Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tracing Memories App now available

Free App for Converting Photographs
For those of you who like coloring, but want to color your own picture, you're in luck! We just released the first version of our new Tracing Memories App on the iTunes store (for iPhones and iPads).

(I know the next question will be when is it available on Android, and don't worry, it will come. This is only the first version of everything, so we aren't ignoring you, we just had to start somewhere.)

Meanwhile, check it out and let your friends know. It's free, and super-easy to use. You just take a photo on your device, click a few buttons, and presto, you have an outline!

The app allows you to control line thickness and level of detail, with just a swipe of your fingers. The super easy interface helps you make the look you want, then you can easily send to a friend, or print it yourself.

I'm heading off this weekend to teach at the Oregon Art Education conference, and we'll be using this app to make images in my workshop.

I can't wait to get back and start experimenting with the new app, making great things to color (so much faster than using Photoshop!)

If you download it, please let us know what you think. Our developers have been working hard on the functionality and programming to help you have a seamless experience. We want you to be able to get to coloring faster.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Re-coloring old art

A few days ago I showed you how I re-drew an old piece from my portfolio and colored it from scratch. This time I want to show you a piece I drew and colored back in 2005, then decided to update the colors.

Here is an old, kinda washed out photo of the original. The colors were pretty soft, the trees were washed out, and the whole thing was a bit flat (the photo also makes it look worse, but it was pretty bad). I had been experimenting with the markers at the time, learning how to use them better, so this was not a fabulous coloring sample, but I did like the drawing itself.

I realized when I was flipping through my portfolio that I had actually never finished coloring the image, but it looked "good enough" so I'd ignored it all these years.

Well, I pulled it out. This was a line drawing that I had photocopied onto color laser copier paper. I had colored it and stuck it away. Now, 11 years later, I pulled it out to tighten up a lot of things.

One of the most amazing traits of Copic markers is that on uncoated paper you have an infinite working time. Meaning, just because I colored something 11 years ago doesn't mean that it's done. I can pull it out and re-work the colors at any time. Once the ink is wetted with another marker again, I can mix and blend.

So, I throughly worked over this piece. Biggest priority was fixing the lack of contrast in the trees. Years ago I had dabbed on hand-sanitizer to affect the texture in the trees. Trouble is, hand sanitizer really fades out colors. It looks cool, but I learned through trial and error over the years since 2005 that I should have started darker on the base color first. I also crated more depth on the bushes and shrubs. Now you can clearly see which trees are in front, which bushes are in the foreground, and how dimensional the fern-things are.

Next, I made him look less flat. Again, deepening the shadows on my character makes him pop and look much more dynamic. (by the way, Tad is his name, as in "A Tad Bit of an Adventure", the comic series I was working up at the time). I added better skin tones, shadows on the snake, and generally punched up the contrast on the character.

Last, I spent a lot of time on the snake. In the first sample, you can see I had a few, irregular scales dotted in with a variety of colors. This time, I increased the contrast in the shadows and more clearly defined the scales on the belly with the colorless blender. Once all the contrast was done, then I went, scale-by-scale with the colorless blender and added more regularity to the scales.

To create dots, I simply touch the tip of the colorless blender to a colored area and it pushes the color out the backside of the paper. To show you what I mean, here is a scan of the backside of this picture. Because this is on such thin paper, you can clearly see the contrast and effects of the blender on a colored area.

What is really amazing is that except for the shadows, the brown ink on the snake is the same ink I put down 11 years ago. So, all the ink pushed out the back of the paper came from a marker more than a decade ago, and I was still able to move it around. Love that about my Copic Markers!

Have a great week, and I hope to see you at some upcoming event!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fall Classes and Events

I have a list of upcoming events, and I think you'll be excited. This year we've been branching out in what we teach and offer. So, classes over the next few months are really covering a wide gamut of topics. Look for classes on Fine Art as well as for Papercrafting (Click on our classes page to see all classes offered)

Papercrafting classes - 2016
Whimsical Faces & Hair $99
Vintage Values & Monotones $99
Sept. 9th Charolette NC
Sept. 23rd Las Vegas, NV
Sept. 23rd, Sacramento, CA
Oct. 14th, Boston MA
Oct. 14th Hanover, MD
Oct. 14th Portland, OR

Dress for Success, Clothing & Accessories
Sept. 10th Charolette NC
Sept. 24th Las Vegas, NV
Sept. 24th, Sacramento, CA
Oct. 15th, Boston MA
Oct. 15th Hanover, MD
Oct. 15th Portland, OR

Note if you want to take all 3 workshops in a location, we offer a package discount HERE.

New! Fine Art Workshops 2016
Fine Arts 101 class-
This is a basic overview of using Copic markers, from blending to paper choices. No experience necessary! Lots of great content, offered in a couple locations coming up soon. Only $99, classes run from 9am to 1pm

Sept. 10th Phoenix AZ, Taught by Jennifer Dove
Nov. 4th Dallas, TX, Taught by Ryan Weber

Fine Art Workshop: ThINKing Outside the Box with Copics
Fine Arts: ThINKing Outside the Box
Use a limited color palette to make amazing mini masterpieces. No experience necessary! $99, 2 to 6pm.

Sept. 10th, Phoenix AZ, taught by Jennifer Dove

Fine Arts: Portraits with Copics
This is a mid-level class that goes in-depth on how to acheive more realistic portraits with Copic markers. Learn how to achieve good skin tones, and more $99, class runs from 2 to 6pm

Nov. 4th Dallas, TX

Papercrafting Classes- 2017
Standard Certification
Jan. 18th 2017  Phoenix AZ

Coloring Flowers with Copics
Jan. 18th, 2017 Phoenix AZ

Intermediate Certification
Jan 19th, 2017  Phoenix AZ
Hand Lettering
New! Hand Lettering with Copic
Jan. 20th 2017  Phoenix, AZ

New! Copic Coloring Animals $99
Jan. 21st 2017  Phoenix, AZ

Coloring Landscapes with Copics $99
Jan 21st 2017  Phoenix, AZ

We have booths at many events this Fall. If you are nearby any of these upcoming locations then stop by and check us out!

Sept 9-11th, Rose City Comic Con, Portland OR - Comic convention
Oct. 8th, Main St. Stamping, Portland, OR - I'll be teaching Copic coloring workshops
Nov. 4-5th, Pinners Convention, Salt Lake City UT - Hand lettering, coloring, adhesives, home decor paint, and more
Nov. 11-13th, Eucon, Eugene, OR - Comic Convention, we're hosting live art demos and ongoing workshops
Nov. 16th - 17th, Tools of the Trade, Eugene OR - I'll be doing free, live coloring demos
Nov. 18-20th, CTNX, Burbank, CA - Professional artist gathering, we'll have workshops and demos

Updating Old Work

This year has been pretty busy. I know I haven't been around for a while, but never fear, I am still here. Recently I was at Salt Lake Comic Con and I was flipping through my old portfolio. It is sadly in need of updating as a lot of the artwork I'd made was about 10 years old.

Some of the artwork I look at and cringe...I'm so much better at drawing than I was 10 years ago! (A big reason to keep a portfolio is to remind yourself how much you've improved over time).

Other artwork I looked at and decided it just needed coloring touched up, since I colored many of the pictures during conventions, with limited supplies, or while I was talking to others. And, my coloring has improved a lot in the last 10 years.

Redrawing & coloring old artwork
This first piece is one I originally drew about 12 years ago. Apparently when I was at a demo I only used 14 colors the first time. I've always liked this spunky fairy, so in flipping through my portfolio this weekend I figured now was the time to update her.

First, I traced her outline onto a clean sheet of our sketchbook paper using a brown multiliner 0.3mm. I have also changed my style of drawing a bit over the years, so I cleaned up my line work a little. Sometimes, just redrawing something you made previously makes all the difference in changing something from good to great.

I colored this version with way more than 14 colors! B00, BG000, YG11, Y000, E000, BV11 are the main colors used throughout, then I enhanced each area.

The wings are colored with B00, BG000, YG11, Y000, and a glitter pen (you can't see it but it sparkles). I used the colorless blender to lighten up the transparent areas that show the shirt and arm through.

The purple areas are colored with BV11, B66, and BV17, with highlights of B00 and Y000 (Heck, I used highlights of Y000 and B00 throughout all areas of the picture). Green things are colored with YG11, YG13, G02, YG17, Y000 and B00.

I used a few different earth tone families. E40's for the sack and base coat on the staff. The skin is colored with E0000, E11, BV11, E13, E15, B00, Y000. The shoes and wrist cuffs are in the E30's family, with the B00 and Y000 thrown in for good measure.

I'm excited! This came out so much cleaner, crisper, than the one I made 12 years ago. Now, at least one page in my portfolio is updated (only like 30 more images that bug me to go!). Doing this exercise really helped me see just how much I have improved in that time, so I strongly encourage you to also go through and re-color something you made a long time ago.

Ok, I'll share another updated artwork soon!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Giveaways and events

Summer is here and a lot is going on. I'll get through some announcements, then we'll move on to more fun stuff. If you want to see the live video from the last post on coloring some beautiful goldfish and koi, you can find it Here.

Win a free class in 2017
First, if you didn't know, there is a great blog-hop contest going on right now for the Copic Paper Crafting team. Start playing along on Debbie Olson's blog, then work your way through the questions and email the answers for your chance to win a free class from us in 2017. Hurry! You only have until tomorrow to register!

Upcoming Shows & Events
This Summer Copic can be found at some great comic conventions, so look for us at:

July 1-4th, Anime Expo, Los Angeles,  I'll be teaching coloring workshops along with a host of other talented artists, so come see us!

9th - Main Street Stamping, Tigard, OR This class is perfect for adults getting into basic coloring with Copic products. Contact the store for registration details and to find out about future classes.

July 21-24, Comic Con, San Diego Stop by our booth to pick up your favorite art tools

August 4-7 Gen-Con in Indianapolis, IN There will be ongoing classes in creature design, coloring, and map-making for gamers.

Sept. 1-3 Salt Lake Comic Con, SLC, UT stop by our booth for tips on using your favorite art supplies.

Local Kids events
Summertime is my chance to teach a number of local classes to preschoolers, kids, and teens. Check out my list of awesome art workshops:

29th Preschool Storytime at Eugene Library  Free for your little ones! 10:15 am and 11am

8th Preschool Storytime at Sheldon Library, Eugene  Free for your little ones! 10:00 am

14th Fern Ridge Library, Veneta, OR 1:30pm Teen Art workshop

15th  Preschool Storytime at Bethel Library, Eugene  Free for your little ones! 10:00 am

20th Teen Classes at Eugene Library Alcohol Ink painting and coloring with Copic Markers
21st Teen Classes at Bethel Library, Eugene Alcohol Ink painting and coloring with Copic Markers
22nd Teen Classes at Sheldon Library, Eugene Alcohol Ink painting and coloring with Copic Markers

28th Kid's class at Springfield Library, Springfield OR 1-2:30pm Design shoes with Copic Markers

Wow! That's a lot of great events for people to attend this Summer! I hope to see you at one of these awesome places.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Alcohol Ink Painting live video

This Thursday afternoon, join me for an awesome live video where I'll show you coloring techniques, then we'll talk about how to "paint" with Copic inks. The theme is fish (because for some reason I wanted to color goldfish and koi).

To RSVP to the video, click here, or join us live on Periscope. Thursday, June 2nd, 3-3:40 pm PST

If you want to color along, you can even download the images I'll be working on:

Koi (we will color this one with inks) If you want to follow along, print this onto a glossy paper or photo paper.
Goldfish (I'll be showing some basic coloring techniques on this image) This image can be printed on your favorite marker paper (I'll be working on the Art Paper Pack, but you could print it on Blending Card as well).

I hope to see you at the live feed! If you don't make the live feed, we will be posting a video after the event as well, so stay tuned.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Thoughts from my hotel room...

I'm on the road this week, it's the middle of the night, but I had this thought that I wanted to share...

Last night, a store owner at the event I'm at made my favorite comment of the day:
"How do you manage to get those 13yr old girls coming into my store, dragging their parents, to buy them art supplies?!?"

He's not the first store to tell me that, and that makes me so happy! That 13 is a kid who sees value in creating, and has convinced their parent that making art is a core part of who they are.

Making things defines us and gives us a deep satisfaction. How do you feel when you say the words "I made that!"

I made that art, that cake, that flower arrangement, that goal, that dream, that life ambition...we celebrate and cheer, we pat each other on the back. And we learned long ago that once that was made, we move on to the next thing to make, always striving to make more.

For some people, "I made that" is much harder. I made that bed, I made that step without the use of crutches, I made it out in public for the first time in months. Celebrate!!! You might feel that those are minor things, but not to the person in those shoes.

You know what makes me sad? Giving up before trying. Deciding not to make anything because you feel that it isn't going to be amazing. Doing nothing because someone you've never met in person on the Internet can make it faster, better, prettier, or cooler than you ever could. Thinking that your best friend can make a better cake, so why should you bother, it won't be as good.

I don't know the skill of the 13yr old girl the store owner mentioned. I know my skill as a 13yr old and I see 13yr olds in my classes all the time that are way more skilled than I was at that age.

I do remember that at 13 I didn't really care what I couldn't do, I was focused on making what I could do, making what I wanted, pushing myself to make and make and make. I'd scrounge up my paper route money and bike down to the craft store for twine, beads, paints, cake stuff...whatever creative things I was experimenting with at the time.

I didn't know my future self. I didn't know I'd be typing something like this in a hotel room thousands of miles from my hometown, helping teach art techniques to store owners...not because I'm the most amazing artist ever, (I'm not). I'm here because I was the 13 year old who also felt that constantly making stuff was the coolest thing I could be doing (besides reading books) and I never told myself that I wasn't any good.

I guess my long winded conclusion is really this: Don't get hung up on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or blogs, telling yourself you'll never be that good, so why bother trying? Everyone had to start somewhere. Be that awesome 13 year old in an art store! Celebrate everything you make!

Make what YOU want, and be proud of every bit of it....then start again, and make more.