Sunday, October 5, 2008

Copic Marker Information

Copic Marker website -
Marrianne Walker -

The Basics
These markers are alcohol based, which are different from markers that are water soluble (like SU or CTMH markers). They color very smoothly and will not cause the paper to 'pill' when layering or blending.  You can also replace the tips when they are worn or damaged.

Is It Worth It?
One thing you have to keep in mind is that Copics are fine artist markers. They're very high quality, so they are and will always be more on the high end price range.

If you don't really like to color with markers, or only color occasionally with markers, it's probably not worth the money to invest in these. If you use your markers everyday and you're tired of the streaking or want to be able to blend and create more depth to your images, then these are totally for you!

There are Bic, Sharpie, and Prismacolor (all are alcohol based) markers that you can buy for much cheaper. They don't come in as many shades as the Copics do, but the quality can be comparable. I have used some of the Prismacolor markers and think highly of them. They aren't refillable though, so when it dries out, you will have to buy a new marker.

Differences between Ciao, Sketch, and Original
Amy Rysavy made a video on the difference between the 3 different types of markers. This is a very informational video and Amy shows all the different shapes and coloring nibs/tips. *This video was made before the new 2011 colors were released.*

The Ciao line is the cheapest and please keep in mind that the ink is the same in all 3 different styles. The differences between the Sketch, Original, and Ciao are the number of colors that are available and they all have a different shape, size, and nibs/tips. The Sketch come in 346 colors, the Ciao come in 180 colors and the original Copic Markers come in 214 colors.

The Committment
Depending on your craft level and coloring abilities, it may take some practice before you become comfortable coloring and blending shades together. If you want to try these, I suggest buying 3 different shades of the same color so you can see the blending possibilities. Just remember to buy a light, medium, and dark shade.

You should read Marianne' Walker's blog. She's a certified instructor for Copics and a great graphic artist. She gives out great tips and coloring lessons.  If you don't already read her blog, I suggest you start from the beginning and work your way through.

Keep caps on markers when not in use. Alcohol markers dry out quickly if left uncapped. Markers can be stored upright or flat, it doesn't matter. There have been debates on this...but I store my markers vertical and have never had a problem with them! I've had mine stored this way over three years and my markers are still great.

While there are many different ways to store these, I keep mine in these cute buckets from A Muse. And just for the record, I actually own 2 of them to hold all 346 Sketch markers.  At the time I took this picture, I only had enough markers to fill one.

The markers are refillable, so you can buy re-inkers for your markers. You won't ever have to buy another whole marker again. A refill bottle of ink will fill a Sketch marker 10-12 times. You'll tend to need to re-ink your lighter colors first. I re-ink my E00 (skin) and W00 (gray for outlining) the most.

The Right Kind of Ink
You have to use ink thats made to go with alcohol based markers. If you don't, your black ink will smear while you're coloring with the Copics. I personally use Brilliance Graphite Black ink. I also have started to use A Muse's black ink, but since it's still a water based ink, it does run when I use Stickles. The A Muse ink dries much quicker then the Brilliance does, though the Brilliance seems to work better for larger images.
Adirondack, Marvy Matchables, and Momento Black ink are other recommended inks that work well with the Copics.

The Right Kind of Cardstock
Also, you have to use quality cardstock. If you don't, your colors will either bleed too much or not blend together very well.  I use Papertrey Inks Stamper's Select White Cardstock and I really like working with the thicker cardstock.  I tried to use Neenah, but the ink runs a little too much for me.  I guess I'm more of a strong colorer. 

Most recommend either Papertrey Inks white cardstock or Neenah white carstock. Gina K also has a select white cardstock that is suppose to be excellent. For something cheaper, at Walmart or Sam's Club, you can get Georgia Pacific cardstock.

How to Read the Color Codes
You will notice there are three numbers in codes for colors. First alpha characters represent the color family (R=red, B=blue, YG = Yellow Green, E= Earths, etc.) The break down works like this - for instance, R01R- Red family:

The second number in the combination here is 0. There is a GREY SCALE that ranges from 0-9 that will show the intensity from light to dark. This will represent the value or shade within the color. This last number represents the intensity or brightness of the color, with 0 being the lightest and 9 being the darkest.

So R01 is the same shade or value as R09, but a MUCH lighter color. When selecting colors to use for shading, if the alpha/number in the first two column are exactly the same, make sure there is a difference of 2 or more in the number of the last column.

For example, shade R01 with R03 or greater. If you shade with a marker 1 number up, such as R02, the difference in colors is so slight that your untrained eye probably will not even detect it. Keep that in mind when selecting colors to purchase! Grays are divided into 4 categories - C for Cool Grays, W for Warm grays, N neutral grays and T is for Toner grays.

I get asked a lot if I'll do a video tutorial and honestly, I probably won't ever make one. When I first started to color with my markers, I watched a couple of really great tutorials. That really helped me out in practicing. You never see what I actually make before I post...sometimes I color an image 3 times before I think it's good enough to go on a card, lol.

I typically use E00 Skin White for my flesh coloring. I typically outline and shadow with E11, and color in with E00 and E000. I use R20 to highlight the cheeks. Theres a great tutorial on Magnolia Stamps's site.

If I want to color skin a bit darker, I typically use E15, E13, and E11.

Prices and Shopping
Since I own all of the Sketch markers, I haven't been shopping lately for these. There are many brick and mortar art stores that sell them, but I personally think you get a much better deal buying them online. *As of March 1st, 2009 the MAP for Copic Sketch markers are $4.87. That is what most places are selling them now.*

There are a lot of places that sell Copics, but I can only speak for the places that I have actually purchased stuff from.

Carpe Diem
Merriartist - Free shipping after $90. They have fabulous customer service and their orders ship out no later then 24 hours or the next business day. And they always have everything! So, if you really need a specific color quick, this is the way to go!
Stamping Bella - While you all know I love my Bellas, I don't buy my markers here. But if you're in Canada and don't want to buy them from the US, this would be a great route for you. Emily doesn't sell all of them, but she has fabulous sets that mix and blend together really well. She also sells everything in US and CAN currency.

SU Colors

Regal Rose – R85
Melon Mambo – RV29
Rich Razzleberry – V06
Pacific Point – B14
Tempting Turquoise - BG05
Old Olive – YG95
Daffodil Delight – Y35
Pumpkin Pie – YR15
Tangerine Tango – YR07
Real Red - R46

Elegant Eggplant – V09
Night of Navy – B39
Not Quite Navy – B97
Always Artichoke – G99
Garden Green – YG67
More Mustard – YR23
Cajun Craze – E09
Riding Hood Red – R37
Cherry Cobbler – R59
Bravo Burgundy – RV99, R89

Pink Pirouette – RV000
Pretty in Pink - R32
Rose Red – RV29
Perfect Plum – V95
Marina Mist – B14
Bashful Blue - B93
Baja Breeze – BG72
Wild Wasabi – G82
Certainly Celery - G21
So Saffron – Y21

River Rock – YG91
Chocolate Chip – E77
Soft Suede – E44
Early Espresso – E49
Crumb Cake – E43
Sahara Sand – E81 (available March 2011)
Very Vanilla – E30
Basic Gray – T5
Basic Black – 110

In Colors
Poppy Parade – R24
Pear Pizzazz – YG93
Blushing Bride – R20
Concord Crush – BV08
Peach Parfait – YR12

CTMH Colors

R00- Baby Pink
R29, R37, RV29- Tulip
YR01- Taffy
R22- Sorbet
Y00, Y13, YG00- Sunkiss Yellow
Y32- Creme Brulee
G40- Key Lime
B000- Heavenly Blue
BV00- Amethyst
BV20, BV000- Lilac Mist
BV04, BV13- Spring Iris

R27, R35- Holiday Red
RV09, RV06, RV04- Watermelon
RV14- Bubblegum
YR68- Orange
Y13, Y15- Sunny Yellow
YG01, YG03- Citrus Leaf
G14, G07- Clover Meadow
G94- Topiary
BG49, BG07- Ocean
B24, B14- Dutch Blue
B18, B16- Star Spangled Blue
V17- Hydrangea

E09- Barn Red
R37, R85- Hollyhock
E08, YR06, YR18- Autumn Terracotta
YR14- Goldrush
Y17- Sunflower
YG93- Garden Green
G97, BG93, YG05- Olive
New England Ivy - G99
B26, B45- Indian Corn Blue
B99- Outdoor Denim
V09- Pansy Purple
E04- Vineyard Berry

R46- Cranberry
RV11, RV32- Blush
Y21- Buttercup
Y35- Honey
YG13, G21- Sweet Leaf
G29- Ponderosa Pine
B02, B12, BG05- Crystal Blue
BG75, BG09- Twilight
B29- Moonstruck
V95, V15- Petal
RV95, RV93, RV91- Smokey Plum
R39, E19- Garnet

E31- Bamboo
E55- Desert Sand
E33, E35, E37- Brown Bag
E27, E47- Chocolate
E47- Cocoa
White Daisy
Colonial White
E00- Vanilla Cream
R01, YR00- Parachment
C5, BV20- Grey Wool
Gray Flannel
100- Black

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