Join me for Copic Class!


vanilla arts company live classes

mary maxim in port huron, michigan

may 16th

AM class begins at 10:30am

  • Lesson: Introduction to Floral Technique- True Reds
  • Bonus Lesson: universal dew drops
  • Medium: Copic Marker and Prismacolor Premier Pencil
  • Level: beginner to intermediate
  • Stamp: "Timeless Rose" by Stampendous

PM class begins at 2:00pm

  • Lesson: Ink Doodling, Rocks! Mandala style doodles
  • Bonus Lesson: cold finishes
  • Medium: Sharpie Oil Paint Marker on stone

Call 810.987.2000 to reserve your seat. Limit 15 students per session.

The Problem with Pastels

Copic Art Class: Grounding Pastels

It's spring and that means stamp crafters will celebrate by pulling out their bright pink, mint, and aqua markers.

But there's a problem with pastels

Have you ever spent hours coloring an image with pretty pastels, only to be completely underwhelmed by the finished product? 

How could all that lovely Butter-cream color add up to something so boring?

Or even worse, why does your image look like it was colored by an 8 year old who wants to be a Unicorn Princess?

The photograph I've used in the title graphic has a typical assortment of pastel colors. I found it at a color palette website, so somebody thought it might make good inspiration for an art or craft project

Except we're dealing with pastels. Pastels are pretty darned tricky, so different rules apply.

If I colored a stamped image using just the colors from the sample photo, I'd come up with something very similar to what the folks at Whipper Snapper Designs did with their "Easter Bunny Basket" stamp.

"Easter Bunny Basket" by Whipper Snapper Designs

Yes, it's a cute bunny and the colors are pretty. But it looks like the Unicorn Princess did the coloring, not a mature woman with taste and style.

The other problem I see... well... this requires an experiment. I want you to close your eyes (not yet, read this paragraph first). You're going to close your eyes and count to twenty. When you open them up, I want you to be looking at the Whipper Snapper sample image.

Okay. Do it now.

What was the first thing your eye went to?

The basket, right?

Uhhhhh, that's a serious problem.

The point of this stamp is absolutely, positively NOT the basket. Do you want your viewer to say "Hey, cool basket!" or to say "Hey, cute bunny!"? The loveable, huggable bunny rabbit should be the focal point but he's almost invisible! The basket is stealing all the limelight.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with the sample coloring or even the color palette in the sample image. It's more about the WAY the palette was applied. I think we can do better.

Pastel Palette Class from VanillaArtsCo

Join me at Mary Maxim in Port Huron, Michigan for our monthly Copic Art Class on April 18th. This time we're tackling pastel colors- how to manage them, how to master them.

Grounding Pastels- the secret to mature pastel images

  • Mary Maxim Copic Art Class- AM Class

  • Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at 10:30am

  • Medium: Copic Markers

  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate

  • Stamp: "Easter Bunny Basket" by Whipper Snapper Designs

To RSVP, call the paper-crafting desk at Mary Maxim, 810.987.2000

Special note... because the store is undergoing renovation, we're holding class AFTER Easter.

We'll modify this stamp slightly by masking off the eggs and adding simple grass and daisies. You won't believe how easy it is to turn this very Eastery image into something you can use all Spring!

Remember, classes are capped at 15 students and you'll definitely want access to the class supply list! RSVP today.

But what if you don't live near Port Huron, Michigan?

Well, for starters, you're missing out on a very pretty little town.

But for those of you who aren't local, you'll have to sit tight for just a wee bit. After I get the website and store up and running, I'll be adding...


Watch for the debut of Vanilla Arts Co. Online Workshops, coming fall 2015!