Copic markers are the trendiest thing you can ever have. They are perfect for blending and shading, and since they are alcohol-based, they leave no streaks. They can be used to color images on a TON and can also be used to make stamps more beautiful.
But without the knowledge of How to Blend Copic Markers, you may not be able to get the best out of them. Although there are several techniques to apply, we will focus more on blending by flicking and small circular motions.
Learn to read the labels on Copic markers
There are various color codes on Copic markers, which may seem challenging to decode at first, but once you get the hang of it, you realize it’s simple.
Each Copic marker usually has a label which consists of a letter and two numbers. The letter stands for the color family. For instance, “Y” represents yellow while “G” represents Green. There are some which have two letters; this usually stands for two colors, which are combined as one. For example, “BG” stands for blue-green, while “RV” stands for red-violet.
On the other hand, the first number represents the level of intensity, purity, and saturation of the color. The highest degree of saturation is zero, and this decreases as the number increases until it gets to the lowest degree of intensity, which is 9. The second number represents the level of lightness or darkness of the color, and this usually ranges from 000 (which is the lightest shade) to 9, which is the darkest shade.
Techniques to be applied
Different movements are required for different blending situations. However, there are two major approaches you can apply, and this includes:
This type of blending involves the use of several strokes, which are of different lengths. The color at the beginning of the stroke is usually darker than the color at the tip of the stroke. This method helps you to cover a large area and also helps in minimizing the use of ink.
Small Circular Motion
This type of blending technique is ideal for even distribution of color; it’s also suitable for detailing and for buffing out the sharp edges of the color.
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How to Blend Copic Markers
In this blending pattern, you are solely reliant on the number of layers of colors you are going to apply. The more the layers of color, the darker the outcome will be. It’s a simple method and is ideal for those who wish to test the waters before doing something more complex.
If you wish to use more than two markers, note that the lighter shade of color is going to fade out the darker shade. Hence, it’s best to use a lighter color for blending.
It’s also important to note that in multiple blending, it’s best to go in with the lightest shade of color you have and then saturate the entire area to get it ready to be colored. By doing this, you create a base that will make the whole blending process a lot smoother.
If you wish to blend two markers, then the markers must be of the same color family, this ensures that the colors complement each other perfectly. When blending two markers, begin by applying the lighter of the two colors at your base.
After this, move on to the darker color while ensuring the pressure applied as you get close to each stroke isn’t too much. Next, while the marker is still wet, apply the lighter color in a circular motion; this is done to buff out all the harsh lines where the dark color terminates. Repeat the whole process again and again until you are satisfied with the final result.
When blending with three colors, ensure you have an in-depth knowledge of the markers’ label first before going ahead. Pick three colors of the same color family but pay particular attention to the middle marker as it gives you an idea of how dark or light the color is.
Ensure you create a base using the lightest of the three colors; this makes the process easier and smoother and also adds a definite undertone. Once done, fill out the areas you wish to darken with the middle color, ensure you don’t cover the lightest shade totally, and also remember that you can always turn it into highlights.
Now it’s time to add to shadows, to do this, blend with the darkest color by flicking your marker to allow some of the middle and lightest shades of color to shine through. This helps to create depth and also prevents over-darkening.
Once you are done, the next thing to do is to blend it all in. To do this, take the middle color, then using small circular motions or sweep-like motions, blend the darkest of the three shades into the middle one at the path where they both intercept.
While doing this, be careful not to advance too far into the middle shaded part and also not to go over all of the dark section as well, try to avoid unwarranted fading as much as possible.
Copic Marker Colorless Blender
As the name indicates, it is entirely colorless. However, the essential thing is that it can remove ink or color; it also helps you to highlight, blend or erase colors, fix mistakes, and generally add diverse texture to your art, examples of which are stripes or dots.
It can be used in a circular motion to add a base, after which you then apply a darker color to give your artwork the desired shadowing. Once you are through with that and while it’s still wet, apply a light shade to blend out and then color the rest.
Alternatively, you can start with the darkest shade, and then use a colorless blender to fade out the lighter part; this should be followed by taking the light marker to blend out the part you desire.
These tips will help you blend Copic markers perfectly:
- While blending, learn to exercise lots of patience; do not rush. Give the ink time to dry before applying a darker or lighter shade of color. This is because an area that seems too dark when wet may lighten when dry. By being patient, you prevent over-blending or over-saturation of the colors.
- When darkening an already dark spot, ensure you are using the flickering motion; this will make the blending easier and help you avoid mistakes.
Common Mistakes Copic Colorers Make
If you are new to this, then you cannot avoid mistakes, and that’s fine because it’s the only way you can improve on yourself. Below are some of the common mistakes made and how to correct them:
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Use of Zigzag strokes
To achieve smooth coloring, there is a need to be consistent with it, and it’s really difficult if you are using zigzag strokes. Colouring in swirl motions or zigzag strokes will make your ink thicker than required, give it a dirty and messy look while also being uneven and leading to a waste of ink.
This can be easily fixed by having a controlled pattern of coloring, a trend that is both regulated and consistent.
Starting Marker Strokes from the Center of the Shape
This is a mistake common to most people. The danger in it is that the darkest concentration of your ink will tend to be focused at the middle rather than the edge of the image. This is not ideal and should be the other way round.
To fix this, start with dark colors from the edges and work your way to the center of the shape. This will give it a smooth blend with layers that are consistent and less complicated. When you work from dark to light, you save a lot of time, stress, and ink.
Colouring without Building A Fence
No matter how much of an expert you are, there is a need to build a fence around the edges of your image. You can’t just rely on only flicking as there is a huge chance you may not get it right.
Instead, build a fence around the edges of the image, this will help camouflage whatever inconsistency there may be. Even when you hit the fence while it’s damp and while using the same color, you are sure that the two-strokes will blend smoothly.
At first, blending may seem a bit intimidating, especially if you are using a permanent marker, but now that you know How to Blend Copic Markers, this should not be a problem anymore. Blending, after all, is a way of expressing yourself, so go ahead and experiment with different tones and colors.