Monday, April 27, 2009

Leaving White Highlights with Copics Tutorial 1

Amy, one of our fab Divas, asked us to do "Thinking Outside The Card" this week for the High Hopes Challenge! You can stamp on anything but a card this week! You really must see what she did, my jaw just dropped!
If you wish to join us, don't forget that linking a photo of your project onto the High Hopes Blog gets your name entered into a draw for two free High Hopes Stamps!!!
I chose to do a recipe box. I used Mildred, from the new release. She reminds me of my Mom! My mom was known for her great homemade pies. I got the template from Karen, who passed it on to me from Claudia Rosa! Since I have a coloring tutorial with this post, I am going to get right on it...

This tutorial is going to demonstrate how to leave white spaces when you color in order to create a soft blended highlight on the object you are coloring. This is only one way to use the white of the paper to give you a highlight. That's why I titled it with number 1. I hope to show you a second method, which also involves leaving white spaces in the near future!
I am concentrating on the shoe in this demo. I used four browns to color it, as well as the clear colorless blender:
E35 and
I started with E34, not the lightest shade (you'll see why in a minute!). Starting at the outer edge of the stamped shoe, and using light strokes with the brush tip, I colored in towards the middle, leaving the white space as shown. The stroke is called "feathering". Its a fast light flicking motion. You let the brush tip touch the paper firmly at first, and then quickly flick and lift it so that the first part of the stroke lays down the most ink, and by the end of the stroke begins to fade the color as you lift it off the page. Takes eons longer to explain than to actually do! lol

Then I took the next shade of brown, E35, and using exactly the same feather strokes, I colored over my first layer. Notice my strokes were shorter, and did not completely cover over the first layer, but left some of it showing, closest to the white middle.

I repeated this process using E37, the darkest shade, but when it comes to the darkest shades, less is more. You don't need much, in other words. Just a little bit on the very outer edges is all you need.

Then I took the lightest shade, my E31, and using the same feather strokes and starting in the darkest outer edges of the shoe, went over it about three times to blend all the colors together. These are long strokes and I purposely let them creep into the white area, but still left a white patch showing.
If you like the effect at this point, you can leave it as is. It makes for a very stark contrast and the highlight really stands out. That can make an object appear wet or very smooth and shiny. I didn't want that look for her shoe, I was going for something softer, and so, I went to the next step, and used my colorless blender pen to go over the whole thing.

Starting in the white area, and using a circular motion, I blended all the colors together, going right to the outer edges of the shoe. By doing it that way, some of the lightest brown that I had laid down closest to the white patch began to bleed into that area, and give it a bit of color. Now my highlight is not so stark, not completely white, and very softly blended. I recommend this type of highlight for clothes and faces, because those objects rarely reflect light as white and there is rarely a line of demarcation where the highlight begins and ends on such objects. However, on sharper edged or very smooth or wet objects, that is when I would want a very stark contrast on the highlight. I wish to show that to you in a second tutorial that I will try to get to in the near future! (it just so happens that the photo of Avro, right next to this part of the post, shows a very stark contrast on her very wet nose, that demonstrates exactly what I am trying to say!! lol, thanks Avro!!)

All colors used in on Mildred:
on her flesh:
E34 These last two were used to create the shadows on her face

on her kerchief:

on the pie:
C4 Also used these two greys on her hair

Oven mitts:



Small white dots on her cheeks done with a white gel pen.

Thanks for looking today! Hope my tutorial helped!

God bless you!


  1. Crissy this is amazing, totally fabulous you are a true gem.. thank you so much for explaining how you do it.. makes it so much clearer now.. may have another go in the future. and don't worry you never bug me.. and i certainly wont be ignoring you.. no way!!

    I love your finished project it looks awesome and that image is so sweet.
    hugs rachxx

  2. Wow Crissy, I just adore your beautiful receipe box! You have coloured Mildred to perfection! Thank you for showing us how to do the white highlights technique. I shall definately have a go, your tutorial makes it look so easy, and the end results are awesome! Thanks for sharing, sweetie!
    Hugs Tab xxx

  3. What a sweet project, I love it and that image is just adorable. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I'm going ot have to try this with my coloring.
    Hugs, Christine :)

  4. Adorable image and box, I love the way you color, thanks so much for the tutorial, I will have to try this! ~Hugs

  5. Beautiful card and THANK YOU for the simply explained tutorial! I've only just started buying copics and have no local classes, so I'm trying to learn from the internet. Look forward to the next tutorial!

  6. Wow, fabulous recipe box, I'm so glad I found your blog, your tutorial is so helpful, I have copic's on my wish list and i now know where to come for my tips, wonderful work, thank you for sharing with us. Donna x

  7. Wowwww Chrissy,what a beautiful card,l love the stamp and colours.

    Hugs Riet.x

  8. Beautiful colouring. Thanks so much for the tips, I really need to practice using my copics x

  9. A gorgeous card Crissy and thankyou so much for a great tutorial!

  10. hi Crissy, thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving me a lovely comment which then enabled me to find your excellent blog here and what fabulous work!!! love your designs really cute!! this is first time I have seen your blog, I have heard of high hopes though dont own any stamps of them {yet lol} really nice to have met you and I too love The Lord Jesus, and He has blessed me beyond more than words can say and like you He is my best friend :) ♥

  11. Crissy as always another beautiful creation and although I dont own copics :o( I love the tutorial I am sure I can use this technique with my Prismas

  12. Crissy thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment. What a fantastic recipe box, I love the colors! Your tutorial is great and your copic coloring is superb!!! Thanks for the tips!


  13. Wow Crissy! Awesome tutorial! I'm going to definitely give it a try!!! Thank you!!!


  14. Your recipe box and image are fabulous Crissy! Your coloring is fantastic and thanks for the awesome tutorial!

  15. Crissy....your recipe box is awesome. Your amazing coloring brought her to life. She is adorable!!

    Karen x

  16. I like to learn something new each day, this is really helpfull, thank you for sharing this, hugs pops x x x

  17. Wow fab recipe box and we really appreciate you tutorials as in the UK it is really hard to find copic classes thank you so much hugs Pascale

  18. Mildred looks gorgeous Crissy and your colouring is fabulous, I love your cute little recipe box, Thank you for the message of support you left on my blog yesterday and please know it is so appreciated. Big, Big Hugs, Nikki x

  19. This is just incredible Crissy! Thanks for the tutorial!

  20. EXCELLENT Crissy! Your watercolouring is fantastic... I get so excited when you show how you do it... I am just in awe of everything you create!

  21. Hi Crissy!!!! Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial!!! I just practiced, I need to work a lot more on it but I am so excited that you shared!!!!

  22. What a great box your colouring is awesome x

  23. This recipe box is Wonderful!!...I love the way you colored Mildred...and your tutorial is Awesome!!....It explains so much to me about copics...Thank You So Much Crissy for sharing this!!!...I will be watching for the next one....Hugs, Ila...p.s....Avro is Beautiful!!!

  24. Hi Crissy,
    Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to put the tutorial together! It's really helpful!!! Mildred looks great! I love this stamp--she reminds me of my mom too!

  25. Now i need a full image tut, i can do skin and hair and shoes lol...

    Keep coming back to this to read what you have put dont think i will ever learn hugs Pops x x x

  26. Crissy, I just found your blog through Lisa's and have really enjoyed seeing your work . So wonderful to find another Christian too.

  27. Sorry I forgot to comment earlier...this is a wonderful project, Crissy! I love the box and your coloring is amazing as usual :-) And really appreciate the tutorial. Even though I don't use Copics (yet), it is really helpful in general...always working on my coloring skills.

  28. Fabulous tutorial Crissy ... your colouring tips will hopefully work with other colouring mediums too as I don't own copics yet ... so now I'm off to have a practice.
    By the way your explanation of what a stark highlight is using Avro's nose as an example was brilliant.


  29. Thank yopu for sharing this tutorial Crissy, I need all the help I can get, and so easy to follow off to have a prictice now.
    Hugs Linda