What is a COPIC marker?

COPIC is a Japanese alcohol-based marker, a flagship among art materials for sketchers, illustrators, and other visual professionals. So far, the copy has no direct competitors, but there are only cheaper analogues, which for many tasks can perfectly fit, but do not have all the properties of the original copy. Among the cheaper counterparts, Winsor & Newton ProMarker and TOUCH markers stand out more often than others.

Features of COPIC, explaining their wide popularity and high price:

  • markers are almost eternal, made of high quality materials and can be refilled with ink (COPIC Ink ink must be purchased separately for each color);
  • markers are mixed with each other on paper and layered, which allows you to achieve beautiful color gradients and even draw hyper-realistic work;
  • the markers are disassembled, you can change the tip to a thinner one or select the tip in the form of a brush;
  • wide palette of colors (see photo).

Copics are sold both individually and in sets. If you are trying to copy for the first time, then in my opinion, it is better to take a set, as it contains color groups that mix well with each other, and you can get more pleasure when using. It is quite difficult to choose your first set if you do not have experience with markers. I myself faced a similar problem, and for a long time I chose which set to take for the first time. The easiest way to choose is for the price. How much are you willing to spend on color markers?

Prices for bites are biting, especially if you buy them at a nearby art store, as I wanted to do at the beginning. I live in Moscow, and a small set of 12 markers can be found for 12 thousand rubles. If you decide to take COPIC for you, my advice is to take them on Ebay, we found the most attractive offers there at a price that is two times lower than in Moscow stores and cheaper than in different groups on social networks selling copies from Asia through intermediaries. Link to Ebay, where I ordered copics (a set of 72 markers) at the lowest price: https://goo.gl/JBMTpc :9) I already bought several colors individually, the price for one copic is the best here (free delivery to Moscow!): https://goo.gl/WwBVAF On Aliexpress, unfortunately, there are no copics, there are only cheaper markers and copies of TOUCH and other brands.

COPIC markers are available in several series – the main ones are COPIC (thin tip + wide), COPIC Sketch (tip-brush + wide) and COPIC CIAO (similar to COPIC Sketch, but slightly smaller brush and ink volume; different colors). Copic CIAO are considered markers for beginners because of their lower ink volume and rounded body shape, which does not prevent the markers from rolling off the table + there is a separate truncated palette. There are also markers for filling large areas – COPIC Wide with a very wide tip.

Decide on the price, then choose the shape and color scheme. There are sets of 3 copies, 6, 12 and so on. A set of 12 markers is a basic set. A set of 36 copies is already considered a decent option for artwork, and 72 markers will give you almost unlimited possibilities for creative expression. We decided to buy COPIC Sketch 72 A Set – a set of 72 markers of copies of basic colors with gradients, on Ebay you can find an offer with a fairly quick delivery from Japan to Moscow for 19-20 thousand rubles (~ $ 300). Delivery from 5 days to 3 weeks. This is probably the best price you can find on the Internet.

How to understand which set of markers to choose?

There are sets of 12 markers according to the type of object being depicted – for painting a landscape, for a portrait, for an image of architecture, and so on. There are sets of shades – red, blue, yellow, etc. There are sets of warm and cold shades of gray. You can buy a set for drawing comics manga. There is a set with earthy shades, skin tones. Themed sets usually contain up to 24 markers and include separate groups of colors. To understand what colors you need, it’s worth understanding the principle of color numbering for copies. It is a little complicated, but the essence is this: the letter shows the tone of the color group (R – red, B – blue and so on), the first digit after the letter is saturation (saturation; 0 – more saturated, 9 – less saturated) and brightness (brightness; 0 – lighter, 9 – darker).

If we talk about my set, I can explain what I was guided by when choosing the COPIC sketch marker 72 A set is a set that includes almost all groups of colors with great variability in color shade. If you compare the COPIC Sketch 72 A and 72 B set, it turns out that in the first there is a greater variety of color shades (many gradations of blue, yellow, etc. – from very dark to light medium), and in the second – a larger number of light shades of different colors. Set 72A is brighter and more saturated in color than 72 B, but in the set 72 B there are more shades to create a realistic portrait – light shades of the earthy group. To get an idea of ​​the differences between the COPIC Sketch 72 A / B / C / D / E sets, look at the picture below. If you need more comparisons of these sets, write a comment.

In general, the set of 72 copy marker (A) seems to me an excellent choice to draw almost anything. The great advantage of this particular set is that it contains all the basic colors with a wide variation from very dark to bright medium shades, there are both warm and cold shades that mix well with each other, there are gray dark and light, many deep saturated colors. Compared to the other sets of 72 markers, in set “A”:

  • more bright blue, green, yellow, orange ones;
  • quite a lot of bright red, except for light pink ones;
  • a lot of gray and two black.

In the COPIC Sketch 72 A Set, I found some minor color flaws:

  • few light skin tones (in fact, only two and then not very light);
  • in general, not a lot of earthy shades;
  • generally there are few very light colors, in each color group there are dark, medium shades and medium-light shades, but very light colors are either not at all, or there are 1-2 colors;
  • the set does not have a colorless blender marker (it is used to achieve smooth transitions in hyper-realistic painting and to correct results, blur areas).

Video with me feeling super happy about my first COPICs (in Russian):

Write what markers you decided to take for yourself and why. If you still have any questions, I will be glad to answer them. What other artistic topic are you interested in discussing with me?

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