Note 2012.04.14: Contest is closed and winner has been contacted but feel free to keep posting your suggestions! I'm all ears!
--Sorry if you read this intro from Tuesday's post, just recapping some of the important info for new readers! -- Audra
This week, I'll be doing a series of nemu*blog posts, (sponsored by one of my absolute favorite online stationery stores, JetPens) covering just one facet of my love of all things stationery -- writing and drawing instruments!
Now, while I may be giving some of my own recommendations, I encourage you to participate and let me know some of your own recommendations per each category! Participate by replying to my four (4) blog posts this week with your own recommendations and/or product wish list according to each pen type and I'll enter you in a drawing to win a $25 e-gift card from JetPens! (Which means you will get automatic free shipping within the US!) Respond to all four (4) blog posts and get a total of 4 entries in your name!
Without further ado! Part 2: Coloring Tools! (read on!)
My collection of Copics, Copic Sketches, Copic Ciao, Copic Comic Markers and refill inks, circa 2009.
Like my brush pens, I've waxed on about these pens in previous blog posts, so I won't bore you with the back-history.
In short, I absolutely love these markers for the following reasons:
1) They are alcohol-based and have no odor.
2) They come in a huge range of colors ranging from super light to useable darks.
3) The Copic and Sketch styles are refillable and parts are replaceable.
4) They blend nicely and dry quickly.
5) The brush point on the Sketch markers are super easy to use.
They are kinda pricy per marker - usually ranging about $6-8 a pen. If you want to give them a go without breaking the bank, I usually suggest the lighter Earth (E) tones for base skin colors and some light greys - usually W1 - W3 - W5 (warm) or C1 - C3 - C5 (cool), then layer over them with colored pencils, watercolors. When you feel more comfortable using them, then invest in more colors that suit your needs.
Also a tip when shopping for colors -- the letter corresponds to the color family, so BV = Blue Violet, E = Earth, etc. The first number relates to the tone family, while the second number refers to the lightness/darkness. So E11 is a light orangey brown while E17 is a much deeper orangey brown. You don't have to buy all the colors in-between, but blending within the color tone family gives a smoother gradation.
Copics come in a variety of styles -- the most common are the standard, Sketch, and Ciao. The block pen is the standard fine/broad-tipped marker. The Sketch and Ciao are med. broad/brush tipped - the only difference is the Ciaos are disposable, thusly a little cheaper.
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For many of my watercolory drawings (which are often-times Copics on watercolor papers), I don't ink my lines. Mostly because I don't like the dark black lines, especially when my colors are so soft and light. Partially because there's nothing more irritating than making a mistake with a pen. D:
So instead, I started using the Prismacolor Verithin line of colored pencils.
Now the funny thing is, Prismacolor is known for their soft, pigment-rich leads which allow for really rich color coverage without grinding your pencil into the paper. The Verithins are almost the opposite. By comparison, the leads are hard and thin, but still draw lasting lines.
In fact, what I do is sketch on my watercolor paper/bristol board with blue pencil, then quickly and lightly "ink" with one of the brown or black or indigo blue verithins, erase the lines until I can see a hint of the outline (I should also note that because the lead is harder, you will likely leave uneraseable impressions in the paper anyway~), color, and "re-ink" the lines after the colors have dried.
This is the finished effect:
(This was actually colored with watercolors first, then I went in with Copics for the deeper saturation and details.)
Another tip: If you color over a pencil line with markers or watercolors, you will effectively be "sealing" that line and have a very difficult time erasing it -- so be sure you clean up your linework before you start coloring!
Pretty simple to use! Just keep a good pencil sharpener nearby to keep that point sharp! :D
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So, there you have it: my go-to, must-have coloring tools! Have you given Copics a try? If so, what are your favorite colors to use? Are there other brands of markers you may prefer more? If so, let me know! :D
Post anytime from today until Friday at 5pm Hawaii Standard Time (FYI, we're 3 hours AFTER the U.S. west coast) to my [Process] blog posts and be entered to win a $25 gift card from JetPens!