"The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8


For those of you who know me - you'll know how much I love my Copic markers! So I thought I'd put a page together with some bits and pieces about Copic markers. 
~~~ I will continually update this page so please check back often ~~~

Copic markers, Sketch, ciao, Elizabeth Whisson, December 2013
~ My Copic collection at December 2013 ~
(It's grown since then!)

My Copic experience:
I bought my first two Copic markers back at the beginning of 2012 (RV11 - pink and Y06 - yellow) after being inspired by Kathy Jones' fantastic colouring! I bought these two without knowing anything about the markers and got very frustrated with them as I couldn't "blend" the two colours at all. Then in August 2012 I started reading about Copic markers and how to actually use them. Since then its been a steep but fun learning curve learning about what colours "work" with each other, how to blend, how to use the colourless blender, what cardstock is best to use, different colouring techniques etc etc... Since then my collection has grown to about 393 markers (348 of the 358 colours - yes I have some doubles (in different Copic marker types!). I own mostly sketch markers but also have some ciao, original and own the whole wide marker collection (I won them!) (I also own a Copic class kit for when I teach classes (did I say I was addicted???!)! I LOVE colouring with Copics! I also own the Copic airbrush system and have enjoyed using it on some tags and a card along with other projects. I was so excited to go to Brisbane (Australia) in the middle of 2014 to complete my Copic Standard and Intermediate certifications. 

I teach "in-person" Copic classes every now and then - please check my Class page for more information or send me an e-mail (link on top left sidebar).

If you browse through my blog I use Copics a lot on my cards and usually list the Copic colours that I used. However, I have included some links below as well.

I had no idea how to pronounce the word Copic when I first saw it and after many months I discovered that I was pronouncing it wrong!
The main consensus (from what I have gathered on reputable internet sites (and from the main "Copic guru" in the US)) is that Copic is pronounced Co-pic. "Co" as in Co-captain, a long "o" sound; and "pic" as in "pick". Not Cop-ic as in "cop" (with a short "o" sound) with "ic" (ick) on the end.

Types of Copic markers:
Firstly I would just like to put my opinion out there on the markers (know that this is only my OPINION and may be completely different to your preference).

I prefer the sketch markers to the ciao markers. The sketch markers come in all 358 colours whereas the ciao markers only come in 180 colours (and you cannot buy empty ciao markers). (You may think that 180 colours is enough, and it probably is, but when you become addicted to them you'll wish you had all the colours :-) ). However, you could buy all 180 ciao markers and then make up the rest of the collection with the sketch markers.

The sketch markers are also oblong in shape and they just feel "nicer" to hold as opposed to the round ciao markers. Another added bonus to the oblong shape is that they don't roll off your table and they have the "family", "number" and "name" of each marker on the ends of the caps so you can see which one it is when it is standing on its end (the ciao markers just have coloured caps with the labelling on the body of the marker only - but you can add your own stickers to the ends like I have with the small number of ciao markers that I have).

The sketch marker can also be used in the Copic airbrush system - but the ciao does not fit (too small for the barrel. Some people have "fixed" this with blutac - but it's not recommended.

This is where the differences basically end - both ciao and sketch markers have a brush nib (kind of like painting) and a medium broad chisel nib (for colouring larger areas); both have replaceable nibs and are refillable (with the sketch holding more than the ciao). One advantage to the ciao markers is that they are cheaper to buy than the sketch.

You can also buy original and wide markers. The Copic original come in 214 colours and have a square shaped barrel (you can buy empty markers and use various ink to make up the remaining colours). They, like the sketch, have the family, number and name of the marker on the end of the lids and can be used in the Copic airbrush system. They have a bullet nib (great for small areas or journaling) and a broad chisel nib (slightly wider than the sketch and ciao's chisel nib). I own a few of these - mostly for colouring smaller areas (but this is still possible with the sketch nib on the ciao and sketch markers - just easier with the bullet nib from the originals).

Copic wide markers are one-ended and have a 3/4" wide chisel nib. They are great for covering large areas very quickly. They come in 36 colours but you can buy empty markers to make up the rest of the 358 colours with the various ink. I won the whole collection of Copic Wide markers (and their corresponding various ink) in April 2015. Previously I only owned one Copic Wide and didn't use it much. But now I have the whole collection I've done some research and there are some awesome techniques and images you can make with these...I'll never stop learning :-)

What's great about Copic markers is that they are refillable. You can buy "Various Ink" and it comes in all 358 colours. The ink is the same across all 4 marker types (ciao, sketch, original and wide) so you can use the same various ink bottle to fill all marker types - just make sure you are filling each marker with the corresponding various ink colour.

You can also buy empty sketch, original and wide markers and you could mix various ink colours to create your own custom colours!

They are also airtight when the lids are replaced tighlty, meaning you can store them horizontally or vertically (or on an angle) and they have a guaranteed shelf life of 3 years!

There are many different types of paper/card out there that you can use with Copic markers. I am based in Australia and the best paper/card that I have found here is X-Press It blending card. It is a compressed 250 gsm card and has a white, very smooth finish. I have not tried many of the other papers/card out there - it was recommended to me to use X-Press It, I started with X-Press It and I haven't found any reason to change :-)

I mainly use Copics to colour in stamped images. The best stamping ink (that I recommend) to use with your Copic markers is Memento inks (black = Tuxedo black). Definitely do NOT use any Staz On inks as your Copic markers will pick up the Staz On ink and it will ruin your marker nibs.

If you are printing out digital stamps - be sure to test your printer ink before colouring in your image. You can do this by printing out a digitial image on your Copic paper/card of your choice. Take a light coloured Copic marker and soak the paper/card just NEXT TO a printed line. Once the Copic ink has crossed over the printed line - have a look at the line. If it has featherd, moved, blurred in any way this is NOT a safe ink and do NOT use it with your Copic markers. If the line has stayed the same and has not changed in any way - it is safe to use with your Copic markers.

On a side note - do not use your markers over any other mediums (i.e. embossing powders, pencils, crayons, textas, paints etc.) - the Copic markers may pick up the other medium and it could clog your nibs. If you do happen to get a clogged nib - you can try unclogging the nib by using some colourless blender solution or if that doesn't work, replace the nib.

Some Copic links (within my blog (generally newest to oldest blog posts))
Outdoor backgrounds Tutorial - Clouds and Grass (step by step instructions and video)
Hair Colouring Tutorial (step by step instructions and video)
Colour combinations (added to Copic Journal in 2014)
More colour combinations
Colour combinations
Colourless Blender
Skin Colours
Hair Colours

Other websites:
Copic Marker Australia
Copic Oz
Kathy Jones' website - Inspired to Stamp

Tutorials / How-to:
My You Tube channel - I will be putting Copic speed colouring videos here every so often
My SplitcoastStampers Hair Colouring Tutorial
My SplitcoastStampers Outdoor Backgrounds Tutorial
Excellent blog post on how to clean Copic markers by Michelle Houghton
Copics on Candles
How to refill Copic markers - from the US Copic website (although I refill mine slightly differently and teach "my way" in my classes)
How to replace Copic nibs - from the US Copic website

Templates and other useful Copic stuff:
Blank Copic Hand Colour Chart (358 colours) - from the US Copic website
358 Copic Colour Chart - from the US Copic website
Copic Colour Wheel - from the Australian Copic website
New Copic Colour Wheel - from the US Copic website
Copic Colour Swatch template - portrait -- from the Copic Oz Blog
Copic Colour Swatch template - landscape -- from the Copic Oz Blog
Copic Skin Colour Combo template - portrait -- from the Copic Oz Blog
Copic Skin Colour Combo template - landscape -- from the Copic Oz Blog
Copic Hair Colour Combo template - portrait -- from the Copic Oz Blog
Copic Hair Colour Combo template - landscape -- from the Copic Oz Blog
Copic Texture template - portrait -- from the Copic Oz Blog
Copic Texture template - landscape -- from the Copic Oz Blog

~~~ As I said above, I will continue to update this page so please check back often ~~~
~~ This page was last updated on Tuesday, 19 July 2016 ~~


  1. so pleased to have found your blog, lots of useful information. I have also always said copic like a cop, but again I have british infulences not american. I have a small colleciton of pens which I painfully got delivered to France from the USA and love coloring. Please continue doing your videos, absolutely love the one on hair. Just one comment, you could use another small light to avoid the shadows under your hand. Please keep doing them, you are great. And you are way to far from you to take a class in person.

    hugs from France,

    1. Thank you for your comments and feedback Joanne. I intend to keep doing the videos (thanks for your thoughts) - so glad you like them so far :-)


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