I took two Copic marker (pronounced coe-pick, not cop-pick) classes at a Creating Keepsakes Convention in my area. I’ve had Copics on my wishlist since seeing them on Scrap Time. Since then I’ve seen and heard much about them. I thought I would share with you what I know and some resources to learn more.
Copics are alcohol based markers and…
- Come in 4 body styles: Copic (original), Wide, Sketch and Cio. Differences between these include marker size, ink volume and marker convenience. Sketch and Cio are most popular with stampers and scrappers due to the brush tips. Ciao are slightly less expensive because they are smaller, hold less ink and do not have the nice marker design features. Sketch are nicer in that they are a rectangular body to prevent them from rolling around on the table. They also have caps that have the color printed directly on the cap. This is a HUGE time saver when looking for markers.
- They are refillable and have very durable nibs. And if your nib is damaged somehow, then the nibs are replaceable. This makes these markers a life-time purchase! Never throw away another marker!
- They are guaranteed not to dry out for 3 years. And if they do dry out they can be refreshed. Did I mention, never throw away another marker?
- They can color on paper, cardstock, chipboard and other paper products
- But unlike other markers they can also color on plastics, metal and other non-porous surfaces including buttons, brads, ribbon, glass, transparencies and much more. Since Copics are alcohol based they color on paper better in many ways than water based markers. The colors can be blended seamlessly and without leaving heavy streak lines like water based markers.
- Due to the alcohol based nature they blend more smoothly than water-based markers (depending on your surface!)
You can see some info on Copic techniques from Scrap time. I love Christine over there and think you should check out her Copic and other videos.
- How to start inexpensively with Copics by using a palette blending method. Episode 98.
- How to use Copic to blend colors for shading & dimension. Episode 371.
- Another blending and shading technique using a palette. Episode 612.
I took my class from Clear and Simple Stamps. You can find their basic photo color blending tutorial on their site. They do have a video tutorial but I found the sound quality poor and couldn’t finish watching it. Also, search YouTube. There are dozens of videos.
My initial thoughts after taking the class
- Like them way better than water based markers and bought a full range of colors.
- Love the fact that they will last forever. I won’t ever throw away another marker!
- I think they are more versatile since they can color on many more surfaces.
- It will take some experimenting to find just the right paper and stamp ink to use for color stamped images. The marker ink can cause some stamping inks to bleed. Never use them with StazOn which is also alcohol based.
- Different cardstocks will absorb the ink in different ways causing the ink to feather outside of your intended images. This is especially frustrating if you are coloring in stamped images. My Stampin’ Up cardstock is “not recommended” by some resources, yet I had the best luck with it not feathering/bleeding. Go figure. (I heard that it absorbs more ink so it will run your markers dry faster. Who cares if it actually works!)
- Don’t trust the plastic cap colors. The actual marker color can be quite different. It is best to buy them in person or in coordinated color sets (like Clear and Simple Stamp Trios) until you know what colors you actually want.
I am planning a bunch of sample swatches to test different stamp inks and papers. I plan on showing it in a video since it would take way to many photos to go over all the details. When I finish it I will share it with you.