Information on Copic Markers + Giveaway

I have been receiving a lot of questions about Copic Markers, so I decided to do a post on them.  Please keep in mind that I use them "my own way" and some of these points are just my opinion.  However, I will be sharing links to the "official" stuff, too.  Enjoy!

Copics

THE BASICS OF COPIC MARKERS

Copic Markers have been around for a long time in the architecture and art worlds.  They are high quality, long lasting (won't dry out for years and you can store upright or on side), color consistent, non-toxic, acid-free when dry, refillable and come in 334 fabulous colors. They are permanent (color your gems and buttons) but don't cross contaminate – you can't ruin one marker by touching it's tip with another. 

They are alcohol-based dye markers, which means a lot of great things. No matter how many times you color over an image, it will not cause the paper to pill.  They give smooth results (no more stripes in your colored images!) and the ability to blend.

There are four types of Copic Markers.  You can find info on each HERE, but I recommend the Sketch.  They are most common in the industry and come in the most colors.  I also like that they have a VERY durable nib in Medium Broad and Brush.  The brush end is soft, flexible and never frays.  Amazing marker.  Sketch markers also have an oval body, which prevents rolling – love this.  They can even be used in the airbrush system (more on that in a bit).  Here it is…

Copics Sketch I do a have a few green pens in the Original Marker since they have a bullet tip good for coloring in tiny stems on flowers.  Here it is…

Copic Original
The Colorless Blender Pen is a must.  However, the name is a bit misleading.  It is not really a blender, but actually can be used to "erase" mistakes, make colors lighter, highlighting, push color, etc.  I promise to show you lots of techniques with it in the future.  Get it. :)

Copic also has some great glitter pens called Spica.  They have tiny glass flakes, offering a gorgeous sparkle.  They can be bought individually HERE or in sets HERE (my fave) and HERE.  (Regular Copics can be stored upright or on their side, but Spicas need to be stored on their side.)  Here is one…

Copic Glitter
Copic also has a Multiliner SP fine-tip pen in 10 different tip sizes.  I like to have the black 0.3 – it is fabulous, acid-free, archival safe, won't bleed with Copics, etc.  I use it for all my journaling, touching-up of stamped images, etc.  Here it is…

Copics Fine
"Official" information can be found HERE from Copic.

TECHNIQUES

There are many techniques that you can use Copics for.  It is not just about basic coloring.  You can blend, create patterns, feather, etc.  I will be sure to share these with you on my blog via videos.  But I did want to mention that these aren't just markers that are wonderful for basic coloring.  There is sooooo much more.

COLORS

The Copic color coding seems complicated, but it really isn't.  And to be honest, you really don't need to pay attention to codes if you don't want to.  I tend to ignore them and use what I like. :) But I will explain the numbers anyway. Here is the cap…

Copic Cap

  • The Letter(s) – The letter in the code is the color family.
R = Red
YR = Yellow-Red
Y = Yellow
YG = Yellow-Green
G = Green
BG = Blue-Green
B = Blue
BV = Blue-Violet
V = Violet
RV = Red-Violet
E = Earth
N = Neutral, W = Warm, C = Cool, T = Toner

  • The First Number – This tells the color saturation or intensity.  Lower numbers are more vibrant.  Higher numbers are more gray.
  • The Second Number - This tells the color brightness.  Lower numbers are light.  Higher numbers are bright/dark.

This color coding system helps when picking which markers can be used together as a "natural blending group."  Look for markers with the same letters and first number.  So, B21 to B29 work great together.  When blending two markers, pick ones that are two to four digits apart.  So, B00, B02 and B05 would blend great.  Some colors don't follow this rule, but usually they do.

If you are getting started, I don't recommend just going out and buying random colors you happen to like.  To really get the most out of your Copics, you need to have 3 or 4 markers that can be used together as that "natural blending group" – various shades of a color.  So, if you want to start out with 10, for example, just pick a 3 of your favorite colors and get sets of them, along with a Colorless Blender Pen.

I get asked a lot about my favorite colors.  Now, keep in mind that I use Copics for bold coloring, not for a ton of shading or shadowing or softness.  (If you like softer, please check out advice from Debbie Olsen HERE.)  So my colors are bold.  If I really want lighter, I use my blender pen to pick up a darker color… creating a light color.  (I will share this technique later.)  You may want to add in a few lighter colors.  (ETA: You don't need to have as many Copics as I do to enjoy them.  Keep in mind – this is my job, thus having them makes a lot more sense.  I likely wouldn't have as many for a hobby! :)

People ask about my favorites – ones I reach for often.  Some are part of a natural color grouping, and some are just random good colors.  (Notice under Pinks I have some R's and some RV's.  Sometimes colors with different letters work well together.)  I have a lot listed here…

Copic Favorites
If you are looking to try out some, here are a few suggested color combos that I find fun to use together.  Remember, if you want a very light color, you would need to add that in, as I like more vibrant.

Copic Suggested

Another great option for starting out is to look at the sets HERE.  This is where I started.  I picked a price range and started my addiction. :)

As for refills, you can get them for every color.  However, I wouldn't get any right away.  I have yet to need to refill any of mine!

PAPER AND INK

To prevent bleeding of colors, it is important to use specific papers and inks with your Copics.  There are many options, but my favorites are Neenah paper and Memento ink.

Neenah Solar White cardstock works great with Copics.  You can buy it in packs of 25 sheets HERE, or by the ream (250 sheets) HERE.  I highly recommend the ream.  This is the white cardstock I use for EVERYTHING.  I use it to mat my photos… for regular stamping… for copics.  I just adore it.  Yum.

My favorite ink for Copics is Tsukineko Memento.  I use the Tuxedo Black ink HERE most, but all the colors work.  This ink makes me happy.   Here is the ink…

Copics Ink
AIR BRUSHING

Something really cool that you can do with Copics is Airbrushing.  There are a few systems.  Two of them use aircans that can be replaced.  The other is a mini air compressor.  You just pop your Sketch or Original Copic into the handle, press the button and spray away!  It is great for sky's, etc.  I have the air compressor and will share it in future videos.  I am surprised how much I love it.

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STORAGE

And, as collectors of stuff crafters, we need to know how to store these, right?  There are a few ways, but I prefer the storage units from Studio 3 HERE.  They are perfect and by far better than the many other storage options I bought and tried.  (I use the extra shelves for my white pens, refills and Memento Ink.)

Copics Cubby
By the way, since Copics are air-tight, you can store them on their side or upright.  Doesn't matter.

WHERE TO GET COPICS

When I decided to start buying Copics, I went to the craft store that originally "brought" Copics to the stamping arena – Ellen Hutson.  I did this for a few reasons.  First, I like to support the stores that help the industry.  Also, she has put a lot of information and tutorials out there.  (Check out the store's blog HERE.)  Finally, she has some great sets for sale that offer a wonderful place to start, while also carrying them individually.  She usually ships same day – which rocks my world – and has low shipping and free shipping for orders over $150.  Oh, and one more thing I like – she carries the paper I love most – Neenah.

I also like Eclectic Paperie.  They have great service, too, along with a lot of Tim's products that I love.  They also have a great blog and videos.

Another site that has good prices and service is McCallisters.  Their prices are a few cents lower. However, I am all about supporting our industry's stores (like Ellen Hutson and Eclectic Paperie) most.  But I have ordered from and love all three of these options.

RESOURCES

Here are some places for more Copic help:

  • Copic's official info can be found HERE.
  • Copic's Marianne Walker's blog HERE is bursting with info and tutorials.
  • Sherrie Siemens was my Copic teacher and she has incredible info on her blog HERE.  And she is one of the best Copic colorers out there. ;)
  • Again, Debbie Olsen has great stuff HERE.
  • I like THIS post that Nichol did recently HERE.  She keeps it simple – love that.
  • Another great Copic colorer is Donna Mikasa.  Love that girl.

Hope this helps to explain Copics a bit for you.  I will add additional information as I get questions.  Thanks!

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ETA: Decided to giveaway a few markers that I accidentally bought two of.  In fact, they are three of my faves.  Just leave a comment here by Wednesday night 11:50pmEST telling me if you use Copics, want to try them, etc and I will pick a winner of these:

Prize

1,081 CommentsCool links, Copics, Enabling, Giveaways, Product Information

  1. Cheryl

    I used a copic marker at my last card
    class. I didn’t want to but they
    twised my arm! Nice markers and they don’t look blotchy on the Neenah paper.
    Copic markers are oh so tempting to have! Love your website – so much good info!

  2. Cindy Dean

    Jennifer,

    Thanks for all of the great information. I colored the butterflies based on you video and everyone loved them. I am just getting started with copics and my scrapbooking is getting futher behind.

  3. What a great explanation and detail article you created. I have 4 Copic Ciao Markers and hope to add to my collection when possible. Thanks for this chance .

  4. Susan Schultheis

    Yes,yes, yes I use Copics. I love them. When I am “coloring” in smaller areas, it is almost like the copic knows where the line is…..rarely go out of the lines. I am not too good at picking the colors but I will certainly use your suggestions above. Thank You so much. A Happy Copic Colorer

  5. Edna Burgess

    I really appreciate all the info you’ve give on copics. I have quite a few of them but am still having trouble blending some of the colors. Reds give me the hardest challenge. I read all I can and watch the videos that everyone has about using them. Plus have taken classes for them. Hope I win your 3 colored pens. Edna

  6. Gina P

    I have just started collecting copics. I don’t have the ones you are giving away and I would love to add them to my collection. I made a list of your favorites to keep in mind when I buy them. Thanks

  7. Tammy Cappolina

    Would love to win these markers to start me off! I have been wanting to try Copics for so long now. This would give me a taste of what I’ve been missing!

  8. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all this clear and consise information…..I have been totally bemused until now. I do have a few copics but, as one does when you don’t know any better, I bought the wrong colours completely! Those butterflies were the first things which convinced me that I needed copics…thanks so much for all this valuable information.

  9. Pam

    Thank you so much for the instructions! I have purchased a few Copic markers because I love the way they look in the magazines! I’ve been nervous to try them much myself though, but after reading this, I might just be a bit braver! Thanks so much :) Pam

  10. Debra bird

    Thanks for all of your great advice Jennifer. I stumbled upon your blog and now I can’t wait to see why you’ll show us all next.

  11. Tina

    Oh my gosh, I did a google for copics and fell into this post! oh I am soooooooooo glad I did. I am just starting with digitals and copics and it is terrific, especially showing the actual colors in the grouings :) for us 1st timers!!
    thank you so much.
    put right into my fav’s links :)

  12. Jennifer Sodowsky

    Great information! I purchased some Copics, but have yet to use them! I guess I’m a little intimidated to give them a try. I’m really looking forward to more of your posts on techniques, etc!

    Jen

  13. Connie

    I was given you site by Ellen Vargo, great friend of mine. Although we are just getting started with copics and are taking a class at Queen’s Ink this Saturday, I was trying to get a head start. Your website has so much information and I’m loving the look of the copics. Thanks for all the help in blending and beautiful samples.
    Connie

  14. I have just started using copics..well shortly before Christmas. I have taken an online course and will be taking a class at CKC on them. My collection is growing slowly but those 3 colours I don’t have yet.
    Thank you so much for the chance to win.

  15. Robin in Washington

    I would love those colors! I am in the process of trying to figure out which colors I would get the most use out of because I cannot afford all of them. Thanks for the tips on where to find coloring techniques. I find that if I see how to color an image I can copy it okay, but to color it without seeing where to put the shadows and highlights is near to impossible. I find I enjoy seeing the shadows and highlights. Anyway, thanks again!

  16. Linda F

    Thank you so much for so much information on Copic. I am just starting to collect the pens and I must say this article is so helpful. I don’t have the 3 colors that you are giving away. Thanks for the opportunity to try to win.

  17. dot ferrero

    Jennnifer.Do you remember the ladie’s name at Angela’s Happy Stamper that you recommended to learn about Copics?

    I hope you come again…your class was the best I’ve ever taken.

  18. Sharon D.

    Jennifer–loved all the information that you gave. I have picked up a couple of Copic pens when I have the money. I have made a couple of cards with the pens. I just need to keep getting more colors. I want to take a class and learn the right way to do things. Thank you for a chance to win 3 colors that I don’t have. I am a follower of yours, and Debbie Olsen. I have ordered from Ellen Hutson.

  19. Diana E. bishop

    Your information on copics is wonderful. I have wanted some and afraid because I did not know where to even begin to start. Thanks for this info and all you do for everyone.

    Hugs….Diane

  20. Tee Cee

    I must say Jennifer you did a really good job in explaining Copics. Thank you – appreciate it! And I would love to win these!! For my birthday my children could only afford one and they got me the black – it goes with everything right!!?
    Thanks for the offer and congrats to the one who wins!

  21. I love to use Copics
    I hope i win!

  22. i have never used them before, but after hearing my friend talk about and now reading this i would like to give them a try

  23. Seriously excellent entry to study on.! I am actually intrigued with this post. Searching forward for more information.

  24. Marcia Scantlin

    thanks for all the info. I love using copics and have begun stamping more, thanks to you and Nicol M.

  25. J’en suis à mes tout début avec les crayons Copics que j’adoooore! Merci pour toute cette information et pour votre générosité!

  26. Iris

    I’m getting the 24 sketch set and I’m also will be buying 14 invidudual markers. And I have some problems on picking the colors . I’m in to does bright colors like : BV , V , RV , R , BG , B , and F ( Floursent ). Please help me !

  27. Diane Cok

    Those Pens should really hit the spot!!! I’m croaking to get my hands on some! Thank you all.

  28. Janna Bruchhauser

    I took a class a while back how to use copics and they changed everything about the way I now craft. They are the BEST investment I have ever made as far as mt craft supplies. Ladies that have not taken the jump into the worls of copics… go for it. They may be a little more costly but they are worth every penny!!! Thanks Jennifer Love all your information. :)

  29. Hi Jennifer! I have really contemplated using copics, the price is holding me back. I have purchased several sets of the bic mark its, just to see if my hands would do it and for middle age hands that have had carpal tunnel, they are not bad. Using inexpensive markers to start has made me realize, I would really enjoy using copics. So, it may be something I ask for at Christmas or Birthday. Thanks for all of your great info, I love that you share like that.

  30. Judith Eastham

    Would love these pens..I would love to try them, I am on a limited budget so haven’t dared start buying them , as I’m afraid I won’t be able to use them..

  31. Deb

    Hello. I have started to play with a copic marker or two. I tried spectrum which I read good reviews on, I did not like them. I would love to have a few copics to play with until I get the hang of it. I am not greedy, I just don’t have disposable income to buy different kinds to try. I love hero arts stamps and would love to be able to try them out with my stamps. My goal is to become good enough that I can someday work for hero arts and share what little talent I have. Thanks Deb

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