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Copic Markers: Are They Worth It?

Updated on July 30, 2015

Copic Markers are a great way to brighten up your artwork with fun, lively, and vibrant colors. The jury is still out on whether Copic Markers are better than Prismacolor Markers, because, like most things, which is better is a personal choice. Both are good products, but here are a few reasons why I chose Copic markers and why I believe they are a good choice for the serious artist or scrap booking enthusiast.

Don’t misunderstand me…I say serious because Copics are expensive markers. Unless you can import them from Japan cheaply, you won’t find a pack of twenty for ten dollars at Walmart. Each marker is roughly 7-10 dollars depending on which store you purchase them from. You can find them at craft stores like Hobby Lobby or online from companies like Ebay, Dick Blick, or Amazon. Just a note, if you go to say Hobby Lobby the markers are usually locked up in a clear cabinet so customers won't walk away with them. You will need someone to help you.

Despite the weighty investment, they are worth every penny. These markers will last for a very long time. When I was researching them for myself I found a demonstration where the instructor completely soaked three full sheets of paper before they ran out. If they do run out you can buy refills. Each capable of filling the markers up to five times! Also, unlike normal markers, you can purchase for just a few dollars replacement nibs if yours become ruined. I purchase my nibs from Amazon.

What about the ink itself? Is there anything special about it? Yes there is! Copic markers use an oil based ink making the colors more vibrant, easily blend able, and layer able. What do I mean by layer able? Once the first coat of color is laid down and dried you can go over with the same marker to make a darker line. No black needed! Youtube has some wonderful examples of this technique.

So can I buy a packet or are these markers only sold individually? You can buy Copic Markers individually or in packets. The packets come in sizes ranging from 6 up to 72. Some are even grouped depending on your need such as "skin colors." You CANNOT mix and match!

So what else makes these markers so great? Copic markers come in all sorts of designs so whatever the project there is a marker for you. Copic markers come in: Wide, Copic, Sketch, and Ciao.

Copic: The original Copic marker comes in over 200 colors and is used by illustrators worldwide.

Wide: Wide Copic Markers are great for covering large areas.

Sketch: Sketch Copic Markers come in over 300 colors. These markers are double ended with a brush nib on one end and a wide nib on the other side. This system is compatible with the Copic Airbrush System.

Ciao: Ciao Copic Markers come in 180 colors. They are said to be just like the sketch markers, but just in a more compact size for the illustrator on the go.

In addition, depending on what style you purchase, some of the Copic Markers can be connected to the brand airbrush machines.

Do you have anything negative to say about these markers? Yes. No product is perfect although I don't have much to say. Because of the oils you need to take the time to research the right type of paper because these will bleed right through regular printer paper. They also do bleed a little. What does that mean? It means the color will spread out from where you put the nib down on the paper and can sometimes go outside your lines. This can be corrected by using the right paper and purchasing the blending marker. It doesn't "blend" per say but it does push the color back and it very useful with some techniques. My last warning is to take care when you put the caps back on. They click in nice and snug but on occasions I have accidentally caught the nib only to have ink drip all down my hand the next time I went to use it. More a user error but just food for thought.

So the next time you go to design a building or make a Christmas card keep these markers in mind, but don’t just take my word for it. You can check them out for yourself at Below is a demonstration video I pulled off of Enjoy!


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    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for sharing this info. The art markers we used to get 40 or 50 years ago were sooo much better than we usually find today, especially in the more subtle colors.

      I'm going to be looking for these.