Abraxas House – Coloring with Copic Markers

Abraxas House copic vintage coloring close up tower with sky

As mentioned on the Vintage Coloring About page, Curator Prime loves James A. Owen‘s All The Colors of Magic coloring books which feature his highly detailed illustrations from his Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica novels.

Late last week, ATCOM Books 2-4 showed up at her door and the coloring commenced. Here are a series of works-in-progress pictures, as well as commentary regarding the exact coloring implements used, namely Copic markers, on a page from All The Colors of Magic, Book #3, the Abraxas House.

James’ coloring books are one of the few exceptions in the adult coloring book market that have paper of sufficient thickness and smoothness to play nice with the alcohol-based Copic markers. As Curator Prime has just started her Copic adventure, she had a limited color palette to work from, however the result is quite pleasing.

Here are the steps with photographic documentation of how the final coloring came to be, should you wish to re-create it.

1. Remove page from book, which is easy to do due to the presence of perforations. Curator Prime rotates her coloring pages often and finds it far easier to do so when doing so does not require rotating the entire book.

Abraxas House copic vintage coloring 1

original un-colored coloring page

2. Color large stone heads (C3). Color again (C3) to darken areas indicated as shadow by James’ cross-hatching.  Use BV25 for darkest shadow areas. Color bird bodies (E47) with touches of BV25. Bird beaks and belly are E35.

Abraxas House copic vintage coloring 2

gray guys, brown birds

3. Color bricks at the base of the house (E18). Color again (E47). Add shadow with BV25.

Abraxas House copic vintage coloring close up bricks

itty bitty bricks

4. Trim throughout the house is E35. Textured areas as seen in the dome of the tower are E18.  Use the same color combination as noted in Step 3 for for chimney bricks. Very top chimney bits will be C3.

Abraxas House copic vintage coloring close up tower

itty bitty trim

5. On areas surrounded by texture and depicted with thin parallel lines, use E47. Color windows with B95, then use B99 for the shadows. Color again with B95 to blend and soften the edge where those colors meet. For the darker trim under the porch roof, color E35 over the existing E35 (limited color palette and all).

Abraxas House copic vintage coloring close up tower final

curator prime’s favorite blues

6. Due to extreme concentration and having the Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation soundtrack on repeat, Curator Prime did not take another photograph until she was done for the day by which she means it was almost four in the morning and she needed to go to bed. In order to get this far, you will need to do the following:

A. Color the concrete blocks at the base of the house beside the bricks with C3 and BV25.

B. Color the steps with C3.

C. Color the house paneling with E34.

D. Color the door with E47. Use Y28 for the hinges and door knobs.

E. For the figure in the window, use B91, then the usual B95 and B99.

F. Color the shingles with E47 several times. Use E18 on the individual singles that have horizontal lines.

G. Color the railing above the front door with B99. Realize that was a mistake as even the tip of the brush tip is slightly too large to stay within the lines. Do not take the artist’s name in vain. Fill in around railing with various browns (E34, E35, E18, E47) to make it look intentional. Use colored pencils (Crayola navy blue, then gray, then black) for the railings at the very top of the house. Sharpen pencils every 1-2 railings. Break at least one pencil. Cursing is optional although quite therapeutic. Sharpen pencil. Finish railings.

Abraxas House copic vintage coloring house

itty bitty f’ing railings

7. Come back after a good rest and view your masterpiece-in-progress. It will look even better than it did the night before, especially those railings. Finish coloring the rest of the house using the established color recipe. Color the path using E42.

Abraxas House copic vintage coloring path

itty bitty patches of ground between grass

8. For everything you want to look like grass, color with YG93. Add shadowy streaks with YG95. Add touches of deep dark shadow with YG99. Consider YG99 might have been a mistake, so re-color with YG95. Be happier. Using ragged, circular motions, color the sky with B91. Use C3 in light streaks across the sky, coloring over the pen streaks already in the sky. Autograph final coloring. Be amazed you finished this session in just under an hour. Scan image, add artist and colorist credits, and export jpg.

Abraxas House copic vintage coloring final

final coloring





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  1. oh my god this is remarkable it is unbelievable to see this done. a true master peace can stop shaking my head over this it is wonderful ty vm for sharing this with us

    • Thank you for your most kind comment. I am working on a series of Copic coloring posts which will have an abundant amount of work-in-progress photos. If you have not signed up for the Vintage Coloring email newsletter, please do, so that you may receive a notice when such posts are available. – Curator Prime

  2. How do you keep the markers from bleeding through the page? I love my Copics, but on many books whose publishers print on both sides of the page, they bleed through and ruin the next page.

    • Unfortunately, it is a fact of the Copic lifestyle that one should always color with a sheet of paper underneath one’s coloring as the markers will bleed through most papers, even the paper Copic specifically recommends, the X-Press It Blending card. It was considered a benefit in the certification class I took, as they taught us to turn the paper over to see the back so that you would know how evenly (or not) you were applying your base layer of color. As for books that are printed on both sides, it will come down to a choice or making a copy of one of the sides so it can be printed onto a separate sheet of paper. My condolences as I know you most likely hoped for a different answer. – Curator Prime

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