Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Monthly Coloring Series - February 2020

Welcome to the February project for the 2019 - 2020 Coloring Series! To read the introduction post for this series, click HERE. To see all the coloring series projects, click HERE
Since my birthday is in February, I decided to make a fun birthday card to showcase the Power Poppy images for this month! The only thing missing from this scene is a new book...but perhaps there is a book in one of those pretty packages! This is my ideal birthday...cake, a warm drink, and a pile of gifts! Plus...chocolate AND strawberries...yes, please!
For this project I have combined three images: the cake and tea from the Tea Cake with Strawberries digital set (also available in a clear set called Tea in the Garden), the gifts from the Party Essentials digital set (also available as a clear set called Party Time), and the sentiment from the Layer Cake digital set. 

If you want more information on how to put a digital scene together, please see my post HERE
To get started with your scene, you first need to print your images. (Or, stamp them if you are using clear stamps instead of digital images.) 

Let's talk about cardstock. The brand I use is Hammermill 100# cardstockbut there are other brands that will work, including Copic X-Press It cardstock. I prefer the Hammermill Premium Color Copy Digital Cover Cardstock (100 lb) because it is a brighter white than the Copic, which reads a bit on the gray side to my eye. Plus, the Hammermill is a lot cheaper and it's a bit heavier weight. It goes through my Epson Eco Tank ET-3700 printer very well, as long as I choose a cardstock-weight setting. (There is an 80# version of this cardstock, but I prefer the heavier weight.) 

There are a few famous colorists/teachers out there who do NOT recommend the Hammermill cardstock. But, to me paper preference is very subjective and individual. I have tried every cardstock ever recommended for Copics, and the Hammermill 100 pound works the BEST for how I color. I am "heavy handed" and put down a lot of ink when I color. I need a thick cardstock, and I want a super smooth cardstock. The Hammermill ticks all my boxes! 

You should try to purchase a few sheets of all the recommended brands and try them out to see which you like best. Truth be told, I even like the Stampin' Up Whisper White cardstock! This paper was soundly thrashed in several Copic classes I took years ago when I was just learning. I was afraid to say I liked it! But I do like it because it is smooth, has a coating that allows the ink to "float" a bit, and the antique white color is perfect for my more vintage cards. 

Every paper will react differently for each colorist. I highly recommend that you try different papers to see which you like best, regardless of what I, or any other blogger/teacher has to say! I have found that the advice of hobby colorists and coloring instructors often conflicts with that of fine artists as well. Sometimes a little information goes to a person's head! (Present company included!) Just because a "famous" blogger or youtuber tells you something, does not mean it is the whole truth! 

If you find you are fighting your blends or are having a lot of bleeding outside your lines, try a different paper! There are times when one paper may work better for you, and times when another brand is best! Don't get married to a certain brand just because your favorite coloring personality loves it. If you buy the brand I like and hate it...go out there and try something else! It is just paper and ink, not the cure for the common cold. {grin}
Another color tip for today... When you are coloring a busy scene like this one, try to plan out your colors ahead of time so that you don't end up with a hot mess of every color in your marker collection! 

I started out with the red, because...strawberries are red! I chose to "spread the red" around my picture to give the whole scene a balanced look. I then colored the leaves green, but did NOT add more green to the image. I did not want this to stat to look like Christmas!
I knew I needed to color the slice of lemon in the tea cup yellow. That became my second color, which I sprinkled about the scene. I felt that aqua blue would look nice with both the red and the the yellow. To tone it all down, I used brown and gray (to simulate white). Making the cake frosting and the cake stand brown, rests the eye. Creating three white items (the cake doily, the napkin, and the largest box), also helps give your eye a bit of rest. 

I think the picture is bright, but not clownish. I admit to being a bit sorry about the large ribbon bows, but...once they were glued down, I decided to keep them! 
Here is the list of Copic markers I used. I did NOT use any colored pencil this time.

Background, napkin, cake: E0000, E000, E00, E21, colorless blender
Doily, box: C3, C1, C00
Ribbon, boxes, lemon slice: Y08, Y06, Y02, Y11
Cake, cake stand: E79, E29, E27, E25E23, E35, E33, E57, R83, R81
Leaves, stems: YG03, G43, G99, YG21, YG05, Y11, YG01
Cup, boxes: B04, B01, B000
Strawberries, boxes, cup, cake stand: R14, R27, R29, R89, YG21 (strawberries only)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you are enjoying this coloring series!

Digital images: Power Poppy 
Tea Cake with Strawberries, Party Essentials, Layer Cake
Cardstock: Hammermill 100# Digital Color Copy; WorldWin Brown
Copic markers: assorted, listed above
Enamel dots: Simple Stories, My Mind's Eye
Star: craft supply
Ribbon: Really Reasonable Ribbon
Paper: Authentique Party, Sassy (both retired)
Dies: Spellbinders Curved Borders 1, Heartfelt Creations Rectangles

Adhesive: ATG tape, white glue, scor-tape, hot glue


  1. Gorgeous Birthday card and gorgeous coloring! Having only a dozen markers myself ...not sure I want to go down that path! But I applaud anyone who can make plain paper come alive! TFS, Suzy Q

    1. You can do the same with watercolors or colored pencils. ;) Or put down a base color of Copics and add all the shading with colored pencils. So many ways to play! ;)

  2. love your coloring and Happy birthday Gloria. If you have a chance, it would be nice to see how to print two images up on a page for card makers. I.E. once I have colored my image and scanned it, how do I print two up on a page so I can conserve paper. I send out 50+ cards a month and it would be oh so nice to use 25 sheets of paper vs 50. I haven't found a tutorial anywhere for how to do this, assuming of coarse that it can be done. thanks as always for sharing.

  3. Theresa, could you please send me an email at, or use the CONTACT FORM at the top right of the blog side bar, I will email you with some instructions! It is pretty easy to do put two or four to a page! ;) However, be careful of coloring and printing your scans, it may be against copyright. Some artists forbid that, and some allow a certain number for personal use, etc. Make sure to check with the original stamp artist.