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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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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.

Faq5a

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. πŸ˜‰
  • 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


Leave a Comment

1,088 thoughts on “Information on Copic Markers + Giveaway”

  1. Thanks for sharing thatthey can be stored upright too, I was worried that I would spoil mine leaving them in the plastic cases. My fav colours are the E ones, I have ran out of ink in one shade already…coloured too many deer at chirtmas (stamped ones of course – not the real thing).

  2. I love the cards you make. Your creativity and style amaze me. I just started with Copics and appreciate your great information.

  3. I have some new Copics and planned to take a class but our instructor was ill…so I’m doubly thankful for your tutorial.
    Even though I have a list on my computer I still find myself buying two of “my favorites” because I’m always drawn to the same one.

  4. hey there,

    i just bought a set of copic ciao markers, I’m so in love with the color palette, i can’t wait to use some of the techniques you demonstrate on you tube thank you so much!

  5. Oh my…I’e been a bit busy and embarassed to say my google reader has as many posts as there are comments on this Copic post. My hunny bought me my first set for Valentines day and I am having a ton of fun using them but I don’t have the 3 you are giving away so maybe I’l get the prize for being the latest to the party πŸ™‚

  6. I was right after COPIC markers today when I came in here. What a fun coincidence!
    Thank you for always sharing creative things in easy to follow ways.

    Have a great night!
    Lya

  7. Thank you so much for all the work you put into this post (well all of them actually – but this was huge). As someone starting with copics it’s nice to get some recommendations from some one whose already been using them, this way I don’t buy what I don’t need! THANK YOU JENNIFER!

  8. I am so so excited to try these markers. I have been reading your posts and now have a very long list of things to “try”. I am going through crafting withdrawls since I am in the midst of a move and all of my goodies are packed away. So for now I read and learn until I can unpack! You are such an inspiration!

  9. I love to color my stamped images and have been using watercolor pencils, but copics look so much better! going to have to get some!

  10. Have been looking into different markers to buy, think you sold me with all the great information! Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Thanks for all the information you shared! I have many Copic sketch markers, but certainly not all of them! I think it’s amazing how wonderful a plain black and white stamped image can look when lots of fabulous Copic color is added.

  12. WOW! So much information for someone like me who knows NOTHING about copics! I’m very interested in learning how to color with them but would like to learn everything I can before I make a decision where to start! I would love to win! Thanks for the chance!

  13. These are beautiful. I saw them for the first time yesterday at a scrapbook store! I would adores and cherish them if I won! Thank you!

  14. I use copics and I am still on the beginning of my learning curve. Thanks so much for the wonderful information it really helps out a novice!!!! Thanks also for the chance. These colors are not in my collection πŸ™‚

  15. I can not begin to tell you how helpful this post was. Kelly Marie of Lawnfawn sent me the link to this post. I was considering COPICS (I don’t color very much and have a few tombow markers, but wanted to see what the world of COPICS were all about. I bought the green copics you recommended for starters and can’t wait to get them and try them and see what this is all about. Thanks again for taking the time to create such a well informed post into the world of Copics.

  16. I have not bought any Copic markers yet. I’ve been reading up on them on the net. Perhaps its time I try them. Would love to win some! Thank you.

  17. Double ended pens, airbrushing and those butterflies…OH MY just love it all! No Copic Markers yet but there is always a first time.

  18. jennifer again thanks for this information… I didnt know that much about them.. but now i will give a try…

  19. Jennifer
    I love your work, but I don’t have these pens yet!!! I’m from Brazil and what I do to add color to my projects is using watercolor that I love!!! I try to give the same effect, but it’s a little bit different…. I lovo this!!!

  20. Every single time I see these markers I drool!!! I most like to use color as an accent. Usually in a manner that will allow the color to take first or second stage to the point of interest. My oh my!!

  21. strangely i am a copic virgin, i
    don’t own ANY :O awesome giveaway
    love how you store them! who would
    have thought that they look so
    awesome! good luck to all & shhh
    i’ve crossed my fingers that i
    win :)would love to share with
    my other copic virgin friends!

  22. OMG I totally just bought over 40 Copics markers because of this post. Thanks for the info, I purchased most of them from Ellen but some where sold out so i bought some other from Scrapbookalley.com (they have a 10% coupon till May 31, 2010: 10 Deal), and then a 1 from ebay, and then the rest from Copicmarkers.com. I think i went a lil overboard, oh well. LOL

  23. I started my Copic collection a few months ago and have quickly become addicted! I bought one of the color cubbies you mentioned and will probably need another one before long. I’m still learning and appreciate all of the information you posted. Thanks! -Pam

  24. This is really useful! I haven’t made the plunge into Copics yet, although I’ve been hearing about them for years. It’s nice to have an introduction to them. Thanks.

  25. Hi Jennifer,
    Have never used them but absolutely love what you do with them. I’ve only found them in one local craft store, but have seen them on Ellen’s site. Would love to win this one! Thanks,
    Angie in Utah
    [email protected]

  26. Those look like they are so fun to play with! The buuterfly images you colored in look amazing. The colors are crisp and bright.

    Thanks for the tutorial showing how to use these and the awesome links you shared.

    I’d love to win, so I could start off with 3 copics. Because once you have 3, you have to by more. At least that’s what I’ll tell the DH.

  27. Jennifer – I am just now looking into the copic markers and was really confused as to which ones – both kinds and colors – to consider. Your info has helped a lot toward my decision. Being a ‘struggling crafter’ with absolutely NO art ability, its easy for me to get confused as to which will be the best for me. No one wants to make an expensive investment error.
    So, many thanks for your time, clarity and willingness to help others. I agree with going to the websites of original folks in the businesses…I’m ‘on my way’, so to speak! Kathy C

  28. I’m new to the card making arena but I am an avid crafter. I recently uploaded some pictures on Flickr! for a Hero Arts contest and I am amazed at the beauty copic markers brings to a project. I have been wanting to try them ( I am currently using Lyra Rembrandt colored pencils).
    Thank you!

  29. Just starting to use copics and researching as much as I can on line. Thanks so much for all the information and links you have provided.

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