Before we begin, let’s talk briefly about combinations of ink and paper.
I prefer Memento Tuxedo Black when coloring with Copic markers. This ink yields a crisp image and dries very quickly. Adirondack black and brown will also work well, however they require longer drying time. I have also used Brilliance ink with nice results, but you must heat-set the image before coloring. Solvent-based inks (such as Staz-On) do not work well with Copics as the alcohol in the Copic ink will reactivate the stamped ink line, resulting in smears and bleeding lines.
As for cardstock, I always reach for X-Press It Blending Card. It blends beautifully, is not prone to bleeding, and is bright white. The Blending Card has a tight grain, which means you’ll need less ink and your markers will last longer.
Step 1: Stamp your image onto X-Press It Blending Card using Memento Tuxedo Black.
Step 2: Using E00, you’ll begin by creating strokes along the left side of the face, pulling color in and lifting toward the center of the face. Repeat this process with strokes coming from the right. Be sure to not stroke all the way across. This will create a soft highlight in the center.
Step 3: Repeat the process with E11, but with shorter strokes.
Step 4: Going back to E00, you’ll blend the edges of the E11 strokes. Use a circular motion to blend the outer edges of the E11 lines. Use the original motion (“sweeping in” from the edges) with E00 to ensure a smooth blend.
Step 5: Use R20 to add rosy color to the cheeks. Beginning along the left side of the face, just under the eye, pull color diagonally up from the outer edge to just under the eye using short strokes. Move down the cheek line, adding strokes, each one longer than the last, until you reach the center of the cheek. Once you reach the center, the strokes should become increasingly shorter until you reach the bottom of the cheek. Repeat for the right cheek.
Step 6: Using E00, move your marker in a circular motion to blend the edges of the rosy cheeks into the face.
You can see a quick video of these techniques in action HERE, or simply click play below:
Step 7: Lightly color the body with E31. This is a base color, so your coverage does not need to be smooth.
I have intentionally left a bit of white at the tips of his spikes to create highlights.
Step 8: Using the tip of your E33 marker, begin adding dots. Be sure to leave some of the base color showing.
A few notes about the dots: Vary the size of the dots by changing the amount of pressure that is applied to the tip of the marker. Also, try not to “lay down” your dots in straight lines. If you see areas that seem too straight, just add more dots.
Step 9: Continue adding depth using an even darker brown. Layer E35 dots over most (but not all) of the E33 dots. As we add darker dots to create depth, be sure to add some very tiny dots of darker color in the lighter areas. This will help build texture.
Step 10: Using our darkest brown, E79, add small dots in the deepest, darkest creases, i.e. around the face, behind the front spike on the head, around the belly, along the base of the arms and feet, folds of the legs, and along the base of tail.
Step 11: Returning to E31, add dots to blend the darker areas into the lighter areas.
Step 12: Using YR16, add random dots throughout the body and color in the spots, leaving some white areas to represent highlights.
Step 13: Color the belly using Y21. Use the original “sweeping” motion we used when coloring the face. Sweep color in from the left and right sides, leaving some white showing in the center of the belly.
Step 14: Using E31, and the same method as above, sweep color in from the sides along the belly lines.
Step 15: Using the sweeping method once again, use E35 to add shading along the outer edges of the belly.
Step 16: To blend the E35 lines, use Y21, and sweep in from both the left and right sides, leaving some of the belly white.
Step 17: Because the hearts will be colored red, and red can sometimes be a tricky color to work with, I’m going to add the shadow around my image first. This way, the red won’t accidentally pull into the background area, should my marker slightly cross the line.
Using BG70, pull color from the outer edges of the image toward the edges of the paper, lifting the marker off the paper as you pull.
Step 18: Using Colorless Blender with circular strokes, blend the edges of BG70.
Step 19: To intensify the shadow, use small sweeping strokes of BG10, beginning at the image lines, and moving out toward the edge of the paper. Blend the BG10 edges using BG70.
Step 20: To ground the image, first wet the area using Colorless Blender. Use G21 to add the base ground color. Use uneven strokes from left to right, and then again from right to left.
Step 21: Using the same technique above, add G24 close to the image, leaving G21 showing at the bottom edge.
Create blades of grass by using G28. Touch the tip of the marker to a spot on the ground and whisk marker up and off the paper. Next, place your marker tip at the base of the same stroke, and whisk in additional blades.
You’ll see step-by step how the ground and grass were colored in THIS quick video, or simply click play below:
Step 22: Apply a base color to the hearts using R22. Leave some white showing. Using R24, and beginning at the base of the hearts, sweep marker up to create the first layer of shadow. Repeat with shorter strokes using R37. Lightly blend the R37 edges with R24.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you’ll be inspired to create your own texture-filled projects. Use the keyword MFTED2 in your gallery upload on Splitcoaststampers so we can admire your samples.