Reported by Amanda Talbert
Is there any doubt that the crafters of Craft Critique like Copic markers? Well I’m no different. I love Copic markers. The thing is, when I am trying to decide if I should buy a set of markers that cost more than any markers I’ve ever owned, and are also alcohol-based (which sounds a little scary), I need to know more than if a person just likes them or not.
We told you that they blend and that we like that. We told you that they come in a huge host of colors and that we LOVE that. We even told you that they are refillable, which really makes me feel better about the price. Now I’d like to tell you about some of the tricks and tips I have learned or figured out on my own that make these markers a must have.
I started my Copic research by actually meeting and talking to Marianne Walker of I Like Markers fame and Pat Huntoon of Technique Junkie at CHA. What a wealth of knowledge these ladies are. I learned that the letter in the designation on the end of the markers (or on the side in the case of Copic Ciao) tells me what color family the marker belongs to. So my E00 marker belongs to the Earth family of colors and my YR 09 belongs to the Yellow Red family of colors. The first number on the end of my Copics is the color group the company has placed each color into. The second number lets you know where your marker falls in the range of colors from light to dark so my E00 would be the lightest color in the Earth range and my YR09 is the darkest color in the YR0 range. I find knowing this about my markers very helpful. I find this chart even more helpful.
I found this chart at Copicmarker.com and downloaded it. It started out blank and I filled it in with the colors I have after I printed it on the Smooth Bristol paper I use. The chart is helpful for picking colors to use as well as knowing what colors I still need to buy.
I like knowing about the markers, I like knowing how to use them even more. I’ve learned so much from YouTube tutorials like this and this and this and from demonstrations at CHA. The very most important thing I have learned is that the very best way to create subtle shading is to shadow with the color you are already using.
I did all of the coloring and shading on this girl with just one marker of each color. Her hair is completely done with just one brown marker, her skin with just one flesh tone, the yellow with just one shade of yellow. By laying down multiple layers of the same shade the color darkens and intensifies and I can get a vast array of subtle color shifts.
I also learned a technique that lets me apply color from my Copic markers onto an acrylic block and then pick them up with the colorless blender or a lighter color marker to give me a more watercolor like effect.
Another great thing to do with the blending marker? I can fix my mistakes.
It’s a bit hard to make out in this picture but I colored out of the lines in this picture. Sometimes I do that. It gave me a great opportunity to try out the quick fix. I pushed back at the color, towards the area it was supposed to be, with my colorless blender and this is how it turned out.
Who doesn’t like to fix a little boo boo now and then? The alcohol blending solution inside the blending pen can also be purchased as a refill and there are endless things to be done with that solution. I, unfortunately didn’t have any Copic Alcohol Blending Solution, so I tried the technique I learned with a different solution.
I colored the upholstery and did the shading I wanted for the final fabric and then I pressed a paper towel that had been made damp with alcohol blending solution onto the markered area. When I lifted the paper towel it looked like this.
The finished product came out exactly the way I wanted it to. I can’t ask much more than that.
The final verdict, for me, on Copic markers? As I told you right from the start, I love them. Now that I know how to use them, and where to learn more, I don’t mind the $3 and up pricetag at all. Now I just need MORE. Do you have something new for us to learn? We’d love to hear your ideas and see what you have found on the internet about Copic Markers.
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.