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Product Spotlight: Copic

Copic markers were originally developed in Japan waaay back in the 1960’s to create a marker that would not smudge the lines on a photo copy print. Today, the broad range of Copic products are a favorite in the fields of fine art, design, illustration, animation, architecture and craft. Their high quality, alcohol-based inks come in 358 colors and are non-toxic and acid free. Copic markers are also environmentally friendly! You can refill their ink wells and replace their nibs, so you never have to throw them away.

Marker Types

Classic – The original Copic Marker is a double sided, square barreled marker with a broad tip on one side and a fine tip on the other. It has the largest ink capacity of all the styles and is available in 214 colors.

Sketch – This is the artist’s favorite. It has an oval barrel and is double sided with a broad tip on one side and a brush tip on the other. It is available in all 358 colors.

Ciao – Ciao is the beginner’s version of the Copic Sketch. They are less expensive, cylindrical in shape, come in 156 colors, and do not have the color code on the caps - but those caps do have little anti-choking holes in them to make them child safe!

Color Theory

Copic markers have a unique color-coding system that makes it easy to perfect your color pallette just by reading their caps.

The letters on the cap represent the color family:

Blue, Blue Greens, Blue Violets, Earth Colors (earthy brownish colors), Fluorescents, Greens, Reds, Red Violets, Violets, Yellows, Yellow Greens, Yellow Reds, Cool Grays, Neutral Grays, Toner Grays, Warm Grays

The first digit represents the saturation level of the color from 0-9. 0 = More saturated. 9 = Less saturated. Match these numbers on colors you want to blend together well.

The last digits represent the intensity of the color. These values are split into 12 levels ranging from light to dark: 000, 00, and 0-9. 000 is the lightest and 9 is the darkest. If you want highlights, choose a color in the 000- 4 range; for mid-tones pick between 4 and 6, and your dark shadows will be 7-9. For blending purposes, you’ll get the best results if these numbers on your markers are within a 2-3 digit range.

Since just having a color code is kind of boring, Copic also has some great descriptive names for their markers like Abyss Green, Pale Celestine, Mignonette, Loquat, Statospheric Blue, Argyle Purple, Baby Blossoms, and Light Prawn

Click HERE for more handy info on the Copic color system.

Basic Techniques

Drawing Lines

Dual nibs offer a variety of options.


Copic inks are quick drying and trasparent so the colors can be made darker by simply building up layers of colors. You can also layer different colors together to create new colors. Neat-o!


If you work quickly, you can make beautiful color gradations.

Colorless Blender

The colorless blender has the same alcohol ink that’s found in the colored markers, but without the color. It can help you blend, fade, fuzz, and even partially remove your colors.


Refill and replace!

Don’t throw out that dry Copic with a scrappy looking nib! You can make it all shiny and new in just a few easy steps!

Shop Nibs

Don't want to refill your Copics yourself? Let us do it for you at our Alberta Street store's Copic Refill Station

Other amazing things to do with your Copics

Shrinky Dinks!

Alcohol Ink Art!

Supplies used: Copic Various Ink, synthetic paper or other non-pourous surface such as coated wood, metal, glass, or acetate.

More great Copic products:

Copic Multiliner - An all-purpose pigment based inking pen that is compatible with Copic markers. It's water-proof so the ink will not bleed after the pen line has completely dried.

Multiliners are the ideal choice when consistent line flow and precision counts. Multiliners are available in a variety of nib sizes and colors.

Copic Multiliner SP - The same Copic marker compatible ink in a durable aluminum body with replaceable ink cartridges and nibs. Available in a variety of sizes.

Copic Gasenfude Brush Pen - This pen has a fine synthetic brush nib (or “fude”) which creates expressive line variations for lettering or sketching. Water based pigment ink will not bleed with Copic markers. Rich and solid black ink provides amazing shading effect in your sketches, mangas and caricatures.

Copic Opaque White - Great for adding finishing touches and highlights to your artwork. This thick white paint won’t bleed into the base color so you'll get nice crisp details.

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