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Copic Tips For Beginners | Freehand Scenes

Here’s a glance into my Copic journey where I challenge myself to create another freehand scene. I’m sharing Copic tips for beginners!

YouTube Tutorial | Copic Tips for Beginners | Freehand Scenes

Watch the video here or in HD on YouTube. Learn tips for choosing your photo inspiration and getting started with Copic scenes. More details below!

Copic Markers

These are the Copic Sketch markers I used, however, substitute colors as needed to accommodate your collection.

Sky | Y00, YR000, Y21, BG000, B00, B91
Igloo | BV20, BG70
Snow Drifts | C00, BV20, BG70
Mountains & Trees | W10, W9, W7, W5
Clouds | BV20, C00, 0

Copic Tips for Beginners

The most obvious tip is to take a class. If you’ve never created a freehand Copic scene before, it can be daunting, and if you’re like me, a little bit paralyzing. So take a class.

Mindy Baxter, at mycreativescoop.com, offers excellent online classes with some specifically focused on backgrounds. The backgrounds usually coincide with the current season. I took one of her classes and man it jumpstarted my confidence!

Exit Your Comfort Zone & Enter Creativity

Next, once you’ve followed along with a class, I highly recommend you give it a go on your own. It’s totally ok if it doesn’t turn out as you expected. There’s so much to learn along the way.

For instance, without a class, you’ll need to choose the scene and marker colors on your own. If that makes you squeamish, good! This is how we grow. Our skills do not grow when we park ourselves in our comfort zone. Be brave, it’s just paper and you have nothing to lose!

This is similar to the reference photo I used. The mountains in my photo were completely black like a silhouette and the sun was visible above the horizon.
It was copyrighted so I couldn’t share it.

Choose an Inspiration Photo

When choosing an inspiration photo look for simple shapes and blocks of color. Study the photo above. There are 3 main blocks of color/shapes: the orange-blue sky, a linear band of mountains, and a large expanse of white.

I ignored the man and drill as I had no intention of adding them to the scene. However, the size of the man in the forefront is similar to the stamped igloo.

The simplicity of this photo doesn’t require advance Copic blending skills nor drawing ability. That makes it perfect for a beginner Copic scene.

Choosing Your Colors

Eek, there’s no one to tell you what color combinations to use. This is awesome because chances are, you probably don’t have all the colors the instructor had anyway.

So how did I pick the colors below? They weren’t suggestions from other artists, I plucked them from my Copic collection based on the inspiration photo. There is no better color palette than nature, so examine your photo and tease out all the colors.

For instance, look at the clouds and snow. They’re definitely not white. What colors do you see? This process has truly improved my coloring!

Study your inspiration photo, start plucking colors you think match the photo and test them on scrap paper. As you saw in the video, I started with one set of markers and then added darker colors as needed.

Relax & Adapt

Lastly, relax. Typically we are our worst critics and we compare ourselves to others far too often. Don’t aim to be your favorite Copic artist, be you! If you want to improve, keep practicing with exercises like these.

If something goes sideways, adapt, and don’t stop until your proud. It may not look anything like your original vision, but that doesn’t lessen its value and you may uncover a new technique that you love!

That’s all for today. Thanks a bunch for stopping by. Let me know your thoughts down below or on YouTube. I’ll be back soon with more inspiration.

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