Monday, November 9, 2009

Sepia colours with Copics, by Fran

Hello, it's Fran here. It's been tough trying to think up of things I can show you when I'm surrounded by uber talented group of ladies on the DT. So, after much head scratching thought I'd do what I love most . . which is colouring!
Well I know Copic tutorials are everywhere but it's always interesting to see how everyone colours I think, and for mine I thought I'd do a specific colour palette and show you how I achieve a sepia coloured look - great for vintage style cards. So here we go . . .


  • smooth coloured cardstock of your preference, for this I have used a cream cardstock (I use a 200gsm smooth coated card from Rymans stationers which comes in White and Ivory cream colour. I find it's smooth enough and doesn't bleed and it's readily available to me in the UK, so is my card of choice. Plus it's inexpensive which is a bonus)
  • Memento ink 'Rich Cocoa'
  • Copic colours E40, E43, E44, E47, E49 (E02 optional)
  • Stamp of your choice (I've used 'Melinda Christmas Angel') plus all your other bits needed to make up your card
I've put together slideshow of how I've coloured her. I've tried to take a photo after each bit and listed the colour I used. Basically the way I colour is pretty much always the same;
  • I imagine the light source to be coming down from top right hand corner

  • take small sections (always do my face/skin bits first) at a time

  • work out where the darkest bits are and colour using my lightest shade (kind of a marker so that if it doesn't look right it doesn't matter). Usually bits to the left/under the light or if it's behind/below something. Conversely, bits at the right/top, sticking out like nose, or curved bits of head will be the lightest.

  • Will then move to my darker shade and recolour the bits I have just done then go back to my light shade to colour all of the area and soften/blend the darker bits as I go.
    If certain areas need darker shading I will either use the same dark shade again or a shade darker and repeat process of laying down bit of dark and then blending out with the lighter shade. How much 'blending' will depend how much shading I want to achieve and how 'smooth' I want it to look. I'm not one to blend out all lines as I think it gives more texture/depth if you leave some visible breaks in the shading or even white areas for the lightest bits.

  • to minimise lines try light feather stokes where you lift nib off the page right at the end of your stroke as you colour - all in the fingers/wrist and with practice!
Right enough waffle, here's the slideshow, hopefully you can see what I mean;

then to finish:I then cut out image with 'labels 8' nesties, and with the die still on, I sponged around the image with distress inks 'antique linen' and tiny bit of 'weatherd wood' (to tie in with my background dp) and to make it a bit more 'old' looking, like so (yes, I tear out pages from old phone book to line my work when I ink etc then it goes in the recycle bin and I use cheap make up sponges for sponging - they feel same as cut n dry foam ;)) -
I've then matted image onto bit of kraft card (by cutting around the die - I run this through my cuttlebug as if I was embossing it which leaves nice impression for me to cut around & saves me tracing round it with pencil). Add some papers from MME christmas stack, bit of ribbon, lace, roses & embellisments, touch of faux stitching and voila, my finished sepia coloured christmas card (click on photo for closer view) Hope it's been useful. Any questions/feedback or requests for future welcome - just leave a comment. Thanks for visiting.


  1. Bardzo przydatny kurs . Pozdrawiam

  2. Wonderful tutorial Fran, love your sepia look and your card is stunning! hugs, Jane xx

  3. I love colouring tutorials as I'm still finding my feet a little with copics. I love the sepia look definately one I'm going to have to try. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Take care Ann-Marie xxx

  4. Absolutely stunning, thanks for sharing Fran. Love this look. Take care Sharon

  5. Hi's a wonderful WS. The colour is fantastic.....and I love it.
    My English isn't very good.
    Your words I can understand very good. Thanks!!!
    Sabine....from Germany

  6. This is perfect as I've been looking for a tutorial over this type of coloring (or at least some color suggestions). Your end result is stunning.

  7. What a great tutorial! I've seen lots of Copic coloring ideas out there but this is the first with a Sepia twist. I LOVE THE END EFFECT! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Thank you for the explenation! It is great to see how you color just in one tone of colour. The card looks wonderful.

    greetings, Nanda

  9. Absolutely stunning, Fran! It's a shame I'm a pro-marker girl because I don't know which would be the best colours to use with my Letraset markers and I want to have a go! Warm wishes, Lesley

  10. Great tutorial Fran!! Thanks for all the step by step pictures. Love sour card.
    Katharina xx

  11. You CLEVER girl you!! Not only do you produce an invaluable tutorial with the loveliest image ever seen, you tell me you can get decent Copic friendly card from Rymans and we actually have one in Macclesfield! I usually have to get my card from Staples, a lot further afield and it's only 160gsm. Whoo hoo! You're a STAR!
    Viv xx


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