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Copic Colour Journals & Colour Swatches

Copic journals - where do I begin??  When people talk about Copic Journals they are often discussing different things without even knowing it, from now on I will be calling mine by the following names:

  • Copic Art Journal - a visual art journal or diary in which Copic Markers are used, and
  • Copic Colour Journal - which records colour combinations, ideas on colouring, techniques and often a printed chart with purchased marker colours.

Now these could be combined into the one book but many people (myself included) have a separate book or journal for each of these purposes, mainly because my Copic Art Journal is a tiny bit messy - just a little bit you understand :O) 

If you are new to the whole Copic Journaling thing, here are a few important tips......

Beginning a Copic Journal

To start your own Copic Journal (either a Colour journal or an Art journal) you will need the following items:

  • Copic Markers in assorted colours
  • Copic suitable card (my all time favourite is X-Press It Blending Card A5 as it's already cut to perfect journal size and works so beautifully when blending)  OR an  X-Press It Blending Journal
  • Copic Multi-liners in assorted thicknesses
  • Digital or rubber stamps

For my original Copic Colour Journal I purchased 3 packets of  X-Press It Blending Card (A5 size) and some matt board/book board and took these to the local print shop where I had them bound with spiral binding into a neat little book.  I split the original book into sections - colour chart/list, colour combos, colouring ideas (hair, water etc) and lastly techniques.  BUT I now have a new journal, or should I say journals!  X-Press Graph-X has just released a fabulous X-Press It Blending Journal A5 in size, made with matt board covers and the pages are the X-Press It Blending Card, so you won't need to go to the trouble I did, you can just pop into your local stockist and order this fabulous journal ready made - they look like this.


Challenges when using Copics in journals

  • The markers bleed through the card, so you get colour on the reverse side of page. 
    They sure do, I cover my reverse pages with pretty paper, gesso, cut out images or I just stick another layer of clean paper over the back and keep going. Have a look below and you'll see how I combat this in my Copic Colour Journal.
  • They don't perform well in journals with watercolour card or normal (non copic safe) card.
    I remedy this by colouring my image on copic safe card (X-Press It Blending Card) and then gluing my image into my journal.
  • Colouring a whole page with Copic Markers uses a lot of ink.
    While this page did take a while to colour and I'm sure it used a bit of ink, not all my pages are 100% coloured with Copic markers, sometimes I only colour my main image, sometimes it's just doodling or colouring text, I often then add spray inks, ink from ink pads, paints, paper, pencil etc - while Copic Markers may not perform well on non copic safe card, all those other yummy mediums perform just beautifully on X-Press It Blending Card!

This was a recent page from my Copic Art Journal, you may have seen it, my art journal contains doodling, drawing, collage, painting etc.  I don't list the colours and I create as the mood strikes me!

Copic art journal page

My Copic Colour Journal is much more structured, it's like a recipe book!  I have ingredients listed, recipes for colours, methods and some pictures of finished products to inspire me (will share more photos from inside over the next few weeks). 

I've started my journal off with layered pages, stuck down with washi tape, this creates a kind of flip-book for the first few pages and means I can fit more in.  This first section is colour combinations created by the natural blending families, with room on the bottom to add in the advanced blending families as I use them, I've discovered it's a VERY GOOD IDEA to leave room on each page / section for more ideas.

Copic colour journal 001a
To save space I love to stack my swatches!
Copic colour journal 001a
One page per colour, simple blends at the top.


Copic colour journal 001a
I've used washi tape to stick the pages in.


Copic colour journal - 1b
Violets - Simple Blends


Copic colour journal - 1b
Blue Violets - Simple Blends


As you get further into the journal I branch out into more graphic based pages, with ideas for flower colour combos, hair, skin, metallic objects etc.  and use both the swatches and images with colouring examples, check back in a few weeks for a peek at more of these pages.

For those who would like to create their own Copic Colour Journal, here is the blending template, free to download and use!

Download the Blank Copic Blending Template HERE

You can also check out some fabulous Colour Journal ideas, over on the Copic Oz  from DT member (and Copic Regional Instructor) Kathy Jones, Kathy's flower combos are fabulous!  Plus make sure to check out the links at the bottom of the post for some fabulous ideas - look for Edna's beautiful leaves!


I hope this has inspired some of you to begin your own journal.