Intro to Copic Markers

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Article Courtesy by Christine Ousley

1_412So what's all the buzz about Copic markers, you ask?  Copic markers have quickly become all the rage with stampers, cardmakers  and even scrapbookers.  Their beautiful blending capabilities make creating gorgeous stamped cards fun and easy.  One of the things that I hear most often from my students during my classes is that the act of coloring is very soothing and therapeutic.  It also reminds them of their younger years when they had just opened a brand new box of crayons and coloring book.  Some crafters might think that Copic markers look a little intimidating but let me assure you that with practice and determination plus a few tips on blending techniques you will be creating a beautiful piece of handcrafted work in no time.

Copic markers are manufactured in Japan and come in three different shapes and hundreds of colors.


The Original Copic marker is square in shape and was the first marker to be manufactured.  They were originally designed for engineers and architectures who would use them to illustrate their building plans.  This marker has different nibs on each end of the marker.  One is shaped like a thin marker and the other has a chisel point.  This marker is available in 214 colors.


The second marker is called the Sketch marker.  This is the preferred marker of most stampers and Copic enthusiasts, including myself.  The oval-shaped barrel is a perfect fit for your hand and will not roll off your work surface when you lay it down.  The two different nibs are also tailored more toward detail work and blending.  One is a brush tip and the other is a chisel point. The other great feature of the Sketch marker is that it is available in 334 colors.


The last marker shape is called Ciao.  This marker has the same two nibs as the Sketch marker but it is rounded in shape and holds less ink.  It is only available in 144 colors but is less expensive than the Sketch.


To some stampers the initial investment in the markers might seem rather large. To completely color an image with the markers that will look blended with shadows and highlights, it is necessary to have quite a few of the markers on hand.

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8_398What I was pleasantly surprised to find out was that all of the marker barrels are refillable and will last for many years to come. Nibs are replaceable and interchangeable and the ink to refill the markers is extremely reasonably priced.  A refill bottle costs about the same price as a Copic marker but will refill that marker up to 8-10 times. 

I would definitely recommend crafters who are ready to learn more about how to use Copic markers find a certified instructor in their area by going to the Copic website.  Once you have found one, you can take a class for some hands-on, small group instruction.  This way you can see up close and personal exactly how to hold the marker and brush it onto the paper as well as learn techniques for blending to create shadows and highlights on your image.

I hope that you will try your hand at Copic markers soon.  It is really a lot of fun and a great way to create beautiful homemade cards.

Quick Design Tip:  Color your clear gems with your Copic markers to match the colors on your card.


*Christine Ousley is a Certified Copic Instructor

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