Monday, June 29, 2009

The 411 on copic markers for a beginner, by a beginner

I’m one of those people that when I see something cool I want to do it too. So when I saw all the awesome stamp work people were doing with Copic markers I had to give it a try. I went down to my LSS and picked up 7 sketch markers. Now when I got home I realized I had no idea what to do with them. It’s not easy being a compulsive buyer. Anywhoo I went and did some research and here’s some info.

What are Copic markers?
Copic markers are from Japan. The marker inks are refillable and you can change out the tips if you need to. They also make an airbrush system to use with Copic and sketch markers. There are several different types of markers.

· Copic markers: square body, double ended tip that can be interchanged with 9 different styles, 219 colors
· Sketch markers: Oval body, double ended a broad chisel and brush tip, 322 colors
· Ciao markers: Sketches little sister. Just like the sketch with double ended tips but the marker is smaller. 144 colors.
· Wide markers: It’s a fat little pen for covering big areas. 36 colors

My description of them would be “Makers that you can blend to get a watercolor look”

How do you use them?
Before I evened tried my pens out, I watched some youtube videos from some very talented people. Here are some I liked.

This very talented woman name Suzanne made copic tutiorials on youtube that were so helpful to me. Some of my favs to watch are
· Copic tutorial-Coloring skin
· Copic tutorial-Coloring black
· Copic tutorial –Coloring white

All the videos are great to gather information from so watch them all here.

This Woman draws anime but she gave some good tips and has a different coloring style. I really like watching these videos, her name is Amy reeder Hadley. Check these out
· Copic marker demo
· Copic marker demo 2

Do I need special materials?
If you are doing a stamp image, the most popular ink to uses is Mementos Dye ink by Tsukineko & Adirondack Ink by Ranger. When dry both inks are water resistant so the ink won’t bleed out and ruin your marker tips. Some people heat set other type of inks.
Now for paper. Everyone has there own preference to paper. Some of the popular ones are…

· Paper made by the Copic company here
· Gina k. pure luxury cardstock
Comes in 80lb & 120lb weight( sample pack for .50 check it out with the others here)
· Papertrey Ink
There website is here
· Neenah classic crest paper
Read about it here

Some may ask (and I did) “what’s up with paper?” And heres the big deal: different papers have different saturation levels and smoothness. I think you should try some out because there are differences. So far I did digi images on regular color copy paper (computer paper) and Neenah classic crest paper.
On the copy paper I found the markers easier to go on and stayed wet longer so you had more time to work with the color, but it doesn’t blend well when you’re mixing colors.
The Neenah paper allows the Copics to blend. I notice that the colors change when your blending colors (overlapping), something the copy paper didn’t do as much. Practice shading combos on the side before you do it on your image. That is a must. Also the markers dried faster on the Neenah so you have to work faster.
So basically what if you want a more water color look, & or blending in the same color family example: faces, go for the specialty papers. Use copy paper if you want a bolder look. Mainly coloring with one color and adding shading. I actually like using the Copics on both. So as I said before try some out.

Here are some other helpful stuff & sites to check out….
· Of course the Copic web site . See all the products and colors. They have great info on techniques used in stamping here. And a color chart where you can keep track of your colors here
· Lots of info at the Copic group on paper craft planet and their blog Copic Buzz
· Suzanne who I mention earlier has a blog with info and ideas (she really knows her copics) It’s here.
· Some great color combo on these sites
o Paper Garden Projects
o Flourishes
Please add to this post in the messages if you have any tips & tricks to share.
Or other cool places to go for Copics.
Thanks all


Neesey said...

Lil Miss, Thanks for all the info on the Copics. I have about 45 of them. I have learned so much from the videos you recommended. I think the Copics are my new addiction!

Cathy T said...

I, too have become quite enthralled with these markers. I got about a dozen from HL during their sale, the next week with a coupon (can't tell you how many times I went there!)

I found the best thing to do is try them out...experiment. Just try using them, getting the feel for them.

If you don't want to test them out on your good paper, try the Bristol art paper by Strathmore. Its made for markers, has a smooth finish and the ink does not get soaked up into the paper.

cropgirl said...

Thanks for posting this! It is very helpful. I have just started researching copics. I haven't bought any yet but they are next on my must-have list!!

Carmen said...

Oh this is just brilliant. Thanks for all the work that's gone into this post. I will definitely be reffering back to it once I have my pens... well in fact beforehand too ;)

Carmen x (whoopidoo on PCP)