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Using Copic Markers

Updated on August 25, 2018
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Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Getting Started With Copic Markers

Copic markers are fast drying, double ended markers available in 322 colors. They are reliable, permanent and acid free-perfect for artwork, card making and of course scrapbooking. Since the nibs are replaceable and they are refillable, they are in the long run, very economical .The broad nib offers smooth consistent area coloring, while the smaller nib is great for detail work. There are techniques in using these unique markers and using Copic markers is what we are focusing on. You can expect to spend about $6-$8 per marker, but remember, they are refillable !

Alcohol inks are permanent on many surfaces - paper, leather, wood, fabrics, plastic, faux fur, and more. On glossy surfaces, such as glazed ceramic and glass the ink can be scratched off, so use a sealant to protect the surface. Make sure that the sealant does not contain alcohol, ethanol, or any other form of alcohol as these will ruin your coloring.

Why Chose Copic Markers?

  1. Refillable ink and replaceable nibs, never throw your favorite marker away!
  2. 334 colors- and more are on the way!
  3. Guaranteed shelf life of three years, these markers don't dry out! Copic Markers and inking pens will not dry out if they are not used and the caps are securely closed. This is guaranteed for at least 3 years.
  4. Copic Markers are Non Toxic.
  5. Alcohol-based ink dries acid free, so it's safe around photos and other precious memories. When water-based markers are layered and blended they tear up the surface of most papers. Alcohol inks do not harm the paper surface. They can be layered and blended on surfaces other than paper as well. Alcohol inks are waterproof and will not wash away.
  6. Guaranteed color consistency
  7. Copic markers are refillable, with replaceable tips. Refill ink bottles are recyclable. Markers are actually filled with Ethanol, a form of alcohol that can be manufactured from plants. No animal products of any kind are used in either Copic markers or inking pens.

How Copic Markers Are Classified

Copic markers are classified by color family and intensity.They have a letter for the broad classification and a number for the color intensity.Fir example a blue marker might have a broad classification of B and a color intensity of 22.The lower the number the brighter the color.

Most people choose to blend with two markers and choose the lightest and the darkest in a color family in order to get a contrast.

Copic Sketch Color Chart

Different Types Of Copic Markers

There are several different types of Copic markers to chose from, depending on your needs:

  1. Copic Sketch - The widest range of colors features medium broad and super brush nib combination. Has 358 Colors. Has an oval barrel. Includes a Medium Broad nib and a Super Brush nib. More nib options include Super Brush, Medium Broad and Medium Round
  2. Copic Ciao-Same quality in a more affordable price. 180 Colors. Features a round barrel. Includes a Medium Broad Chisel nib and a Super Brush nib. Two additional nib options include Super brush nib and Medium Broad nib.Come with a child-safe cap that features small air holes
  3. Copic Classic-This is the original line of Copics and most often used. 214 colors. It has a square barrel. Includes a broad chisel nib and a fine nib on opposite ends. Additional nibs can be applied-Brush nib, Standard Fine nib, Standard Broad nib, Semi Broad nib, Soft Broad nib, Super Fine nib, Round nib, Calligraphy 3 mm nib and Calligraphy 5 mm nib
  4. Copic Wide-Comes with a 3/4 inch nib to color wider areas and backgrounds. Has a flat barrel. Available in 36 colors.2 Nib Options: 18 mm and Broad Calligraphy

Copic Marker Color Chart

Copic Ciao Color Chart

Best Paper To Use With Copic Markers

Copic markers work well with very smooth-grained papers.Look for heavy weight smooth-surface papers which can withstand repeated soakings with marker ink. You can also opt for special marker paper which is designed to handle the ink from copic markers.This paper is thin, smooth and coated with wax or a special sealant to keep the paper from absorbing ink

You can also use special marker paper that is made for markers.This paper is thin, smooth and coated with wax or a special sealant to keep the paper from absorbing ink. So with this paper, you don't use as much ink.

Copic Marker Tip # 1

Always remember to put the cap on your copic marker when not in use. You will save lots of ink !

Get A Copic Marker Color Chart

Before you get started with copic markers, you need to decide what colors you would like to have. You can buy them in sets, but the best way to buy them is to chose the colors that you really love, then buy at least three tones in each color. That way, you will be able to build up your collection and have the variations to do copic coloring techniques.

You will want to do two things before your first purchase-

1. Get a copic color chart so you can see and chose ahead the colors that you want

2. Get a blank color chart so that you can color in the colors you have- this is a smart carry in your bag idea-especially when you are shopping.

What Do The Copic ID Numbers Mean?

What Do The Copic Labels Mean

These labels are easy to read and give you a lot of information about each of your pens.

  1. Each marker, no matter which line, is identified by a letter and number. This letter indicates what color family it belongs to. For example "B" would be blue, "R" for red, ect. Sometimes the color may be two letters like"BG" which would be blue -green.
  2. The number indicates that saturation and intensity. That means how pure the color is. The range is from 0-9. 0 would be a high saturation of pure color with mo gray in it. 9 would be a color with a lot of grey-less pure color.
  3. Color Name is just the name of the color that Copic has assigned to it.

Caring For Your Copic Pens

Another part of the Copic upkeep is to clean the inside of the marker lids, you can soak them in the blending solution. You will need to do this when you notice your ink getting sticky and that’s due to the dried ink on the cap getting on the nib of your marker causing your nib to get all gunky and your nib will need to be changed. These markers are seriously amazing and will last you forever!


A Basic Copic Marker Technique

Crosshatching is an easy and enjoyable tecnique to use with your copic markers.The crosshatch is a series of intersecting perpendicular lines which follow the object's edge. Crosshatching is generally used in areas that you want to shade.Use a 0.1 or 0.5 multiliner thickness to crosshatch. Practice on this tecnique will yield you a lot of satisfaction

When coloring with Copic Markers, always add the lightest colors first, then gradually add your darker shades

Shading With Copic Markers

To blend, start by filling in the darker color on the object. Usually, this color is the shaded area around the edges of any object. Take the lighter color and start coloring just inside the edge of the dark area, working out into the rest of the object. The lighter color picks up the darker ink and mixes with it as you fill in the rest of the object. Copic also makes a colorless blender, which actually removes ink from the paper, but can be used to blend by gradually lightening the ink.

Copic Marker Tip #2

COPIC WIDE markers has a super wide nib of 21mm, making it ideal to colour bigger areas, the object itself or for entire backgrounds. The sharp edges of the nib allow a precise placement on the paper, and works in three widths of strokes.

These Colors Were New-12/27/2011

These Colors Were New-12/27/2011
These Colors Were New-12/27/2011

Blender Pens

Blender pens do not really blend colors. It is more like a color mover. It moves color already on your paper. You can push ink that may have gotten out of your lines back into it's place

Replacing Copic Marker Nibs

The Environmentally Friendly Marker

Copic Markers are very enviormentally friendly. They are refillable and the nibs are replaceable. So, while you may pay more upfront for these pens, they actually save you money on the back side.Replace the nibs by grasping the old nib firmly with a pair of tweezers and pulling it straight out. Reverse the process to insert the new nib. Artists have nine styles of nibs to choose from for their markers.

You should note that each of the different markers have their own nibs and they are not interchangeable.

Refilling Copic Markers

Refill the ink by uncapping the broad end of the marker and unscrewing the ink refill. The ink refill has a plastic tube which drops ink out one drop at a time. Tilt the marker up at a 45-degree angle and let the ink refill drop ink onto the broad marker nib. This ink runs backwards through the nib into the marker. Place as many drops as you feel comfortable with into the marker.

How many refills do you get per bottle?

  • Copic Sketch-about 12 refills per bottle
  • Copic Ciao-about 15 refills per bottle
  • Copic Wide Marker-about 7 times per bottle
  • Copic Classics-about 9 times per bottle

Top 10 Tips For Copic Markers

Copic Calligraphy Markers

There are now new liners and markers in the Copic line to do calligraphy. They are just in black in a line line to a broad stroke

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