I discovered copics only in August 2012 and am so glad that I did. They are fantastic markers and some people can colour just beautifully with them (I hope the more I practice the better I get!)
Since they come in such a range of colours (and I do have a few now) I have found it hard to keep track of what colours I used for which pictures and what colour combinations I like the best. I found myself (not sure if the word is wasting time, learning or playing :-) ) with my copics for at least 30 mins before I got around to actually colouring my picture because it took me that long to go through my copics and find the best colour combinations I liked for the particular picture I was colouring at the time.
So I started a little A5 size book just for my copics where I tried to start keeping track of colours and techniques that I was learning / discovering. Ideally copics need to be used on special card, such as X-Press It blending paper, however, I couldn't find a "book" with just this paper and I was too lazy to go bind my own! So I just bought a plain art diary with 110 gsm card. The copics do bleed through the paper so I either use a scrap piece of card behind the page I'm working on or complete my picture / technique on X-Press It blending card first, cut it out and stick it in my book.
Imagine my joy when I discovered that X-Press Graph-X have now released a X-Press It Blending Journal - which is a book full of the X-Press It blending card! Yay! Also, on the Copic Oz blog a Copic Blending Template (get them from this site) has also been released.
I have found the templates a fantastic idea. In my Copic book I was just either writing the copic colours down and making a coloured mark below the "number" or stamping a picture, colouring it in and writing down what the colours were. But I have found the template to be one step better, because I can still stamp pictures and colour them in but the template also allows me to show the blend between the colours I used and you can also see the actual colour themselves.
Here are some pictures of my journal before I started using the template:
As you can see the copics don't blend very well on this plain 110 gsm card.
Stamps: Sizzix and Hero Arts Stamp and Die cut set #657852
This tree is one of the digital images you get on a CD when you buy Annie's Attic (Paper Crafts) Copic Colouring Guide Level 2: Nature by Colleen Schaan and Marianne Walker. The colours that I have used are not the same as the ones they show you in the book as part of the tutorial.
Stamp: Flourishes "Cherry Blossoms"
And now... this is some of what I have created with the Copic Blending Template:
Stamp: Sturt's Desert Rose from Flourishes "Bloomin Aussie Florals"
I find this sooo much easier to see the difference between the colour combinations and am able to more easily pick which colours I want to use for my pictures.
As you can see I have left room for more colour combinations.
Stamp: Part of the tree from the Penny Black "Teddy & Company" set
Stamp: AnnaBelle Stamps "Ballerina Rose"
This is only the beginning :-)
Entering this post (showing my use of the copic blending template) in the Copic Oz: Technique Journal #1 Colour Swatches competition to win a free X-Press It Blending Journal!
See more of my copic colour combinations and techniques:
Colourless Blender techniques
More colour combinations
Copic combinations added to Journal in 2014
I have also started a Copic page - you can view it here.