Copics have a rich tradition in design and illustration, with unsurpassed color quality. They are the best pigment-based, alcohol-based markers on earth, but they can be hard to choose. Both come in a variety of colors and have their own disadvantages and advantages.
Copic Ciao or Copic Sketch? How do you use each set of markers to create different effects? Which set should you buy if you want to be more versatile? Let’s break it down!
If you’re wondering what the difference is between Copics, then you’re in luck. We have all of your answers right here with this article. We will compare Copics in terms of value for money, how each marker feels when you use them on paper, and much more!
Copic Ciao vs Copic Sketch Comparison Table
|72 (358 max.)
|72 (180 max.)
|Longer Super Brush tip and Medium Broad Chisel tip
|Shorter and firmer Super Brush tip and Medium Broad Chisel tip
|Detail artwork and brush lettering
|Beginners and watercolor art
What Are Copic Markers?
Copic markers are refillable alcohol-based marker pens with a chisel tip allowing you to produce different line widths.
They have been around since the 1980s and they were originally intended for industrial design, architecture, fashion design, illustration, or even comic books. Copic is currently owned by Enesco who bought them in 2001 after Copic decided to focus on their business outside of Japan where it was founded.
Copic Ciao and Copic Sketch come in varied color options but this can be confusing when trying to decipher what suits your needs. Each come with their own set of pros and cons which we will go through in this article, so you can decide what is best for your artistic style.
Read more about markers in our Best Copic Alternatives comparison article.
Copic Sketch vs Ciao: Similarities
- Both come in a wide range of colors.
- Both markers are refillable, the ink is removable and replaceable which means you can keep using your marker for years to come!
- Both have good pigment flow which means the ink will be rich and vivid when applied directly onto the paper. They are also easier to blend than most other brands because of this consistency.
- Copics have a low odor and are non-toxic. They also emit fewer VOCs than most markers of their kind on the market which makes them safer to use indoors as well as more environmentally friendly!
Copics are some of the most versatile markers on the market because you can use them almost anywhere from professional artwork, fashion design, or even illustration if that’s your preferred artistic field.
Key Features of Copic Ciao Markers
- Copic Ciao markers are Copic’s entry-level offering, and they’re ideal for new artists or those on a budget. Copic’s Sketch collection is slightly more expensive due to its increased versatility.
- There are currently 180 colors available in Copics’ Ciao collection.
- Copic Ciao markers feature dual-tipped nibs with chisel and brush tips on one marker so you can create two-line thicknesses in your sketches without having to switch between multiple tools.
- Copic Ciao markers are also refillable which means you can keep the same marker for years to come.
- They lay down a smooth, consistent line.
- Round barrel
- Best for beginners
Key Features of Copic Sketch Markers
- Copic sketch markers are more versatile than Ciao due to their slightly longer nibs which are great for bolder strokes and filling in larger spaces.
- They also have a large selection of brush tips available on all marker types allowing you even greater scope when it comes to creating sketches.
- In order to get a more consistent line Copic ciao are best for practicing calligraphy. With Sketch, you have more control over the thickness of your lines whereas Copics Ciao’s nibs wear out quickly so it can be difficult to get a thick or thin line depending on how hard you press.
- These are some of the best Copics there because they’re refillable, have flexible brush tips, are virtually odorless and non-toxic!
- Sketch perform better than Ciaos since their pigment lays down thicker lines, so there’s no risk of bleeding through paper.
- Oval barrel
- Best for detail artwork
Copic Ciao vs Sketch Markers Differences
Copic Sketch vs Ciao Tip / Nib
Both markers include a medium broad chisel nib and a super brush nib.
Copic Sketch has a bit longer brush than Copic Ciao while Ciao’s brush nib is firmer and easier to control.
Copic Color Chart Ciao vs Sketch
Copics are known for their amazing color range. There are also special edition sets that include many exclusive colors like skin tones, grasses, stones, etc. They have a color chart available online where you can compare colors and find out which Copic is similar to sketches’ shades.
Copic Sketch has a more extensive color chart of 358 while Copic Ciao has 180 colors.
Copic Sketch is closer to Copics original colors while Copic Ciao is made of the same ink as Copics but has different alcohol-based solvents added (in order to make it faster drying).
Copic Sketch vs Copic Ciao Price
The price of Copics can range from $12 USD up depending on where you buy them. If purchased online, the shipping costs make the items more expensive than they appear at first glance (especially internationally) so we would recommend buying locally if possible! Copic Sketch Markers retail for approximately $15-$20 each plus taxes/shipping fees while Copic Ciao’s average is about half that amount.
Copic Ciao Markers vs Copic Sketch Shape and Comfort
Copics are lightweight and have a great ergonomic design so they fit perfectly in your hand. Copic Sketch, on the other hand, is made of plastic which makes them heavier than Copic Ciao’s aluminum barrel but this also means that they’re more durable!
When you hold both pens side by side it’s clear that Copic Ciaos are slightly smaller than their counterparts. Another noticeable difference between these two products is thickness. Generally speaking, Copic Ciaos are slightly thinner than Copic Sketch. They also feel and look nicer than Sketches.
Copic Ciao features a round barrel with little stoppers that don’t work well. Copic Sketch has an oval barrel.
What are Copic Sketch Markers Used for?
Doing Detail Artwork
Copic Sketch is great for detail work. They are very popular among artists who sketch manga, comics or do other detailed drawings that require multiple layers of color. Copic Sketch can definitely handle the job!
Copics Sketch also works great for fashion designers who need a marker with strong pigmentation and a precise tip. They can be used to outline and color patterns that will later serve as the basis for more detailed designs created with other media like colored pencils, paints, or markers.
Copic Sketch is extremely popular among letterers who use them to create fun hand-drawn typefaces. Its super brush nib gives you more flexibility when trying out different styles from thick to thin lines so they’re great if you are just starting off with brush lettering.
What are Copic Ciao Markers Used for?
Copic Ciao markers are often used by watercolor artists who prefer to work with Copics. Their alcohol-based inks and smooth lay-down make them perfect for coloring within the lines and transitioning from one color to another.
Copic Ciaos also blend together similarly well as watercolors which makes them an excellent choice if you want to experiment with this style.
Beginners in Art
If you’re just starting out, Copic Ciaos will give you a decent amount of variety to try different types of lettering or artwork without making an expensive investment on Copic Sketch markers. Their brush nib has more control so it’s easier for beginners.
Which Copic Marker Set Should I Get?
Copic Sketch is a great choice for artists who take their art seriously. It’s slightly more expensive but it has many pros like color range, brush nib, and availability in different sizes (Ciao markers come only in one size). Copics are the go-to marker brand for most serious illustrators out there!
Copic Ciaos on the other hand have richer colors which makes them perfect if you need to create big pieces of artwork with bolder shades. Their price tag also makes them a good option if you’re just starting off and want an affordable yet decent quality marker set.
Copic Sketch Markers vs Ciao: Overall Winner
Both Copics are great options but Copic Ciao is the clear winner here! Its lower price makes them perfect if you’re on a budget or just want to give Copics a try without spending too much money.
Sketch Copic markers are great for detail work while Copic Ciao is perfect if you need to do big pieces of art. Copics offer a wide variety of colors but Sketch has the upper hand when it comes to blending and color range. Copic Ciaos, on the other hand, have better ink flow so they’re easier for beginners.
The best thing about Copics is their versatility – whether it’s using them alone or mixing them together with other brands. If this is your first time buying Copics, we would recommend Copic Ciao markers because they are more affordable and still of great quality!