How to Use Copic Markers: Learn, Explore and Create

Do you want to learn how to use Copic markers? If so, then this article is for you! We are going to explore how these markers are used, how they work, and what the best tips are. Whether you’re an artist looking for a new tool or someone who wants some art supplies on hand in case of emergency, Copics have something for everyone. Read through our comprehensive guide and start exploring today!

What are Copic Markers?

Copic markers are one of the most popular art tools available right now. They’re versatile, effective, and durable!

Copics work with pen tips that allow you to get both fine-line and wide line strokes easily depending on how hard or soft you press down. The most common type of Copic marker is refillable with replaceable nibs (tips). This allows you to change the color without needing an entirely new marker.

There are over 400 colors available allowing unlimited customization. You can even use multiple colors in a single stroke thanks to the ink blending capabilities built into these fantastic markers!

Different Types of Copic Markers

There are a few different types of Copic markers, each with their own unique features and uses. Here they are in brief:

Copic Original

Copic marker with the most color options. There are over 350 colors available and you can purchase them in sets or individually depending on how many you want to collect at a time!

Copic Sketch

These markers work just like regular Copics except there are two tips (fine bullet tip and chisel) for more versatility when coloring your drawings. It also comes in one of the biggest collections, offering 300 different shades so it has something for everyone! If you’re looking to get really creative with these pens, this is definitely the option we recommend!

Copic Wide

As their name suggests, wide markers have a larger body than your traditional-sized markers. They come in both fine-line as well as brush tips that are great for filling in larger areas with color. These markers are also refillable just like the regular-sized Copic markers!

Copic Ciao

The cheapest of all options, these pens work perfectly fine but don’t have quite as many features or color variety. They’re still very good quality and some artists swear by them so they might be perfect for your needs!

You can buy a single pen if you want to test it out without investing too much right away. If you use these enough though, we would recommend picking up at least one 12-pack because that’s how long each marker lasts on average before needing to replace them!

Blender Pens

Blending pens are used for mixing colors together and creating smooth transitions between different shades or hues. They also come in a variety of nib styles including fine point or chisel depending on how much blending you need to be done at once.

These fiber-tipped markers make it easy to blend even if your hand isn’t as steady thanks to its pressure-sensitive ink flow system that allows better control over how lightly/firmly you press down.

Read more about Copic markers in our Copic Ciao vs Copic Sketch: The Ultimate Comparison.

Copic Color System

Copic markers come in a variety of color families which include the following:

Neutral Tones

This includes all skin tones, grays, and whites. These colors are great for creating shading because their value is typically pretty close to how light or dark it appears on paper! It’s also helpful if you want to do touch-ups by coloring over existing line art with these marker shades (ex. lip lines or eye definition).

Warm Colors

The warmer hues consist of reds, oranges, and yellows. Using this family can be very beneficial when trying to convey heat like fire or desert landscapes! Be careful not to make your shadows too “warm” though because that tends to create blotchy patches where it’s hard to tell how much you’ve shaded.

Cool Colors

The cooler hues are made up of blues, greens, and violets. These colors work great for creating landscapes or backgrounds because they typically have a very strong value change which makes them pop! Just be careful not to shade too darkly with these markers since it can make your image look muddy if the values all blend together.

Copic Markers for Skin Help Guide

Copic markers are the perfect tool for coloring skin because they allow you to create realistic shading without any hassle! The following are some additional tips to keep in mind when coloring skin with Copic markers.

  • Whenever possible, try to use a complementary color for shading instead of just using the same shade as your base tone! This will help you avoid “muddy” looking patches that can appear if similar colors are used next to each other.
  • Try not to highlight or shade too harshly along the edges between two different areas because this also creates dark/light spots which make it look like there’s something wrong with how you colored certain parts on your drawing. Instead, gradually blend out towards another area by gently increasing how closely together the lines get until they fade away completely into either shadow or light respectively. Doing so naturally makes it less obvious how you transitioned between colors which can also help to make your artwork look more professional.
  • Finally, Copic markers are great for not only coloring skin but shading too! You can use these pens on both light/dark-toned paper so feel free to experiment with how you shade the different parts of someone’s face just like how you would with pencils or other traditional mediums.

How to Use Copic Markers for Anime

Copic markers come in a wide variety of colors and different sizes so they’re perfect for using on anime drawings! These qualities allow you to do more than just color clothing or hair which can really bring your artwork to life if done right.

Colors that are too bright will stick out from the rest of the image since anime characters typically have very vibrant eye/hair colors compared to how average people usually look. In other words, don’t be shy about using darker shades with these pens because it won’t make them blend into the background as much as you’d think!

Another tip is to try to draw on top of existing linework instead of coloring inside the lines. By doing so, you can get a more accurate understanding of how light would appear in certain areas (ex. how shadows form) which helps with shading/highlighting your drawing afterward!

Finally, don’t be afraid to use neutral tones when necessary because they’re great for adding curves or creating natural textures like hair that typically doesn’t have any sort of “pattern”.

How to Use Copic Markers for Beginners

Copic markers are excellent for beginners because they allow you to create smooth gradients easily without any hassle! Some other wonderful things about how these pens work include how easy it is to make shadows and highlights alongside how versatile how light or dark something can be (depending on the paper used).

What Is the Best Set of Copic Markers to Start with?

Starting out, it’s highly recommended that you buy the Copic classic marker set since this is how these pens were intended to be used and include most of their original colors. That being said, there are a few other ways to go about getting started depending on how much money you’re willing or able to spend.

If you don’t want to use expensive Copic markers but still want access to all of their colors then buying individual markers is another option for beginners!

However, please note that when using single markers instead of a set they will not last very long if coloring large areas so keep this in mind before making any purchasing decisions so your wallet doesn’t feel too hurt afterward.

We also made The Best Copic Markers Alternatives guide.

How to Create Gradient with Copic Markers

  • Blend areas together with a colorless blender until they appear smooth.
  • Make sure that the paper doesn’t absorb too much pigment before coloring overtop them.
  • Apply more pressure to darker areas in order to shade them correctly.
  • Once everything has completely dried, use different markers to achieve the desired gradient effect.
  • Lightly blend their tips together while making sure not to overlap how you’ve colored too much.
  • Make sure how the pencil lines/paper texture doesn’t show through once everything has dried completely.
  • Increase how many times shadows are applied overtop one another if desired.

Choosing the Right Paper

Copic markers are known for how well they work with different surfaces which means that you can color on just about anything if desired!

However, keep how porous the paper is in mind when choosing how to use Copic markers because how much ink it soaks up also determines how dark or light your artwork looks.

For example, using them on regular printer paper will probably not be as beneficial since this type of surface absorbs too much of their pigment resulting in less vibrant colors.

Copic Marker Coloring Tips

Copic markers are an excellent tool for coloring and shading which allows you to create smooth gradients without any hassle! The following tips will help make using these pens a breeze whether you’re how experienced or not.

  • If you feel like how you did the artwork looks too flat then try using some darker tones to add shading.
  • One of the best ways to avoid ruining lines by having them look harsh instead is by making sure that you blend everything together so there aren’t any visible boundaries between colors before letting them dry completely.
  • Areas that need to be darker can be done by applying more pressure while going over them so the marker’s ink gets deposited onto paper more than it would if less pressure was applied instead.
  • It can be helpful to keep a colorless blender handy during the entire process so things don’t look too bold after shading and blending!
  • If lines appear too sharp instead then try decreasing how often/how long each area gets blended overtop one another until everything appears smooth again.
  • A gradient highlights/shadows can be done by coloring over the same spot how many times you need them to show up! This will help gradients look even more natural than they would if less pressure was applied.
  • If how you colored looks bold and saturated instead then try using lighter colors such as pink or white to add highlights/shadows when necessary so everything still looks smooth.

The Bottom Line

Copic markers are a great choice for beginners and pros alike. They’re how well they work with different media types is another thing that really makes them stand out from the crowd!

All you have to do when using these pens is make sure how your paper doesn’t absorb too much pigment before coloring overtop things and follow the marker blending tips mentioned above if needed!

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