Copics, Copics, Copics! I hardly know where to begin with this post because I’ve put so much thought into my purchase. When I became a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator last August, I was resistant to using their new Blendabilities markers – mostly because I was new to stamping and was so overwhelmed with the initial ink and color choices. Stampin’ Up! has 38 core colors in addition to the 10 In Colors which are always available and get rotated out every 2 years. That’s a lot of color choices!
It always takes me a lot of thought and conflict when I decide to take the plunge to do anything – because I usually can’t start small. Like with Copics, everything can be purchased individually or in sets. We all know that with anything – buying them in sets will save us money in the long run, but not everyone has the funds to start big. With Blendabilities, I did decided to start slow and originally purchased 3 sets – basic floral colors. Then when the Sale-A-Bration period started, I was able to get the complete set – all free with my crazy spending. I quickly learned how I would love these simple alcohol markers because they colored so easily and I love that they were not one-toned coloring. Before I could purchase the skintone set, they were discontinued. SHOOT. Because I love the way alcohol markers blend so well, I started watching more videos on alcohol markers which led me to Copics – so many crafters use these. There was no doubt that these were great. Then I looked into it and got stunned and overwhelmed by all the colors and the prices.
To find out the specifics about what’s available and other good info – visit the Copics website at Imagination International. Before I purchased anything – I reached out to them and they sent me a packet with the Copics brochures and Color Wheel.
Let’s start with the fundamental questions that I had. The prices and info I give are for Sketch Markers only (there are 4 different barrel sizes or types of markers: Sketch, Classic, Ciao, Wide) – they are the size that most crafters use and is what I purchased:
1) What are the best Copic color combinations I should start with?
I went from one blog to another reading about “Favorites” and “Best Color Combinations” and where I found myself frustrated was that this TRULY is a matter of personal preference. One person’s favorite is not the same as someone else’s favorite at all. Even the best of crafters use different color combinations. But…it’s makes perfect sense. Everyone has different styles and tastes. So it was clear to me that I couldn’t just go to the store and buy a set of 3 markers for blending without even knowing what these colors look like if someone says “for pink, I like to use xxx, xxx, xxx.” What shade of pink is it and am I sure I want this pink over other pinks? I was confused and frustrated.
I also have heard in many videos and have been told that I don’t need all the markers. I’m sure there are a few markers I would never use and many of the colors are very similar- but when you buy them in a kit – the savings buy you those markers if you can afford buying the larger kits to get the complete set of markers. So in the end, I decided I was going to buy them all because I didn’t want to think so long and hard about it anymore.
2) Where can I get them the cheapest?
Local Craft Stores – Hobby Lobby ($6.99 per marker – online and in stores). Michael’s ($7.99 per marker – online and instores). Joanns ($5.24 per marker – online only).
There are 358 copic markers. Was I seriously going to take my time buying one marker at a time to save with 40% off coupons? I have no doubt that some people do it this way. They have a lot more patience than I do. I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere and it takes me at least 30 mins to get to a craft store. Online shopping is not good for this because it’s not worth it unless shipping is going to be free for a one item purchase.
Many online art supply companies advertise Copics for $5.24 per marker (dickblick.com, oozak.com, jerrysartarama.com, merriartist.com). Their kit prices are the same too. My biggest advice is to check them all and check for specials. Right now, for instance, Dick Blick has 25% off any purchase over $229 and free shipping. That’s a wonderful deal and I wish they offered this last week. I called 3 different companies because all these online shops had out of stock items/sets and I wanted to see if any of them would let me order them on backorder. Only merriartist.com allowed this and have ONGOING discounts on purchases – you don’t have to wait for an advertisement like Dick Blick has today.
So what I purchased are the 72 marker sets – A, B, C, D, E – if you get them all, you get all the Copic colors without duplication. Each set is $352.30 ($4.89 per marker). Dan from merriartist is great, by the way – he placed my order for me over the phone and I was pleasantly surprised by the 15% discount which no one else I spoke to offered. There’s also no tax since they are based out of Oregon – plus! My total price breaks down to $4.18 per marker. Sweet enough deal for me (though it stung a little bit when I saw the Dick Blick offer a few mins ago).
As I mentioned – a lot of the kits are on backorder. I got 3 of 5 kits yesterday – A, D, and E.
3) How do these compare to other coloring markers and techniques and why would I need/want these?
I was told that Spectrum Noir markers are not recommended – and I’m going to believe the first negative thing I hear because if I’m going to make an investment – I don’t want to regret them. I was also told that ShinHan Touch Twin Brush Markers are comparable to Copics and are a little less expensive. To compare, Touch Twin Markers are available in 168 colors and are $4.49 per marker. I haven’t done enough research on these to find a better deal or if you can get ALL the markers from sets without duplication. But I can say this – with all the video tutorials out there – there is so much more on Copics so I feel more comfortable spending a little bit more money on something that more crafters are using because this will affect how I learn their use and will be able to see how different color combinations blend. Also, I have noticed that there are only 2 60 marker sets – doesn’t equal 168 to me! It’s all or nothing with me….
Another reason I went ahead and purchased them ALL is because I know that I’ll never be satisfied until I have them all – I’ll always have a wishlist of colors to buy or I’ll watch a tutorial and think I need a color someone else is using. I don’t want to ever limit my creativity if I can help it. So I bit the bullet on this and talked myself into getting them all. Copics are just superior for coloring/shading. I don’t believe there is a wrong way to color with these.
I haven’t mentioned yet that these markers are refillable. AMAZING, right? So they are a one time purchase – and you just buy refills – which are available in EVERY color. When the nibs get ruined you just replace those too. Each refill bottle holds 25 mLs of ink – and you only use 2-3 mLs per refill – so think about how long these will last you! I don’t know about you – but I’m sold on Copics.
One more amazing resource I have to mention is Sandy Allnock’s Hex Chart – she worked long and hard to create this chart to make colors easier to see and choose for blending/coloring. I purchased her Hex Chart from her blog at sandyallnock.com and have started to color them all in with the markers I got last night. I can’t wait to get the rest in. I feel that with this chart, I don’t have to ask people what their favorite Copic combinations are – I can look for the color I want and choose complimentary colors using this Hex Chart. Such a great tool to have and I REALLY recommend it! Here is my chart colored with the 3 kits I got last night – sorry about the lighting – it was late, but I’ll post a better one when I have it all colored in:
Copic numbers their colors by Color Family, Blending Group and Intensity. Here is Copic’s Color Wheel so you can get a better idea of how the Hex Chart is helpful:
I mentioned in a recent post that my husband built me a unit to store these markers using egg crates from Home Depot. It doesn’t have the spacing to arrange my markers like it is arranged on the Hex Chart – which I would’ve loved, but I think it may be more helpful and easier to find markers if I store them by color family the way the Copics Color Wheel is set up. Here’s the unit again:
Another must-have is the Copic Multiliners – these black markers are great for drawing and coloring with your markers and won’t bleed. They come in a variety of sizes and are also refillable. I don’t know about you – but the ability to refill markers excites me. You need to watch this amazing video that Sandy Allock posted today on Copic coloring and the use of Copic Multiliners – this woman totally blows my mind with her amazing coloring skills and her imagination is beyond me. By the way – Merriartist threw a free Multiliner in with my first shipment – they are so nice! I called them back yesterday and purchased a set of 10 – all their different sizes – and they’ll throw it in with my next order and did not charge me a shipping fee since my purchase total this time is less and doesn’t technically qualify for free shipping. I love small business-owned companies because they will definitely work with you! I made sure to give them a nice online comment – people need to know they are appreciated! Also – thank you to Lydia from Understand Blue who is a fellow Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator with such great advice and mentoring. I’m a ways from building relationships with any of these superstars – but I feel so blessed to be able to ask any questions I need to – whenever I need to.
Sorry this is such a lengthy post – I’m trying to include as much info as I can and I hope this is helpful to everyone. If you have any questions, please comment below and I promise to get back to you right away. I would also appreciate any feedback or comments you might have. Thanks for enduring through all this – have a blessed day, Everyone!