Friday, August 12, 2011

Coloring with my copic - colorless blenders and some things to avoid

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

Being creative folks we're always trying to think outside the box and not accept boundaries set by others.  Never has staying in the box or lines been more important than when you're using copics.  While copics do make it easier to correct your mistakes, don't get comfortable thinking you can always "fix" it.  Copics are wonderful, but they're not "magic" markers. 

A colorless blender is a must-have.  Yes, with copics you can use the colorless blender to "fix" boo-boos or oopsies.   However, the darker your color, the more likelihood you will not be able to completely remove the color.  With your lighter colors, you can use the colorless blender to clear away a mistake virtually unnoticeable.   It's not easy to get in with sandpaper and clear off the excess without further damaging your design and too much rubbing with the blender can damage the cardstock.   Lesson learned - learn to color inside the lines.  

In this pic and the one below, you can see my attempt to clean up that red color outside the line.  I used the colorless blender several times to try to "push" the color back into the lines.  Pushing is what you do.  The colorless does not erase or cause the color to disappear.  You use the blender to push the color back inside the line where it was supposed to go.  This does not work very well with darker colors as the color tends to bleed into the space surrounding the oops and you come in contact with the outline ink.  Within  seconds, it's a mess.  Start thinking about what else you can do with the images or chalk it up to practice.    

I corrected the green, too.  On first glance, it's not as noticeable.  Once you zoom in, you can plainly see my oopsies!   Lesson learned:  Learn not to color outside the lines, and maybe use a magnifier. LOL 

Copics are expensive and you don't want to use all your good ink on practicing, so try some of the other markers you have and don't practice too often with your copics and use up your ink.

Absent the oopsies, the overall coloring and blending on the poppy is pretty good.  I used my gold smooch (love Smooches) to color the inside of the circle and the little dabs at the end and a generic gold glitter pen for outlining the thinner black lines.  Did this one on the smooth side of the cardstock.  I prefer the textured side.  

This is what you want to avoid doing to your "colorless" blenders.  If  the blender soaks up too much of a color or smudge on the outline you will discolor your marker.  It still seems to work okay, but I'll use another blender on my lighter colors just in case.

I would say this pic shows a new and a used colorless blender, but actually, truth be told, it's a good blender and a messed up blender!

I stamped and colored another one  (below) on the textured side of the cardstock and had the same problem, staying in the lines.  I  used lighter 
shades of color and used my Signo white pen to highlight.  Color and blending okay, but I like the darker colors.  I also used the gold smooch to color the whole inside, but the brush is too big, so I'll stick with the glitter pen.


Don't forget to do your swatches.  If you have them available try a light, medium, and dark in the color shade you use. With practice you may be able to use the blender to shade the colors if your markers are limited.  Remember to write down the marker number, and you will save time should you have to do it again. You can just pull the numbers you need and start coloring instead of having to do more swatches.  I have started to put a description of the project on the swatch so if I have to do another one I can just pull the swatch,  pull the pens.   

My sole purpose in posting here is simply to share my learning experience  with other new copic users because that's how I'm learning.  HTHS

***More tips from readers online***

"I would like to add one more tip : When experimenting paper... just getting use to using copics.....try stamping the image to be coloured then embossing with clear or black the lines so that the pen/marker tip will not pass the line. Once you get the previous post-you just colour up to .1 cm to the line as the ink does creep or rather bleed out to the edge. Aren't these markers fun!!"

"Another hint, buy a bottle of the colorless blender, use it to clean your nibs; normally another color will not permanently stain a nib, they are usually only stained by other mediums or inks like staz-on ink, etc. when you other mediums like colored pencils be sure to use the copics first then layer on the pencils or you will damage your nib. I am a copic certified designer, if I can answer any other questions let me know.

"...I agree with Denubug and BarbaraStewart1 that embossing your image helps you stay in the lines when using Copics and Prismacolor pencils. I have also found that you if you are coloring on white paper, you can use your white ink pen (I really like the Unibal Signo)to very lightly go over your mistake and then blend it in with one of those pointed q-tips. You have to do that very sparingly so that the white doesn't stand out but it will work."

"What kind of paper are you using. I find paper to be very important. I use gina-k Luxury 120# weight. I also use the Walmart card stock when dong alot of one item. The best ink pad to use is Memento. When moving color back to the image, use the chisel end, and do a little at a time, give it time to dry. If you get the paper to wet it will bleed. check out my blog, I color with the Copics. It does take practice.

gone scrappin:
"One more tip for you, if the color bleeds too much out of the image, use a white pen or some white acrylic paint to cover it. Use is lightly, and you can always add a shadow with C-1 or C00 around the edges after it dries...


  1. Thank you for sharing your Copic experience! Your flower is beautiful! Here are a couple of tips that I have found useful...

    **When coloring a large area, stop the ink just short of the image outline. The ink will continue to flow to the edge. I always practice on a scrap of the paper to see how far the ink will run. This helps me to stay inside the lines.

    **The ink only stains the end of the blender. Whenever I use the blender to correct mistakes or blend colors, between colors or after I touch the paper with the blender, I always clean the brush by swiping it across the back of my hand. It doesn't leave any ink residue and I do not lose any valuable clear ink on paper/cloth/etc. Quick,too!

    **Sometimes going outside the lines creates a beautiful image! It softens the look and creates a watercolor effect.

    Please continue to share your Copic projects!

  2. Thanks for your detailed tips they are great. We learn by our mistakes so it is nice for to share those learning moments. I am fairly new to Copics also so to add to your tips I would share these couple things

    It makes HUGS difference in what paper you us as far as blending and blending outside the lines. Thee are a couple of good ones out there, Copic Express, Neehan Bright white to name a couple.

    Also when correcting mistakes your are right red is the hardest to correct. It helps alot to do it in small steps correct/push the color
    stop after very little working on it and use your heat tool to "dry" the ink (if it is too wet it will run again) work a little more then dry again etc till you have the result you want. Correcting also has a lot to do with the paper because if it bleed outside line before it will continue to bleed more as you try to correct.

    And if at all possible go to a class in your area. I did and learned so much about blending a lot of other things

    PS Love your little girl card