I often get asked what I'm using to get the colors I do, like in the postcards in post below, or pages like this:
and very often, the work that people are referring to when asking the question is colored in with Copics. The truth is, I use everything I see or have exposure to, including watercolor paints, Caran d' Ache crayons, Prismacolor, Faber Castel, Pentel markers and really, any other marker or color making tool in my work play, but most often it's the Copics. To know them is to love them. I could give you lots of reasons why, but at the end of the day, mostly it's the color choices and the way the brush feels on the paper while I use it. And the end result is yummy.
If you are curious and want to know more about why they are so great, Copic has a blog, and there are tons of videos and classes online, a YouTube search would be a good starting point.
So lately, while making the posters, and wanting them to be the very best they can be, I've become obsessed with wanting every single Copic color there is. I can hear you laughing out there, those of you that use Copics and know how expensive they are! There are 346 colors available now (11 new ones added in 2011).
I haven't found any solution for lower price points than the usual...if anyone has any ideas or good sales/sources, please put it in the comments for all. Someone mentioned Overstock.com once in a class, but all I see there are the Copic Ciao markers which are different.
What I did find in my hunt was that my hand color chart was outdated, so I downloaded a new one on 2 different types of papers, as the markers look different on different papers and I was getting really anal about it all. The old chart is underneath, the two new ones on top. Although I have quite a few Copics, you can see that I'm missing many. I don't even own a third of the beautiful colors that are out there! The horror...just think of how much prettier my pages and artwork could be haha. All the color combinations I'm missing out on....
You can print your own Copic Hand Color Chart here, but be sure you print from the pdf file, or it will be too big and not print on one page. While you are over there, you will see lots of other products they have as well. I did order this filled in (see photo below)Hand Colored Chart here, so that I would know the true colors of the pens and know what pens I really do want to add, as the colors shown on screen and even on the cap lids are slightly different than on paper. At $19.99 I really had to think about it, but now that it has arrived, I'm glad I did it. It's worth it to me to see the color as it is, from out of a marker, not a print. Here's the one I received from my order:
I even ordered some nib replacements and some ink refills for my long used up pens. It was super easy to refill them, and I wouldn't waste my money on the boosters, now that I've done it. Cleaning the booster and taking out the nib seemed to make the process more complicated and messy, vs. the time saved in my opinion.
My favorite find though, in all my linking around, was the Copic swatchbook, which I ordered here. You can see the swatchbook below. It's about the size of a check register and once you fill in all the colors you have, you take it with you in your purse and when you find yourself somewhere tempted to buy new pens, you know the colors you already have. If you look closely at the first photo you will see that duplicate color purchases is a mistake I've made a few times. Just be sure you order the most recent swatchbook, with all the colors, as they are still selling the old one out there.
And that my friends, sums up my recent fall down the Copic marker rabbit hole! Hopefully the info in this post will help some of you out there, and maybe someone knows of a great Copic sale or place with better than the standard price, because I calculated it last night, after making my dream colors list, (which was not all the markers I don't have, just a partial), and it was well over $400.00. Um, ya, that's not happening. But I love them just the same. Standard retail (around $5.50 each) is a fair price for the product, don't get me wrong, it's just not a price that's in this girl's budget. Maybe when I finally get those darn posters done...ya...earn some money so I can buy some more art supplies, that'd be the right way to do it vs. buy all the art supplies so I can earn some money like I usually do. Oh art supplies, how I love them so, especially Copic markers. Off to fill in my swatchbook...have a great weekend!
I've got a new postcard set over at etsy. I'm still working on getting the posters perfected to sell (and getting so close), but in the meantime, here are smaller renditions of my hand drawn and doodley-decorated statements, sized for snail mail sending. In each set you get 6 Hugs and Kisses cards and 6 Thank You cards. Here's a closer look at them:
The back was kept pretty plain so you have room to jot a quick note:
I hope you like them as much as I do, they are printed on a lovely recycled, matte paper that is soft to the touch. I've been working on some just for Valentine's Day too, something fun to pop in the mail for loved ones. So many ideas...just need a little more time...but you know how that goes I'm sure!!! xo
Right?!?! I love it! The assignment was to "make an edible animal or plant cell and label". I took my son to the store and let his imagination run wild. My only advice was to get the fruit roll up sheets vs. rolls, the rest was all him. It's just about the happiest and most colorful science project I've ever seen in all my years of parenting. Other kids made their cells from pizza, nachos, cookies, cakes; so much creativity unfurled. Clever project assigned by the teacher. On the day they turned it in, they all had to bring their own plate, fork, napkin and drink, and a good time was had by all. Lesson learned for mom? Not all homework projects need be despised.
I wanted to show you the new postcards I have for etsy orders. It's about time I have a new postcard design; it's been too long, as repeat customers know! I've been learning so much these last few months and still have so far to go, but I'm almost ready with the posters, and had to have something that complimented them I felt. Here's the backside:
Thank you for all the requests, just wanted to let you know, I'm almost there....you'll be the first to know ;).
I was lucky enough to take a two day workshop from Flora Bowley this past weekend. She is everything she looks like in this picture and all the others I've seen previously on the web. She is energetic and enthusiatic and engaging, as well as creative and clam and clear. Just delightful. She had many specific exercises and a few surprises that I won't reveal here so future workshops can have that same leap of faith moment. It was great to learn how she thinks and even better to watch her create. Her painting process is unique and I know I picked up much that will ruminate and come out somewhere down the line.
For those of you that don't travel, or live near one of her upcoming workshops, she's just completed the making of an extensive online class that she'll be offering soon, and also has a new book coming out, so you don't have to miss out on the experience and the knowledge. She post the info on her blog when it's ready.
We had the honor of being the first class at Jenny's new Studio Crescendoh. It was a great environment in the heart of the Santa Ana Arts District. The room, with such great natural light was the perfect shelter for the great group of artists that came to play and bloom Flora style. I loved spending 2 whole days pushing paint and color around. I didn't bring a camera, (I used my phone to grab Flora in action for a moment), but Jenny sent this photo out of the class:
Above is one of the two canvases I worked on in class. I was trying to incorporate Flora's teachings into my style, not just emplement hers, if you're saying to yourself, "those don't look ver Flora Bowley-ish". One thing I have become good at over the years is enjoying the process and not having an end result in mind at all. It's the way I journal, so I think it's easy for me to look at playing in a larger scale on canvas the same way. I'm not sure what I will do with these paintings, but I know I'll be adding more paint. I'm thinking about cutting them up and making some really cool tote bags with them, or journals. Hmmm... so many options. Here are some closeups:
This is the second painting I worked on. It became my "Circus in the Sky", full of hot air balloons landing in a field of flowers. As well as being influenced by Flora, I was feeling influenced by my love of Jesse Reno's work, as well as painting alongside one of my favorite artist friends, Syd. I love her paintings, and we have had many brainstorming sessions where we discuss paintings I'm working on where she says insightful things that resonate with me. The best piece of advice Syd ever gave me was to "keep painting, and often". Flora said the same thing in our workshop. It's what I always say to students in journal classes. Journal ofen and you will find your style of play.
Speaking of journaling, here are a couple of recent journal pages that relate to the Flora class:
This one is for those of you that want to be painting more often, or try painting:
What are you waiting for? If it's something you've been dreaming of, you won't regret beginning, I say do it!