Marker Geek Monday: Stretch Your Copics!

Hey everyone, Elaineabella here to share some more colouring tips for Marker Geek Monday! If the weather with you is anything like it has been here (grey and gloomy), you could probably use a little injection of colour to brighten the day. Read on…

Marker Geek Monday - Stretch Your Copics! Click through for tips to get the most from your markers.

Stretch Your Copics!

A great way to learn to use Copic markers is to use the natural blending groups, as most of them (some can be a little tricky) work beautifully together and allow us to create seamless blends with a nice variation in tone.

Once you’re comfortable with your markers, it’s time to start experimenting! Copic ink is translucent, which means that whatever is underneath the ink you lay down (either the paper surface or the previous layer of ink) remains visible. This becomes apparent when colouring on kraft cardstock instead of a bright white paper, and also means that by layering colours you can achieve quite different results.

I mentioned this in a previous week when talking about colouring hair and the fact that one “colour combo” can produce very different looks depending on various factors: the amount of each colour you lay down, the order in which you use the markers, the paper you colour on etc.

NOTE: this is why it is important to remember that any marker combos offered are really a “jumping off” point, not a fool proof recipe for achieving beautiful colouring. Take any colour combos you find in my posts or others and experiment with them yourself to see what works for you.

Layering Colour:

Here’s a great example of how you can take a colour combo and make it look completely different just by layering one more shade over the top.

Marker Geek Monday - Stretch Your Copics! Click through for tips to get the most from your markers.

Simply going over the top with the G40 gives a beautiful green tone. When adding the G40 I worked from the lightest area in towards the darker area, feathering the ink in and using a very light touch over the darker area to avoid pushing the darker ink around.

You can see me colouring with this combination of markers in the video below or in HD over on YouTube.

Stamp used in the video: Stamping Bella Uptown Galentine Girls

This can be really useful if you are working with a limited set of markers, and also if you are trying to achieve a colour match for a particular patterned paper you’d like to use on your project. Have a look at your markers and experiment with layering colours to see the effects you get.

Unconventional Blends:

Using unconventional blends can be great fun. When I had the chance to sit down for some pure playtime with the Danielle Donaldson stamps just before the release, I found myself wanting to play and experiment with colours.

Stamp used: Stamping Bella Danielle Donaldson Collection: justMaisie

Stamp used: Stamping Bella Danielle Donaldson Collection: oftenAgnes

To colour justMaisie‘s hat and oftenAgnes‘ top I used the same combination of markers – B05,B37,G05. I found that this blend was fairly easy and didn’t require a lot of work to make it happen. This isn’t always the case, some blends require more work to get the desired look.

Stamp Used: Stamping Bella Danielle Donaldson Collection: everAnne

The blend I used on everAnne‘s hair is one I noted down from our recent Wonderful Wednesday guest Kathy Racoosin – Kathy is a wonderful colourist and often thinks outside the box when it comes to marker combos. I did alter her original combo slightly to substitute Y13 for Y11 as my Y11 marker is dry. Combo: Y13,V22,RV66

This particular blend is a little trickier to work with, so here are a couple of techniques to help you out:

Tip to Tip Blending:

Tip to tip blending is when you touch the tips of two markers together to transfer colour. Usually one of the markers should be lighter than the other. The lighter marker picks up colour from the darker marker, and when you apply this to the paper the marker stroke will go from dark to light as the darker colour fades.

Marker Geek Monday - Stretch Your Copics! Click through for tips to get the most from your markers.

This technique is particularly useful when you have two markers that are quite far apart and won’t blend easily, or using the colourless blender marker. Using the tip to tip method means you can bridge that gap – perfect if you have a limited number of markers to work with. This technique also helps when using markers from a natural blending group that actually don’t seem to blend that well (a couple of the E groups can be a bit tricky).

BONUS TIP: if your markers have ink build up near the tip or inside the cap like my RV66 above, use your colourless blender to pick up some of the ink from there too! Reducing waste and giving your markers a little clean up at the same time. 😉

You can see me working with the tip to tip method in the video below or in HD over on YouTube (tip to tip method can be seen from 5:01 onwards).

Stamp used: Stamping Bella Tiny Townie Garden Girl Orchid.

When you are finished, the darker ink will come off the nib of the lighter markers, simply scribble any remaining ink on a piece of paper.

Marker Geek Monday - Stretch Your Copics! Click through for tips to get the most from your markers.

Palette Blending:

Palette blending is a similar principle to tip to tip blending. The difference is that with this technique instead of using the markers directly tip to tip, you scribble the darker colour on to a surface like an acrylic block, a piece of acetate or a plastic/ceramic palette, then pick up the colour using the tip of your lighter marker (or the colourless blender) to apply to the paper.

Marker Geek Monday - Stretch Your Copics! Click through for tips to get the most from your markers.

If the ink dries on the palette while you’re working, no problem, it will reactivate when you touch it with the lighter marker or colourless blender.

Again, the darker ink will come off the nib of the lighter markers, simply scribble it off on a piece of paper. Ensure that you do this before capping your marker and putting it away or you may have an unexpected surprise next time you come to use it!

NOTE: these tips will also work with many other alcohol based markers.

Over To You!

If you try out the techniques shown in any of the posts with your Stamping Bella stamps, be sure to share! We would love to see the results and hear how you feel about them. Show off your creations in the comments below and even better, share your own favourite tips with us. Let’s talk colour!

If you are posting your images online, we would love to see them on Instagram and all the platforms mentioned above.  To make it easier for us to find you just use #markergeekmonday and/or #stampingbella as a hashtag. Even better tag me @markergeek and @stampingbella . We love it when you connect, so don’t be shy!

If you’re on Facebook join us in our private chat group Stamping Bella Sistahood to share your creations there and chat all things Stamping Bella related!

Until next time, HAPPY COLOURING!




  1. Wow Elaine…… such fabulous colouring adventures – I’m certainly going to give some of these a go…. especially for Danielle’s images! Thanks for your wonderful tutorials again..

    Christine x

  2. Beverly says:

    Now if I only had copic. Big ,long wish list.

  3. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing these tips!

  4. denise i says:

    lots of good info! thanks for sharing…

  5. Lynda J says:

    Anyone else have green interference on Elaine’s videos? Seems I get it on every one for a few seconds shortly after the start of the video. Looks like it may be just on youtube because it didn’t do it watching it directly on here. Thanks!

  6. Oh thanks so much for these tips! They are great! 🙂

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