Copic

The giant

Some facts:

Drawing made with 
Copic on Letraset paper

Five different kind of Copic
To the left: Copic Comic. The nib on Copic Comic is very different from anything I come across so far. 
Copic sketch and original case
The best thing about Copic is the brush nib. You don´t need to blend your color, you can simple press the brush nib and let go and you will have gone from darker to lighter color in one stroke. The chisel nib is good too. In the beginning I did not understand why anyone wouldn´t choose a larger chisel nib (they have it on the original) since I only saw one purpose with it and that was to cover large space. Now I find that the smaller chisel nib allows me better control and I use it a lot for many things.
Copic Ciao platic set

Maybe I spoke to soon to say that the best thing is the brush nib. Maybe the best thing has to be the large amount of colors to choose between. 358 different colors! It’s like a dream!

The color system is also a good thing about Copic. Just by looking at the letter and numbers you can (normally) se what color family the colors belong to, how pure or tone down the colors are and the last digit tells you how light or dark it is. But there is a lot of flaw in the system. A lot of colors are in the wrong place in my opinion. 


Copic color chart, blue family Note how they changes in hue.  B63 could easily be a BV (blue violet) color

If you have the budget you can choose between five different markers (that all have a good variety of colors even if the Copic Sketch is the only one with all colors available).  I think that Copic Sketch or Copic Ciao is the best choice for portraits. I do not understand why you would buy the much more expensive ”sketch” when you can buy “Ciao” which is exactly the same (if you feel that a round barrel is a problem, put a felt under and it while stay put), of course some of the colors only exist as a “Sketch” and that the reason I have both of them. 

Copic Original is good too, but more for larger pieces, backgrounds or the opposite, for very small pieces that need a fine nib. I think the “wide” Copic is a wonderful idea. It is interesting to use for many thing, but the most obvious is perhaps to use it for backgrounds, like a sky.  Also if you want the colors to be a bit lighter this is a good marker choice. All colors become lighter if you can go very quickly over the surface. 

The last marker type, Copic Comic, is not the most well known and is not really the same as the others. If I have understood this right it uses another kind of ink. One of the nib is a brush nib but the other is totally different from anything else I have seen.  


Copic Comic Marker

Copic opaque white
There is no other brands that has marketing its product as much and well as Copic. One of the most spread marketing is that the Copic marker may cost a lot of money but really are cheap in the long run. I think it is important to remember that this is true for many Markers. Copic is not the only one that you can refill. Also in my experience, you may never refill all markers. In my case I have refilled all skin color and grey colors over the years, but for an example most of bright red and dark blue I prefer to buy a new one slightly different just to try them out. Since Copic have so many colors I can´t really buy them all or use them all anyway.


Copic replacement nibs
Copic various ink










With all that good things I have said about Copic, I also have something less good to say (just like I have done with all other brands). I know a lot of people will be upset but I believe that Copic is overrated. For some reason a lot of Copic lovers seem to be very emotional about the subject. However I have to speak out of my experience. Copic has a big problem with their ink; most of the colors becomes grainy on most papers. I find that Copic´s own paper (the 70 gsm) is the worst paper for these markers. The ink does not only become grainy but also get an almost oil pastel feel and wont blend good at all. On other marker paper (the thin ones) Copic becomes better but still very grainy. However, when I use thicker papers (like Bristol board) the problems becomes much less obvious and only appears on some of the colors. Also on this kind of paper the marker blends better. I do however not find this very problematic depending on what motif I choose to draw. If I draw larger areas in only one or few colors it can be very disturbing but the more going on in the drawing the less obvious the problems will be. 

Some color also seems to resist each other and almost loses value and saturation when mixed. This is also not noticeable on all papers, so if you use the right one, the problems is less obvious.  


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