I like Copic markers. More specifically I like Copic sketch markers. They’re the ones that have a brush tip on one side and a chisel tip on the other side. I have almost no use for the chisel tip but I like the brush one. The original Copic markers (called Studio markers) have a small bullet nib (the call it a fine point) instead of the brush end. I’m okay with that point but I still much prefer a brush nib. I have about a hundred Copic markers with the brush tip and one with the fine nib.

I stated buying markers about ten years ago and have a lot of the Copic ones now. Over a hundred of them. One of the good things about the Copics is that they can be refilled. For each of those hundred markers I also have a bottle of refill ink. That way when a marker runs dry I can put more ink into it.

The Copic company made me a bit mad lately with their refill inks. They redesigned the bottles. They say it was to make them more like the shape of the markers so you can fit the bottle into the same holders as the markers but it was really to make more money. An old refill bottle was 25ml for $5.99 and a new refill bottle is 12ml for $5.99. That’s right. They doubled the price of their ink.

Refil inks are a big draw for me. They are cost effective and insure my markers don’t run dry at a critical moment. There are only two other brands of markers that I know of that have refill inks: ShinHan and Dick Blick brands. I’m tempted to start replacing my markers with those two brands but it would take a long time and a lot of money to do that. Plus I fear that the other brands will follow suit and shrink their inks too.

I also like some of the small black markers that Copic makes. The ones that are .7mm and .5mm. They make ones that are even smaller than that but I don’t use those ones that often. Copic’s thin markers are really no different to me than any other brand so I have lots of different types of small black markers.

Copic also makes what they call a “Drawing Pen” and those are good. They have a hard metal tip, sort of like a dip pen, but Copic’s tips don’t have much flexibility to them. They’re good at laying down a thin but solid and dark ink line. The ink takes a while to dry though. It takes hours to totally dry. If I make a pencil drawing, ink over it with a Copic drawing pen, and then want to go over the ink lines with an eraser, the ink will smear in spots if I don’t wait a long while. That’s unusual for markers and ink pens. It’s just tiny little spots of ink that aren’t dry, usually where a line starts or ends, but those tiny spots will smear.

The tips of the Copic Studio and Sketch markers are replaceable. If they wear out I can put another one on. That’s good but what is also cool is that they have a couple of other tips too. Specifically two calligraphy tips. They have flat tops. You can’t buy these as markers but you can buy a regular Studio marker and replace the tips making it into a calligraphy marker. I don’t do calligraphy but I use the tips to make different line weights in my drawings. So I have a regular studio marker and a calligraphy one.

Another type of marker that Copic has is the Copic Wide marker. That one has a thin slanted tip that’s nearly an inch wide. I bought a black one years ago to go in my black marker wallet but I didn’t use it much. I mostly used it for filling in large areas of black on my early (2015) large 22×30 inch ink drawings. I used mostly markers for those early drawings so it was only natural that I used markers to fill in the large areas of black but as the drawings have evolved I started using a lot more India ink. Now I never fill in large areas of black with marker ink.

Just recently I stumbled onto a video of someone using the Copic Wide marker in a way that I had never though of. He used the edge is a free form way to draw big and chunky shapes that he then further refined. This inspired me to pull mine out and give that a try. I didn’t succeed at it but it gave me some ideas.

One of the reasons I didn’t succeed is the way markers work. There are water based markers and alcohol based markers. Copic markers are alcohol based and designed to blend with one and other. This means that if you draw with a black Copic marker and then try to color over top of them with other Copic markers then the black ink with bleed into your colors. This is bad.

As a consequence of this bleeding most of us artists who use markers don’t use any Copic black markers with their color ones. Instead we will use a water based black marker or a water based India ink and draw with them instead. Water based black ink won’t bleed if alcohol based markers are used over them. That’s why I had trouble with the Copic Wide marker. After I used it I wanted some color and, of course, it smeared. Not fun.

One other thing you can buy is empty Copic markers. I’ve used these before when I mixed up a custom ink color or two. Mix the inks and fill up the marker. It’s easy. I wanted to try to use a color Copic Wide marker but they don’t come in the color I wanted. Tahitian Blue. The first Copic marker I ever bought was Tahitian Blue and it’s still a favorite color. So I bought an empty Copic Wide marker and a refill (stupid 12ml) of Tahitian Blue. It’s supposed to get here this week so I haven’t got to try it out yet. I’ll let you know how it goes.