Best Copic Markers to Start With: A Beginner’s Guide

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Starting your artistic journey with Copic markers can be both exciting and overwhelming. These high-quality alcohol-based markers are a favorite among professionals and hobbyists alike, offering an array of vibrant colors and blending capabilities. As a beginner, it’s essential to select the right markers and colors to set a strong foundation for your growing collection.

Choosing the best Copic markers to start with can be a daunting task, especially when faced with the vast range of colors available. Typically, it’s wise to start with a few primary colors like red, blue, and green while also considering some neutral tones for shading and blending. Keep in mind the importance of gradually building up your collection as you become more familiar with the markers and your preferred techniques.

Experimentation is key when it comes to mastering Copic markers, so don’t be afraid to try various color combinations and blending methods. Remember to be patient and practice regularly; soon you’ll be creating incredible artwork with your beginner-friendly Copic marker selection.

Types of Copic Markers

When starting with Copic markers, it’s essential to understand the different types available. This section will discuss four main types: Copic Sketch, Copic Ciao, Copic Classic, and Copic Wide.

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Best Copic Markers to Start With

Copic Sketch

Copic Sketch Marker Sets

Copic Sketch markers are a fantastic option for both beginners and professionals. These markers offer a wide range of colors and feature a double-sided design with a Super Brush nib on one end and a Medium Broad nib on the other end. The Super Brush nib allows for great flexibility in your art, while the Medium Broad nib is perfect for covering larger areas. As you explore and develop your skills, you’ll find Copic Sketch markers to be versatile and high-quality art tools.

Copic Ciao

Best Copic Markers to Start With : Copic Ciao

Copic Ciao markers are an excellent choice if you’re just starting with Copics. They are slightly smaller than the other types, with a round body that feels comfortable in your hand. The Ciao markers also come with a double-sided design, featuring a Super Brush nib and a Medium Broad nib on opposite ends. While they might have a smaller ink capacity compared to other models, their affordability makes them an attractive option to begin with.

Copic Classic

Copic CLASSIC Marker Sets

Copic Classic markers have been around for a long time, offering a reliable option for Copic users. The Classic markers have a square-shaped body and are double-sided, with a Fine nib on one end and a Broad nib on the other. This combination of nibs allows for precise detailing and large area coverage. Though they may not have as extensive a color range as the Sketch or Ciao markers, their durability and refillable nature make them a valuable addition to your collection.

Copic Wide

Lastly, the Copic Wide markers are designed for covering large areas quickly. Unlike the other types, these markers have a single-sided design featuring a wide, flat nib. They can be particularly useful when working on backgrounds or larger canvases. While their specificity might not make them the best option for a beginner’s first set, they should definitely be considered as an addition to your collection once you’re more experienced with Copic markers.

Remember to choose the type of Copic marker that best suits your needs and art style. The right marker for you will depend on factors such as your budget, desired color range, and specific project requirements. Good luck on your artistic journey!

Colors and Blending

When starting with Copic markers, it’s essential to understand the variety of colors and blending techniques available to achieve the best results in your art projects. In this section, we cover Color Codes and Blending Techniques to make your Copic marker journey an enjoyable one.

copic ciao marker

Color Codes

Copic markers follow a distinct coding system, which helps you identify the colors easily. The color codes include R (red), V (violet), B (blue), G (green), Y (yellow), and E (earth tones). Additionally, there’s a neutral gray (N) and a colorless blender (0).

As you begin, it’s ideal to start with basic vibrant colors like red, blue, and green. You can invest in a few markers from each color family (R, V, Y, G, B, E), and don’t forget to include a neutral gray and a colorless blender in your collection.

Here’s a simple suggestion for a starter set:

  • R (Red): R24, R27, R29
  • V (Violet): V04, V06, V09
  • Y (Yellow): Y13, Y15, Y18
  • G (Green): G05, G07, G09
  • B (Blue): B04, B06, B09
  • E (Earth Tones): E11, E13, E15
  • N (Neutral Gray): N1, N3, N5
  • 0 (Colorless Blender)

Blending Techniques

Blending is a crucial technique to create a seamless transition between different colors and shades. Here are some tips to blend colors effectively using Copic markers:

  1. Start with lighter colors: Begin by applying the lightest color you want to use in the area you’re coloring. This helps create a base for your darker colors to blend more easily.
  2. Layer your colors: Apply the darker colors over the lighter base, allowing the colors to overlap slightly.
  3. Use the colorless blender: The colorless blender can help smooth out transitions between colors and allow you to soften any harsh edges.
  4. Blend colors from the same family: To achieve the best results, blend colors from the same color family, like B22 and B26 in the blue family.
  5. Practice!: Blending effectively takes time and practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts aren’t perfect. Keep experimenting and refining your techniques!

In summary, starting with a variety of basic colors from each Copic color family and practicing blending techniques will significantly improve your artwork and enhance your Copic marker experience.

Choosing the Right Set

Beginner Sets

best copic markers to start with

When you first start exploring the world of Copic markers, it can be overwhelming to know which colors and sets to begin with. To help kick-start your collection, consider a starter set specifically designed for beginners. Beginner sets generally include a range of basic colors, familiarizing you with the markers and their blending abilities.

Some common beginner sets feature between 6-32 markers, covering the primary colors like red, blue, and green, and few additional shades to offer some variety. When you first start, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Prioritize primary colors: red, blue, and green.
  • Choose versatile and easily blendable shades, such as C1, C2, and C3.
  • Test out different finishes and strokes to learn what works best for you.

Advanced Collections

As you become more comfortable and skilled with Copic markers, you can gradually build up your advanced collection. Expanding your marker set in stages allows you to strategically invest in the colors and tools you need without breaking the bank all at once. Consider the following recommendations when expanding your collection:

  • Look for markers in a wider range of shades and hues, such as lime, olive, emerald, turquoise, teal, jade, and mint.
  • Experiment with different marker types, like the Copic Classic, Sketch, and Ciao, to find the ones that suit your style and technique.
  • Keep an eye out for sales and discounts to build your collection without spending a fortune.

Taking the time to choose the right marker set that fits your needs and skill level will not only save you money, but it will also give you the opportunity to get the most out of your new favorite art tool. Remember that practice makes perfect, so keep working with your Copics and watch your art flourish.

Using Copic Markers

Paper and Material Compatibility

When starting with Copic markers, it’s essential to consider the surface you’re working on. High-quality bleed-proof paper works best with Copics as it minimizes bleeding and keeps your artwork clean. To choose the right paper, sketch lightly on a small sample and look out for any feathering or excessive bleeding.

Here are a few characteristics of ideal paper for Copic markers:

  • Weight: Heavier paper is preferable as it can handle the ink better and resist bleeding.
  • Texture: Smooth paper typically works better with Copics as it allows for even ink application and easier blending.

Layering and Shading

Layering and shading are two critical aspects of using Copic markers effectively. To create depth in your artwork, follow these friendly tips:

  1. Start light: Begin with lighter colors and build up to darker shades. This allows for easier correction and control of the final result.
  2. Allow time for drying: Give the ink some time to dry before adding more layers to avoid over-saturating the paper.
  3. Blend different shades: Use a lighter marker to blend two adjacent colors, creating smooth transitions and gradients.

Remember, practicing and experimenting are key to mastering layering and shading with Copics.

Mixing with Other Art Supplies

Copic markers are versatile and can be mixed with various art supplies for enhanced effects. Here are some ideas for combining Copics with other materials:

  • Pencils: Create an outline or detailed sketch with pencils before using Copics to add color and depth.
  • Colored pencils: Enhance your Copic artwork by adding finer details, highlights, and texture with colored pencils.
  • Ink pens: Use fine ink pens to add crisp line work or intricate details to your Copic creations.

Keep in mind that using multiple art supplies together may require adjustments in your technique, so take your time and enjoy the learning process.

Maintaining and Caring for Markers

Copic markers are wonderful tools for artists, but to keep them in good condition, it’s essential to practice proper maintenance and care. In this section, we’ll cover two important sub-topics: refilling ink and replacing nibs.

copic markers innovative design replacing nibs

Refilling Ink

Your Copic markers, especially Sketch markers, can be refilled once they run dry. This will extend the life of your markers and save you money in the long run. To refill your markers, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the correct refill ink – Ensure you’ve got the right shade of ink for the marker you’re refilling.
  2. Remove the nib – Gently pull out the nib of the marker using tweezers.
  3. Refill the ink reservoir – Carefully pour the refill ink into the reservoir, taking care not to overfill it.
  4. Replace the nib – When the reservoir is filled, securely place the nib back in the marker.

It’s important to handle the inks carefully and avoid any spills or stains on your workspace.

Replacing Nibs

Copic markers are designed with replaceable nibs, allowing you to keep your markers functional even when the original nibs wear down. To replace the nibs, follow these steps:

  1. Select the right nib type – Ensure the replacement nibs are compatible with your markers and match their size and style.
  2. Remove the old nib – Using tweezers or a special nib-changing tool, gently pull the old nib out of the marker.
  3. Insert the new nib – Push the new nib into the marker until it’s firmly in place.

Remember to store your replacement nibs in a safe place and replace them when necessary to keep your artwork looking great. By refilling your ink and replacing worn-out nibs, you can continue to create beautiful art with your Copic markers.

Exploring Additional Features

Airbrush System

Copic markers are known not only for their quality but also for their versatility. One of the most interesting features available to you is the Copic Airbrush System. This system allows you to transform your Copic markers into an airbrush, creating smooth gradients, backgrounds, and textures in your artwork. It’s a great addition if you want to expand your creative tools and techniques without investing in a separate airbrush set. Changing markers and colors is easy, giving you the freedom to experiment and develop your unique style.


Copic Multiliners Blick

Another helpful feature to consider is Copic Multiliners. These fine-tip pens are perfect for adding precise lines and details to your artwork. Multiliners come in various widths and colors, giving you a wide range of options for outlining, inking, or adding delicate finishing touches. Additionally, they are compatible with your Copic markers, so you don’t have to worry about smudging or bleeding when coloring over them. Having a set of Multiliners in your toolkit will boost the overall quality of your artwork.

Alternatives for Budget-conscious Artists

Copic markers are a fantastic tool for artists, but their premium quality comes with a premium price tag. If you’re on a budget, there are some alternatives to consider:

  • Blick Studio Brush Markers: These markers offer similar features like dual tips and a wide color palette. Although the color consistency and blending capabilities might not be as high as Copics, they are a more affordable option for beginners and casual artists.
  • Ohuhu Art Markers: Known for their budget-friendly price, Ohuhu markers provide a broad color range with a high-quality alcohol-based ink. It’s an excellent option for those who want to explore the world of markers without breaking the bank.
  • Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers: Prismacolor markers have a long-lasting ink that’s rich in colors and great for blending. With their relatively lower price compared to Copics, they’re a good choice for artists working with a tighter budget.

Remember, it’s important to find the markers that work best for you and your artistic needs. Once you have a better understanding of your preferences and requirements, you can always expand your Copic marker collection. Good luck, and happy creating!

best copic markers to start with

Frequently Asked Questions

What essential colors should a beginner get for Copic markers?

As a beginner, it’s important to start with a basic range of colors. You should definitely get the three primary colors: red, blue, and green. But when it comes to shades, pay attention to the diverse options available for each color. It’s a good idea to also obtain some neutral colors such as black, gray, and brown. As you gain experience, feel free to expand your collection based on your preferences.

Which Copic marker set is the most beginner-friendly?

A beginner-friendly Copic marker set should have a balance between variety and affordability. Look for sets like the Copic Marker 12-Piece Sketch Basic Set or Copic Ciao Markers 24 Pc Basic Set. These options offer both essential colors and a more manageable size for newcomers to start with.

What are some useful color combinations with Copic markers?

Discovering color combinations that work well together is part of the fun! To start, try out some basic complementary color pairs, such as red and green, blue and orange, or yellow and purple. You can also experiment with analogous colors, like various shades of blue or different skin tones. The more you practice, the more you’ll develop a sense for combinations that suit your style.

Can you recommend a basic set of Copic markers for a newcomer?

For a basic set of Copic markers, consider starting with the Copic Marker 12-Piece Sketch Basic Set or the Copic Ciao Markers 24 Pc Basic Set. These sets provide a range of essential colors, enabling you to create different effects and styles without overwhelming yourself with too many choices.

Should I invest in Copic Sketch or Ciao markers to start with?

Both Copic Sketch and Ciao markers have their pros and cons. The Sketch markers have a larger ink capacity, more color options, and two brush tips, while Ciao markers are more affordable and easier to handle in terms of size and shape. As a beginner, you might find it helpful to start with Ciao markers to get a feel for using Copic markers without investing too much. Later, you can upgrade to Sketch Markers once you’re more comfortable and confident in your skills.

Are there any discontinued Copic markers to be aware of?

Copic occasionally discontinues certain colors, so staying updated on their current offerings is essential. It’s also important to note that some discontinued colors may still be available in stores or online, but if you rely on them for your artwork, you might face difficulties when replacing them. It’s best to focus on currently available colors and have a higher likelihood of remaining in production.

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