Monday, June 7, 2010

Copic Mondays-More Copic Basics by Laura Burleson

Did you know that some inks can ruin your Copic Markers?

Are some papers better than others for coloring your images?

Did you know that you can actually ruin your markers coloring on some surfaces?

If you are like me, I had no idea that some basic items I use for crafting could be damaging to my Copic markers. Granted, you can replace the nibs, so damage wouldn't be permanent. Still, I would rather do all I can to prolong my marker's life.

Copic markers have a shelf life of three year when kept properly capped. I know I would never let mine sit that long without use, but it is nice to know that they are made to last.

Okay, back to inks. Copic officially endorses using Tsukineko Memento or Brilliance Inks, Tim Holtz (Ranger) Distress Inks, A Muse Ink, and Stewart Superior Palette Noir Ink. Cutters Creek carries both Tsukineko Inks and Ranger Inks. You can add clear embossing powders or heat set the inks for your best results. Embossing inhibits the "running" or "bleeding" of your inks when coloring. Never use colored embossing powders. Colored powders react with the markers. Never use solvent based inks with your Copic Markers. These products are intended for use with water-based media, and they don't work well with Copics. Staz-On inks will stain will run and make a messy image, but worse yet, it ruins the nib on your markers. Stampin' Up, Close to My Heart, and other water based inks will run and discolor the nibs on your markers.

There is only one time you would use Staz-On inks with your Copics. If you wanted to color a vellum image, you would stamp the image on the front (glossy) side of your vellum. You then color the image from the back (rough) side of the paper using your Copics.

Now as for paper. Choosing a good paper is very important. You need one that allows the ink to soak into the paper, but also allows you to move it around while you are coloring. When a paper is super glossy, the ink will just float on the paper. It doesn't stick or soak into the paper. If a paper is too soft, then you aren't able to control the ink. It will bleed outside your image lines too quickly. You want to test your paper for saturation and bleeding before using it to color a project.

Copic International recommends two main papers for coloring with your Copic Markers, Bazzill (Prism) Simply Smooth Cardstock in Ivory or Neenah Classic Crest Solor White or Ivory 80# Cardstock. Bazzill papers are available from Cutter's Creek in both white and ivory. These papers absorb your inks beautifully without feathering too quickly. They allow you to work well with wet inks and blend your colors so nicely. You won't believe the difference!

Lastly, let's visit things that can ruin your Copic Markers. Never color over any glitter pens except your Atyou Spica pens. The Spica pens are made with special glass glitters that will not clog or gum up your marker's nib. Never color over Opaque White, White Out, Acrylic Paints or gel pens. These will ruin the marker ends, and once clogged, the inks will not flow properly onto your projects. White out has actual paper fibers in the liquid that will glob up in the marker tip. Color your projects first, and then add any gel pen accents. If you have colored over these products, don't worry. Your marker nibs are replaceable.

Copics are amazing markers. All of the basics to get you started are available at the Cutters Creek Store. If you need help selecting markers, papers, or inks, please ask. Kim or I will be happy to assist you!

Cutters Creek always stocks:

Copic Markers
Copic Spica Pens
Replacement Nibs and Nib Tweezers
Tsukineko Memento or Brilliance Inks
Tim Holtz (Ranger) Distress Inks
Bazzill Cardstock

Resources: Copic Markers/Imagination International Inc., Marianne Walker, and Jennie Lin Black, Regional Certification Instructors

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