Friday, January 23, 2015

Growing Pains

Hello all,

I don't have a card for you today, but I share a glimpse into my learning process.  I love a challenge...and I'm constantly trying to push myself to become a better teacher, artist, and person.   In class, I hear the frustrations of my students who are working through a skill/project they find challenging.   I thought that I should share some of my frustrations.  You are not alone.  We all have Growing Pains.

One of the things I have been practicing lately is fabric.  I find it very difficult to get the shadows in the right place.  Some images are easier to color than others.  Some artists give hints and other do not.  It has been a process to learn to "read" the stamps.    To add to the challenge, you have to have good control over the marker tip to get the detail that I want.  I'm getting there... but it doesn't happen overnight.  

So here is a little insight into my learning process....

It all comes down to practice...and more practice... and I imagine there is more in my future.  One way I practice is to color the same image more than once.  I know some people only like to color an image once...and be done with it.  How can you learn if you only do something once?  You wouldn't play a song on the piano once and then say okay I've learned enough.  I also try to color them close together so everything is fresh in my mind.

There are things about each of these images I like and dislike.  I changed a few details along the way to see what worked better.  For example, I like the eyes in a darker blue.   I keep most of the colors the same, but you can see that it didn't always result in the same look.   It is really hard to be consistent with pressure and amount of color that you applying to the paper.  I think this is normal... but also something to take into consideration when you are planning projects.

Lastly... don't give up.  This is actually my second attempt.
This crap happens to everyone. Sometimes you can recover from it...and sometimes you have to toss this into the garbage and start again.   Check out her eyes in this one..they are my favorite.

I hope to color this one more time and that will be the one I turn into a card.  I know time is always a limiting factor.  It took me 2 hours to color each image.   However,  think of how much you learn in that 2 hours.   I'm one step closer to understanding fabric and shadows.   In my opinion, it is worth the time.   If 2 hours seem daunting... pick an easier image.  You can control how long a project takes you!

I hope this helps you understand a little bit about my learning process.  You are not alone.  I get frustrated and set backs.  My markers spit up on my paper too.  It is just that these images usually stay on my craft table.  They don't make it onto a finished card and to the classroom.  Don't give up!  We are all in different places in our Copic Journey, but we are in it together.

Happy Crafting friends,


  1. Thx for the pep talk Chris! It is nice to know your learning process too! I believe the practice part is important but time is not always available... Darn it!!!

  2. Even though I don't use Copics, I still learned a lot from what you wrote here. You had great insights into using anything for coloring, even colored pencils.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous!!!!

  4. Thanks for sharing your learning process. Our failures do contribute to our successes. Nice to know you make mistakes Love the card and your coloring! again, thanks for sharing. Diana