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Copic Workshop held at Rome SIC

Event Report2022.6.7

This March, a workshop to learn drawing techniques using Copic markers was held at the Rome SIC (Scuola Internazionale di Comics), a school of visual arts in Rome, Italy.

The main goals of the workshop were to educate those who were interested in using Copic markers about the appropriate methods of use.

Through this opportunity, participants could deepen their knowledge about Copic, and explore their own skills. We hope participants would continue to use Copic markers throughout their careers and unleash their creativity.

The workshop took place over six days (four-hour sessions per day):

Day 1: Spot coloring with a specially made line drawing.

Day 2: Learning the theory of lights and shadows by reproducing photos of comic book characters. It is essential to understand how to control details and the difference between warm and cold greys.

Day 3: Pre-coloring inking technique. Adding spot colors and shadow modeling to drawings made on days 1 and 2.

Day 4: Observing models (comic book character figures) with light from two directions and apply the shadow theory to the drawing. Creating two drawings; one with the light source as it is and the other with the light from a different direction. Post-color inking for the drawings made on days 1 and 2.

Day 5: Learning coloring and modeling subjects with less details and the rendering of skin softness by looking at photos of models. Introduction to backgrounds coloring using neutral grays.

Day 6: Making a portrait on dark ochre-colored paper by using Copic markers and pencils.

The workshop was structured and comprehensive, including the Copic technique as well as color and light theory, and provided detailed explanations directly related to coloring with Copic while presenting specific examples.

Significance and value of learning how to use analog art materials like Copic in the digital age
By David Messina (instructor of this workshop)

In an era such as this where, for reasons of time and often also because of the continuous changes that are required, digital technology has become more and more popular, this has nevertheless made work with traditional techniques even more important, rare, and precious.

The care and attention that work with traditional techniques require, however modern in workmanship and quality as Copic markers, enhances the uniqueness of each piece, making it even more important.

It should also be added that the impossibility of going back and correcting one's work as can be done with digital, pushes the author of the drawing made with traditional techniques to work with greater attention, reaching a higher state of concentration, almost close to meditation.

This makes the experience of working in analog in a digital world even more unique.

Instructor’s profile:
After Mr. Messina graduated in the artistic study he worked in animation and graphic advertising as a visualizer.

Since 2005 he has been working for the US market, mostly for IDW Publishing, for which he drew Angel’s limited series and Star Trek limited series. Also, he worked on Star Trek: Countdown and Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness, the prequels of the JJ Abrams movies, and on both the tie-in Star Trek: Nero and Star Trek: Khan.

For Marvel Comics, Mr. Messina drew Ultimate SpidermanUltimate Comics Wolverine: LegaciesWolverine and the X-MenUncanny X-Men, etc.

For DC Comics he did the art on Cat WomanAction ComicsMidnighterWonder Woman, and Red Hood the Outlaw.

Lately, Mr. Messina worked on the relaunch of ROM the Space Knight for IDW. At the moment he's working on Han Solo & Chewbacca series for Marvel/Lucasfilm.

He has been teaching for Rome SIC (Scuola Internazionale di Comics) since 2002.

Participants' comments

“Observing professionals and comic book authors using Copic markers to create their works, I have always been fascinated by this technique, so when I heard that the International School of Comics proposed this course for the use of Copic, I enrolled to learn how to use them and experiment in a practical way.”

“I am very satisfied with this course; I was expecting a practical course that would allow me to start working immediately with Copic markers and that's exactly what we have achieved with these lessons

“I was very impressed because I not only learned how to use the markers but I also learned how to think about drawing in greyscale, so how to model the figures with warm greys in contrast to cold greys and this is not at all obvious!

Rome SIC will continue to offer Copic workshops. For more information, please contact:
International School of Comics (Scuola Internazionale di Comics),
Rome Via Francesco Lemmi, 10
Roma 00179, Italy
Phone: +39

Since 1979 in Rome, the International School of Comics offers professional training courses in the fields of Visual and Digital Arts: Comics, Illustration, Animation, Graphics, Web Design, 3D Artist, Videogames, Screenwriting, Creative Writing, Sound Design and Music Composition.

The strategic choice of the school is to make use of high-level professional teachers in their respective fields who work for publishing houses, communication agencies, production companies or as freelancers in Italy and abroad.

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