17 August 2022

What I Wish I'd Known About Copic Markers

I was late to the Copic marker party. I'll be honest, I wasn't on board with these "magic markers" mostly because of the cost. Then my bestie said she was gonna get a few colors and try them. Remember I told you we feed off each other? Yep, yet another example of that. So in I went.

If you're new to Copic markers, there are essentially three styles or sizes if you will.  Classic (214 colors), Caio (180 colors) and Sketch (358 colors) are the most common with the most colors being available in Sketch.  I opted for the Caio, again still making my decisions based on price, as the Caio is the smallest of the Copic family in both color selection and marker size.

After watching several videos, and talking about it for weeks to Hubby, I bought a handful of colors.  I think I was looking for the magic colors to start with.  I'm gonna let you in on a secret, there is no magic color set out there.  Anyone who colors with Copics has their go-to colors, but it's really all about your style and your favorite color palettes.  I talk about my initial thoughts in this post

I won't lie, I thought these would be something I bought to try and they would end up in a drawer like many of the other markers I've tried.  I had no idea how wrong that thought would be.  I began my Copic journey in late 2018, fast-forward to today and I have all 180 Caio.  I purchased my collection over a span of three years, a few markers at a time.  I'm now working on purchasing the refills a few at a time.  

Once I actually had a handful of markers, and used them.  My mindset began to switch from how expensive they were to the investment I was making in my creativity.  Copics blend together like no other marker I have ever used, but the biggest reason my mind shifted when I looked at the refills.  I can refill one marker numours times from one refill, which in the long run actually saves me money.  Not to mention the money I save because I'm no longer seeking other markers.  Can I also point out that the tips are also replaceable?  These markers are an investment for any maker that truly loves to color.   

Now that you have a little back story to this journey I'll get to the meat and potatoes of this post.  I wanted to write this post to share a few things I wish I'd known before jumping on the Copic train.  What are those things? 

Paper is personal.  Yes, there are a zillion people out there who swear by Neenah Solar White 80 or 100-pound cardstock.  I've tried it and I had the worst marker bleed issues on Neenah Solar.  I use Neenah, but I prefer the Bright White 65-pound cardstock.  This is the white paper I use for everything and it's what I started Copic coloring on.  My bestie uses Pen & Gear from Walmart and she loves it.  Find your paper, don't just buy the paper everyone else says is the best.

Refilling your markers is tricky.  The best info I found on refilling Copics was in the Copic Marker blending problems? Refill your markers for instant improvement! from Vanilla Arts Co.  This article actually suggests a scale and weighing your markers.  Before I read this article I spent a lot of time overfilling markers, wasting ink, and losing a few projects to marker burping.

Full Set Syndrom is real.  You don't need all the colors.  Want yes!  Need, not necessarily.  There are several colors that are very similar and will get you very close to the blend you desire. In many cases, close in shade is close enough.  This isn't about an exact match it's about enjoy the process and getting an end result you love.

Swatches are indispencible.  While I have never been huge into the swatching of colors, I feel like it's a must with my Copics.  The cap color can be far off from the actual color.  I have both a swatch book of the colors in numeric order and the Sand Alnock Hex Chart.  I use them both when I'm coloring images.  The swatch book is my go to when I'm starting out with a color idea to find the shade of orange or purple I have in mind.  From there I grab my hex chart and find the shade that bled well with it.  You may only need one, but I feel both are extremely valuable.

If it's Alcohol it will blend.  This is one of the biggest things I wish I'd known before buying Copics.  Not that it would have changed my decision to buy Copics, it would have made me more confident to purchase other brands to try alcohol markers before investing n Copics.  I currently have a full set of Copic Caio and a few Artist Loft markers to fill in some color gaps, as well as a few greens that did in a pinch when I couldn't get my hands on a refill for some of my most used greens.

I hope this helps you if your still on the fence about copics, or if you bought into the fun and are still struggling with some issues.  Were here to make and share our knowledge.  No one maker has all the magic answers.  

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