*Updated April, 2015
Hi everyone, I have had a few people ask me lately about copic markers because I am quite the copic enthusiast (note I said enthusiast, not expert LOL). It got me thinking that it may be of some use to share my opinions and experience with my blog readers so that’s what I’m going to do. I am not copic certified, I just love using them 🙂
Choosing a Brand of Alcohol Marker
This blog post is written with the assumption that you have already decided that copics are the markers for you. If you are not sure if you want to invest in copics and are looking for less expensive alternatives, here are some other choices you may want to have a look at.
- Spectrum Noir Markers
- Chromatix Alcohol Markers
- Le Plume Alcohol Markers
- Kaiserfusion Markers by Kaisercraft
- Shinhan Touch Alcohol Markers
- Letraset Tria Markers
Which Copic Markers Should I Buy? Ciao or Sketch?
First decide which size and shape marker you want. The two most popular versions are ciao and sketch. Here are photos showing the difference between the two.
The Ciao Marker comes in 180 colors and is refillable. The Ciao marker is shaped differently than the Sketch but the nibs are identical. As you can see from the photo, the shape of the Ciao marker is round.
Ciao markers do not the have color # printed on the lid, however you can add that later if you’d like. (To download a printable file with labels for your Ciao Markers, click here).
The upside to the Ciao marker is the price point, which is anywhere from $1.00 to $1.50 less per marker than the Sketch Marker.
The downside according to stampers is that they hold less ink (which really isn’t an issue since they are refillable) and they come in fewer colors. Some stampers prefer the sketch marker shape because Ciao’s, being round shaped, can roll off your desktop.
If you are starting out on a budget, Ciao’s may be a good buy for you. Many stampers mix and match Ciao and Sketch.
Sketch markers are by far the most popular of the Copic markers. They are rectangular shaped (they don’t roll off your desk top) and they come in 358 colors. As with the Ciao marker, they are refillable. One difference is that because of the shape and size, they hold more ink than the Ciao marker. The color # is printed on the end of both caps, which makes storing and finding your color combinations much easier. The nibs are identical to the Ciao. Here is a closer look at the shape of the sketch copic marker.
How to Choose Copic Color Combinations for Blending
These are the Copic color families:
- RV – Red Violet
- R – Red
- YR – Yellow Red
- Y – Yellow
- YG – Yellow Green
- G – Green
- BG – Blue Green
- B – Blue
- BV – Blue Violet
- V – Violet
- E – Earths
- C – Cool Grays
- N – Natural Grays
- T – Toner Grays
- W – Warm Grays
I have most of the colors but not all. In my personal experience, i have found (after buying most of them) that I didn’t really need EVERY color, just a good combination in every shade to begin with. You can add to your collection over time so let’s take a look at Starter Copic Colors.
When choosing which copic markers to invest in first, consider what you will be coloring most often with your new copic markers. For most card makers and scrapbookers, that would be stamped images including character stamps such as The Greeting Farm, etc. Though they have many uses (you can color pearls, gems, wood veneer, ribbon, you name it!) you will probably use them mostly for stamped images.
If you plan on coloring a lot of character stamps I suggest starting out with a good skin color combo, a blonde, brown, auburn and black hair color combinations.
I recommend buying your markers in sets of three or four from light to dark for the most realistic color blending. Generally speaking, they should jump by two numbers (most but not all of the time) for example:
Color Combinations are truly a matter of personal preference but some colors go best with other colors and that is something you will learn by using your markers. (and by reading about copics online, like pinterest and blogs, etc)
Here are my top favorite color combos that I would recommend for someone just starting out:
Kat’s Favorite Copic Color Combination Chart
(Click on the image to view it full size, to download or print it)
If you’d like to print a blank version of the chart shown above, click here. Here are a TON of other copic color combinations along with tips and tricks for coloring with Copics – My Copic Pinterest Board
(You can download a color chart by clicking on the image below)
There is also some great information about copic colors at this link: Demystifying the Copic Color System.
Next up in this series:
- COPIC FAQ Part Two: What is the best cardstock to use with Copic Markers?
- COPIC FAQ Part Three: What inks can be used with Copic Markers?