Thursday, 3 February 2011

Tutorial - using Copics for blonde hair

Hello all!  Get yourself a cuppa and settle down for a longer post than usual!  As I promised [nervously] last Thursday, here is my very first ever tutorial!  I have had lots of requests for how I do blonde hair (you can see an example here) so that seemed a good place to start.  I should first say that I haven't had any Copic classes - I'm self taught (which is how I like to do things!) and I'm sure there are other techniques that work just as well (if not a lot better, lol!!).  Okay, so onto the tutorial...

Today I am using Kenny K's Download Diva.  I use Memento Tuxedo Black ink which won't smear as it is non solvent (unlike StazOn).  As you can see below, for blonde hair I use colours E50, E51, E53, E57 (and my trusty blender to remove mistakes!).  By varying the amount of colours I use in each, I can create different coloured hair, as I will explain later.

Step 1
I start with the lightest colour E50 and use light feather strokes to cover the whole hair area.  Some people use small circle movements but I'm not bothered at this point to be too precise with coverage.

Step 2
I now think about where the light and shadows are on the image but I don't get overly over hung up about it because in reality light sources come from several places. I do this step in two ways. First is determining where the main light source is coming from. For this image I've actually chosen from behind and left of her. Secondly, I consider where it is most natural for light to catch. In this case, because she has curly hair it is likely to be on the outer edges of her curls. It also tells me where the darkest shadows will be and in this case it is within the curls and shadows from the head and body. With this in mind, I take E51 and use feather strokes from the darkest areas out to the lighter areas. I feather up to the areas towards where I expect the light to hit the most.

Step 3
As in the previous step, I use E53 to feather from the darkest areas outwards, but go less farther towards the lightest areas. If I want her hair to be lighter, I would restrict the feathering of E53.

Step 4
I now blend the 3 colours together with E51 using small circle movements over the entire hair area. I try not to saturate the card too much (especially if I'm not using the optimum card for Copics!) at this point otherwise it can cause bleeding outside of the lines. Once blended I might go back with E53 and use feather strokes to add more to the shadows, blending again with E51. If I wanted her hair to be a light blonde, I would finish at this point, but if I want a darker blonde I go on to the next step.

Step 5
I now use E57 to create a darker blonde. I control the darkness by controlling how much E57 I use. The more feathering I do with E57 the darker the blonde will be - it's as simple as that! In this photo you can see that I have used very little E57.

Step 6
I then blend with E53 just over the E57 to soften it and finally I blend all over the hair area with E50.  And voila, here is the finished hair...

And here she is in her full glory!  


I usd my trusty Bazzill kraft cardstock, the sentiments are from the CC Designs Handy Additions sentiment set and I highlighted it with some 4mm flat backed pearls.  The DPs are from the Crate Paper Paper Doll collection kit - it's 50% in Quixotic Paperie so get over here quick before I buy up the last of the stock!  Lastly, I made the sweet border with my Sew Easy tool - now I've got the hang of it, I love it!  Saves me so much time prodding the holes through myself!  I'll do my next tutorial on this handy tool! 

Thanks for your patience and I hope that was useful! Feel free to ask questions and leave your tips on how you do your blonde hair in the comments section - you know we love to hear from you!


  1. this looks gorgeous, will have to try adapt to my Promarkers colours x

  2. Thanks for the great tutorial. Will relook over the weekend. Stunning card. Keep these tuts coming. Love them. hugs Sharon

  3. Thanks for such an excellent tutorial. I will give it a try over the weekend,
    H xx

  4. thanks for this - will have to adapt to the copics i have and see if it works! found this after i PMd you! LOL!
    Kathleen Mc xx

  5. well just wanted to thank you for this great tutorial - i have put it into practice (changing a couple of th pens to suit what i have!) and you can see the results here

    thanks again
    kathleen mc xxx

  6. I am going to add you to my list of blogs I'm following so I can come back to this when I manage to make some more cards (10 week old baby is making that rather difficult at the moment - and I have 40 christening cards to make first!!)



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