Friday, May 17, 2013

Using a Digital Stamp for Copic Coloring - Inks and Papers

Hi. Welcome to today's post.

Today I'm wrapping up the project that I previewed last Friday: Humble Anneke. This sweet little girl just melted my heart when I first saw her. Anneke is a digital stamp by From the Heart Stamps.

For those who haven't tried a digital stamp, it's important to remember that the type of printer ink makes a difference in how your colored image turns out. Apparently laser printers are best when printing digital stamps for use with Copic markers - but I have an inkjet. I've successfully printed digital images and avoided any bleed-out of the image, but I've also had a few that weren't so successful. I've been told that either heat-setting the image, or letting it dry for a day or two, may help with this issue. Either way, I recommend giving it a try when you have time to test your papers and inks. (I have printed my images thus far on Neenah Classic Crest solar white card stock. The preferred "Blending Card by X-Press It" used by many Copic artists may work better. I haven't yet tried it for digital images, but can attest to its wondrous results for coloring!) 

I started the coloring process on Anneke with her hair. As you can see, her hair is long and wavy. Wavy hair is a bit more complex than straight hair – and requires a different technique. Each strand of hair should be colored separately. Strands that appear to be part of an outer layer will catch light and should be highlighted. Likewise, hair that curves outward will catch light. Artists typically use Copic marker numbers ending in 0-3 for highlights.  For this image, my highlight (base, or undertone) color is E31. The midtone is E35, and the darkest color is E37. This is a natural blending family.

After laying down a base of E31, I used a flicking method (from the crown down and from the tips up) to establish the dark colors with E37. Finally, I did minimal blending with the E35 midtone.

For Anneke’s skin, I chose E000, E21, E04, and BV000.  Yes, that’s right, there’s a blue-violet in there!  Why?  Because blue and violet are complementary colors to yellow and orange, the tone of most people's skin. The blue-violet helps to calm down the stark contrast in the shading.

Now, you may be thinking at this point that her skin still has some really serious contrast happening. That's true, and this is one of the scariest things about coloring with Copic markers until you get used to the idea of it. Most beginning artists over-blend and really tone down a lot of contrast. (And by the way, I definitely consider myself a beginning artist.) The hope, though, is that the greater contrast will add depth and beauty to the image.

The final steps were to finish Anneke's clothing and accessories. I chose two complementary colors: blue-violet and yellow. At long last, she became the focal point of this lovely card. I used Bazzill card stock, Spellbinders Nestabilities picot edge circles for the white background, Simon Says Stamps "You" set for the sentiment, and Mark Richards Crystal Stickers colored with Copic BV13 for embellishment. I hope you like my final result.

Thanks for visiting, and please stop by again for a brand new topic.  Happy Friday!


  1. Such a lovely card, Karen! I love seeing how she came out. I know about the bleeding issue with digi stamps on ink jet printers. I never really found a solution for using them with water based markers. Glad they work with Copics - a much more economical and storage friendly solution than regular stamps.

  2. Lovely card and beautiful coloring. Thanks for joining us at Forever Friends this month.

  3. Cute card, thanks for joining us this month at FF Monthly, xxx