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Limited Edition 25th Anniversary Set: It’s Here!

Copic Sketch 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Set

Copic 25th Anniversary Set Colors

The Copic 25th Anniversary Set includes 36 of our most popular colors.

Now Available: Limited Edition Copic Sketch 25th Anniversary Set!

- 36 colors
- Special black marker bodies
- Super brush nib
- Standard fine nib (previously available for Copic markers only)

Commemorate Copic’s 25th anniversary with this limited edition 36-marker set! Stores are just beginning to receive these sets, so contact your favorite Copic retailer to see if they have it in stock or can order for you.

Copic 25th Anniversary Sketch Marker Set - Fine Nibs

9/25/2012 9:33:35 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Fall Coloring Contest

Copic Halloween Cat
It’s time for another coloring contest!
 Color the blank image above with Copics and submit your creation by October 15th for a chance to win 5 markers from your Copic Color wish list! Click the image above to download a larger version.

Don’t have a Copic Color account? Get started today! Copic Color is the place to track your marker collection online, access it from your mobile phone, share your artwork, and connect with other artists.

Special thanks to our product specialist, Marianne Walker, for providing the image for this contest!

How Do I Enter?
- Download the blank image HERE and color it with Copics.
- Upload your entry to the “Coloring Contest” tab on our Facebook page by October 15th at 11:59pm PST for a chance to win 5 markers from your Copic Color wish list!
- Four runners up will each win 1 marker from their Copic Color wish list.

- Deadline for submission is 11:59PM PST on October 15th, 2012.
- Entries must be colored with Copic markers.
- You may submit up to three entries.
- Entries may be shared on Copic Marker web properties.*
- We’ll select our favorite and announce the winner by October 30th.
- Everyone may participate, but only residents of the United States and Canada are eligible to win.**
- To win, you must have a Copic Color account with at least five markers in your wish list.
- If you have won a Copic coloring contest within the past 90 days, you may participate but are not eligible to win.

*Web properties include Copic Marker, Copic Color, the Copic Marker Facebook page, the Copic Marker Twitter page, and the Copic Marker Tumblr page.

**This contest is run by Imagination International, Inc., the distributor of Copic Markers in the United States and Canada. We are legally prohibited from sending product to other countries.

9/21/2012 1:00:36 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Visit Daniel Govar at New York Comic Con

Visit Copic artist Daniel Govar at New York Comic Con, October 11-14 at the Javits Center! You can find Daniel in booth #U18.

Copic Marker will be in booth #N306, near Artist Alley in the North Javits building (down the hall).

Copic art by Daniel Govar
Copic art by Daniel GovarCopic art by Daniel GovarFind Daniel on the web:
Facebook fan page

9/19/2012 11:23:09 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Creating a Portrait with Copic Markers

Copic artist and art teacher Alex Bodnar walks us through his step-by-step process for rendering a tonal female portrait from start to finish.

Within this demo, I refer to my process as “marker painting” since they do release a liquid with tonal properties that, in their nature, happen to dry quickly. This appeals to my sensibilities because many times I do not have the patience to wait for traditional paint to dry. Copic markers are wonderful because you can complete a painting on-the-go with no major set-up and clean-up.

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

Materials used:
- Copic Marker Warm Gray set ranging from 0 to 100
- Canson Marker Pro Layout Pad 14” x 17” (only an area of 8” x 7” was used for this demo)
- DecoColor Extra Fine Opaque White
- Uni-ball Signo White Gel Pen
- Colored Pencils Warm Gray Set
- Col-Erase Blue Pencil 20044

Step 1: A Solid Under-Drawing

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

Before you begin a marker painting, it is imperative that you have a solid drawing to work from. No tool, color, or “shading” can help a weak drawing. I can not stress this enough. Place all of your efforts on your initial drawing and the rest becomes dessert. If you do not, you’ll struggle with the drawing as you paint. Each stage should build on itself with very little structural change.

TIP 1: You can check your drawing by 1) drawing it upside-down from time to time, 2) looking at it from a distance 3) taking an hour (or more) break, 4) looking at it in the mirror, 5) seeing it on-line. I have found #4 and #5 to be the best for me. For whatever reason, I can see all of my mistakes objectively on-screen.

I do my structural under drawings with a Col-Erase pencil. There are many different colors to choose from, but I prefer using the blue because I like the subtle contrast it creates with the warm grey markers.

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

Make certain that your under drawing is very light. If your drawing is too dark you’ll run into problems while blending your light values. I’ve purposely enhanced my drawing above using a Photoshop filter just so you could see my base.

TIP 2: If need be, use a light box to trace from your original drawing and create a simplified, clear, and light drawing. In fact, I recommend NOT painting directly onto an original drawing. In case you mess up, you can always retrace from an original which can save you much time and frustration.

TIP 3: The Asaro Head that I showed in an earlier image is a useful tool that helps in visualizing the planes of the head. You can also observe the way shadow shapes are grouped. Andrew Loomis‘ book entitled Drawing The Head & Hands is also a great resource that details such topics.

Step 2: The Initial Marker Lay-In 

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

Even though I’ve done quite a few marker portraits, I still suffer from the fear of “messing up a drawing”. To alleviate this, I initially began with a W0 Warm Gray marker and I covered my surface avoiding the rim light on the left.

Step 3: Warm Gray #2

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

Next, I used a W2 Warm Gray marker and began blocking in all of my shadow shapes within the hair and face (above). I made certain to group these shadow shapes to create unity within the face. I have a W0 on hand to blend my values together. If you allow the painted area to dry and reapply the same marker, then it will subtly darken. I used this to my advantage and created slightly darker areas within the portrait. (See Below)

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers
Step 4: Warm Gray #3

Next, I used a W3 Warm Gray marker and applied a darker value to the core shadow, cast shadows, hair, and any other area that was extremely dark. Notice how the hair value on the right fades into the cheek and jawline. This is what I meant by grouping my shadow shapes. I also treated the light on the right side of the face like a waterfall that cascades from the forehead, onto the eyelid, cheekbone, tooth cylinder, and chin. (See Below) This build up looks almost triangular going from a large area (forehead) to the smallest area (chin). I had my  W0 and W2 markers uncapped and in-hand to assist in blending values (always towards the light). Pay attention to your reference source to assist you in determining the soft edges (like the cheek and forehead mass) from the hard edges (cast shadows, plane changes, and material changes).

TIP 4: It’s a good idea to use a permanent marker to annotate the value number of each marker on every side of each marker and cap. This prevents any accidental value applications in the wrong areas as you quickly apply blends between values.

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

After I applied the W3 Warm Gray the painting felt solid at this point. This was a perfect time to do a mirror check and an on-line check to see whether or not something was off in my drawing. This may sound harsh but if your marker painting looks really off at this point, I would recommend starting over immediately. I’ve done this in the past when my marker painting of Marilyn Monroe began looking like Scarlett Johansson. Without giving myself time to mourn, I simply crumbled my paper, retraced my drawing, and started over immediately.

Step 5: Warm Gray #6

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

After the marker work dried, I found my initial drawing difficult to spot. I immediately jumped into the darker values, specifically W6 Warm Gray. Just as before, I used the lighter values to assist me in blending my edges together. In the case of the image above, I used a W3. Be aware that as you apply more and more layers of marker, especially the darker values, the pigment will begin to stick. You can see this beginning to happen within the neck area below.

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

Step 6: Warm Gray #8

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

At this stage, I used a W8 Warm Gray Marker on the hair and shirt popping out all of my darkest darks. When the pigment began to stick I simply used my finger to smudge this down to prevent texture. I used a W5 as a blender within the larger dark masses. The background was treated with a W4 so as to ground the subject into a space. The W4 marker began picking up the pigment from the hair value (W8) and created a happy accident of streaks. I tend to like these kinds of accidents because they create a bit of variety within a piece.

Step 7: Accents and Highlights

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

If the under drawing is the main course and the Copic marker painting is the dessert, then the color pencils and DecoColor paint marker portions are definitely the candy. I tell myself that there’s no way I can mess up a painting until I start applying my blacks and whites (DecoColor Paint Marker). Since there is no value darker than black, I tend to save these for areas where I want my viewers to look. As polished as a piece can look, using a spectrum of W8 to W0 Warm Gray markers, the human eye can detect subtle value changes. The eye is also drawn to areas of the highest contrast. For this reason I’ll typically put black and white together in the eye area, lips, and jewelry.

Coloring a portrait with Copic markersFinal portrait:

Coloring a portrait with Copic markers

I will be publishing a book filled with marker paintings, figure quick sketches, and watercolor paintings mid-2013. The book will also include brief demos and a video tutorial! To get updates follow my blog!

Some of my marker paintings are for sale. Please inquire via email:

Lastly, I do small monochromatic portrait commissions (no larger than 6” x 9” and unframed) in either pencil or Copic Marker. Feel free to contact me via email ( if you are interested.

I hope this demo was helpful!

Find Alex on the web:
Copic Color Gallery:
Artwork Site:
My Blog:
Donate to my art classroom:

9/18/2012 12:11:46 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Eye for Color – #Y06 Instagram Contest Winners

Y06 – Yellow is bold, beautiful and intensely vibrant. This yellow is a vital, primary color that belongs in every Copic collection. It’s the purest yellow Copic makes!

That’s why we asked Copic fans to find and tag Y06 - Yellow in their surroundings for the #EyeforColor Instagram contest. Check out all the amazing entries.

Judging over 300 entries from around the world was tough. And now…we have a winner. Join us in congratulating @Jmelster for a job well done – and winning two markers of her choice!

First Place – @Jmelster

Winner of the Eye for Color Copic Contest on Instagram  - jmelster

Runners Up

runners up for the eye for color instagram copic contest

Many thanks and a quick shout out to runners up @redonnaleckie, @jazzeke, @prettysnowflake, @hrthdaniel, @imganime, and @mangart for their wonderful entries. Those of you in the US or Canada win Copic swag packs!

Want another chance to win? Let’s do it again. This time it’s #R29 - so find that color in your surroundings, take a picture, tag it with #R29, and mention @copicmarker for a chance to win two markers of your choice! Deadline is midnight on September 30th – multiple entries okay. Good luck!

RULES: Please only add the hashtag to photos taken for this contest and only submit your own photographs.


9/17/2012 2:48:47 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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CTN Animation Expo 2012

CTN Animation Expo 2012Come see us at CTN Animation Expo, November 16-18 at the Burbank Convention Center in Burbank, California. We will be exhibiting and sponsoring the event, and Copic artist and Tales of Amalthea instructor Terryl Whitlatch can be found at the following presentations:

“The Science of Creature Design”
Friday 11/16/12
3:30 PM-4:15 PM
Location: City Ballroom
Seating: 400
Presented by: Terryl Whitlatch
Description: Creature design is more than drawing what comes into your head.  It is a combination of zoology and paleontology that partners with acting, character development, and story that results in an imaginary world that seems real. In this session, through her concept work from various productions, Terryl Whitlatch will demonstrate how this works in the world of Disney Feature Animation and Lucasfilm. From there we will do a CTN exclusive: the design of creatures to fit an original, never before seen story from The Tales of Amalthea—The Arctic Abyss. In this exciting venue, we will examine how and why the creatures are designed they way they are, not only to believably exist in their harsh environment, but above all, to fit the story roles they need to play. These are the principles of creature design that apply to all aspects of the Entertainment Industry—from film, television, games, or publishing—that you may find yourself in.

The Dames of Fame #1
Saturday 11/17/2012
12:00 PM-1:15 PM
Location: Parlor 125
Seating: 40
Creator Conversations
Presented by: Terryl Whitlatch , Sue DiCicco, Brenda Chapman

Creature Design Discussion
Sunday 11/18/2012
12:30 PM-1:45 PM
Location Parlor 125
Seating 40
Creator Conversations
Presented by: Terryl Whitlatch

“30 Years of Creature Design and Counting”
Saturday 11/17/12
3:30 PM-4:15 PM
Location: CTN East Tent
Seating: 200
Presented by Terryl Whitlatch
Description: In this session, we will walk through several decades of  Terryl Whitlatch’s Creature Designs, in many venues, from classic films to video games, and to what she’s up to now. Many rare or never before seen concept art from PDI, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Disney, and others will be shown.  What worked, and what didn’t work, and an intimate look at her portfolio and method, with Q&A afterward.

Breakfast with the Pros
Sunday 11/18/2012
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Location: Daily Grill
Description: Limited to 40, this exclusive opportunity gives the talent a once-in-a-lifetime experience to talk one-on-one with some of the most successful and inspirational people in the animation and surrounding communities. Make serious career connections in a relaxed, cafe setting. Enjoy a breakfast buffet held in a relaxed intimate setting in a Salon Cafe environment. Attendees must be registered for a 3-day pass prior to Nov 5th, and will be selected at random and notified before Nov 16th. Once notified, an RSVP is required. Up to 10 pros will be on hand, including: Glen Keane, Syd Mead, Terryl Whitlatch, and more TBA.

We hope to see you there! 

9/17/2012 1:47:53 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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New Papercrafting Certification Classes – Calgary, AB and Grand Rapids, MI

Copic Papercrafting Certification

We now offer back-to-back certifications for Standard and Intermediate classes! If you have not taken the Standard class, you will need to apply for both at the same time. Below is our current class schedule:

Standard Certification

Orlando, FL 9/14 FULL
Vancouver, BC 9/21
Sacramento, CA 9/28
Warwick, RI 9/29
Indianapolis, IN 10/5 (2 spaces left)
Philadelphia, PA 10/12
Portland, OR 10/26
Houston, TX 11/2
Calgary, AB 11/2 NEW!
Grand Rapids, MI 11/9 NEW!

» Apply for Standard Certification Classes

Intermediate Certification

Orlando, FL 9/15 FULL
Vancouver, BC 9/22 (2 spaces left)
Sacramento, CA 9/29 (1 space left)
Warwick, RI 9/30
Indianapolis, IN 10/6 FULL
Philadelphia, PA 10/13 FULL
Portland, OR 10/27
Houston, TX 11/3
Calgary, AB 11/3 NEW!
Grand Rapids, MI 11/10 NEW!

» Apply for Intermediate Certification Classes

9/14/2012 4:03:26 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Collins Group Fall 2012 Education & Trade Show

Copic at Collins ShowAttention retailers! Copic representatives will be on hand to answer all of your questions at the Collins Group Fall 2012 Education & Trade Show, an industry event for paper crafting retailers. Don’t miss the classes and workshops led by Copic certification instructor Cindy Lawrence; they’re a great opportunity to pick up new tips and tricks for your customers. Hope to see you there!

9/13/2012 12:55:39 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Limited Edition Nate Van Dyke Shirts

Copic Nate Van Dyke Tiger T-Shirt
Exclusive to our online store! T-shirt graphic features a bold, pen-and-ink style tiger designed by illustrator Nate (N8) Van Dyke with Copic Multiliners, and a small Copic logo at bottom left.

Grab one before they’re gone - Only 250 shirts printed for this limited edition run!  

9/12/2012 10:40:01 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Beards, Chops and Stubble – Coloring Facial Hair with Copic Markers

Jayleen Weaver of GuruKitty Studios is back again, offering tips on coloring facial hair. Check it out!

In this tutorial I’m going to show how I create characters that have facial hair. I think that facial hair is under used in illustrations. It seems like people only use it when they’re drawing wizards, dwarves or villains, but facial hair can say a lot about the personality of a character. In the world of comics and illustration, judging by appearances is ok!

Facial hair isn’t limited to beards and moustaches, or even men. Small things like eyelashes and eyebrows are often overlooked.

Eyelashes can be pretty straight forward. One of the things I like to do is colour the eyelashes the same colour as the hair. Same goes for eyebrows. You just have to keep an eye on the direction of the hair growth, the length of the hairs, and the density of hair.

eyebrows illustration

In this example I’ve used Copic Multiliners to draw in my character Sarah’s eyelashes and eyebrows. it can take away the harshness of some of these features. A girl like this – a warrior type, living in medieval times wouldn’t be fussing with making her eyelashes black. she also has a warm sun beaming on her so making her eyelashes brighter blue gives them a more highlighted look as well.

blue haired person recliining
Copics used: E00, E11, B14, EO4 and a few more, just go with what looks right.
Copic Multiliner SP – Black 03, Cobalt 03

On to the Beards! There are so many types of beards, it’s not possible for me to go over them all, but we will get enough variety with my examples.

Shortest: Stubble is probably the easiest to do. It’s a fairly simple technique of using the coloured Multiliner SPs to stipple some hairs in. The key is to not over do it. It works especially well if you find a colour close to their hair colour. Pay special attention to where you place it. Some men can have it all the way down their neck and up onto their cheeks, but in the case of stubble drawing, less is more.

I’ve also used a fine point wine coloured Multiliner to draw in his eyebrows to give them a more real texture as well. See how I made the hairs in the inside of the eyebrow almost pointing up, then the hairs gradually lay down as they go to the outside edge? I kind of like it ;) Jack also has a little goatee, see how the moustache part is a little stubbly but his chin is a full on beard? I wanted to show the difference of the two types. I’ll go into drawing that part later.

stubbly red facial hair
Colours used: E00, E11, BV31, V99.
Copic Multiliner SP – Black 01, Wine 01

Medium: Malcolm, my blacksmith character has a slightly longer stubble. He might even be trying to grow in a moustache and a soul patch (I’ll put a swift end to that, but it was kind of him to grow it for my tutorial). I used the same technique as I did on Jack but in this case I’ve done lines instead of dots for the stubble. This gives the illusion that it’s just a sparse covering instead of a full on fluffy ‘stache.

longer stubble guy
Copics used: E00, E11, BV31, E43, E44, E49, YR14
Copic Multiliner SP – Black 03, Sepia 03

I’ve done a similar technique with my tanner character, Gino. He’s one of those people who has a dirty job, and spends his days doing hard labor skinning and tanning hides. He is maybe a little careless when he shaves so he’s missed a spot or two….for a day or two.

medium length facial hair
Copics used: BV31, E00, E11, E04, E07, YR14, Y28, R20
Copic Multiliner SP – Black 01, Wine 01

So, there you go. Three different uses of the coloured Multiliner stippling technique.

Full: For full beards, I thinks it works best to think of facial hair in the same way you’d think of any other hair. There is direction of growth, sheen, and length to consider. Most facial hair grows in a downward direction. While it’s shorter, it can seem to grow straight out but, eventually gravity will bring it down. A person would have to train hair to go in a certain direction. Beard hair is also usually coarser, and more wiry than real hair.

Revisiting my character, Jack, you can see his goatee has fairly straight hair, except where it curls under a bit at the bottom.

Now if we look at my character Seth, he has a full handle bar mutton chops action going on. His hair is a little wavy so if he grew his facial hair longer it would probably be a little curly, but at this length it would be fairly straight. Note how all his hair just goes in a downward direction except his moustache is slightly parted. That would be from his own actions. Probably wiping his face, or stroking it to the side. He also has some giant caterpillar eyebrows, too.

mutton chops facial hair
Copics Used: E000, E00, R01, BOOO, E81, E11, G00, W1, W2, BV25, BV23, W5, W6, W7
Copic Multiliner SP – Black 03

In many cases the facial hair can be curly when the other hair is not (and vice versa). My leather worker character Andre has both curly hair and curly facial hair. I used a technique here similar to the stipple of the stubble, but this time more random curly cues and wiggly line. I also let the beard be a little fluffy on the side of his cheek. The curly hair will give a sense of volume faster than smooth hair.

blonde beard facial hair
Copics used: E00, E13, E02, E11, Y11, Y15, Y17, YR23, Y26, E35
Copic Multiliner SP – Black 01, Sepia 01

Side note: He doesn’t normally have freckles, but you might see there are three blue dots on him – two on his neck, and one on his cheek. This is because I opened a marker over top of my image and it splattered onto it. A cautionary tale…

Last but not least, the moustache. Of course the variety can be endless, but I’m just going to show you one. Again, the hair actually goes straight down, but Victor would comb it to the sides. In order to have the curly ends he would have to grow it fairly long, particularly on the ends. In order to get the curls, he’d have to spend some time training it into the curly shape, and possibly waxing it. A character that doesn’t give much thought to his appearance probably wouldn’t have a moustache like this. I treated his moustache the same way I treat hair. Colour goes on in the direction of hair growth, use feathery strokes.

mustache facial hair
Copics used: G20, BV31, E00, E13, E11, E70, E71, Y21, Y32, Y26, Y35, Y28, V95, Y11, V000, B69
Copic Multiliner SP – Black 01, Sepia 01

Long: Last but not least we have the biblical old man style beard. He also has long eyebrows, and hair growing out of his ears. I’ll go through this step by step:

full beard starting

I start with a layer of G20 for his skin.

full beard starting out

I then start blocking in some of the shading with E0000 and then E00.

copic beard facial hair

Next, I block in some shading with E70.

copic beard facial hair coloring

Then I blended with E00.

copic beard facial hair coloring and shading

I darkened with E41 and E43.

copic beard facial hair coloring and darkening

Then blended it out with E00 again.

copic beard facial hair coloring and blending

Palette blending in R20 and B45 to areas under eyes, nose, lips and temples.

copic beard facial hair coloring

I then started in his beard using a series of warm grays. I always start light and work up to the darker colours.

copic colored beard

The finished results.

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The last step is adding some little white hairs to him to make them stand out a little. If you’re using opaque white, use a very fine watercolour brush, and don’t overload it. I generally use the lid as a little palette. I dip the brush in water first then into the paint and mix it up in the lid. Test the consistency and opacity on a scrap paper first and make some adjustments. Use gentle, quick strokes to get the right thin line.

Practice on scraps. Everything needs practice. So that’s about it.

copic colored beard

The characters I’ve used for this tutorial are from a comic I’ve been working on called Conflagration. It’s a long way off being done, but you can see work in progress artwork and our other projects on

Web site:

9/11/2012 5:37:24 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Coming Soon: Copic Coloring Guide Level 3: People

Copic Coloring Guide Level 3Copic Marker product specialist
Marianne Walker and paper crafting designer Colleen Schaan have just announced the third book in their popular paper crafting series: Copic Coloring Guide Level 3: People. It will be available direct from Annie’s Attic and many local retailers soon!

Copic Coloring Guide Level 3 includes detailed step-by-step tutorials for coloring faces and hair as well as various types of fabric and clothing to add unique personality and life to images. A bonus CD containing all of the images is included.

This book is a perfect companion to the rest of the series, Copic Coloring Guide and Copic Coloring Guide Level 2: Nature , and will look great in your growing Copic library.

Happy coloring!

9/7/2012 11:51:17 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Visit Cat Staggs at Comikaze Expo

Visit Copic artist Cat Staggs at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo, September 15th & 16th at the Los Angeles Convention Center! You can find Cat in booth #1531.

Lord of The Rings Sketch Cards by Cat Staggs, Created with Copic Markers

Sketch Cards by Cat Staggs for Lord of the Rings

Batman Sketch Cards by Cat Staggs, Created with Copic Markers

Sketch Cards by Cat Staggs for DC Comics

Superman Sketch Cards by Cat Staggs, Created with Copic Markers

Sketch Cards by Cat Staggs for DC Comics

Wonder Woman Sketch Cards by Cat Staggs, Created with Copic Markers

Sketch Cards by Cat Staggs for DC Comics

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[an error occurred while processing the directive]Copic will be in booth #1443. Hope to see you there!

9/5/2012 10:37:42 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Creating Lace with Copic Markers

Hi everyone! I’m Jennifer Hancock, a freelance fashion and beauty illustrator, and the artist behind The Illustrated Bride, where I offer custom keepsake bridal illustrations to be given as gifts for weddings and anniversaries.

I was honored to be featured in an artist interview on the Copic Marker blog this past May, and I am excited to be back with a tutorial on lace illustration. Most of my custom commissions are bridal in nature, and that means I get to draw a lot of lace! I use many Copic products to achieve the textured look I want my lace to have, below I outline my general illustration process, as well as how and what I use to make the lace in my illustrations pop from the page! 

Creating Lace with Copic Markers by Jennifer Hancock

Paper: Heavy weight bristol pad
Pencil: HB lead

I begin all of my illustrations with a detailed pencil draft. If I am illustrating a custom piece for an actual bride, here is where I decide what pose suits her personality and gown silhouette best. If I am doing a freestyle illustration, I usually start with the gown in mind, and decide what pose, hairstyle, facial expression, and accessories should be included to really compliment the gown I envision. For this illustration, I deviated from bridal just a touch, and envisioned this woman attending an evening gala or awards ceremony.

Creating Lace with Copic Markers by Jennifer Hancock

Additional Materials:
Copic Multiliner, Black, 0.05

Once I get the illustration foundation just right, I go over it with a fine black line and erase the pencil drawn foundation, leaving me a clean outline that is ready for color and detail.

Creating Lace with Copic Markers by Jennifer Hancock
If the dress is not solid lace, I will often outline a section in pencil to be filled with a lace pattern. When deciding how to create a lace pattern, I find it is best not to get too intricate with detail, because the dress can become dark and heavy looking, especially if you are trying to keep the dress bridal-white. I added quite a bit of detail in this illustration, as I plan for the dress to be a warm silver-gray. I imagined an Alencon lace design, which is characterized by large florals and can be somewhat chunky in texture.

Creating Lace with Copic Markers by Jennifer Hancock

When creating the inked illustration foundation, I was sure to make the outline of the dress bumpy to add to the lace texture, and filled the empty space between the florals with non-specific squiggles to give the impression of leaves or vines, without becoming too heavy and dark with detail.

Creating Lace with Copic Markers by Jennifer Hancock

Additional Materials
Skin: Copic Sketch Marker E21
Dress: Copic Sketch Marker W1

When adding color, I often like to color the skin first- I find it helps me see the subject coming to life. Next I lay the color foundation of the gown. In this case its is the lightest gray in a series of gray shades I will be using.

Creating Lace with Copic Markers by Jennifer Hancock

Additional Materials
Dress: Copic Sketch Marker W2, W3

To begin adding depth to the lace, I go over each lace section dotting in a darker shade of the base color around the larger floral doodles, to give them a raised effect.

Creating Lace with Copic Markers by Jennifer Hancock

Additional Materials
Dress: Copic Sketch Marker T3, T5

Next I begin adding dimension to the gown by shading the fabric folds and where the gown would hug the body. I go back over the new darker areas with an even darker shade and continue to add it around the florals to keep them raised even in shadow.

Creating Lace with Copic Markers by Jennifer Hancock

Additional Materials
Dress: White paint marker
Jewelry: Metallic Silver Paint Marker
Handbag: Copic Sketch Marker T5, W2
Eyes: Copic Sketch Marker BV13
Lips: Copic Sketch Marker R20
Hair: Copic Sketch Marker E11 as base color, various colored pencil shades for depth
Skin: Various colored pencil shades for texture, highlights, bush, and shadow

I complete the illustration by adding white colored pencil to highlight the raised parts of lace even further, and white paint marker to give the impression of bead or crystal embroidered in the lace. I use colored pencil to add texture and depth to makeup, hair, and skin. I often add metallic paint to highlight jewelry as I did with silver in this illustration.

I hope you enjoyed this lace illustration tutorial, and found my process useful in adding drama and romance to your illustrations!

Find Jennifer on the web:
Copic Color

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