So what’s the hype with these copic markers? If you follow these amazing artists on Youtube or Instagram like DrawWithJazza, Vexx, Baylee Jae, Kirakiradoodles, tino_copic etc..), chances are, that you would’ve had heard once or twice about these markers. Are they any good?
Copic is a japanese brand of refillable markers and their related products, made in Japan by .Too. They were produced initially for the manga industry back in the late 80s. They have gained such popularity over the years, that not only the professional mangakas favour them greatly, but also hobbyists such as myself, amateur artists, art enthusiasts or anyone for that matter.
Look at this amazing artwork from Vexx:
So why are they so popular? The ink of these markers are alcohol-based. Which means that the colour blends beautifully when mixed. Markers with pigmented ink for an example, do not blend easily. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re bad. It depends on what you are trying to achieve. Faber-Castell’s PITT Artists pens have such high-quality, colour-vibrant pigmented ink markers and no doubt one of the best markers of its kind in the market. They will perfom well for sketching and inking. However, for rendering and shading, alcohol-based markers simply suit and perform better.
There are several alcohol-based markers other than copic, of course. Promarker, Winsor&Newton and Twin Touch are some of the well-known brands out there. So if you would like to get a cheaper alternative to copic markers, you can check them out. I will cover only Copic markers for now.
So there are 4 types of copic markers: Copic Classic, Copic Sketch, Copic Ciao and Copic Wide. They have other products like airbrush, multiliners and so on but im not going to talk about those and focus on the marker range specifically. Copic Wide markers have with a very broad tip so they are ideally used to cover and paint big areas. They are not that popular and supossedly are targeted to certain market niches like architects, product designers etc..
Copic Classic, Sketch and Ciao markers are double-ended markers. Copic Classic markers are the first markers in this series and are rectangular in shape. They have one chisel tip on one side and one bullet tip on the other. So it is perfect for details or colouring small area.
The most popular ones are the Sketch and the Ciao series. Mainly because they come with a brush tip instead of a bullet tip. The brush tip is amazing and you could do so much with it. Blending colours works magnificently with the brush tip and you could also colour small and huge areas. And why not try brush lettering?
Well at least i tried!
So what are the difference between these two markers?
Copic Sketch is oval in shape, bigger in size, which also means it holds more ink and costs more. Copic Ciao is round in shape and smaller in size. You dont need to worry if the round markers will roll out and about on your workplace since they have small notches on the caps acting like a roll-stopper. Copic Original markers are available in 214 colours, Ciao in 180 colours and Wide in 36 colours. Copic Sketch markers are available in all 358 colours.
They guarantee a shelf life of 3 years. I personally do not have any issues of having these markers drying out on me. I started painting my artworks with Copic Ciao markers around 5 years ago and they are still working to this day. But just in case if you use them a lot and start to dry, you can buy their refill “Copic Various Ink” for around $6-$11 or 8€-12€. It sounds quite expensive, but you will a great value with your money since you can refill your markers up to 15 times! Look at this chart on their website:
These markers are well-known for being the best alcohol-based markers with great quality. That’s if you’re outside of Japan. These markers cost mostly double the price than they would normally do there. So if you’re planning to go on a trip to Japan, and are a huge fan as i am, make sure to grab these markers! You can get them for half the price and for 13% less additionally! Check out this post if you haven’t to know how that works.