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Vendor Spotlight: Copic Markers

Reported by Dana Vitek

I was certain that my fellow reporters would showcase the awesomeness of Copic markers on their intended surface (meaning paper of course), so I chose to focus my review on non-porous materials: shrink plastic and polymer clay. And one card, because that’s just how I am.

Copic’s ink is alcohol-based, and that allows you to color on non-porous surfaces. Notice I didn’t say that it would be permanent (unless sealed), because even when dry, rubbing alcohol will remove Copic’s ink. And you know what else will remove Copic ink? More Copic ink. It’s self-repelling on solid surfaces… the same properties that allow it to blend easily on paper allow you to move it around on non-porous materials; that’s not a bug, that’s a feature!

Here’s a polyshrink charm I made for my sister:

I’ll usually start out by coloring with a medium color, and put down a solid coat. Then I’ll go in an add stripes of a darker color, and then a couple of lighter colors:

See how the ink repels itself and creates blank spots:


Before the ink is all the way dry, it’s kind of sticky. I decided to go with it, and stick my palm print on each piece that I work… can you see the ridges it left?


Flip it over and stamp it with the monogram of your choice:


And then shrink it up! Quarter for scale:


Slap some metallic ink on the back to fill in those blank spots left by the self-repelling ink (see, now do you see why I think it’s a feature!), and voila… happy belated birthday!

And here’s another little one that I put on my key chain with a message that sometimes I need to see during the day:


A while back I made a bunch of polymer clay “blanks” by squishing some scrap clay into the bottoms of some silicone muffin trays and curing them in the oven. I threw them in a drawer and forgot about them. Here’s five of them:


Here’s the same five after I colored them with Copics, and dusted them with some Pearl-Ex. Yes, really, they’re the same ones. I know!


Dress them up or down, they’re down right wearable…

not too shabby for junk clay and a little ink!

Finally, here’s a card for my son, Max, who could use a little encouragement in first grade.

I stamped the “Billy” image (from Pink Cat Studio) with Ranger’s Nick Bantock Ink in Lamp Black (here’s why I know that’s THE BEST black ink to use with Copics. For the step-by-step shading, you can check out my blog, but it’s not rocket science, really… if I can do it, you can do it!

See that dark blue line around all the layers? That’s courtesy of the chisel nib end that I thought was not really all that useful. Guess what… it’s useful!

The Copics blendability is really amazing, and I have to admit that I’m both a convert, and an addict. I’ve used other high-quality alcohol-based markers, and I’ve got to say, these are the best that I’ve used. The brush tip is fabulous. FABULOUS! In fact, there are only a couple of changes I would make in general:

Pros:

  • Ink is blendable on paper, self-repelling on solid surfaces, creating lots of different effects
  • TONS of colors to choose from
  • Several marker sizes and nib options
  • Replaceable nibs
  • Refillable ink
  • There’s a Copic airbrush, which introduces a whole new way to make a mess art! YAY!
  • The Copic website has a top notch FAQ section… if you have a question, you can bet they’ve already answered it!

Cons:

  • The ink can be sticky on non-porous surfaces. Letting it dry overnight is key, but who has time for that?
  • Copic doesn’t make what I’m calling “Dana’s Perfect Copic” which has a super brush nib on one end, a fine bullet point nib on the other, an oval-shaped barrel like the Sketch, and costs 12 cents.

I almost wish I didn’t get picked for this review, because now I’m addicted to Copics. And with an art supply store within walking distance from my office, well, lunchtime just got a lot more expensive! But, that’s what a new love is all about right? What do you love about Copics?

GIVEAWAY!
Leave a comment on any of our Vendor Spotlight: Copic Marker articles, and you’ll be entered to win a set of 12 Copic Atyou Spica glitter pens. I’ve used these pens myself, and they’re awesome!
We’ll pick a winner on Saturday, September 19th.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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Dana Vitek

Dana Vitek is a craft-‐‑supply hoarder with an obscenely understanding husband. She works full-‐‑time as a geologist, and spends her free time sort of paying attention to her two kids, reading a lot, and crafting. She's a crocheter, but not a knitter because knitting seems way too complicated. She's a card maker, but usually only 10 minutes before a birthday party. She cusses at her sewing machine. She has at least 12 different types of glue, but can never find the scissors she wants when she wants them. Dana started writing and editing for Craft Critique in 2008. She is perhaps best known for her Mother of All Black Ink Tests, and her annual April Fool's posts. She blogs extremely irregularly at Stamping Science. http://stampingscience.blogspot.com

Latest posts by Dana Vitek (see all)

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111 Responses to Vendor Spotlight: Copic Markers

  1. inkedx2 September 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    I’ve used these pens also. They are fabulous!

    Robbie

  2. SMK September 15, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    always wanted to get some, but LSS doesn’t have them and they are indeed a bit pricey πŸ™

  3. Shannon Roberts September 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    Oh my! I have the first set & would love to have the second set! They are just amazing! Thank you!

  4. Jingle September 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    This is so cute!

  5. Jean September 15, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    Your take on non-porous materials is great – I had only thought in terms of paper.

    eugeniakraft@gmail.com

  6. Micki September 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    ach, that is a great idea pressing your palm into it while still a bit wet. Created awesome texture. I love my copics, my favorite thing is to ‘push the colors (darker colors) to create shading.

  7. Louise Forsyth September 15, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    The polymer discs turned out fantastic! Totally wearable.

  8. I have been wanting to try Copics for awhile now. They look like wonderful markers. I love all the Copic reviews on here and the ideas, especially the coloring on shrinky dink technique! Thanks! πŸ™‚
    tina

  9. Marilyn September 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    I just received my copic markers and can’t wait to get going with them. Thanks for all your information about this product. It is a real help to us all.

  10. Freija September 15, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    OMG!!!! I love your clay pendants! The effect is amazing, and in shrink plastic too. Hope Copic were more easy to find in Spain to try all of them… By the way, did you cure and/or varnish clay pendants after painting? Any problem (fading, burning, changing color…) with the ink? Thankssss!!!!!

  11. ascrappersdream September 15, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    I have found the Copic markers at Hobby Lobby in the artist section. They are where the charcoal pencils, pastels and chalks are displayed. I didn’t think to look there but was just wandering the store looking for things to alter and there they were!!!

  12. Tricia September 15, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    I love the range of colors! They are pricey, but just a few at a time isn’t too bad. . .

  13. Janette September 15, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    Love these, thanks for the different ideas of how to use them.

  14. Michelle (mla1111) September 15, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    I just started playing with some copic sketch markers, love them so far…I want to master the technique as I have seen fabulous coloring with them! Thanks for the review!

  15. Leslie September 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    As always, awesome ideas! I’m sure your sister will enjoy the pendant.

  16. Rebecca September 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    WOW! I knew they were great for blending on paper, but I had NO idea how many uses they had! Amazing techniques, thanks for sharing.

  17. Ashley September 15, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    LOL your CONS are great!!

  18. Bonafyde September 15, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    Cool charms and pendants!

  19. Louchia September 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    I’ve just started to use Copics a few weeks ago and you review is just what I needed πŸ™‚ more links, more ideas, thanks!

  20. Cammy September 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    Wow! Your pendants are fantastic! Thanks for the awesome ideas!

  21. Cheri Howard September 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    I’ve seen copics used mostly on paper, so this article was fantastic!

  22. sandie carter September 15, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    I have hearsd so much about these wonderful pens. As far as price goes any good quality marker/pen costs to invest in as did my very firat Tombow markers many, many years ago but if these last half as long as my other water based markers then they are wll worth it especially as they are so much easier to blend with.

    Thanks for the chance to win these wonderful pens. My budget hasn’t quite stretched to get any yet but they on my ever growing stamping wish list!!LOL

    dragonflydreams@bigpond.com

  23. Missy September 15, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    I have never used these pens. Maybe it is time to change and do/use something new. So put me down. Cool Give away.
    THank you.
    Missy

  24. Lia September 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    I’m not much of a paper artist. These are more my style, and they all look fantastic!

  25. Erica Hettwer September 15, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    Those are some awesome projects!

  26. Anonymous September 15, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    Id love to try them. I love your projects.

  27. Lisa G. September 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    My LSS doesn’t have these either…would love an opportunity to play πŸ™‚ They sound awesome!!!

  28. Tracey September 15, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    Love my Copics!! Still building my collection but they are awesome! And I love what you did with them here on the shrink plastic!!

  29. Tonya September 15, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    I absolutely loves the colors and the blendability (that is a word right?) of them. They look like paint they blend so well!!!!

  30. Misty C September 15, 2009 at 8:20 pm #

    keep hearing alot about these – guess I’ll have to give them a try

  31. LeslieD. September 15, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    Ooh, looks like I need some new markers!!

  32. stacey September 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    Hm – I’ve always wondered what these pens could do – I’m intrigued now and would really like to win them so I could try. Thanks for the chance.

  33. Melissa (peeps) September 15, 2009 at 9:33 pm #

    great review! I love the way the polymer clay shapes turned out.

  34. Skulleigh September 15, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    Oooo, I love the pendants, those are amazing.

    All these Copic reviews are really tempting me to pick up a set.

  35. Denise September 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    I am taking my first class in October on these classes! I would love to get some of these markers

  36. interactthis September 15, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

    Can’t wait to try these markers sometime – thanks for the reviews.

  37. Kathy R. September 15, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    These reviews have been so helpful. I have a few Copic markers and love them … now I need to start adding to my collection. Thanks again!

  38. Anonymous September 15, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    Alteredanne@aol.com said…

    love the texture idea!

  39. Michelle E September 15, 2009 at 11:24 pm #

    Great ideas – I have a few Copics, but would love to have more and learn how to use them. Thanks for the great information!

  40. Jessica Purvis September 15, 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    I loved seeing your projects. I always enjoy seeing Copics used on non-paper surfaces. Thanks for the chance to win some Spicas!

  41. Chris C September 16, 2009 at 12:39 am #

    OMG those pendants are stunning, what a transformation.
    I wish we could buy the copic markers here in NZ, but I have never seen any in the shops.
    Thanks for the chance to win some.

  42. theng September 16, 2009 at 1:08 am #

    Copic on polymer clay, I wouldn’t have thought of that. And the pendants look really glam with the pearlised effect.

  43. Toni September 16, 2009 at 1:54 am #

    I really need to try these pens… now if only I could find locally….

  44. NeseScott September 16, 2009 at 5:26 am #

    I noticed some cards about 2 years ago at a Rubberstamp Convention and knew immediately that something was different about them. I asked the company what markers they used to make the cards. Their answer – COPIC markers! I’ve wanted some ever since. Thank you for the critique. Great info!!!

  45. colorsgalore September 16, 2009 at 6:09 am #

    Wow! How cool is that! Like the look they give to the pendants created!

  46. shauna September 16, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    I’ve used alcohol markers in the past, but could not continue due to the fumes.
    Are these any better?
    Shauna

  47. Sandy Hulsart September 16, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    The key to coloring metal brads is to use the airbrush. Very short bursts of color and you will have a beautiful smooth finish that perfectly matches your project. If you get the color too thick, you can speed the drying with a blast from your heat gun. If you don’t like the color, wipe it off with an alcohol based hand sanitizer and start over. The airbrush also works great on rhinestones and flowers.

  48. Jeanette September 16, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    I’ve bought my first 3 Copic markers but haven’t had the courage to play with them yet.

  49. Scrapthat September 16, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    I don’t have any copics yet but I’ve bookmarked the tutorials as I hope to one day join the “bandwagon”!

  50. Donna VanWert September 16, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    Thanks for the spotlight. I have never tried them. If I win I could play for hours with them!

  51. Stampin_melissa September 16, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    My name is Melissa and I’m a Copic addict. My LSS will be getting them in stock soon and I’m soooo happy!

  52. Sandra September 16, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    thanks for the review – love the charms you made – and I am very glad I do not have an art supply store within walking distance from me …. I would be in the poor house for sure!
    Sandra

  53. Melanie September 16, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    The more I read about them the more I really want a few (who’s kidding? ALL of them!)

  54. StacyC September 16, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    I would love to get my hands on some Copic’s, just not in the budget yet. Thanks for the chance….

  55. Lisa Mala6 September 16, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Would love to try this pens. I have seen some really great cards made using copic pens but can’t afford them yet.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win some. πŸ™‚

  56. Agustina September 16, 2009 at 11:04 am #

    Wow!! Thanks for all the ideas, I only have a handful. However, I would love to build my collection. Thanks for the chance to win.

  57. Michelle September 16, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    how fun!

  58. Chookarooni September 16, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    Have not yet taken the plunge and bought copics but keep hearing wonderful things about them! Thanks for opportunity to win some!
    Mary-Jane

  59. Angel Anderson September 16, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    Oh no!! Now I really want some Copics which I’ve avoided until reading all these articles…

  60. Lisa Feltman September 16, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    I’ve always wanted to try these! What fun!

  61. msfreida September 16, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    Fantastic article and great job on your projects! Totally awesome! These markers are a must-have no matter what media you prefer!

    Freida
    freida38801@yahoo.com

  62. Carrie September 16, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    Don’t own any of these but now I feel really informed as to which ones to start off buying after your Critique. Thanks.

  63. Margaret September 16, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Thanks for the info. I have always wondered which type would be the best to start with – Copic, Sketch, Caio, etc., and have been afraid to make that initial purchase! Thanks for the tip about starting with one marker and thanks for a chance to win a set. That would be an awesome win!

  64. Debbie September 16, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    What fantastic markers. I wish they were sold around me.

  65. Scrappy Rat September 16, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    Darn! You’ve sold me on copics, darn it! I guess I’ll have to start collecting them one at a time, though. The priceyness is definitely a factor, but when I think about how much I’ve spent buying Stampin’ Up and CTMH pens, it starts to look doable. πŸ™‚

  66. The Hawkinson's September 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm #

    Stunning! I thought only in terms of paper as many others, now the Eenie, Minee, Mo starts for which colors to get and oh the ok from DH too! Hmmm……

  67. Lisa S. September 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Love my copics. They definitely have a learning curve but well worth the time when you get the knack and produce some beautiful stuff.

  68. Buncobuddy September 16, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    First I bought a set of Copics – now, finally, I’m learning how to use them! THANKS!

  69. The Miners September 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    I really, really want to try out these markers someday. They look so cool!

  70. Debbi Doodles September 16, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Love the blanks and the idea to use copics on shrinky dink plastic, looks like they all turned out great!

  71. Danielle Holsapple September 16, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    I am totally digging the necklace!! HOW COOL!

  72. Cassandra Findlay September 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    I think that I may just have to get me some of these!!
    Cass

  73. Anonymous September 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    Hey that was a great report. Especially liked your polymer clay charms. I haven’t jumped on the COPIC train yet, but I am getting closer to the station!
    Diane Cooper
    diane7@rogers.com

  74. Patty September 16, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    I like the copic at you spica pens! They really add a nice touch! Thanks for all your great tutorials!!!

  75. SassySamsMom September 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    I’m fairly new to copics but really think they are worth the money. I’ve only used them on paper and pearl embellishments so far, thanks for the new ideas! πŸ™‚

  76. Katherine September 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Oh my, I’ve really tried to stay away from the Copics because I just can’t spend the money on them right now if I want to keep my happy home. But, seriously, y’all have really been reeling me in! LOL! Yep, I’m hooked on the demos I’ve seen and I’m close to taking the Copics plunge!

    Thanks for the awesome reviews!

  77. Cyndi - DreamsUnltd September 16, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    I haven’t used them yet – I live out in the sticks and hate to buy a new (to me) product sight unseen. But I’ve heard so many great things about the Copics that I may just have to break down and buy them online!

    Cyndi – Dreams Unltd
    dreamsunltd at equestrimin dot com

  78. Gail September 16, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    I love the circle pendants you made and colored with the copics. What a great idea!!!

  79. Dana September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    WOW! Those discs are AWESOME! Who would have thought to do that? YOU! Thanks for your review. It was awesome!

  80. craft_princess September 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    This is so awesome! I love the jewelry you made!! So other than heating the shrink plastic how did you seal the color? Wouldn’t the mettalic on the back smear?

    Thanks!!

  81. Wanda September 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    I am afraid to win these, but I want to. I have never venture out pass SU markers, but have secretly considered the Copic. So if I don’t get picked, I’ll be safe for a little longer, I think.

  82. Monika/Buzsy September 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    I love those necklaces… such fabulous idea! TFS!

  83. Gail September 16, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    I’ve never used these pens, but sure read EVERY product review from the Craft Critique site! I’m going to try them now….I think the price was putting me off. Love what you did with the ‘junk’ clay!

  84. jo September 16, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    Love my copics! I couldn’t live without them! πŸ™‚

  85. BishopsMommie September 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    cool who would have thought of shrinky dinks..how cool..thanks for showing us these ideas!!

  86. Marion Rivas September 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    Thanks for all the information on the copic markers, I’ve used a few and they are fantastic.

  87. NitaBugg September 16, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    Thanks for the information on the Copic markers. They really had some great ideas. Thanks for the chance of for the pens.

  88. Beth Grace September 16, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    Thanks for the reviews on the Copic markers…I have really enjoyed them! I have picked up quite a few colors of these fabulous markets and would love to win more!

  89. Brenda September 16, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    Thanks so much for your article on Copics. I have begin “collecting” them and just love them. I always look for them on sale somewhere though since they are so expensive.

  90. annesatx September 16, 2009 at 8:46 pm #

    I’m only just starting my Copic collection and I love my pens so far! I would love to be the lucky winner!

  91. Shelley G in Iowa September 16, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    Thank you so much for all the articles on Copics. I haven’t broke down and bought any yet, but with the information from all the gals at Craft Critique I will be so much more informed when I do. (I loved the tip about buying lighter colors first since you can layer and achieve the shading.)

    Thanks for the chance to win, too!

  92. Ms. Cheryl September 16, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

    Copics are my fave!!! Thanks for sharing these experiments with us, ms.cheryl

  93. rhonda September 16, 2009 at 11:09 pm #

    I STARTED USING THE COPIC’S A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO… THIS YEAR THAT’S ALL I’M EVER GONNA USE THEY ARE FAB-U-LOUS… THE COLORED ARE SOOOOO VIBRANT.. JUST AWESOME
    GO COPIC..GO COPIC HEY HEY….LOL

  94. ellen September 17, 2009 at 5:43 am #

    Thank you for another GREAT article. I love the Copics and would be happy to add more to my collection!!!!

  95. AShu93 September 17, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    Wow, that scrap clay transformation is awesome! They turned out beautifully.

  96. AShu93 September 17, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  97. p kirby September 17, 2009 at 9:17 am #

    Loved what you did with the clay pendants! I would love to try the Copics.

  98. connie September 17, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    These are still on my “wishlist”. Thanks for all the tips.

  99. Jacq in MD September 17, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    You had me at Glitter…

  100. Kerry H September 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    Okay, ya got me. I broke down and ordered a set of Ciao markers from joann.com. Did you know you can use the coupon on them?? I got mine for 50% off!! Bet that won’t last long.

  101. Linda Fleming September 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    You are an enabler for sure. Now I need to save some money to purchase some of these. I love your examples. I want to try them all!

  102. Gina Wrona September 17, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    OMG, I would love to win a set since I am in so in love with all the House Mouse stamps but don’t have anything to color them with except watercolor su pencils.

    Thanks!
    Gina

  103. Lori September 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    WOW…I’ve been wondering what all the “hype” about Copic markers is. NOW I KNOW!

    I’m smitten…now I need some around my house to play with! And snce I’m recuperating from back surgery, this would be an AWESOME way to keep busy (card making with copic markers).

    Pick me! Pick Me!!

  104. Heidi September 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    Love my copic markers!! I have the red and green spica, decided to try just 2…what was I thinking…love them too!!

  105. Tammy September 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    “Junk clay and some ink” never looked so good! What a creative idea. Thanks for a great article.

  106. Jeana September 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Wow! I hadn’t seen these before and now I WANT THEM ALL! lol They look incredible and like so much fun!

    Jeana

  107. Anonymous September 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    love to try these — thanks!! RJ from WA

  108. Terrie September 17, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    I own a couple of the sipica glitter pens but would really love to win. I am thinking of taking a class at my Paper Tales in San Diego to try before I buy. Anyone else taking a class?

  109. Cherie September 17, 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    I purchased some of the regular copics and they are great! Sure would love to have this set! They look awesome! Thanks for the chance to win!

  110. Marilyn Hitterman September 17, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    Love Copics! Would love to win the Spica glitter pens – haven’t tried them yet, but I’ve heard only good things about them!

  111. patty w September 18, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Very cool !