official info can be found HERE.
  • Copic's Marianne Walker's blog HERE is bursting with info and tutorials.
  • Sherrie Siemens was my Copic teacher and she has incredible info on her blog HERE.  And she is one of the best Copic colorers out there. ;)
  • Again, Debbie Olsen has great stuff HERE.
  • I like THIS post that Nichol did recently HERE.  She keeps it simple – love that.
  • Another great Copic colorer is Donna Mikasa.  Love that girl.

Hope this helps to explain Copics a bit for you.  I will add additional information as I get questions.  Thanks!

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ETA: Decided to giveaway a few markers that I accidentally bought two of.  In fact, they are three of my faves.  Just leave a comment here by Wednesday night 11:50pmEST telling me if you use Copics, want to try them, etc and I will pick a winner of these:

Prize

Random…

Just some random things to share today. :)

  • My blog was on the fritz for awhile there.  So, you may have missed THIS post.  Be sure to check it out – it has a video.
  • I was featured over on Moxie Fab World yesterday.  You can see my interview and talk of "open style" HERE.  I love Cath – she is awesome.  And you can win some stamps on that post, too!
  • Yes, you can still get Kokuyo adhesives HERE and HERE.  I have just made the switch to THIS adhesive and am thrilled with it.  I like them both equally. :)
  • Want a good deal on all the Tim Holtz new Distress Inks?  Click HERE.
  • I can't remember if I shared THIS recipe before.  Ken made it and it is fabulous.  Scroll down and check out the sauce to go on the chicken.  It is so yummy.  Ken doubles the sauce and uses fresh ingredients… making it part of the meal as opposed to just a sauce.  We all love it.  Works great with a baked potato.
  • Yes, my husband is into trying out new recipes.  While I was gone, he made homemade pasta with calamari and squid ink.  Yes, squid ink is black.
  • How about some pretty cards?  Check HERE.
  • Been answering lots of questions HERE.

And – just for fun – I thought I would post this layout I stumbled upon when digging through my old files.  The face made me giddy.  They grow so fast.  Oh my.

Tag Layout
(c) Creating Keepsakes – a long time ago. :)

Have a good night.  Will be back soon with a big post.

Digi Stamping…

I know hearing the word "digital" makes many people run in the opposite direction.  However, I assure you you will think differently after watching this.  Just watch. :)

021710 Buttefly Digi Jen McGuire copy 6
021710 Buttefly Digi Jen McGuire 6
(c) Hero Arts Blog.  Supplies and information HERE.

Considering the price (most are a buck or two), you can get a lot of mileage out of a digi stamp.  And being able to use them in any size?  Delightful.

I went through and picked my favorite Hero Arts digital images – ones that could just be used as digital stamps like in the video above – even in Word…

  • THIS one would be great for tone-on-tone backgrounds.  Check out Lucy's card HERE.  Wow.
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  • THIS owl just rocks.  He comes in a variety of colors, too.  I like the open one so you can color it however you want.

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  • THIS background is a must-have.  (Remember it?  It is actually a slightly modified love letter from my great grandfather to my great grandmother.)  Love the card HERE using it.
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  • Think of all the fun you could have with THESE dots.  Yum.
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  • HERE are the butterflies I used above.  I also adore THESE.  Fabulous card idea HERE.
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  • THIS one is great for creating your own text backgrounds in any colors you want.  HERE is a great card idea of using it small and large scale.
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  • THESE would be great for just printing and cutting out.
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  • Talk about classy – HERE.  Great card HERE.
  • It is good to have some digi greetings.  Great set HERE.
  • And THIS set is FREE!!!

And, if you want to know how classic these digital stamped cards can be, check out Lucy's blog often.  So gorgeous.  And I believe she does most or all of her creations in Word.

If you are interested in more digi stamping options, THESE from Jane are super cute, too.

I hope you all give digi stamping a try.  You know how I love to enable! :)

Oh, and all you Silhouette folks… the heat transfer stuff is in!  I can't wait to play with it.  Check it out HERE – they are doing giveaways.  

And!  One more thing.  A sweet person told me you can actually subscribe to my Formspring question/answer page on your Google Reader.  Pretty cool.

Take care.

Paper for sale…

Hi! They have sold – thanks for the interest.  I will get back to each of you who emailed to let you know if you got one.  Just need to take a quick last-day-of-vacation nap. :)

I have been cleaning out my scrapbook room and decided to cut back on patterned paper.  Thought I would sell it here as a way to raise some money to cover the costs for shipping for the Cards for Kids. 

Here is the info…

300 sheets

Each box contains 300+ sheets of 12×12 patterned papers from brands such as Basic Grey, KI Memories, Making Memories, American Crafts, Autumn Leaves, Heather Bailey, Doodlebug, Bo Bunny, Fancy Pants, Cosmo Cricket, Chatterbox, Anna Griffin, etc.  Includes shaped, lace, foiled and shimmer papers and transparencies.  Even a few cut-outs and/or sticker sheets.  Everything is 12×12.  Very few duplicates if any.  The picture above is just a sample photo – each box is a bit different.  Keep in mind that I go through my papers every 3 months to cut back.  So there is really good stuff in here – things I have been holding on to or just bought… but I need to cut back.  Many times I just bought too many sheets, etc.  And, with my current job positions, I use little patterned paper anymore… but still love and collect it. :)

I have 5 boxes to sell.  They are $50 – which includes shipping.  Sorry, but this is for US only.  (I hate to say that – I NEVER say that – but due to the weight of these, I must.)  The first 5 people that EMAIL ME (look over there on towards the top right) will get the boxes. I will be checking email later today. 

Thanks! :)

Love birds

Happy Tuesday!

I wanted to share these cards from 2peas.  They were fun to make – simple, but fun.  And such a great way to use scraps…

021510 Birds JenMcGuire

021510 Birds 2 JenMcGuire
(c) Twopeasinabucket.com.  Supplies and instructions can be found there.

The birds are actually from THIS punch.  I just cut the little heart from their mouth.  I look forward to having this bird carry many things – hearts, flowers, tiny envelopes, etc.

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And, I get a lot of questions about those Chocolate notecards.  They are actually hard to find now, but I just love the color…

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I have been answering more questions HERE… hoping to get caught up tonight.  Also, we all have a lot of fun over on Twitter.  (I enjoy it so much more than Facebook.)  You can find me HERE.

OK… off to spend the day in the wonderful weather here in Florida!  And, if you are ever in the area, you should visit She Scrapbooks – what an amazing store.  I stopped in there to see it and happened to run into Donna Downey teaching there.  Adore that girl.

Have a good one…

We have a winner!

We have a winner of Kelly Purkey's online class – Lizzie A!  Thanks for entering, everyone.

Colin and I decided to extend our stay in Florida with my in-laws.  The weather is just too perfect to leave.  But I will be back sharing more tomorrow.  In the meantime, here are some fun links…

  • Love Erin's pages HERE.
  • Great and easy digi tutorial by Lucy HERE.
  • New fun blog week over HERE at Hero Arts.  Be sure to stop there on Wednesday. ;)
  • Adore THIS.

See you soon…