Copic Marker Tutorial: Mice Day

Saturday, July 31, 2010


I LOVE this little mouse!  Isn't he darling!  He is part of our Mice Day stamp set (T3301).

Today I'm going to show you how I colored this little guy ~ using my Copic Caboodles(tm) Set G from The Angel Company(tm).

The mouse on the right I used my grays from Caboodles(tm) Set B and greens from Set G.

So let's get started!  First of all ~ if you click on any image it should show an enlarged image in your browser ~ if you'd like a closer look.


I used E21, E13 and E15 to color the tan mouse. 

When I color ~ I color in an area at a time like you see demo'd above.  First I started with an ear, then I did the other ear, then the rest of the head, then the arms, then the belly portion and then the legs.

A.  I colored the area with E21

B.  Next I used E13 to add some shading

C.  I then added E15 to create deeper shades

D.  I gently went over the outer portion of the image with E21 to create a blend.  I tried to leave some area in the center of the ear that I didn't keep adding more color to.  This is to create depth.

Here is what this finished mouse looks like with his fur complete:


Next I went to work on the inner ear and nose.

Here I used R24, R29 and R59.  I also used my colorless blender.

WARNING:  REDS are touchy to work with!  Oh my goodness are they touchy!  Practice and use a light hand!

I tried 2 different techniques for the inner ear area.

In E, F and G I tried the same technique that I did with browns above.  HOWEVER: I used my blending pen in F and G because I wanted to lighten the tone.  Since I only wanted to use Caboodle(tm) Set G I needed to figure out how to get a lighter pink tone ~ enter my colorless blender!

E.  I colored the nose and ear with R24

F.  Using my colorless blender I colored over the entire portion of the inner ear.  Then I dabbed it onto the nose.

BELOW:  A close-up of F.  REDS are touchy to work with and this is a GREAT example!  They bleed!  I spent some time trying to clean up with my blender ... it takes time.  So I thought this would be a good thing to share with you!  REDS happen!


H & I.  I did the same coloring technique as in the other examples, however, I used my blender differently in these examples.  I actually practiced this twice ... just to make sure I liked it!  {smiles}

BELOW:  This is a close up of ear I.  First I colored very GENTLY with R24.  Then I used my colorless blender to lighten.  Arrow 1 points to where I gently began coloring in small circles in the ear.  Arrow 2 shows you that I decided NOT to take my blender all the way to the outer edge.  I did this because I didn't want my color to start bleeding out.  After doing this ... I actually ended up liking this result better anyway!  It looks much more interesting and more realistic of how a light source would interpret the design. 


BELOW:  I dabbed R24 gently on the nose.  Then with my colorless blender I started at the top of the nose and brushed towards the tip of the nose.  The arrow shows the direction that I swabbed my colorless blender.  Then I gently dabbed the very tip of the nose with R29.


Next I went to work on the spool.  Again ~ REDS are difficult and require not only a light hand ... they require PATIENCE!  {Obviously this was a HUGE challenge for me ... smiles}.

I used all three of my reds for this R24, R29 and R59.


J.  I colored the area with R24.

K.  With R29 I began adding shadows.

L.  I added R59.

M.  I re-introduced R24 and began coloring in small circles to begin blending.

N.  I re-applied both R29 and R59 then tried to gently blend with R24.

NOTE:  I'm still working on my skills with reds!  {smiles}

Next I went to work on the thread.  I used YR12, YR15 and YR18.


O.  I applied YR12.

P.  I began adding shading with YR15.

Q.  I introduced YR18.

R.  I brought back YR12 and softened the blend.  I touched up with YR18 in a few spots.

Below are my finished mice straight off my camera ~ no 'fixing' whatsoever.


Below are my mice using all of the 'auto-fixing' buttons in my software.  The image at the very top of this post features minimal 'auto-fixing'.

I'm sharing each of these images with you because if you're just learning how to use your markers ~ some of the over-corrected images (like below) REALLY show highlighting and shading areas.  Almost like an x-ray of the work ... right?!  {giggles}


 So last night my bedtime reading material was our Inspiration Book & Catalogue.  Okay, I wasn't really reading ... I was studying!  I LOVE to study how other people color!  So I turned to this page and saw how Deb Miller colored this darling little mouse below:

Deb's Mouse Arrow

1.  Notice how Deb added the color swatch to the spool!  Genius hugh!  What a FABULOUS touch!  TIP:  Deb added the purple circle and sketched a black circle around it.  Because my black pens would bleed with my Copics ... I'd have to wait until the image is completely dry and then add my touches!  You can easily do this as well!  Make sure you test your markers with your Copics before adding to your piece!

2.  Notice Deb's color palette.  She didn't go crazy by any means ~ she kept it simple, smart and sophisticated! 

3.  Notice that Deb used a different coloring technique than I did.  We clearly have very different end results.  Deb created a very soft, well balanced blend by using her markers with little circular motions.  {she blends by coloring in circles}.

Copics really are an incredible tool for cardmakers like us!  The key to coloring with Copics is experimenting and discovering how you like using them best!

Check back next Monday for another 'mice-y' post!

Happy Paper Crafting!


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  1. WOW! This is amazing! Thanks for all of the tips and tricks!

  2. Great tutorial!! I can't wait for next Monday!! and will love to go to the Copic Caboodle classes!! Thanks for share with us!

  3. I'm glad to know it takes practice! Thanks for the shading tips...I can't wait to get started!

  4. Definitely amazing and easy to follow--thanks Mischelle--we love you!

  5. Amazing! Thanks Mischelle! We all love you!!

  6. What a great tutorial! Mischelle your coloring is FANTASTIC!!! Thanks so much for sharing with us : )

  7. I can live for two months on a good compliment. (Mark Twain, American writer)

  8. Thanks for sharing-even the bleeding red! Good to know I am not the only one who has to practice to get it right!