I get a lot of questions about Copic markers, so I thought I would make a post. I am no where near an expert, but I have been through the “getting started” process. I know how overwhelming it can be with the seemingly millions of available color combinations!!
Caio or Sketch
Sketch is more expense but contains more ink. There are more colors available in the Sketch line and they are easier to find. And I know this sounds dumb, but they are not round, so they don’t roll around the table. Maybe trivial, but a nice feature. I have been buying all Sketch.
If you scroll down a little bit on this article by Sharon Harnist, she explains all the different marker types. She also has some great information on blending families.
I would go with 2-3 shades of each of these colors:
I started with pinks, greens, yellows, and blues because I use those colors more often. I added purples, browns, reds and oranges later. But, your order of purchase really just depends on what you think you would use the most. I haven’t gotten into coloring people, so I haven’t focused much on skin tones. I use the browns for coloring furry animals.
Also important to get is the colorless blender (0). It allows you to remove color. To be more economical, you can use this to supplement just 2 shades of a color, removing color from the lighter shade to create an even lighter shade.
Rather than repeat what has been written on other sites, I’m just going to point you to a few that I found very helpful….
The first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the numbering system. Don’t worry – it’s actually pretty straightforward. I used a great tutorial by Mariane Walker on her I Like Markers blog. The general idea is to go down 2 (for lighter) or up 2 (for darker).
Because I use a lot of Stampin’ Up! inks and papers, I decided to match my first set with the Stampin’ Up! colors as much as I could. So, I used a good article on the PaperCanoes blog site. The only problem with this site is that it’s pretty old and doesn’t have all the latest colors. But, it’s definitely good to start with.
Someone pointed me to a good site with lots of tutorials and a nice color starter list, which I used for my second batch of markers. It is authored by Suzanne Dean and you can find it HERE.
Another great way of figuring out what colors you like best is to just peruse the blogs out there for copic coloring. Most people will list the exact markers they used. If you click on “copic markers” in my tag cloud to the right (or just search the term), all my cards with copics will come up. Some of my early cards may not list the actual numbers, so don’t hestitate to email me if you need to know.
Where to Buy?
I have found them at conventions and locally at Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby doesn’t have a very big selection of colors, so your best bet is really online. I purchase them online at Dick Blick and also at Ellen Hutson.
What About the Paper?
I start using Papertrey Ink white cardstock because that’s what I happened to have on hand when I bought my first set. It worked well enough, but I have since moved on to Neenah Solar White cardstock. I buy it at Ellen Hutson because it’s pretty cheap if you buy it in bulk – 250 sheets! They also sell it in smaller packages if you want to try it out first.
One thing I will say, and hate to say… Stampin’ Up! paper doesn’t work very well with Copics. The paper is so great at absorbing color that it absorbs it too fast for blending!
Ink for the Stamp
Most of the time you will be coloring a stamp. The best ink to use is Memento… I use Tuxedo Black and Cocoa Brown. This ink will not bleed as you apply the Copic colors.
Okay, I think that about does it for the basics. If you have other questions, let me know! If you have more to add that would be helpful to people, please leave a comment. See you next Wednesday!