Thursday, March 14, 2013

Copic Intermediate Certification Class

I took the Copic Intermediate Certification class on November 10, 2012. The class was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I went to that one so I could visit family while in Michigan. My sister attended the class with me (by the way, she also held a special early Thanksgiving for our family while I was there - thanks Jen!). The instructor was Debbie Olsen. I'll just touch on a few of the things we covered in this full day class to give you an idea of what was covered. If you are planning to do some serious Copic coloring, you should consider taking the class.

The first things we covered were shading, highlights, and shadows and how the Copic color system works into this. We started by coloring some trees. Here you can see one of the trees I colored, along with the colors of Copics I used to color it.

I really love the way these alcohol markers blend. The brush tip is the best I've used for markers. These tips make it so easy to get great results.

We looked at different types of light and concepts: linear direction of light, direct vs. indirect light, radial light, and single point (spot) light. I included an image from the radial light section below.

The candle is the central source of light - it radiates out to touch the tops of nearby objects with its warm glow, while cool shading dominates the bottoms of the objects where the light tapers off.
Next we covered composition and design for paper crafting. Artists and photographers are very familiar with these concepts - rule of thirds, color weight, balance, movement, etc.

Working with reds is tricky because red is such an intense dye. It is not as forgiving as other colors, e.g. you can't easily "fix" it with the blender pen. We went over some tips for coloring with red and practiced on this Santa image (I didn't get to finish his face or shading the dog and his hands).

Other tricky items covered were coloring skin tones, including shading on the face, and hair. The book (given to us in class) has recommendations for all different skin tones as well as different hair colors and types (e.g. straight vs. curly). We practiced coloring on several images of people, I only included one below.

For our final project, we colored a larger image of lilacs (well, larger than the previous images!). I included a partial section of my project below to give you an idea of the complexity of the final image.

To find a certified instructor in your area, go to instructor search on the Copic website. Happy coloring!

Images by Marianne Walker, Copic.


  1. They are great Mary. I have been looking at some way of colorizing (sp?) my line artwork in this style.

    So my first thought is if they are alcohol markers, they are going to a) smell a bit and b) dry like you are in the desert. How does the blender work? By re-wetting the area?

  2. Hey Mike! They are great for coloring, although you do need to use alcohol friendly pens (e.g. Micron or Copic brand Multiliners). The markers do not dry easily (you would have to leave them out without the top for a while). The shelf life is really long (years). They can be refilled and the nibs replaced if necessary. So far I've never replaced nibs or refilled any but the blender. These pens do not smell! (Prismacolor markers do though, at least the old ones did; not sure about the newer ones; Prismacolor are less expensive but I don't think they are refillable).

    The blender is really more of a "pusher". It pushes the ink away from it, both into the paper and across the surface. You can use it to clean up mistakes or make marks and patterns in the ink. It also can be used to lighten colors or, when dipped into the marker ink, to paint with.


Thank you for leaving a comment! I read (and appreciate) every one!