The Copic Craze
Copic Markers and Copic Colouring Explored

Summary: Copic markers, those sleek, double-ended tools beloved by artists and illustrators worldwide, are more than just colourful pens. They’re a gateway to creativity, a bridge between imagination and reality. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the captivating world of Copic markers, from their origins to practical tips for mastering their use. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a curious beginner, this article is your ticket to unlocking the full potential of these remarkable markers.

Why Read This Article?

Before we dive into the details, let’s address the burning question: Why should you invest your time in understanding Copic markers? Here’s why:

  1. Versatility: Copic markers are versatile tools suitable for various artistic endeavours. Whether you’re into manga, fashion design, or intricate illustrations, Copics have got you covered.

  2. Professional Quality: These markers are the darlings of professional artists. Their consistent performance, vibrant colours, and bendability make them a staple in studios worldwide.

  3. Colour Exploration: With a staggering 358 colours across 17 families, Copics offer an artist’s dream palette. Imagine having every shade at your fingertips!

Now, let’s embark on our colourful journey through the world of Copic markers.

The Genesis of Copic Markers

What Are Copic Markers?

Originating in Japan in the late 1980s, Copic markers emerged from the esteemed company Too Corporation, founded by Yukio Hayashi. Initially developed for the manga and anime industries, Copic markers quickly gained traction among artists for their exceptional quality and innovative design. Over the years, the markers have undergone refinements, expanding their colour range, enhancing ink formulations, and optimizing their design to cater to artists’ evolving needs.

Features and Characteristics

Central to the allure of Copic markers are their distinctive features and characteristics. These markers boast an alcohol-based ink formulation, imbuing artwork with vibrant, fade-resistant colours that blend seamlessly. The dual-tip design, featuring both a brush and chisel nib, offers artists unparalleled control and flexibility in line variation and shading. Moreover, Copic markers are refillable and compatible with replaceable nibs, ensuring longevity and sustainability—a testament to their commitment to environmental responsibility.

The Anatomy of a Copic Marker

Before we delve deeper, let’s dissect a Copic marker:

  • Dual Tips: Each marker boasts two tips—a broad chisel tip for large areas and a fine-point brush tip for intricate work.
  • Refillable: Copics are eco-friendly; you can refill them when they run dry.
  • Colour-Coded Caps: The caps match the ink colour, making organization a breeze

Exploring the Color Spectrum

The Copic colour system is a testament to the brand’s commitment to providing artists with a comprehensive palette for creative expression. With over 350 colours meticulously categorized into various colour families, artists have an extensive array of hues, shades, and tones to bring their visions to life. The numbering system assigned to each colour facilitates easy identification and ensures consistency in colour selection and blending—a boon for artists seeking precision and efficiency in their work.

Layering and Blending Magic

Copic markers excel at layering. Apply one colour over another, and witness the magic unfold. Blending is effortless—gradual transitions create depth and realism. Terms like “colorless blender” and “feathering” become your artistic allies2.

Applications and Techniques Mastering Techniques

The versatility of Copic markers transcends traditional artistic boundaries, finding applications across a myriad of disciplines. From illustration and graphic design to fashion design and architecture, artists harness the power of Copic markers to realize their creative visions. The markers’ ability to blend seamlessly and layer effortlessly enables artists to achieve intricate textures, gradients, and effects with unparalleled finesse.

The Art of Blending

  • Gradient Blending: Start with the lightest shade, then layer darker tones. Blend using circular strokes.
  • Feathering: Feather the edges of colours for soft transitions.
  • Colour Families: Understand warm vs cool tones and explore complementary colours.

Shading and Highlights

  • Light Source: Imagine where the light hits your subject. Shade accordingly.
  • Three-Dimensional Illusion: Layering and shading create depth.
  • Highlights: Leave white spaces for highlights—essential for realism.

Texture and Patterns

  • Stippling: Dots create texture (think fabric or foliage).
  • Cross-Hatching: Overlapping lines add dimension.
  • Flicking: Quick strokes mimic fur or hair.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Despite their myriad advantages, Copic markers are not without their limitations. The initial investment required to build a collection of Copic markers can be daunting for some artists, particularly beginners. Moreover, mastering advanced techniques such as blending and shading requires practice and skill, posing a learning curve for newcomers to the medium. However, the investment in Copic markers pays dividends in the form of superior performance, longevity, and creative possibilities—an investment that many artists consider invaluable.


  • Apply ink judiciously. Too much can saturate the paper and bleed.
  • Tip: Test on scrap paper before committing. 

Ignoring Paper Quality

  • Invest in smooth, heavyweight paper. It affects blending and ink absorption.

Rushing Blending

  • Patience pays off. Take your time to achieve seamless blends.

Community and Culture

Beyond their utility as artistic tools, Copic markers foster a vibrant and inclusive community of artists and enthusiasts. Online forums, social media groups, and events serve as hubs for artists to share tips, techniques, and artwork, fostering a culture of collaboration and camaraderie. Copic’s collaborations with renowned artists and brands further underscore its commitment to nurturing creativity and fostering innovation within the artistic community.

Copics vs Promarkers

When comparing Copics and Promarkers, both have their unique strengths:

Coverage and Blending

Topics: Known for smooth coverage and vibrant colours. Excellent blending capabilities.
Promarkers: Also offer good coverage and colour vibrancy, with commendable blending.

Nib Design

Topics: Dual-tip design with a brush tip for detailing and a chisel tip for broader strokes.
Promarkers: Typically have a bullet nib and a chisel nib, suitable for general colouring and outlining.

Refillability and Nib Replacement

Topics: Refillable with replaceable nibs, reducing long-term costs and waste.
Promarkers: Not refillable or compatible with replaceable nibs, potentially leading to higher long-term costs.

Colour Range and Accessibility

Copics: Over 350 colours are available and widely accessible online and in stores.
Promarkers: Offer a decent colour range, generally more affordable and accessible than Copics.

Price and Value

Topics: Premium price but valued for quality, versatility, and refillability.
Promarkers: More affordable option, providing good performance at a lower price point.

In summary, both Copics and Promarkers offer quality markers with their advantages. Copics excel in versatility and refillability, while Promarkers provide good performance at a lower price. The choice between them depends on individual preferences, budget, and project requirements.


In conclusion, Copic markers stand as a cornerstone in the realm of artistic tools, serving as indispensable companions for artists and designers alike. Whether you’re sketching a quick doodle or meticulously crafting a masterpiece, Copic markers offer unparalleled versatility and performance. With their dual-tip design and alcohol-based ink formulation, they effortlessly blend and layer to achieve stunning shading and blending effects, elevating your artwork to new heights.

Investing in Copic markers is an investment in quality and longevity. While the price may seem steep initially, the value they bring to your artwork is immeasurable. Their refillable nature ensures that they last for years to come, making them a worthy addition to any artist’s arsenal. And with a vast array of colours, you’ll never be limited in your creative endeavours.

Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting, Copic markers are a must-have in your collection of art supplies. Their smooth coverage and brush-tip nibs work beautifully on a variety of surfaces, from sketch pads to scrapbook layouts. With self-paced workshops and online forums available, getting started with Copic coloring has never been easier.

However, the benefits of Copic markers extend beyond their artistic capabilities. Their vibrant colours and precise coverage make them a favourite among scrapbookers and layout designers. For those in the stamping community, Copic markers offer a level of detail and control that other markers can’t match.

So, whether you’re a manga enthusiast in Ontario or a digital artist looking to add a touch of traditional flair to your work, Copic markers are sure to impress. Their versatility, quality, and refillability make them a worthwhile investment for anyone serious about their artistic endeavours.

Happy creating! 😊

Author: Diana Anderson

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