Getting to know …

… my copic markers.

orange lilly

I’ve worked with alchohol based markers before (Tria amongst others) and I have often thought that they can be a little tricky sometimes, especially on plastics, glass and other non absorbent surfaces where they can give a streaky look if you’re not careful.  On matte card, they have a tendency to feather if the cardstock or paper is too absorbent, so getting the right base to work on is important.

Markers of any kind are not as forgiving as pencils.  Once you have commited that line to paper, you are pretty much stuck with it.  Yes there are blender pens, but they will only do so much.  The trick is to realise that unlike pencils, the pressure you apply has little to do with the resulting depth of colour, so you need to think differently about how you build up tone and shade without getting harsh lines everywhere or scrubbing your paper into pieces.

At the moment, I am working with my new Copic markers on the white glossy cardstock that we sell over at Graphicus.  The gloss coating allows for plenty of layers without the surface ‘pilling’ and the markers go on nice and smoothly.

One of the key differences between water based markers on the glossy and solvent based is that the water based often leave a dark mark where you lift your pen.  Solvent markers don’t tend to do that as you don’t leave a puddle of ink behind when you lift your pen – it dries instantly.

In the card above, I have used the copic markers to colour in the lilly image which was stamped with black archival ink.  I have heard other people complain that copics lift the black, and yes it can.  However, I have found that if you have left the image to dry long enough (overnight in this case) and you are careful with the pen, there isn’t a too much of a problem.  You can even use it to your advantage to create areas of shadow.

The colours are certainly vibrant – these lillies just pop off the page.  I added some cool grey shadows around the edge and some sketchy sweeps of the blender pen’s chisel edge have added some green around the base of the plant.

I’m still learning, but I’m quite pleased with the start I’ve made.