Friday, July 30, 2010

Challenge #1 - Winner & Showcase

We had SUCH a great turnout for our first challenge here at CMC, thanks so much to everyone who played :0)

First off we wanted to showcase some of the DT's favorite samples, a lot of these were people who tried the technique out for the first time!  All of the entries were so wonderful though and we are glad you guys tried out something new.

The winner (by, just FYI) of the new TGF stamp set, "Oliver and Amelia - Journey" is #12 Erika over at Carolina Girls' Stamping!  Congrats!!! Please email us at and we'll give your info to TGF to get your prize out to you :0)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hair Colors - By Mary Giles

Mary Giles over at A Latte Inkin' Fun is our Guest Contributor and has graciously agreed to share her hair color samples to share with us!  These give you a good idea not only of what colors she uses but how they look when colored.

Image: The Greeting Farm (Ebony)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

2 User Questions!

Two of our CMC followers had some questions which Kim & Amy kindly answered:

Question #1
I have some fantastic Geisha stamps that I'd like to color. As you know Geishas wore white face powder. What colors could I use for the white faces?

Two things I would suggest... as for 'Edward's' face I used the lightest fruity colour E000, it's just a hint of colour which will give the contrast to complete white,
If that's too dark for you, you could try using E000 as the shadow and soften the colour further with your 0 colourless blender. E000 would also make a light tint for the cheeks.

I use E40, E41, and plenty of blender 0 when I want a dull 'white cotton' kind of look. I'm thinking this could work for face paint as well especially if you are trying to mimic the older lead based face paints that were used before people realized they were poisonous. The only other combo I can think of that might work is W00, W0 maybe some W1 for stronger shadows with lots of blender 0 too.

The trick is going to be keeping it warm and natural looking and that is why I think combo choices that include B0000, G0000 or C00 will come out looking kinda otherworldly.

Question #2
Although I have followed all the tutorials, I am getting very "grainy"/"pixellated" results when using the techniques and colour combinations suggested, especially with skin where I am using E00,E11, R20.
I have tried; Copics own smooth card, Stampin' up Whisper White card, Bristol Board and Fabricano Artistico Hot Pressed/Satinata watercolour paper and have the same problem on all the different types of card.
Are the results meant to be "grainy" like this or is it possible to get a smooth result like the effect with promarkers?

I think it would help to see the finish you're getting, I find sometimes the grain of the paper itself can materialise a few white dots on my coloured images.
Maybe you could try altering the order you are using the colours, start with the lightest and work up to darkest, or try darkest colour and work to lightest.
It might be you could try layering the mid tone colour again until the paper is evenly coloured.
If the pens are a little dry they may cause some streaking, but I have not noticed any grainy results unless I use a lighter colour over a dark and not blend them properly. some ink colours simply clash on the paper, E000 will not blend as smooth as E00, E000 lightens the base colours much more.
I don't know the true result from pro markers, my cousin has a few which I tried but I personally found the copics are better for me at blending. Do you colour with the pro markers in a circular motion or in lines? Do you colour with copics the same? Some will use the copics in a circular motion to saturate the paper. Maybe creating a few tester images, applying various techniques, would show different results!

My first suggestion is Paper Trey Ink cardstock. I know the pixel look she is talking about and had to deal with it back when I was using Georgia Pacic. Since making the switch to PTI it is much less problematic. But the biggest fix to that problem was getting an E000 and adding it to the mix... for me it smoothes everything out so much nicer between the E00 and E11 giving those two a more gradual blend into each other.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Skin Colors - by Mary Giles

Welcome Mary Giles, our Guest Contributor this week!  She has graciously agreed to share her skin color samples with us today.  Stayed tuned later this week for for hair samples, they are great!
These give you a good idea not only of what colors she uses but how they look when colored.

Mary Giles 

I got started with copics about two years ago and I bought my first 12 at Dick Blick in Ohio. I was just getting into coloring images and all I had were regular markers. I was really amazed at the creations I had seen with copics and being a gadget girl I had try them for myself. It was love at first stroke, but it did take quite awhile for me to become comfortable with them and a lot of reading and studying other people's projects. I really love how copics blend and the shading details you can get from them is fabulous. Plus you can get images done pretty quick.

 Image: The Greeting Farm (Ebony)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quick Wood Floor Tutorial - By MacKenzie Bruckler

Make sure to scroll down and check out our first CMC  challenge, with a great prize from our sponsor, TGF!

Welcome MacKenzie, our Guest Contributor this week!  She made a simple, easy to follow tutorial on how to color woods floors that she's kindly shared with us!

MacKenzie Bruckler
 Hi, my name is MacKenzie and I'm a totally obsessed paper crafter from Northern California. When I'm not busy being my kids Mom and my husbands girlfriend, you'll find me upstairs in my purple room stamping away. I first became familiar with Copic markers through several blogs that I read. I loved the bold colors and the subtle shading that could be done. I tried to find them locally, but it was like searching for a unicorn! When my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday a couple of year ago, I showed him the 72 piece set and he ordered it for me right away.

I've never taken a class or any formal Copic training. Everything that I color is practice and trial by error. I've picked up so many fabulous techniques from online tutorials and my fellow bloggers. I never quite know what an image is going to look like until I'm done. Everyday I have the opportunity to learn something new.

 Wood Floors

After I had little Kiki stamped out and colored in, I thought she needed a little something in the background to ground her. I decided to try drawing my first wood floor and took pictures along the way - you know, just in case it came out well and was blog-worthy! Being my first attempt, I was thrilled with how it came out and thought I'd share it with you!

And let me just say that if I can do this, ANYONE can.
Using a ruler and a 0.05 Copic Multi Liner, I drew in a wood floor and a baseboard.

Then I used Copic E49 (Dark Bark) to scribble around the edges and do a little shading under her feet.

Then I blended in some E29 (Burnt Umber).

And filled in the rest with E57 (Light Walnut).
To finish it off, I filled in the baseboard with Y28 (Lionet Gold - not pictured).

I hope that you found this helpful and give it a try!
Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the world today.
I hope you have a happy day!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CMC Challenge #1 w/Prize + B&W Tutorial by Rachel

When I saw this little Oliver image, I immediately thought of a black and white photo for some reason, so I thought it would be a great time to do a little tutorial on coloring an image using b and w (or greys, actually).

This also marks the first Color Me Copic CHALLENGE!  To enter the challenge all you need to do is:
  1. Create a NEW card or other project (no links to previous projects please) using the black and white technique demonstrated below
  2. Link your blog post using the InLinkz blue frog at the bottom of this post
  3. Upload it by 7/28!
The best part is that The Greeting Farm has generously offered the Oliver and Amelia "Journey" set as a prize!!!! The CMC team will pick the top 3 cards that demonstrate the best use of the technique and display them on the CMC blog, BUT the winner of the Journey  set will be picked randomly so everyone has a chance.

The Tutorial
You can use any color of grays that you like, I tend to use the "C's" but neutral and warm grays will work just fine.  For this image I'm using C1, C3, C5, C7, C9 and 0 (Colorless blender).  Ignore the 110, I didn't end up using it :0)

Last step and finished image!

Used the finished image on this card so you can see how it looks :0)

Image by The Greeting Farm (Oliver and Amelia "Journey" set)

Images: The Greeting Farm: Cheeky beauty; Cheeky glamour;
Skin: E40, 41, 43, background and outfits: W-1, -3, -5, -7,
100 and the colourless blender!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Kim's ~ Grass Colouring Tutorial

Hi well here it is... my step by step on how I colour my grass... Hope it inspires....

First I stamp my image then cut out the desired shape, it's so much easier for me to re stamp then recolour an image if I didn't cut it properly, also it's easy to realign the die on the image to ink the border edge.

I have coloured the main figure with copics and given a soft shadow around the edge of her...*Skin: E000, E00, 11, 13 & R20, Hair: E50, 51, 31, Outfit: R22, 24, B91, 95, E41, and a little colourless blender!!!

Here are the varying greens I've chosen but by no means do you have to use these as any greens will work, I have a light, medium, darker and the darkest for shadows. The yellow will be the flowers but again any colour which suits your project will work!

I start by colouring my grass area, you can have this any size, maybe a mound, or small grassy verge... I have used YG93 and just coloured... you really don't need to be neat with this bit as it's going to be covered with LOTS of grass!!!

Next colour I've used YG17, now just flick starting at the bottom of your blade of grass flick the pen up, it will naturally tapper for you and try not to go straight up either and few stray directions make a more realistic grassy look!

I have covered the whole base colour with YG17 blades of grass, notice I have flicked a few strand directly over her shoes and trouser hem! This gives a more earthed impression of her standing in the grass instead of on top! You won't want any on the tops of her trousers though (unless the grass is super long and tall).

Right my next colour YG67 is a darker tone of green and this will give depth to the finished look... simply follow the previous grass flicking instruction with this colour, you will not need to cover as much area so you won't cover over the lighter blades. To really ground her I have taken my darkest tone BG96 and dotted around the base of her shoes and continued out a little to create a shadow!

The flowers are so fun... using Y08 dot directly onto the grass, hold the tip there for a little bit, the green will bleed out and the yellow will remain... continue this all over it is a very random colouring!

Don't forget the top of the flowers too, you won't need to hold the tip there this time as there is no colour to move. In fact a very gentle dab will produce a lovely tiny dot.

Ooh finished, just check now if I think there's enough shadow and contrast maybe add a little more to the shadow under her feet. You might have noticed I didn't need to use one of the colours I originally chose.
This is where I will replace the nestability die and blend a little distress ink to the edges.

Here is the image placed on the card front!!!

Supplies: Patterned Paper: Echo Park - Sweet Summertime Collection Kit;
Stamps: SCACD: Go Green; little suzanne(from the last release);
Ink: Memento: black; Copic: markers*; Distress inks: antique linen;
Dies: Spellbinders nestabilties: circles; MS: butterfly punch;
Other: Flat Backed Pearls - 3mm - Golden Yellow; Flat Backed Pearls - 8mm - white; brad; scallop scissors; stitch tracer; 3D foam;

Thanks so much for visiting today, hope you get the chance to be creative with your copics, BiG HuGs Kim :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Basic Shading Tutorial - by Rachel

This is the tutorial featured in the February 2010 TGF Newsletter

I thought I'd share how I color some of my stamps, here is a very basic tutorial on shading with a "light source" coming from the side.  I say it's pretty basic because we aren't worrying about folds in the clothing and creating dimension and whatnot right now, it's just a straightforward way to learn to start shading.

The paper in the background is what I'm going to use on my card so I am picking my colors to match the paper.

Most of the time I use 3 colors for shading.  I'm starting off with B16/14/12 and R85/83/81.  First off, I pick a light source, in this case I'm assuming the light is coming right at her face (from the left side of the page), therefore I'm starting with my darkest colors on the back part of her (or the right side of the image).  I start with B16, then move to B14 and I blend a lot where the two of them meet so hopefully there is no line.

 Then I add B12, once again shading where the colors meet to avoid any lines.  I also go back and add more of my darker color, in this case B16, if I feel a bit more contrast is needed.

Next I do the same thing with the pinks, I start with R85... 

...then R83... 

...then R81, I also added more R85 for more shadow.  I also added YG09 to her dress at this point. 
**TIP** When shading a very small area, go from your darkest (YG09) straight to your lightest (YG06), there isn't enough space to add the middle color.

On Mr. Froggy I used YG17...

...then YG25...

...then YG03 and R20 (for "blush" on his cheeks).

For her face I do the darkest color (E11) near her hairline and then move to...


...then E000 with R20 for accents on her cheeks and eyelid.

Her crown is Y17,Y08 and Y13.  I started shading her hair with Y28.

Then I finished her hair off with YR21 and Y21.
And here she is!

These are just my tips, some people go lightest to darkest, some go over the whole area before shading, etc.  There is no wrong way!  As a matter of fact, I color a different way every time sometimes, lol!

My "method" on this card:
1.  Try to use 3 colors for blending, within 3 digits of one another if possible.
2.  Darkest to lightest, blend blend blend where they overlap!
3.  When shading very small areas, skip the middle color and just go darkest to lightest.

Image: The Greeting Farm (Twinkle Tots: Princess Ava)