Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blended Butterflies

Deb here with you today. For this Eureka and QKR Techniques and Tutorials post, I thought we'd take a look at blending between color families when using Copic markers. The above photos shows the butterflies in progress, however all the color blending has been completed. The digi stamp used here is Eureka's digi58901 Lacey Butterfly. I've printed it on a piece of X-Press It Blending card at 3.5, 2.5 and 2 inches high, rotating each one.

First of all, I want to be clear that I have not received official Copic certification. I am simply someone who loves Copics, so I read all I can about using the markers to their best advantage and then I practice, practice, practice. What I will share with you, below, is how I work with the markers.

If you use Copics, you are undoubtedly familiar with the concept of blending two colors to create shadows and shading. And you likely use two markers with the same color family designation, the same first number and the second number is usually two or three digits away from the first, such as R24 and R27 to color Santa's suit. What would it look like if you used two markers with different color families, but the same first and second numbers?

Color blending between two color families is easiest if you use two groups that are beside each other on the Copic color chart, such as RV and R. Blending is also easiest if you choose light colors. Let's take a look at how to make this technique work.

First of all, practice your flicking technique. Quickly - no dawdling - touch your pen to the paper at the edge of the image you want to color, and  move it out and up. The result should be strokes that lighten and narrow as they approach the middle of the image. When you add you second color starting in the opposite direction, the two colors will blend where they are lightest. Below is a look at some strokes. The one on the left it not going to give you a good result. The group on the right will give you better results.

Create a practice sheet on some scrap blending card to give you some idea of how the colors you have in mind will blend. Pick your favorites.

Here's a look at the very beginning of the butterfly coloring. You can see the first strokes lightening toward the middle of the section. You can see I've colored heavier the first third of my area, and lighter in the middle third. I'll do that will my second color, from the opposite direction.

Now add the second color.

Looks pretty good, but I want to add a second layer to deepen the color and blend the middle section further.

OK, move on and color the remainder of the sections you want to blend. Hint: not every section of the image has to be blended.

These images were completed with smooth coloring (no blending) around the perimeter.

And here's the completed card, dressed up with a sentiment and sponged with Distress Ink on the edges.

I hope you give color blending between color families a try because you can get some very pretty results. And please pop over to my personal blog for more paper art ideas.


  1. Thank you for this tutorial. I'm going to give this a go but not sure whether it'll make it to a card for a while - might need a fair bit of practice first. I'm sure it probably isn't as easy as you make it seems but I'm all about learning new techniques and this is a good start.

  2. Absolutely wonderful, Deb!! Thanks for this great tutorial.