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mom2lack 07-04-2016 05:51 PM

Copic Markers
I apologize in advance if this is the wrong forum to post in. But, I need help! I would like to start getting Copic markers (since I'm thinking the blendabilites are not coming back anytime soon...) I've looked around and they seem incredibley expensive and I can't figure out where to start. The sets seem to be most economical, but do I get primaries, sea/ocean, grays.....ugh! Decisions, Decisions. Also, the description of all the copics say they have a 3 year shelf life. At the prices they are sold, I will never be able to collect enough to use them before they are outdated!!! Then it seems to me I recently read someone has found a marker they like as well or even better then the Copics. What do I do? Copics, different brand... And really, where can I find them reasonably? And, what color groups first? Thanks!

CreativeCardsea 07-04-2016 06:36 PM

Copics are an investment, but there's a few things that really make them worth the money:
1) They are refillable. The refills will refill the marker quite a few times (10-15, for example) and the process of refilling them is very simple. This also means that the shelf life doesn't really matter. If the marker dries up, you just add more refill solution and you're good to go.
2) Every part of the marker is replaceable. You can replace the nibs, the caps, the barrel - everything. This means that, short of losing them, Copics can stay with you for a lifetime.
3) They have been around for a very long time, and they are used by professional artists. This means that they won't be affected by some of the things that affect materials created for just a niche community - for example, something that's just for card-makers and trendy. Even if Copics fall out of trend in card-making, they're still going to appeal to traditional artists around the world, which means continued support. And they are still using the same formula for their markers that they've used for years, which ensures continued quality that they've become known for. So, you can be confident that you're purchasing a high-quality tool.

For the colors themselves... It really depends a lot on what you're planning to color and what kind of color you're drawn to. Copics range from bright to more subdued to dark, so there's something for a lot of palettes. My palette colors tend to be very bright and saturated. So, my color choices are usually very vibrant.

I've looked for a starter list to link to for a friend before, and didn't really find anything concrete. So, I made up a list of my own: Copics 101.

It's a larger list (50 Copics), but it hits all the basic colors and enough neutrals to work for things like coloring people, flowers and scenes. It's set up in 3s (light, medium, dark) for the different color families, with a larger selection of browns for skin tones. My post has an explanation of what the colors might be used for.

I get my markers and marker refills over at MarkerPop. I find that their prices are very affordable and their service has been great. They do run out of colors sometimes, though, so I also watch places like Simon Says Stamp - especially when they run a store-wide or a Copic sale. I picked up several refills at a 20% discount there before.

Hope that helps! :)

SkyNacho 07-04-2016 07:11 PM


Originally Posted by mom2lack (Post 21271552)
Then it seems to me I recently read someone has found a marker they like as well or even better then the Copics. What do I do? Copics, different brand... And really, where can I find them reasonably? And, what color groups first? Thanks!

Some people like the spectrum noir markers from crafter's companion. They are more economical than copics; be sure you are looking for the ones with the hexagonal barrel-- the color indicator on the end will be round instead of square. Those are the newer edition. I personally like the copics more-- I like the nibs on my copics better and there are WAY MORE color options but, IMO, if you're not sure whether you're going to like using alcohol markers, the noirs are a good place to start. I for sure like them better than the blendabilities.

As far as finding copics for a reasonable price: I think there is price setting by the manufacturer. There's a set MSRP and vendors can only discount that price so much. (Kind of like when you have famous big name cosmetics-- doesn't matter where you buy 'em, it's the same price everywhere and almost never on sale.) I read about it years ago, don't remember the details or the "why," exactly. The CIAO marker style is the most affordable, but the markers hold the least amount of ink.

uncbballfan 07-04-2016 10:58 PM

Love my Copics, but I wouldn't buy a set. You don't normally get good blending groups in sets. Consider what you like to color, but if I were just starting to buy Copics, this is what I would use:

FAQ's on Copic Markers UPDATED on 6/26/2014 - Thinking Inking

Scroll down until you see her "travel" colors.


Copic Blending Groups ? Sandy Allnock

Check both of these ladies out and see which style appeals to you. I would also check out Marianne Walker's blog, I Like Markers, for all things Copic.

My favorite ink to use to stamp when I will be coloring with Copics is Memento. My favorite paper is XPress-It Blending Stock or Hammermill Color Copy Digital Cover 80#; the Hammermill is much cheaper than Neenah, approx. $10 vs $40 per ream. It's super smooth which allows for seamless blending with the Copics, and also comes in 100#, which allows for a perfect match for your card base.

The markers themselves will last a lifetime if properly cared for, and there are replacement parts if needed. The ink is guaranteed for a 3-yr shelf life, but I have had my markers much longer than that, and the ink is still going strong.

I bought most of my markers at www.oozak.com; free shipping with a $50 purchase, so I bought a few every month until I had a good selection. I would highly recommend buying Sandy Allnock's Hex Chart for Copics; it will save you a lot of money because you can see how close some of the colors are, and you will realize you don't need all the colors you think you do. It was not available when I bought mine, but after I bought the chart, I was able to sell many of my markers and splurge on a couple of items that had been on my wish list.

stampinindieeditor 07-04-2016 11:09 PM

I have had my Copics for over 5 years and they are still juicy. I've had only a few dry out, less than 5, and I replaced the marker instead of buying refills. I just don't have the space nor the desire to have a collection of refills. I bought mine off Ebay—$700 for over 300 sketch markers. Be on the lookout for people selling their collections there. After that, I slowly added to the collection to fill in the gaps. There are some colors I didn't need, like the fluorescent ones, so I never bought those. That said, some of the colors are very similar, so you can definitely skip buying every single color in each of the families (Earths, Blues, Red Violets, etc.) I'm another one who recommends markerpop.com.

Angelnorth 07-05-2016 12:11 AM

Lots of good advice here. I'm another one who has had Copics for more than three years without them drying out. I'm guessing their guarantee is based on a "worst case scenario" (for things like temperature and humidity).

Remember that you don't have to have everything all at once - you can spread out your purchases and just buy a few at a time. I would also council against buying in sets as there will almost always be a marker or two you just won't use and that kind of "cancels out" the apparent saving. My strategy was to pick an image I'd like to colour and buy markers that would be suitable. Then a month or two later I'd choose a different image and buy markers for that one (allowing for any"overlap" with the ones I'd bought for the first image).

If you have a local art supplies place, see whether they have markers you can try out. You might find a different brand you like and even within the Copic family there are three different styles and different folk prefer one over another. For example, I strongly prefer the brush nib that comes on the Ciao and Sketch markers over the more rigid one on the Original style. Also I really don't find the square barrel of the Original comfortable to hold so those things combined pretty much rule that style out for me. You only find these things out by trying them out.

If you can't try before you buy, I'd buy two or three markers and see how you get along with them before you splurge a lot of cash. Also keep an eye on the BST forum here as people do sell their markers from time to time, often as "singles" rather than as a job lot so you could just get colours you'll use.

Sorry I can't suggest a supplier, I'm in the UK so you already have much better suggestions on this thread.

Once I did start buying, I printed out a colour chart and filled in with a swatch for each marker I bought. I carry the chart around in my purse so if I'm ever near an art supplies place and can afford a little treat, I pull out the chart to see where there are gaps I might like to fill (and avoid buying a repeat marker!)

Hope you find a solution that suits you and have fun getting in to the wonderful world of markers!

rockybeta 07-05-2016 09:09 AM

Unless someone is having a super sale online with free shipping I get mine at the local art store.........$2.00 cheaper than anywhere else in town.

FallMama 07-05-2016 10:48 AM

I got mine in sets at least 5 years ago and although I stopped using them for a while, I have yet to have issues with them drying out. I purchased them online at JoAnn's with a coupon and saved some money. Now my local Michael's has them both in sets and individual and you can use a coupon there too.

I agree you do not need them all and with getting them individual and in color families you feel like you would use the most. Actually I think Hobby Lobby sells them in color families already.

mom2lack 07-10-2016 06:26 PM

Thanks everyone! You're fantastic!! :)

diannep575 07-11-2016 05:57 AM

Love my copics! Had them for some years and still juicy. Also, I would recommend buying the refills on colors you use a lot. Another fan of Oozak!! Normally ships the same day or the next morning.

mimirichman 12-31-2021 11:52 PM

You can try Prismacolor, one alternative to Copic markers that get as close to the quality and consistency of a real topic is this one. These are high-quality markers but at a price that most people can afford.

bumblebee582 01-01-2022 03:27 PM

I love Copic markers and have been using them for about 10+years. Have had minimal problems with them drying out. My “go to” place is MerriArtist (https://merriartist.com) I think their pricing is excellent; no sales tax and the extremely reasonable shipping costs.

Angelnorth 01-02-2022 12:22 AM

This thread is five years old — recommendations for places to get markers, pricing etc from the older posts may no longer apply!

minstrel 01-06-2022 07:03 PM

I am now an alcohol marker fiend, lol, but a few years ago, they really frustrated me. I had about 120 Copics and was so frustrated by them (user error), that i GAVE them to a friend who was in need of them for a business she was launching. Fast forward to now, and I have figured out the learning curve and now love alcohol markers. My husband bought me three sets of Ohuhu alcohol markers over the past year and a half. I have a set of 216, an add on set of 120 and a pastel set of 48 (I think) and I LOVE them. The colors are great, mine have all been juicy, the brush nibs are nice. You can now get a set of 320 colors for $169 for all of them on Amazon. There are smaller sets available for less as well. I couldn’t afford to replace all my Copics but these were doable and I really like them. That said, they are not refillable and currently aren’t available individually though I’ve heard they’re going to start phasing that in. Although Copics are definitely the gold standard, if you want to have a lot of choices at an affordable price, these are a nice option. (No, I don’t work for them or anything. I’m just really happy with mine.)

TexasGrammy 01-08-2022 02:43 PM

Another Copic fan here! Of great importance to me is the fact that the various nibs are replaceable, as well as the inks are refillable. I started out with color palettes that I like to use and found that I preferred a light, medium & dark shade of those. My collection was spread over quite a time period, and I would never suggest that one "go for it all" until they are positive they'll be happy with the investment. Many of us are "sold", :lol: .

Another important thing in my opinion, is the type of coloring nib, or tip you prefer. You might already know this from the various markers you've already tried. I insist on having a 'brush' tip. Both Copic Sketch and Ciao markers have a brush nib on one end. For me, the bullet tip does not compare when I'm coloring. Spectrum Noir markers did not have a brush tip when I tried them a few years ago out of curiosity.

I formerly purchased a lot of refills & nibs from Oozak, but it seems that company is no longer an option. Lots of major stamp & marker companies offer them. It just takes a little shopping around, and you'll even find an occasional discount on a good day. ;)

Best Wishes

minstrel 04-12-2022 12:56 PM

I am rebuilding my collection of Copics. I get them from either Jerry’s Artarama or Dick Blick. They both sell them for the same price: $5.85 for Sketch and $3.90 for Ciaos. For my budget, I’m buying the Ciaos in the colors they come in and then Sketch for the others.

Sitka 04-19-2022 07:53 AM

OLO Markers
There's a new brand of alcohol markers called OLO…olo.com. They have an introductory sale right now. Jennifer Dove has been trying the markers out and has posted on her blog, just4funcrsfts.

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