Ms. Yue is an illustrator based in Sapporo, Japan.
Using Copic as her main art tool, she has created illustrations for video games and album covers for musicians, and exhibitions of her work have been held throughout Japan. Ms. Yue also won the Judges' Prize selected by Arina Tanemura at COPIC AWARD 2019.
We asked Ms. Yue, who has fascinated many fans with her distinct faint, mystical colors, and about her relationship with Copic.
"With Copic, I can use light colors without water and a brush."
When and why did you start using Copic?
I started using Copic when I found a marker illustration book in the school library in my teens. Mr. Ito Ogure's illustration was featured on the cover of that book. Its’ been ten years since I bought the book but I still refer to it.
What do you like about Copic in particular?
I like many Copic features, but if I had to pick one, my favorite is the color variety.
I also like the fact that it’s possible to create light colors without water and brushes since I’m not good at painting (laughs)
What is the first color you picked up? How did you choose it?
I wanted to buy the E01 color at first but then I thought it would be nice to have the shades that were close to it. (E00 and E02). I still remember rushing to buy new Copic markers every payday during my school years.
So, what are your favorite shades?
I love V000 and B60 and use them a lot in my illustrations. I love all the light colors and I like patiently overlaying them.
"The secret ingredient for my drawings is...tea."
What are your favorite motifs and the parts you care about the most during your drawing process?
I like a lot of motifs but in particular I love the moment the white part of a character's eyes becomes filled in. It’s hard to explain with words, but it seems the eyes breathe them life.
Do you use any references when making a piece?
I don’t have any set references. I usually take photos of movie scenes that look appealing color-wise. Of course, I also look at my favorite artist illustration books, but not when drawing since I'm drawn to those. (laugh)
How much time does it take for you to finish a piece?
It depends on the artwork size. It takes me around 30 hours to complete a piece if I draw the scenery in detail.
What is the most important thing when choosing paper?
I prefer thick paper that absorbs the marker ink since I layer multiple colors and always use cold-pressed watercolor paper.
Which tools do you use for the line art?
I use pencils to create a soft and realistic finish. I apply fixative on the drawing before coloring with Copic to prevent the pencil lines from smudging and damaging the marker tips.
Which art supplies do you use besides Copic?
I use color ink, rooibos and black tea. When using Copic jointly with color ink, I use the ink as a background and then use Copic markers directly on the paper after the base dries up.
I started to use tea when I learned that tea leaves are used to dye clothes to give an antique finish. I thought it would be possible to use tea on paper and tried it out. I love how the “old paper” feel of the tea shows on illustrations.
About “Kaze no Iro” (‘The color of the wind’)
Can we ask you about this artwork?
As the piece title implies, I tried to capture the instant the image turns from monochrome to color when the wind blows. Along with the Copic sketch 24 color set, I also used the RV000 and 0 shades and colored pencils.
This time you mainly used the Copic Sketch Manga 24 colors Set. How was it using this set?
I used light colors such as BV0000, BV000, R0000 as the base and blurred the bolder colors with the colorless blender as accent colors. I used the neutral grays for the first time for this drawing; I was amazed at how they blended so well with blue tones. It made me wonder why I never picked them up before.
It was challenging to color a drawing with a fixed color palette. However, it gave me an opportunity to think about the colors again.
Even if two artists use the same set, the final finish of a drawing vastly differs -- I think that is one of the main characteristics of Copic.
The set used in this illustration:
Copic Sketch Manga Illustration 24 colors Set
The ideal starter set for comic illustrations, it combines vibrant colors with matching blending shades and a selection of skin color tones.
The included pale colors, a unique feature of Copic, will allow for gradation and blending techniques with professional results.