**Warning--this is a bit of a long post--there is a LOT to say about Copics. So, get comfy, a cup of tea or whatever your choice of beverage and if you have a partner or children tell them to shh--or better yet, go out for a while *teehee*!!! You've got an important
work email blog post to read :)**
Ok, so I'm just going to come out and start this post by saying something truly truly shocking...I am so in love with Copic markers, that it's borderline inappropriate!! LOL. I mean honestly, a desk covered (or surrounded neatly-depending on how you work :)) by Copic markers?!
|this is my happy place *ahhhh*|
I'm fairly new to Copics, but I've had a few images I've colored come out super-nicely and the rest are all really good, despite my terribly low skill level :). The markers just seem to make everything look good, no matter what you do. I love that even if you're not happy with how something looks, you can just keep going over and over until you get what you need or want.
This was maybe the first card I made with my Copics;
I spent some time on her hair and was very happy with the results; the dress and flowers however, I kept simple. Can you see how up-close, her hair is obviously made from at least 2 colors? (in the previous card it looks much more natural from a 'normal' distance)
|this is one of my earlier cards. Only the second time I'd used my Copics.|
|see how up close the shading on her dress is nice but not quite blended enough? Her hair however, I'm proud to say looks good.|
When I first heard about Copics I thought, what's the big deal? Aren't markers just markers? Well in short--NO!! Copic's are just astonishingly good to work with. Being alcohol based means that they blend beautifully AND (a big plus for me) the paper won't 'pill up' (when the weave of the paper starts to break down and you get little tiny balls of paper start to show up) if you go over your coloring more than once. (I hate it when my paper pills up). I thought the standard price of $7 or $8 each was pretty decent given that they're given such a great guarantee AND you can get refills...but then I went on to the a2z site and I nearly choked on my
Distress ink water, when I saw how cheap they are there!!
Now to start with, you HAVE to have great paper to color on. This really does make a difference. Not only will the ink 'stay true' better, but it wont soak through as much and this gives you more freedom. The Copic Marker X-Press Blending Card is A-MA-ZING.
There are probably a whole range of stats and specs and information-based tid-bits that I could give you on how the paper is made, why it's better, what the difference is, but really...does it matter? Long story short, it makes everything look incredible. Even if your coloring is more "interesting" than that of a 1st grader.Get Some...Now...No, not NOW now, when you're finished reading this now :)
Before I get into the sets, a couple of things to know about Copics (just the basics).
- There are about 5 kinds of marker (shape-wise). The most popular, the Ciao and the Sketch are in store HERE.
- The difference between the Ciao and the Sketch: Ciao has a round body, Sketch has an oval body (thus, doesn't roll off your work surface).
- Sketch can be used with the Copic Air Compressor Ciao can't.
- The Ciao's are slightly cheaper and there are less colors available.
- You CAN combine the two when coloring. (The BG10 color in sketch is identical to BG10 in Ciao)
- Both styles have the same nibs. One end is a brush style, the other is a wedge for coloring larger surface area. (Personally, I've never used the wedge as I've only colored small, intricate images, but that doesnt' mean I wont ever use it.)
- When you're coloring, you can create a magnificent blended look using 2 or more markers. You start with the paler colour, add a little of the darker, then go back over the entire area with the paler--and the two will blend together.
To make this 'blended' effect, you need to choose 2 or 3 markers with close numbering.
- This is some info about the numbering on the ends of the markers, taken from the Copic website FAQ page
"Q: What do the letters on my marker mean?
The Letters on your marker tell you what color family they belong to: [B- Blue] [BG- Blue Green] [BV- Blue Violet] [G- Green] [YG- Yellow Green] (etc)
Q: What do the numbers mean?
The numbers explain the qualities of light, dark, and gray colors in that marker.
The first number stands for the Saturation, or how vibrant the color is. 0’s will be very vibrant, while 9’s will be more dull or gray.
The last digit tells you how light the marker is within that saturation group.
For example, a BG01 will be light and make a nice bright highlight color. BG05 is a vibrant mid-tone, or middle color. BG09 would be a strong shadow that matches that color group"
Here is an example:
|This is BV 04.|
|This is BV 08|
See how they're equally bright but the second is a "darker" shade?
How about this one:
|This is R27|
|This is R20|
Can you see how the first two, which are both in the R2 family have a similar quality of light (despite being very different colors) but the second, R20 has MUCH less saturation (it has less red in it), which make them similar colors, but very different shades.
The last, R59, has a totally different look. The R5 group has much more grey in it than the R2's, but because it's R59, its bolder and darker in shade (or tone if you prefer.)
Ok, onto the sets. There are a few around to choose from:
|Copic Marker Sketch Stamp Set 12 Soft Pastels|
|Copic Ciao Marker 72 Set A|
The sets of 36 don't have 'names' (other than set A, B or C) but of course, contain many more markers. Same thing for the sets of 72.
If you're new to Copics, there are 2 streams of thought. #1, the sets are a great way for you to be able to play with them, learn how they work, create some lovely images. #2. the sets are NOT the way to go, choosing your own from the singularly available ones is a better idea as you can do the blending techniques Copics are famous for.
|Here you can see much smoother blending. If I'd gone back over the image (especially her coat) again, it would be even smoother. Her hair and hat (and the fox) look very smooth, even up close.|
I have done a little of both. If you just want to use Copics to colour in images simply, then get the sets (or a set to start with). If you're interested in the blending technique, buy them singularly (or a set plus a few singles).
The price for both the singles and the sets in the a2z store are so ridiculously low, you could easily get a few things and have plenty to start playing with :)
I really do recommend Copic markers, I've bought a few myself and had heaps of fun playing with them and making beautiful images. If you enjoy coloring, then these are for you! The easy 'do-over' ability of them, because they're Alcohol-based is great not only for pedantic perfectionists like me, but also people with not much know-how.
With just a few tries, I'm sure you'll be producing fantastic results in no time! Look at this (I'm very proud :))
As always, we'd love to see what you create, so feel free to either email me pictures or even better-join our Flickr group and share with everyone! It's a great forum to make friends, learn new things and get inspired.
See you again on Wednesday with Joy's second card for the month!