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Let’s Create a Transparent Effect with Copic Alcohol Ink Markers!


By Marie Gamber, Artistic Guide

Finished Card Size:  5.5 " x  4.25"

Hello to all you stamping lovers!   Marie here, and I am excited to show you how I color balloon images with Copic alcohol ink markers to create the illusion of transparency.   It is a fun technique and it can be used for many different images and effects.


First Birthday Boy digital image (Mo Manning)

Pure Luxury White cardstock 120# (GKD)
Pure Luxury Turquoise  cardstock (GKD)
Cryogen cardstock  - for focal image (Curious Metallic)
Designer paper from my stash

Copic alcohol ink markers (.too, Inc.)
Broken China Distress Ink Pad (Ranger, Inc.)
Copic Gray Multiliner 0.3 mm (.too, Inc.)
Copic Opaque White Ink (.too, Inc.)

Computer, Printer and Editing Software
Paper trimmer
Embossing and die cut machine
Nestabilities Label One (Spellbinders)
Sentiment of your choice.  I created my own with calligraphy.


  1. Cut 11 in x 8.5 in. paper in portrait  orientation at 4.25  in.   This will make two cards.
  2. Score and fold with a bone folder at 5.5 in.  The fold will be on the top.   This will fit a standard 2A envelope. Tip:  Place a piece of paper over the top of your project before running a bone folder over the fold. This will help prevent unwanted marks on your project.  Cut base layer at  5.25 in. x 4 in (Pure Luxury Turquoise cardstock).  Cut top layer  at 5 in. X 3.75 in.  (Designer paper).
  3. Print digital image to your desired size.  I often make mine approximately 3 in. -3.5 in. 
  4. Color the turquoise balloon with BG0000.  Extend the balloon so it overlaps  it’s neighbor.
  5. Color the next balloon with RV0000.  Extend the balloon in the same manner as the previous. Lightly color on top of the overlapping turquoise with your RV.
  6. Color the yellow balloon with Y0000.    Lightly color over the top of the RV that overlaps.   You will notice that this gives a transparent effect.
  7. Return to each  balloon and darken with a darker shade to provide depth  – such as BG000, RV000/RV00 and Y000/Y00. Add Y02 sparingly to the shadow area of the yellow balloon.  If you need to go back over the transparent overlapping areas you can do so at this time but use your initial colors such as BG0000 and RV0000.  Keep it light in color.  You want to keep the transparent appearance.
  8. Apply  Copic Opaque White to the area you want the  highlight  to hit on each balloon.   A toothpick works well for this.
  9. Color the jeans with BG70, BG72 and BG75. You can doodle on the jeans with a gray Copic Multiliner 0.3mm.  (This is something I did just for fun.  I am getting “whimsical” in my old age!)   Color the little pooch with C7, C5, C3, C1 and again,  you can doodle to provide a whimsical  texture to the fur with a Copic Gray Multiliner pen. Color the kerchief on the puppy with the same Copic markers used for the jeans.

Finished Card:  Make a Wish

Copcs Used
Skin Tones: E000, E01, R20
Hair: C7, C5, C3, C1
Bib: Y02, Y000, Y0000
T-Shirt/Socks: R24, R22, R20, C3
Shoes:  C5, C3, C0 and R24, R22, R20
Table/Chairs: E37, E35, E33, E31, E000Cupcake:  RVo2, RV000,  Y0000, Y0000 and YR15.  R24 can be added for sprinkles

A nice option (that I did not do) would be to add some Stickles (Ranger) or glitter of you choice to give some sparkle to the top of the cupcake.  Who doesn't love a little sparkle?!

I hope you enjoyed this card as much as I enjoyed creating it for you.  Creating transparent objects with Copics are fun  and gives a little something “extra” to your finished projects!

Have a wonderful day and happy crafting!

Marie XX

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4 Responses »

  1. Hi Marie,
    Lovely tutorial, will defiantly keep this in mind when I have to colour in balloons..As Lisa says above, I always stop at the line..it really does look transparent..and your doodles look fab... defiantly going to give this a try!!
    Thanks again hun...

  2. Great tutorial! Thanks so much!

  3. I agree with Lisa...a brillant idea!!! I love the look. I thought it was a vellum you had used until I read the instructions. The coloring on this card is wonderful. Very very nice card!

  4. What a brilliant idea! I always stop at the line....thank you for the tip to extend outside of that. It looks so realistic! The "doodles" are an excellent addition to the jeans and the pup.
    Wonderful card Marie!!!