Why I Love Copic Markers
As I was writing up my Drawing Supplies List, I thought I would put together a post specifically about Copic markers.
I switched over to Copic markers two years ago, and as a marker artist it was the best decision I have ever made! Yes, they are an investment, but over time the cost ends up being significantly less due to being able to purchase bottles of refill ink and and also replace your marker nibs if they are wearing out. The quality is a step above any marker I have previously used. The colors are vibrant and have a watercolor-like spread when you use them. I rarely have problems with overlapped or streaky lines.
Multiple marker types
You can choose between Classic, Sketch, Ciao, and Wide. If you want to know all the ins and outs of the differences, check out this page on Copic's site! I have only ever used Classic and Sketch and I can say that they both are valuable, but I've been purchasing more Sketch markers as I find I use the brush nib more than the fine point.
Basically, this is a fancy way of saying that there is a method to their marker colors! You no longer have to guess if you can pair a chartreuse with the lemony green or what shades would work well in creating seamless shadows. Copic's system is straightforward in that they are classified by color family, saturation number, brightness number, then they also have a color name. If you want to have a more in depth understanding of the naming system, check out this article.
What this does for you, the artist, is take out the guess work of adding in layers. It gives you a better standard to judge what colors to put on your illustration, and what colors you might want to purchase!
I highly recommend purchasing a Copic Color Chart to keep track of what colors you own! I have accidentally purchased duplicate colors, and that is just a waste of money! Every time I purchase a new marker I immediately mark it in this book. Click on image below to purchase!
Another great tool is Sandy Allnock's Hex Chart. Sandy visually groups a significant amount of colors so you reduce the amount of duplicative colors you buy. You can purchase this off her site and she sends you a PDF with the hexes colored in, and a blank chart for you to fill out.
Ink Refills and Replacement Nibs
A great way to save money over time is to purchase refill ink and replacement nibs.
Ink refills (called Copic Various Ink) can be purchased for less than the cost of the base marker and can refill a Classic marker 10x and a Sketch marker 13x! How crazy is that? You refill by using the dropper on the chisel edge of your marker (see details here). If you do the math, this means that over time your markers are costing you less and less. The initial investment is large, but over time they are super cost effective. If you are interested in the #math, say you purchase your initial marker for $6 and your ink refill for $5. This means that over time you will have the equivalent of 10 Copic Classic markers for $11, which puts CPM (cost per marker) at $1.10. That, my friends, is a deal!
Replacement nibs are not something I've purchased yet, but they come in packs and are also not too expensive, so if you ruin a nib it is NBD. You can easily replace it without throwing away the marker.
I hope this has been helpful as you look into different types of markers. I am incredibly happy with my Copics and would recommend the brand to anyone! If you have any additional questions, please let me know!