Welcome to Copic Mondays!!!!
Wow! This is going to be fun! Everything you ever wanted to know about Copic markers in one place!! When I first got involved in Copic markers, I had no idea where to turn to for instruction. There were online tutorials all over the place, but they were so difficult for me to understand, even though I’ve been stamping for almost 10 years. Every tutorial taught you a different technique, not what I really needed to know at this point, since I didn't even own a marker yet. I needed something that was easy – where to start and what I needed to begin using these markers called “Copics.”
Copics are alcohol-based markers. What does that mean??? These are permanent on lots of surfaces including paper, fabric (yes, fabric) and plastic, just to name a few. Copics have been around for about 25 years. How come stampers haven’t been using these for years? Almost seems as if someone in the stamping world just noticed them one day and figured they’d be a great medium to use with stamps!
My first question is why in the world would I spend around $6 for a marker? That’s almost the price of a package of cardstock, or a stamp for that matter! Well, for starters, there is the fact that they are permanent. The quality and lifetime guarantee is also a plus. The fact that they are refillable and I’ll never have to buy another marker might have been the deal breaker. But there was one other very important benefit.
I know it’s hard to tell from the above photo, but this Copic marker is being held straight, up and down, with the brush marker nib completely bent! Have you ever seen a marker that you could do that to without damaging it?
But what sold me on Copic markers was the ability to BLEND! Never before have I used a marker that could blend like this! Where was the paper pilling that I had been used to? Everything else that these markers could do was just an added benefit. It was at that point that I decided I needed these fun markers from Japan called Copics.
Okay, so you know what they do, but now you notice there are a few different choices of markers. Sketch, Ciao (pronounced “chow”), or the Original? Which ones do you get?
The Sketch, which has a flexible super brush end is a great feature, but runs about $6. It’s the most expensive, yet, the most popular marker that Copic makes. Then you have the Ciao, inexpensive, does pretty much the same thing as the Sketch, but you have to buy the extra brush nib (the end), and you can’t airbrush (oh yes, we’ll be getting to that at a later date). The original Copic, is double ended like the Sketch and Ciao, but is harder to find here in the US. They are used by the school children in Japan (hence, the reason the marker caps have holes in them, in case they are swallowed by the kiddos!).
My preference is the Sketch. Why? Well, to begin with, they now have 334 colors. “Wendy, do I really need 334 colors?” No, you really don’t. But when you get to blending, you’ll have more of a choice to pick from. I also consider the fact that these markers are going to be buried with me when I die, so I might as well splurge and get the ones I really wanted!! I also knew that I would want to airbrush with them at a later date since it was a feature. With the Copic airbrush kits (which we’ll hit on at a later date), you can airbrush your cards, scrapbook pages….(oh, I’m going to wow you with this one!), even your hair (here’s my disclaimer – this is not FDA approved and also not Copic approved), but it can be done.
There are also some other Copic markers out there. You have the Wide Copic, Multi-liners and Atyou Spicas. We’ll be getting to all these at a later date too.
Now that you have your markers, or at least a good idea of which you’d like to start working with, you’ll need cardstock. And not just any cardstock. There is a huge difference in cardstock. The cardstock I LOVE working with is Prism Simply Smooth cardstock, which you can find HERE. The cardstock is sold in packages of 25 sheets. I’ll get into why I love it so much a little later. One cardstock you will not want to use is Stampin’ Up! Cardstock. Don’t get me wrong…I love their products. But their cardstock has a special coating on it and could potentially harm your Copic markers. I don’t know about you, but I’m not using something that could potentially cause harm to my markers. This is directly from a Copic, themselves. Their website does need to be updated and they are aware of this.
Memento Ink. It’s as easy as that. You’ll need a fade-resistant dye ink. Memento is all that. You can find it HERE. Stamp your image, wait a few minutes for it to dry and you’re ready to start coloring.
If you want to color a digitally stamped image, you’ll want to make sure you hit it with your heat gun before coloring with Copics.
Well, this is where it gets fun. We’re going to be using Sketch Markers throughout Copic Mondays at Cutters Creek since they’re the most popular.
You’ll notice there are numbers on the Sketch Markers. You have 10 different color families (Blue, Blue Violet, Violet, Red Violet, Red, Yellow Red, Yellow, Yellow Green, Green, Blue Green). Then you have your Grays (Neutral Gray, Cool Gray, Warm Gray, Toner Gray), along with your Earth tones. There is also a Black and a Special Black. Keep in mind that there are 334 different colors! The above image is a “334 Color Wheel” that can be downloaded from the Copic website (you can find a copy http://copicmarker.com/wp-content/themes/copicmarker/PDF/updated_334_color_chart.pdf). I keep a copy of the Color Wheel in my Copic binder for reference.
Onto the Copic Color System. The numbers and letters on the markers represent the following:
First Letter = Family of Color (ie B = Blue, YG = Yellow Green)
Second Number = On a scale of 0-9, it shows how light or dark a color is. So you’ll notice in the markers above, the “2” in “B23” makes it a pretty light blue. The “5” in “E57” means it’s middle of the road brown.
Third Number = One a scale of 0 to 9, how much of the color contains Gray. So you’ll notice in the markers shown above, the “3” in “B23” has a low amount of gray, compared to the “7” in the “YG67” which has a mid-range of gray.
I hope this is as clear as mud!!!!
Now for questions…if you have any, please feel free to post them in the comment section. I will update and answer all questions you have regarding these awesome Copic markers!
Join us for the next Copic Monday installment on February 15th, when we’ll visit how to choose your colors, blending and lots, lots, more. Until then, we have some wonderful blog candy donated by Cutters Creek!! What do you have to do to be entered into this raffle for this amazing blog candy? Upload one of your Copic creations to the Cutters Creek Yahoo group by midnight EST February 14th. Not a member yet? It’s easy to join. Click HERE to join. And what will the winner receive? Upload as many photos as you like, however you will be entered only once in the random drawing. Ready for this? Three Copic Sketch Markers of your choice!! WOO HOO!! What else? A package of Prism Simply Smooth Cardstock!! Wow!! What a great way to start your collection, or add to it. And if you’ve never tried Prism Simply Smooth cardstock, you’re in for a big surprise!
I can’t wait to see everyone’s Copic creations!