The Problem of Pink: Why Copic Blending Trios let you down

 
Pink Copic Blending Trios fail at realism. Why shading with red or hot pink markers disappoints you every time. | VanillaArts.com
 

Blending trios stink for pink!

Copic Blending Trios do not really add realism to your coloring. Learn the method artists have been using for centuries- Color Sculpting. It's easier than you think and no math required! | VanillaArts.com

Deep down you know I'm right.

We've all been there. We want to color something pink and according to all the Copic laws, we're supposed to select three pink markers in a row.

Which leaves you sitting there with one or two red markers.

To color something pink?

Yep, and it all goes downhill from there.

Stop shading with red markers!

And ditch the hot pink markers too.

Want to know why your pink coloring always looks nice but totally fake? It's because you're using a BLENDING combination instead of a SHADING combination.

They're not the same thing, no matter how many people use the terms interchangeably.

 

Let's try to color pink bunny slippers...

Pink Copic Blending Trios fail at realism. Why shading with red or hot pink markers disappoints you every time. | VanillaArts.com

...using the standard Copic rules.

The R20s are a popular Copic Blending Trio and the lighter end of that set feels very pink.

But if we use the +2 method, we end up with R24 which next to R20 looks downright red. I don't see any red in that bunny slipper photo!

Instead, let's try some RVs. RV11 might work but look at where that run of color leads us. I don't see any pinkish-purple in our bunny slipper photo either.

So then you fall back to the standard Copic Cop-out.

Yes, the Copic Cop-out.

When you can't shade something accurately, you step all the way down to the zeros and color the slippers super pale.

Because at least they're still pink then, right?

So basically, the Copic rules are saying that we can never color anything medium pink.

Nope, you have two choices in Copic-land: you can either shade with an inappropriately dark red or magenta OR you can make everything washed out and barely pink.

 

But the world is full of medium pink!

Pink Copic Blending Trios fail at realism. Why shading with red or hot pink markers disappoints you every time. | VanillaArts.com

And rose, blush, salmon, coral, amaranth, flamingo, and tons of other glorious middle range warm rosy colors.

Look, the problem isn't with Copics markers, the problem is with Copic Blending Trios.

You've locked yourself into a world of coloring by the numbers, using mathematics when you should be using your eyes.

You're also trying to squeeze realism and realistic depth out of a marker rule that wasn't designed to generate realistic color.

That Copic "shading" technique? It's a shortcut for quick and easy coloring projects.

Artists do not do this weird shading thing that Copic experts teach. Artists don't purchase or mix paint, pencils, or pastels using "+2" or "+10 +2" rules. In four and a half years of art school and decades as an illustrator, I've never taken a class or read a method where you step-up in color to simulate a step-back in depth. This Copic shading stuff simply doesn't work for realism.

And Copic's pink problem makes that crystal clear.

 

Join me for an online introduction to Color Sculpting

Color sculpting is a method that has been used for centuries to create depth, dimension, and realism. 

It's not hard. You can do it too!

Saturday, February 10th at 11 am EST

using Power Poppy's "Rose' All Day"

(Here's a handy-dandy time zone converter to calculate your local time)

Pink Copic Blending Trios fail at realism. Why shading with red or hot pink markers disappoints you every time. | VanillaArts.com
 

What is Vanilla Live-Stream?

It's a live broadcast- just like the evening news but with me instead of the creepy weather guy in a toupee...

Pink Copic Blending Trios fail at realism. Why shading with red or hot pink markers disappoints you every time. | VanillaArts.com

We'll have fun coloring with lots of Copics!

This is just like my local advanced level coloring class but online. 

I'll walk you through my creation process, discussing the ins and outs of each image. We always cover a bunch of artsy tips and tricks which you can apply to tons of other projects. There's even a live chat feed so that you can ask questions and I'll answer live.

Every month, we tackle a new art technique, helping you develop your artistic skills and realism!

Can't attend live?

Not a problem!

All livestreams are recorded and available to members immediately for replay. You can watch six months worth of recorded sessions, playing and replaying them as many times as you need to understand the lesson and finish the project.

You can't do that in my live class!

 

20% off "Rose' All Day"

Rose All Day.jpeg

Marcella Hawley, the amazing artist at Power Poppy is giving all my Patreon members 20% off the class digital stamp!

It's an instant download from PowerPoppy.com; just print it to a Copic safe paper and color along with me!

Patreon Members: log into the class page to get your monthly discount code.

Want more info about how this works?

Want the January supply list and lesson info?

 

February Live-Stream:

Pink Copic Blending Trios fail at realism. Why shading with red or hot pink markers disappoints you every time. | VanillaArts.com

You must be an enrolled at Patreon.com/VanillaArtsCo to participate

Saturday, February 10th at 11:00 am EST

Lesson: Color Sculpting technique for realism, focus on pink and light red objects.

Stamp: Rose' All Day by Power Poppy

Medium: Copic Marker and Prismacolor Premier Pencils

Skill Level: Intermediate through advanced colorers. Once you can blend Copics smoothly with confidence, you're ready to join us! No drawing skills necessary.

 

Join me online for Color Sculpting with Pink

And lots of fun!

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Free Digi Club: "chocolate box" - FREE digital stamp for Copic, colored pencil, or watercolor

 
Get your FREE copy of the "Chocolate Box" digital stamp in February 2018. Join the Free Digi Club for a new stamp every month! | VanillaArts.com
 

Sweets for the sweet...

I've got a calorie free chocolate treat for you.

"Chocolate Box" is my latest Copic coloring image, a realism challenge for those of you who have been working on capturing more accurate depth and dimension.

This digital stamp is completely free to Free Digi Club subscribers from now until March 2017.

Get your FREE copy of the "Chocolate Box" digital stamp in February 2018. Join the Free Digi Club for a new stamp every month! | VanillaArts.com

No strings, no spam. It's simply a free image for you to color.

Subscribers to the FDC receive one free image every month, delivered right to your email inbox.

My digital stamps are ideal for Copic marker coloring but they also work great with colored pencil and even watercolor. My stamps are full of wide open spaces to blend and celebrate pretty color. There are no distracting texture marks to get in the way of your creativity!

That's what the "Vanilla" in Vanilla Arts Co. is all about. I give you the vanilla base, you add the hot fudge, the sprinkles, the whipped cream, and the Copic ink.

 
Get your FREE copy of the "Chocolate Box" digital stamp in February 2018. Join the Free Digi Club for a new stamp every month! | VanillaArts.com

Perfect for markers or colored pencil

And I've used both (plus some Distress ink!) to create amazing depth and dimension.

Chocolate Box is a realism challenge image. It was drawn for photorealism but you can simplify it for casual coloring.

And it's a large image! Color it full page or half page size. But cardmakers will love this smaller. How about a landscape fold card with a raised die cut sentiment?

 

Watch me color Chocolate Box:

 

Take the chocolate box Class!

Chocolate Box, a lesson on coloring for photorealism. Create pseudo-blacks to accurately create depth for deep, dark objects. Class also includes Amy's vibrant silk flourish background technique.| MarkerPainting.com

To get the full details on my Chocolate Box coloring process, take the Marker Painting Basics online class!

Marker Painting Basics lessons are perfect for intermediate colorers and those looking to add more realism to their coloring projects.

We're learning the basics of realism with new challenges every month!

We've used the Push & Pull technique to create lifelike depth but how do you Push a dark object when Copic does not make a marker dark enough to push it with?

It's a problem!

Learn Amy's Pseudo-Black process which creates the correct color for your pushes without guessing or shopping for new markers.

This lesson also includes a bonus segment on my vibrant silk flourish technique.

 

The best thing about Marker Painting classes: they are NON SEQUENTIAL!

Get your FREE copy of the "Chocolate Box" digital stamp in February 2018. Join the Free Digi Club for a new stamp every month! | VanillaArts.com

You do not need three months of prior experience to understand the concepts and techniques in this lesson.

If you can handle basic Copic blending method then you're ready to start incorporating real artist techniques into your coloring projects for enhanced realism, depth, and dimension.

Each class stands on it's own as independent learning. You don't have to take six of my other classes to understand this lesson.

All of my Workshop classes are FOREVER ACCESS. Work at your own pace and repeat the project as many times as you'd like.

Come color with me. It's a whole lot of fun!

 

 

Happy coloring!

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Print

Over the Top: 2018 Retreat for colored pencil art

 
Join Amy Shulke of Vanilla Arts Company for a relaxing colored pencil art retreat for intermediate and advanced colorers. | VanillaArts.com
 

Life gets in the way

You want to color better but wow, you are busy!

There's the job, the family, and that looming pile of dirty laundry that's about the size of New Jersey.

And even when you do find a quiet moment to squeeze in a coloring project, you're still mentally adding potatoes and bandaids to tomorrow's grocery list.

Life doesn't stop and the world doesn't slow down.

busy is not ideal for learning

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I don't mean to question your lifestyle, I'm just saying that it's really hard to focus on skill and technique when your mind is pin-balling around.

To really learn something- to make sure that you totally understand the concept and to insure that your muscles are memorizing the feel of good technique, that requires whole brain concentration.

And if you're curious how much milk is left in the fridge or if out-of-the-blue you suddenly wonder why you didn't see the last electric bill on your bank statement, then you aren't concentrating enough to create long term memories and true learning.

The value of a retreat

Now just wait.

Most people read the word "retreat" and they think private islands in the Caribbean or a ritzy spa in southern California.

But honestly, a coloring retreat could be a room at the Motel 6.

It's not about the scenery or the surroundings that makes for an effective retreat.

It's pulling yourself out of your normal life and breaking your brain away from your usual routine. You don't need scenic alpine sunsets,  just the raw difference of being in a new place without your old responsibilities prepares your mind to absorb the lessons.

Staycation, schmay-cation!

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We all try it, at least once.

I've got this video workshop that I've always wanted to do. So I'll take the week off work and watch all the lessons while everyone else is at work and school...

Fourteen loads of laundry and a three day marathon of Fixer Upper reruns and ack! That plan got shot to bits, eh?

If you're sitting at home, you're going to think home thoughts. Even sitting in your mother-in-law's coat closet would be better than sitting at home.

That's also why you get more coloring done in class and more scrapping done at crops... because no one is asking you where their other pink sock is.

When you vacate the house, you declare an intention to focus on the project, the online workshop, or the tutorials in the book you just bought. It's not just removing yourself from your normal duties, it's also setting up the mindset that "this is a new thing and I'm doing it now".

Why am I talking about retreats today?

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Because that's my latest project. A destination workshop for Vanilla Arts students who want to really focus on their colored pencils.

Online lessons are great and once a month local classes are very helpful but it's also good to get away from the world and focus on just the one special thing we love to do - coloring.

It's a private cottage right on Lake Michigan. Surrounded by woods and wildlife.

We're getting away from it all and you can join us!

Over the Top Retreat 2018

(If you understand the name then I know you'll want to come!)

Sunday, June 3rd to Thursday, June 7th

Harbor Springs, Michigan

North of Traverse City and Petoskey along the Lake Michigan coastline

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Over the top...

Join Amy Shulke of Vanilla Arts Company for a relaxing colored pencil art retreat for intermediate and advanced colorers. | VanillaArts.com

... and slightly beyond.

Large scale projects with a colored pencil focus

Level: Intermediate to advanced colored pencil colorers. Must have taken Colored Pencil Plus or art-based C.P. classes from an art instructor.

Art Supplies Included: Bring your own pencil set(s), sharpener, and watermedia but everything else is provided! Five 11x14" line drawings plus guides and learning aids, and tons of tools.

Lessons: Instruction tailored to your needs. Retreat size limited to 10 to insure that you get lots of individualized help and guidance.

Goal: Learn to color large sized projects independently and with confidence; finding your own color palettes and unique sources of inspiration to move past copy-catting the instructor samples. We'll discuss and demonstrate the typical way that artists develop their own unique works and modify the processes to better fit the way colorers work. Lots of tools and books will also be available for you to sample and try, saving money as you build your own studio.

Food & Lodging: Included in the price!

Join me for coloring in the Northwoods

It's a whole new adventure!

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Vanilla Arts + Power Poppy- Online Copic Coloring Class, "Layer Cake"

 
Join Amy for online live coloring broadcasts. All the fun of her live & local classes but now online. Every month, a new Power Poppy challenge. | VanillaArts.com
 

Do you use Copic math?

You sit down for a little Copic coloring time.

You decide to color a daisy, or a fluffy bunny, or a piece of cake.

So you pick out your main color and then you start doing the math...

"Let's see, if my cake is YR31 then my shade color would be YR31 + 2 = YR33 but they don't make a YR33 marker, so maybe I need to do +3 or +4... but they don't make those markers. Darn it!  

So let's try YR31 + 10 + 2 = YR43 but they don't make that marker either! Ack!"

Wait a minute, did you want to color or did you want to do math equations?

Look, I know they mean well...

"Shading" and Copic +2 +4 techniques are shortcuts which do not really add realism to your coloring. Learn the method artists have been using for centuries- Color Sculpting. It's easier than you think and no math required! | VanillaArts.com

The idea started out simply- find an easy way for colorers to choose the correct shade colors for any project.

A lot of colorers swear by this addition method. "It's totally great!" It takes the guesses out of shading.

And the shading you get looks kind'a, maybe, sort'a almost realistic. Or at least "realer" than your projects looked before.

But hold on. I'm about to blow your mind...

Did you know that artists do not shade?

Nope.

This shading stuff? Shading is something crafters do.

But artists? The folks who paint and draw with stunning realism? We don't shade and we definitely don't do math problems to choose our colors.

Don't you love the part of the show where Bob Ross sits down and does long division to decide which tube of paint to use?

NO! Bob Ross never had a math segment because ARTISTS DON'T DO MATH!

So how do artists create depth, dimension, and realism?

Color Sculpting.

Color sculpting?

"Shading" and Copic +2 +4 techniques are shortcuts which do not really add realism to your coloring. Learn the method artists have been using for centuries- Color Sculpting. It's easier than you think and no math required! | VanillaArts.com

All objects have a shape, correct? Cubes, spheres, cylinders, or strange organic shapes that are hard to define.

And all three dimensional shapes have edges, right? The sides, tops, and bottoms.

As those edges get further away from us, the color desaturates- it gets grayer and less brilliant, less pure.

So all of those Copic formulas telling you to color the edges of an object one or two steps darker? They're telling you to do the wrong thing!

Copic says to ADD more color when you should be using LESS color.

And that's why your coloring isn't getting more realistic.

You can practice and practice and practice... but if you're always "shading" using Copic math, you are never going to add any realism.

Artists do not "shade". We use our eyes and our powers of observation to determine what the color is doing as it moves away from us. Then we duplicate what we see on our projects. That's Color Sculpting.

Relax, it's easier than it sounds!

People have been using this method for centuries. They used to teach it to kids, so YOU can totally learn to do it too!

It's not magic.

It's not math.

It's using the eyes in your head and the brain behind them. You were born with all the tools required to color sculpt, you just need to learn to pay attention to what you're seeing!

Join me for an online introduction to Color Sculpting

Friday, January 19th at 10:00 am EST

Livestream #3, using Power Poppy's "Layer Cake"

(Here's a handy-dandy time zone converter to calculate your local time)

 

What is Vanilla Live-Stream?

"Shading" and Copic +2 +4 techniques are shortcuts which do not really add realism to your coloring. Learn the method artists have been using for centuries- Color Sculpting. It's easier than you think and no math required! | VanillaArts.com

It's a live broadcast- just like the evening news but with me instead of the creepy weather guy in a toupee...

We'll have fun coloring with lots of Copics!

This is just like my local advanced level coloring class but online. 

I'll walk you through my creation process, discussing the ins and outs of each image. We'll cover a bunch of artsy tips and tricks which you can apply to tons of other projects. There's even a live chat feed so that you can ask questions and I'll answer live.

Every month, we tackle a new art technique, helping you develop your artistic skills and realism!

Can't attend live?

Not a problem!

All monthly livestreams are recorded and are available to members immediately for replay. You can watch this archived session (plus several more), playing and replaying them as many times as you need to understand the lesson and fnish the project.

You can't do that in my live class!

 

20% off "Layer Cake"

LayerCake Digi.jpeg

Marcella Hawley, the amazing artist at Power Poppy is giving all my Patreon members 20% off the class digital stamp!

It's an instant download from PowerPoppy.com; just print it to a Copic safe paper and color along with me!

Patreon Members: log into the class page to get your monthly discount code.

 

Want more info about how this works?

Want the January supply list and lesson info?

 

January Live-Stream:

"Shading" and Copic +2 +4 techniques are shortcuts which do not really add realism to your coloring. Learn the method artists have been using for centuries- Color Sculpting. It's easier than you think and no math required! | VanillaArts.com

You must be an enrolled at Patreon.com/VanillaArtsCo to participate

Friday, January 19th at 10 am EST

Lesson: Color Sculpting technique for realism, focus on white or light colored objects

Stamp: Layer Cake by Power Poppy

Medium: Copic Marker, Prismacolor Premier Pencils, Distress Ink (optional background)

Skill Level: Intermediate through advanced colorers. Once you can blend Copics smoothly and with confidence, you're ready to join us! No drawing skills necessary.

 

Join me online for an Intro to Color Sculpting

And lots of fun!

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