New Online Copic Course - Marker Painting Foundations is open!

 

Beginner lessons can be fun!

Beginner level coloring doesn't have to make you feel like a kindergartner.

You're an adult, right? Just because you're new to something doesn't mean that you come into it with an empty brain and zero skills.

Somehow you managed not to kill yourself with Crayola crayons back when you were in grade school. So instead of spending hours coloring blending boxes and sphere exercises, we're jumping right into the fun and challenging stuff.

Because no one starts from square one with coloring.

Week one was full of consumer information

All the marker details that Copic lovers crave. Beginner marker suggestions, product knowledge, nib styles...

And the dreaded Copic numbering system.

 

Week two is full of kisses

And lots of paper details like fiber content and coatings and composites... basically, we're eliminating the confusion you face when trying to choose marker papers, cardstocks, and papers for mixed media.

Plus we're getting ready to explode a marker.

Not. Kidding.

It's not too late to join!

Marker Painting Foundations does not have a sign up period. There's no official start date.

Always open enrollment. Start anytime.

Lessons are fed to you on a regular basis so you always start with lesson one instead of joining a class in progress.

And because you have forever access, there is no such thing as falling behind! If life gets busy or you extend your Caribbean vacation by another month, you simply pick up where you left off. Do what you can, when you can.

 

You'll love the concepts and the discussions!

I never do anything normal, so you know I've got a unique take on beginner marker lessons.

My videos and exercises will challenge your thinking and the student discussion board helps us clarify ideas and expand upon the topic.

 

Every colorer has knowledge gaps

Marker Painting Foundations- 12 weeks to learn Copic coloring online. | VanillaArts.com

Especially if you're self taught. You can only get so much from reading blogs and watching free YouTube tutorials.

Now is the time to fill in the gaps and get some real instructor feedback.

Improve your coloring- whether you're a beginner, an intermediate, or someone looking to move from regular Copic blend-coloring to convincing depth and realism.

 

Join the Marker Painting Foundations class

This is more than coloring, it's painting with markers.

And you can do this!

Marker Painting Foundations: A beginner's Copic coloring course (more than exercises!)

 

I'm breaking all the rules!

Marker Painting Foundations, my brand new, online Copic Marker coloring course does not look like your usual introductory level class.

Nope. Because coloring little blending squares and sphere exercises is pretty darned boring!

Don't worry, we still cover all the good stuff:

  • What marker colors to start collecting

  • What supplies to purchase

  • How to hold the marker

  • What order to apply colors

  • Essential marker stroke techniques

  • How to fix a mistake

  • How to blend

  • How to fix blending problems

  • How to shape and layer objects

 

And once I've got all the essentials covered, we move on to coloring.

Real coloring.

Because you're an adult; you really don't want to color kindergarten level images any longer than necessary.

The whole point of an extended length course is to turbo charge your coloring abilities. That means ditching the cartoony digi stamps and jumping right into the realism.

We're covering the foundational materials WHILE we color, with style!

Learn to blend outside the normal Copic blending groups with a cocktail lesson.

Learn to blend outside the normal Copic blending groups with a cocktail lesson.

Create depth and learn to layer with a floral lesson.

Create depth and learn to layer with a floral lesson.

Learn to enhance your marker work with this lesson on highlight and frost.

Learn to enhance your marker work with this lesson on highlight and frost.

Learn texture and deep desaturation with this strawberry lesson.

Learn texture and deep desaturation with this strawberry lesson.

This course is perfect for:

  • complete beginners

  • self taught colorers who feel as if they've missed key information

  • long time beginners who still encounter problems with blending, shading, or developing convincing depth

  • frustrated colorers who struggle when coloring unfamiliar stamps

  • colorers who find themselves in a rut where every image starts to look the same

  • crafters wishing to push beyond craft level coloring, to boost depth, realism, and artistry in their projects


Marker Painting Foundations: color with confidence

Get it right, right from the start.

Because you can't color artistically if you're always worrying about the basics.

Marker Painting Foundations: A beginner's Copic course that is more than coloring exercises. | VanillaArts.com

This Twelve Week Course includes:

  • lifetime access to the entire course and all support systems

  • 30 to 60 minutes of video every week- fully narrated lessons with technique demonstrations

  • mid-week supplemental handouts to spark further thought

  • supplemental handouts combine to form a printed reference manual for a lifetime of use and reuse

  • 12 useful and reusable PNG digital stamps (also PDF and JPG alternate formats)

  • bonus supplementals and consumer information to help support your understanding of marker painting techniques

  • support community board for instructor guidance, student interaction, help, Q&A

  • grandfather status to new course materials when I make curriculum improvements and upgrades

Class launches Friday, January 13th 2017

Get in on Foundations from the beginning! 

Always open enrollment. Join any time.

I can't wait to color with you!

 
VanillaArts.com

Copic Marker Strategies: Different objects should be colored differently

 
Think about what you're coloring before you start. | VanillaArts.com
 
 

Let me ask a question…

and be please honest about the answer.

Think back to the last project you colored with Copic markers. Picture it in your mind.

 

I'll bet you made a classic Copic mistake

Don't feel bad, I see people making this same mistake every day.

What mistake?

Well, it's the kind of mistake that results in projects that look like this:

Traditional Copic coloring technique is always going to look flat and lifeless, no matter what markers you use. | VanillaArts.com

when you could be coloring like this:

It's not enough to plan out your colors, you need to think about what each item is made out of. | VanillaArts.com

Why is one so much more pleasing than the other?

It's not the stamp image. It's the same digital stamp ("Snowman Supplies" found here). Printed on the same kind of marker card too.

Don't be tempted to blame the skill of the colorer. I colored them both. And you can't say that I half-hearted the top image because I was really, really, really careful to use the same exact technique that I was given in a Copic class taught by a Copic certified teacher at a reputable art store.

It has nothing to do with the markers used. I used the same markers for both images.

Too many colorers color every object the same exact way

Mount Rushmore stamp? Blend it smooth.

Clown on a unicycle stamp? Blend it smooth.

Dancing cow wearing a road cone for a hat? Blend that sucker out as smooth as you can.

 

Remember that one annoying kid on the playground?

On our playground, his name was Phillip. No one wanted to play with Phillip, especially not games of chance like Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Because Phillip always chose rock.

Rock. Rock. Rock. It didn't matter what time of day or whom he played, Phillip chose rock 98.992% of the time.

Not much fun, eh?

Now I know you really don't want to hear this, but every time you color your entire image with the same smooth blending technique, you become Phillip.

Blend. Blend. Blend.

Boring.

 

Classic Copic Technique can only take you so far

You can color better than this! Learn more at VanillaArts.com | VanillaArts.com

Classic Copic technique is that smooth blending thing that most of you do.

I don' t care how you use the smooth blending technique. Some of you put a dark edge around every shape and work towards the center getting lighter and lighter. Others put the dark in the center of each shape and work lighter as you move outwards. And some of you have grown enough that you really try to get the darks in the corners, crevices, and folds.

Darks, darks, and darks. We're always worried about where the dark markers go. And yet somehow, no matter how much you color and practice, you're still not getting closer to realism.

That's because you are handcuffed by the blending process.

Classic Copic technique will never give you depth or realism.

Because you're still blending everything smooth.

 

Real Life is not smooth

Three different materials require three different coloring methods. Coloring everything the same looks boring. | VanillaArts.com

The top hat I drew for this image was once worn by Abraham Lincoln. Either Old Abe was really hard on his headgear or maybe it was dumped in someone's attic for a century; the point is that the hat is in rough shape. The beaver-felt is faded, cracked, scuffed, and rumpled.

You can't color something like that smooth.

Coal is a deep black rock but it has millions of facets on the surface that are almost reflective. Coal in bright light practically glitters. 

You can't color something like that smooth.

Woolen mittens are soft and fluffy but that only describes how they feel. Using your eyes instead of your fingers, knitted objects are a series of ridges and each ridge is made up of tiny little knots. Knitwear is lumpy, bumpy, and full of cross-directional fibers.

You can't color something like that smooth.

 
 

realism takes the object into account

Is the object in your stamp image made of:

  • fur?

  • plastic?

  • metal?

  • fabric?

  • flesh?

  • paper?

  • stone?

All of those objects feel different, correct? Your fingers do not lie. I can hand you a pair of stainless steel scissors, then a pair of plastic scissors, and even with your eyes closed, you can tell them apart, right?

Realism is when your viewer can feel something using just their eyes.

So if a rock feels different than a pair of scissors which feels different than a piece of paper, your coloring should show me that.

Rock, paper, and scissors should never be colored the same. Because each object feels decidedly different. Your viewer should sense that from the way you color them.

Help me feel them with my eyes.

 

The top mistake colorers make…

…is to think more about the color than the way something feels.

Even long time, very popular coloring bloggers... people with decades of Copic experience... most of them still color their images 100% smooth.

So this isn't a newbie mistake, it's an ALMOST-EVERYONE-WHO-OWNS-A-COPIC mistake.

People spend waaaaayyyy too much time planning out just the right blending palettes.

And they spend zero time thinking "Hey, what does a pair of scissors feel like?" "What does a rock feel like?" What does paper feel like?"

If you aren't describing the feel of unique objects with your coloring, if you're coloring everything smoother than Fred Astaire, you're blowing your shot at realism.

 

before you sit down to your next coloring project, please pause!

Put aside your plans for awesome blending combinations and spend a few moments thinking about what each object in the stamp feels like.

Is it matte or shiny? Hard or soft? Gritty or silky? Heavy or lightweight?

Then tell us that story- through your use of texture, stroke quality, and line pattern.

Help us feel it with our eyes.

 

Marker Painting workshops: learn to use the Flick stroke with Copic Markers

 
"Oopsie Daisy" a beginner level lesson on perfecting the Flick stroke for Copic Marker. | VanillaArts.com #copic #coloredpencil #realisticcoloring
 
 

Everybody talks about the flick stroke...

You can't spend 10 minutes looking at Copic on the internet without stumbling across a reference to flicking.

But here's the problem- instructors and bloggers don't seem to agree on what a flick is and how to do it.

Really?

Really. It's likely in the top ten things that marker bloggers blog about and if I had a Twinkie for every different explanation I've seen...

Well, I'm not sure what I'd do with a three story high pile of Twinkies... but you get the idea.

 

Join me for a deep dive look at the Marker Painting flick technique

What a flick is, what it looks like, how to do it, when to do it...

This isn't just a passing glance at flicking! I even get into maximizing your wrist anatomy to make the best flick possible.

This online course is perfect for:

  • complete beginners

  • self taught colorers who feel as if they've accidentally missed key information

  • long time colorers who still encounter problems with blending, shading, or developing convincing depth

Marker Painting Workshops: learn to color with confidence

Because you can't color artistically if you're always worrying about the basics.

This one hour course includes:

  • 15 minute break-down of flicking- not just the how but the why

  • 45 minute color-along style video, fully narrated walk through of "Oopsie Daisy"

  • Hi-res "Oopsie Daisy" PNG digital stamp (also PDF and JPG alternate formats)

  • full color sample

  • guide to shading

  • color map

  • bonus supplement on Push & Pull technique for floral images

Forever access, entire class is immediately available upon registration.

"Oopsie Daisy" a beginner level lesson on perfecting the Flick stroke for Copic Marker. | VanillaArts.com #copic #coloredpencil #realisticcoloring

Join the class, join the fun! I can't wait to color with you.