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Copic Workshop Review: No longer a one-trick pony!

Edited to add: deets for my online Copic Class for Jan 26 is posted HERE!

Since so many of you asked me to let you know how the workshop went, I thought I’d share some thoughts!

First of all – I want to be clear that I won’t be sharing any of what they taught us verbatim. While the class totally changed my thinking and will be reflected in what I create, the content is theirs. I’ll be showing you some photos of what I created, and will make cards to share out of them soon, but I won’t be sharing color lists. The class comes with printouts of instructions, color lists, etc, and I won’t be providing those directly. I will, however, be altering how I color skintones from here on, so you’re going to see something other than E51 and E53! lol. I’m no longer a one-trick pony!

Enough of that…on to some sharing! The workshop is divided into two days, and the classes were team taught; so I had the pleasure of Colleen Schaan and my superhero Debbie Olson on Thursday for making cool inky backgrounds and coloring skintones of all sorts! The ladies were oodles of fun…Colleen is just so bubbly and enthusiastic, and Debbie is as wonderful as I always expected she’d be.

The day started with a ton of inky techniques, getting messy with Copic various ink refills. Out of all of them, these were the ones that turned out the best…I’m very much NOT good at doing messy things, but it was a blast to play outside my comfort zone!

Sandy Allnock - ink technique

The coloring portion was, of course, my favorite! I could just sit and color for hours, you know me. And it was what we were supposed to do. Bonus eh! The focus was coloring ethnic skintones and hair; Marianne had created special images just for this class so we learned about skin colors for different ages as well as races – caucasian, African American, eastern/Asian, native American, and one with dreadlocks! I’ve only got a little sneak peek of all the images we colored – stay tuned on my blog when I return and I’ll make cards with them so you’ll see more.

Sandy Allnock - age coloring

And you guys know I’m a pretty quick color-er…I ended up coloring both of each provided image during the allotted times, and then colored more than the skin…while I didn’t have lots of questions as did many of the students, my eyes were popping every time they told me to pull out a blue or purple marker – EEEP. And then…I found I liked it, who’d a thunk? The class also included some hair techniques as well, and oooooooh I have some fun new colors to add to my hair collections. I also added color to clothing and backgrounds while everyone else was just coloring faces, for which I got much razzing!

Sandy Allnock - ethnic coloring

I signed up for the “extra” session they called a critique – and I had no idea what to expect. I did bring a couple cards and images for it, but they also allowed people to include images they colored in class since it hadn’t been clear what was expected. They went over some great guidelines for critiquing both ourselves and others, and one of the things I tell OWHers came out:  just saying “great card” is very little help in a comment. “I love it” might feel good but why do you love it? And just saying “I don’t like that” (which some do leave as comments here….thanks for your honesty!) but why don’t you like it? It’s helpful for bloggers to receive comments like. “I love this about the card – though I’m not sure that this works so well.” So I hope to do that more, and hope you will too!

Then we all set our work out. We were given critique slips to write down our assessments of each other’s work, and I got to come home with an envelope full of ideas. The questions were simple ones, and included “what could be improved” – and the critiquers were both honest and helpful! I couldn’t decide which of two cards to put in, so I did both – and they were both ones that I had struggles with. Yes, I know, it would have been safer to put in Sushi Rin, that was the one my heart wanted to put forward! But….I opted for the House Mouse card HERE  (and you know I had tossed that image the night I colored it! So I wanted to see if these Copic experts had any tips for fixing what I didn’t like…funny, they commented mostly on the colors on the rest of the card! lol!) as well as a card you’ll see here tomorrow. I’m still happy to share it tomorrow, but I was really going outside my norm on that one, so wanted some feedback – and they didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know. The parts I was unhappy with were also areas for improvement! All in all, I loved the critique session, what a blast to see each other’s work and have a chance to comment thoughtfully.

Day 2 of the class was, for me, cut a little short. But I got plenty out of it! Instructors were Sherrie Siemens and hero-of-mine-Cindy Lawrence, and just like Day 1, they were lots of fun. I was beyond excited to get to meet Cindy 🙂 So on this day there were several airbrushing projects; I’ve only done a little airbrushing in one previous class years ago, so it was tons of fun. This is one of my projects in progress…..

Sandy Allnock - airbrushing


Another bit of fun was stamping and coloring on fabric, and it was a blast! They taught some techniques to keep the ink from bleeding way out of the lines, and oh man. Lots of fun!
Sandy Allnock - fabric coloring

I did have to leave early, as I said; but before I left, I had a real big blessing: I stood up as I gathered my stuff to say bye to the ladies in the class, and told them I had to go get our booth set up. One lady asked “What company?” And I told her…..and two women said they’d been meaning to send in cards, another was a veteran and thanked us for what we’re doing. How cool is that! It was followed by requests for biz cards and brochures, so I ran back to my room to get some, and had just a quick quiet moment to chat with Cindy before heading out….and someone else from Copic came in. And I heard words that just made my grin from ear to ear when she introduced me……”This girl can color!” While I’ve not doubted my abilities, it was SO special to have someone of Cindy’s caliber utter those words….yay me! Okay. Enough of all that. 🙂  [And by the way they invited me to come to Day 2 of the workshop when it comes to Portland. Cool!!]

I can truly say this class is worth the $300 cost (or whatever it ends up being eventually!). This was a test class for them to see how long things take, how students react to projects, etc….so when they polish it up even more, it’s going to really rock. At the end of Thursday I was already feeling I’d gotten my money’s worth by now knowing how to better utilize markers that I had bought – but even with the full set, hadn’t used much. This really expanded how I see that big black bag of markers, and that alone – totally worth it! So if you see a class coming near you…SIGN UP. Don’t wait to pass go or collect. Just sign up!

Now one last crazy thing to share…..a photo from our CHA setup team! Bwahaha…I think Leslie is photobombing! Be sure to watch our Pinterest board to keep up with all the pics from the show!



22 thoughts on “Copic Workshop Review: No longer a one-trick pony!

  1. i am so excited to hear about the class. I’ve always wanted to try one. I guess I need to get some more markers. The side by side images are so worth seeing. Just a little bit of shading or different color makes such a difference. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.

  2. Oh yay for you, Sandy – glad you had so much fun with the class and the instructors. I loved my certification class with Marianne several years ago, and will take this one for sure when I have the opportunity. Looking forward to see how you use the new ideas!

  3. You look fab in the photo above. Glad to hear about your class experience – I’ve always wanted to try one, but the price stopped me. Now I believe you get your money’s worth. Thanks, Deb

  4. What a great post! I’m so glad you had so much fun at the Copic class, and that someone other than us recognized your talents! I’m so in love with the skin tones on your images (so realistic), and how you achieved so many great highlights on the hair…WOW! Loving the tote bag, too…so much rich color! Is there any chance you would consider doing a video tutorial on coloring with Copics on fabric? Maybe sticky back canvas, so we can use them on our cards? I think it would be educational and such a fun thing for everyone!
    Great networking, too! Spreading the word at a trade show like CHA is so important for OWH 🙂

    Thanks for the update…now, go and have some more FUN!!!

  5. How awesome that you not only enjoyed the class but obviously got so much out of it Sandy! I can’t imagine that you’d have any doubts about your skills but I know what you mean and it’s a great feeling to have someone you feel is at the top of their craft tell you that your work rates. Though I do like coloring I could never justify the cost of Copics or classes… Well at least not I hit the lottery or am awarded my share of Warren Buffet’s fortune… Then who knows what I could do! 🙂

  6. Sandy, this was a terrific post. Thank you for sharing all. I especially liked the section you wrote on the critiquing because I agree that when showing or giving cards, others ought to be more specific about how or why they like or dislike the card. I agree with Paula S. about cant afford the Copics, but am getting back interested in learning how to shade.etc.

  7. I’m looking forward to hearing & seeing more about what you learned, and expect someday, if time ever allows you, that you’ll be teaching Copic classes yourself. (But then again, .yYou kinda’ already do, don’t you? Lucky for us!)

  8. They just had this class in L.A. and I hated missing it. But I just took Copic 1 and 2 in June and I need to spread these things out, lol. Thanks for letting us know how super awesome it was, I will make this one on the next go around. 🙂 BTW – I like your E50’s, lol. Those were new to me, lol. And I like what you said about “I love it” because that is my standard answer. lol.

  9. Wow! Your classwork looks great and it sounds like you had a blast! What you did with skin tones looks amazing–mixing colors you wouldn’t have expected. I’m happy you got to fit this in before CHA. You must be on information overload about now! I’m intrigued by the Copic classes coming to Portland… that’s close for me.Thanks for sharing!

  10. The little dinosaur with hearts is adorable and would be perfect for a baby onesies.

  11. Sandy, I just saw your blog post on the Color and Ink Workshop tonight. You were a *great* asset to the class, raising the bar of creativity in so many areas. It was a real pleasure to get to spend the day with you; thank you so much for coming!

  12. WOW. I loved your candid feedback and seeing snippets of your projects. Girl, you *CAN* totally color! Thanks for taking the time from your busy CHA schedule to join us and even more time to share. Hugs!

  13. Sandy, it was SUCH a pleasure to meet you and have you in class! Thank you for your beautifully-written review of our very first Color and Ink Workshop. You were a huge asset to the class! Keep up the great work! {{hugs}}

  14. Thia again… Ah, I was at the Copic Standard Certification class on Wednesday…totally wished I was able to attend the two day class! How awesome they invited you back! Have you taken the certification classes? I’m wondering what to sign up for the next time it comes around. Workshop or intermediate certification? As for skin tones…blues and purples? Did I understand that right? ;0) Scary thought if so. Well, I’ll be back at CHA again tomorrow. Maybe I’ll come stalk you again and bring you a Coke. :0)

  15. Sandy, WOW… thank you so much for the candid review of our new workshop! We couldn’t ask for better advertising than word of mouth! I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed the class and that you were inspired by the ideas and projects. You did some amazing work my friend… your doodling was TOP NOTCH and your coloring.. well, like I said in class… beautiful!

    It was an honor to be able to meet you and spend the time with you here in Anaheim. Thanks again for the review. MWAH!

  16. […] Operation Write Home’s Review of the new Copic Workshop – Find out more about the work shops and some great pictures! […]

  17. Thanks for doing this review. I was very intrigued and excited knowing they were bringing the class to Portland, but was wondering if it was worth the money. (I’ve had Marianne and Colleen as past instructors and both were amazing.) Do you really think you’d come down for day 2? If so, I’d have no excuse to not gather up all those OWH cards I’ve made and not sent on to you.

  18. […] Copic colorers: You asked for a review of the class I took while in Anaheim – it’s HERE! […]

  19. […] finally had a few minutes to make a CARD! Woohoo! I started with an image I airbrushed at the Copic Workshop in Anaheim; and even though this card looks fine, uh… was my big GOOF! If you’ve […]

  20. What you did was great. I have always wanted to learn more about Copic. Will any of you be coming to Denver Colorado this year. I love to color. I would like to be certified. Please let me know. You can email me at Thank you and have a great day…

  21. […] was a background made at the Copic Workshop – I’d done this technique with other supplies before, just not […]

  22. […] Here’s what recent attendee Sandy Allnock had to say (read the entire review, here): […]

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