Copic Marker and Digital Color Experiments

The reference is Canadian bodybuilder  Natasha Aughey  from a photo by  Gord Weber .

The reference is Canadian bodybuilder Natasha Aughey from a photo by Gord Weber.

For the last few months, I have been experimenting with copic markers. But it wasn’t until I saw a few Instagram videos by Terrance Whitlow that I realized a whole new level (to me) of how they can be used.

He takes a more painterly approach to their application. This can be seen by how he adds several layers of marker color, as well as a white wash of some sort for highlights. I wanted to be able to do all of this in a way that was much more mobile, so instead of a really wet white like he uses, I’ve been using General’s Charcoal White 558 pencils and a Sakura Gelly Roll pen. I started with white colored pencil, but I found the waxy buildup that colored pencils give you doesn’t work well at all with trying to apply marker over it. I also wanted a look that was much less creamy, and more granular. So, the charcoal looked great for that as well.

The next step was to color it. I still love watercolor and watercolor pencils for their textures and for the tactile feel of using them. But in the last few years, technology has hit the point where digital coloring, with the right brushes, looks natural and authentic. A good eye can still spot the differences of course, but overall, digital painting has hit the point where it looks right with what I want to accomplish. So after all the tone and line work was done, I scanned it in and brought it into Procreate for the iPad. I generally stick with a modified gouache brush for both color and eraser with a modified brush pen for line work touch-ups.

If you have any experiences with copics, white washes or digital coloring, leave a comment. I love to hear what other people think of using them as well as how they use them.