Before You Can Color Well, You Need to Know the Essentials

Learning something new isn't easy. It's even harder if you're trying to learn it all on your own.

It's the simple coloring stuff that holds you back -

  • how to hold your markers
  • how ink works
  • how to smooth and blend


You need more than free tutorials because there's a gigantic difference between a blogger and a teacher.

You can paint with markers!

Are you looking for depth and dimension in your coloring?

Marker Painting is a completely different approach to coloring.

Well, actually it's the classic approach, learning to use your Copic Markers the way an artist uses paint.

Marker Painting breaks all the crafty coloring laws and the copy-cat approach to instruction. Art based painting technique sets you free from marker tutorials, recipes, and all the supposed rules that actually lock you into flat and simplistic coloring.

You can learn to color independently.

You can get realism and amazing depth from your Copics.

Marker Painting Foundations is more than monkey-see, monkey-do coloring demonstrations.

The goal is to help you understand your markers from the basics up -- setting the foundation for a lifetime of creative self expression.

Marker Painting Foundations - An introduction to Copic markers.  26 lessons, forever access & personalized feedback | | #copic #coloredpencil #realisticcoloring
  • What supplies to purchase - how to make the most from a starter budget and how to build a reasonably sized marker collection that suits all your needs.
  • How to hold the marker - how to position your hand, arm, and body to make the most efficient and artistic strokes.
  • How to begin your projects - eliminate the guesswork and the habit of recklessly charging in without a plan.
  • How to fix a mistake - and how to move on if you can't fix the flaw.
  • What order to apply colors - light to dark or dark to light?  Finding the method that's right for your brain.
  • How to blend - and when not to blend.
  • How to shape and layer objects - understanding dimension and space rather than worrying about lighting conditions.

Strawberries  (your final project)-

Start with beginner level skills and progress to artistic realism.

Join anytime

Work at your own pace

Jumpstart your Coloring!

Change the way you think about color...

Improve your process to improve your coloring!

Marker Painting Foundations is an online, twelve week introduction to the world of Copic Markers.


Amy Shulke is a professional technical illustrator with a special passion for teaching beginners how to color, paint, and draw. She teaches students to be independently creative rather than dependent on further classes for inspiration. Amy designs her projects to help you practice and perfect versatile skills rather than demonstrating just enough technique to get you through a single project.


Marker Painting Foundations has an active course discussion board.  Instructor feedback and student support are a key feature of this course system.  Every project photo you submit will be carefully considered and you'll receive advice specifically tailored to your unique needs. Ask for clarification or further information at any time!

Marker Painting Foundations - An introduction to Copic markers.  26 lessons, forever access & personalized feedback | | #copic #coloredpencil #realisticcoloring

Weekly Course Projects

Learn to color like an artist

Marker Painting Foundations - An introduction to Copic markers.  26 lessons, forever access & personalized feedback | | #copic #coloredpencil #realisticcoloring
  • COMPLETE BEGINNERS who have never touched a marker before

  • SELF TAUGHT COLORERS who feel as if they've missed the big secret to amazing coloring

  • UNCONFIDENT COLORERS who still encounter problems with blending, shading, or developing convincing depth

  • FRUSTRATED COLORERS who struggle when coloring unfamiliar stamps

  • HABITUAL COLORERS stuck in a rut where every project looks the same

  • DREAMING COLORERS who want to push beyond craft level coloring into creative and artistic self-expression

More than "watch me color" style videos:











Each digital stamp is designed to enhance the week's lesson.

No blending boxes or exercise pages.











Learning aids that give you a closeup look at each project - shade, color location, even back views!











Lesson videos are concept focused. Watch and enjoy the video and work at your own pace.  No pressure to color, color faster!











Narrated demo videos that emphasize technique with frequent timeouts to explain the process.











A 150 page guidebook that reinforces the week's lesson but also stimulates further thought and discussion.











Personalized and prompt instructor feedback that helps you make specific corrections to improve your weakest skills.

Beginners and Beyond

You do not have to be a beginner to benefit from Foundations.

This is art-based instruction and the approach is completely different than anything you've experienced in any coloring class. 

Marker Painting Foundations is 26 lessons for $350.  That's $14 per lesson.

Monthly payment option available

What you need to know...

Open Enrollment ~ Join anytime ~ Forever Access

  • This is NOT your grandma's coloring class!  Amy is extremely detail oriented and she shares fun facts in a humorous and unorthodox way.  It's serious coloring with a light-hearted approach.


  • This course will make you think. If you're not ready to challenge your coloring assumptions, this may not  be the course for you.


  • Lurkers lose!  The whole point of this course is to improve your coloring, right?  Improvement happens when you complete the projects AND submit them to the private Vanilla Arts Marker Painting Forums for evaluation and encouragement.  Amy helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses. She will give you specific instructions on how to make improvements.  If you don't turn your projects in, if you skip the feedback experience - you will miss the heart the class.


  • This course will change the way you look at the world around you.  Be prepared for odd looks and eye-rolls from your family when you stop mowing the lawn to stare at the color of the grass or when you pause a television show in order to look closer at the tree on the left.  Sorry, being weird is part of being an artist!

16 Original Digital Stamps

Each digital stamp has been designed exclusively by Amy to enhance the week's lesson.

Billing Options

Vanilla Arts Co. will bill you one time for the full cost of the course.


Choose the monthly payment option to spread the cost of the course over three easy payments.

Printable Learning Aids

Color maps, shading guides, color studies, and process photos give you a close-up look at the projects.

Instead of simply recreating the sample project, you'll see and understand how each step builds to the end result.

Lesson Videos

Lesson videos are concept focused.  Watch and enjoy the video with a cup of coffee. 

No pressure to color, color, color faster!

Narrated Demonstration Videos

Demonstration videos emphasize technique with frequent timeouts allowing Amy to explain the process.

Detailed Guidebook

A 150 page guidebook reinforces each week's lesson with extra information and key concepts to stimulate further thought and discussion.

Personalized Instructor Feedback

Personalized feedback helps you make specific corrections and improve your weakest skills.

Private Student Discussion Group

The MPF private Forum is where you submit your projects for Amy's evaluation and feedback.   

This Forum is also perfect for student networking and support! It's a great community of current and former students who share their successes and struggles.

Colored Pencil Plus - An introduction to the artistic approach to colored pencils.  26 lessons, forever access & personalized feedback | | #prismacolor #coloredpencil #realisticcoloring

Marker Painting Foundations Supply Information

Looking for information on what supplies you'll need throughout the course?


We put everything in one place for you!

Clink the link below for the colors, brands, and tools you'll need to start learning.

Enroll in Marker Painting Foundations

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