Copic markers have paved their way to popularity in the art industry for their consistency, versatility, impeccable longevity, and smooth application. No doubt many artists regard them highly as among the best tools to exhibit illustrations and colorful artworks.
As an artist, you need an excellent set of markers to work with and Copics must be the next thing on your list. But what makes Copic markers special? Are they worth the investment?
In this article, I’ve come up with in-depth guidelines and reviews that will help you find the best Copic markers on the market. You’ll also learn why many artists rave about it and why they’re more than just the hype!
- Best Copic Marker Reviews
- 1. Copic Ciao Basic Set Markers
- 2. Copic SB12 Sketch Basic Set Markers
- 3. Copic Skin Tones I Sketch Set Markers
- 4. Copic B-2 Multiliner Inking Pens
- 5. Copic Sketch Set A Markers
- 6. Copic I6-Skin Ciao Markers
- 7. Copic CSCF 5 Sketch Color Fusion Markers
- 8. Copic I6-PASTL Ciao Pastels Markers
- 9. Copic Montana Rainbow Doodle Markers
- 10. Copic Multiliner SP Black Ink Markers
- What to Look for When Buying a Copic Marker
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Copic Marker Reviews
1. Copic Ciao Basic Set Markers
If you’re looking for the best Copic marker set for beginners, these 24-piece Copic Ciao markers will get you started. This set is all about the perfect balance of the essential colors that beginners can use on their first illustrations with Copic markers.
It is a mix of the primary colors and some tones of blue and light hues that will work great with decorative details. It also comes with a few shades of skin tones that I find quite a treat, especially if you’re working on portraits or comic illustrations.
What’s also great about this set is the inclusion of a gray color and a black color that are both useful for emphasizing highlights and sketching precise details.
The vibrancy and quality of the colors are on point. I’ve swatched all the shades in this palette and each color doesn’t disappoint with its smooth finish and vividness.
I also noticed that not one color is the same which is pretty much a game-changer for me because the variety and consistency of colors speak for its versatility. This allows beginners to explore and play with more color options.
Speaking of consistency, this set is more than just the color selection but also about superb performance. When you write or fill in areas with these markers, the Copic inks just glide smoothly on the paper surface without skipping.
Like the rest of the Copic markers, they are double-ended. These markers use brush nibs for paint-like and artistic applications. It features a chisel tip and a bullet tip on the other end. It’s pretty amazing that both nibs work as an excellent tool for producing solid lines or shades and precise strokes.
My only concern is the amount of ink. They don’t hold as much ink as Copic Sketch markers do. But the good news is that they’re refillable.
2. Copic SB12 Sketch Basic Set Markers
When 24 colors seem to be intimidating for a beginner like you, you always have a choice to reduce the color count, perhaps in half! But this time, it’s all about Sketch markers.
Whether you need to replenish some of your markers or you want to invest in your first set of Copic markers and experience the quality of this variant, you’re in luck to see this Copic sketch markers review of this 12-piece set.
As always, Copics never fail to impress me with a consistent quality of colors. They’re just so vibrant and bright enough to give your artwork a dash of stunning colors. This set includes a single shade for each color apart from the primary colors.
It may not be that much but I find this an excellent starting kit, especially if you’re still trying to find out which color palette to use on your illustrations. But performance-wise, applying these markers on a paper surface is just so flawless. Thanks to their chisel and brush nibs!
I’ve always loved playing with colors and building layers to come up with different depths of shades. That’s why being able to do this with these Sketch markers is definitely a sweet treat!
If you look closely at the colors as you blend them, you’ll see that they all naturally jive with every shade, allowing you to achieve your desired custom colors. I love how the colors have a seamless finish that proves the excellent quality of these markers.
The size of the marker feels nice in the hand that makes coloring a lot more comfortable. The oval size also keeps the marker from rolling away and it can lay flat on the table.
While the basic color selection presents a lot of advantages, the color count itself is also a disadvantage. Apparently, your choices are limited and you’ll need to combine and layer colors to create a wider palette unless you don’t mind doing this.
3. Copic Skin Tones I Sketch Set Markers
When you work on comic illustrations or portraits, probably one of your main goals is to make the characters look alive and vivid. While a massive color range and creative layering make this work, the best Copic markers for skin tones will definitely ramp up your techniques.
This marker set includes 6 different shades for skin tones. You’ll have an exclusive color range from light to darkest that you can use to add depth to your subject’s skin color. It’s also quite easy to check the shades because the caps match with the actual ink colors.
Since it is carefully crafted to accentuate and diversify skin tones, I get to blend the colors seamlessly to achieve the perfect balance of complexion.
Like the other Copics I’ve tried, it has an excellent ink flow that glides on the paper without skipping. It’s pretty amazing how it leaves a smooth finish and therefore, it evens out the hues for lifelike features and effects.
While many serious artists opt for this set to amplify their art, beginners don’t need to shy away from trying this out; they’re very easy to use. The colors just blend well so artists of all levels and ages can explore a vast array of complexions in a breeze.
I also want to highlight its versatility, particularly when working with mixed media. I often work with acrylic paint and watercolor but since their inks are water-resistant or alcohol-based, they don’t smudge or run down.
Apart from that, they offer replaceable nibs and refillable inks which I find very convenient, especially when I run out of ink or I simply mess up with the nibs.
My only main concern is the expensive price. Not everyone can afford an additional set of markers even more so when it’s only limited to a specific color range.
4. Copic B-2 Multiliner Inking Pens
If you have the best Copic markers, shouldn’t you pair them with the best Multiliner pens? You’d probably agree with that if you need high-quality pens to highlight precise details on your work.
Regular pens may seem to work but the precision and versatility of these Multiliner inking pens are definitely beyond par. First of all, this set of 9 is quite impressive because it displays a variety of nibs.
Not one nib is similar and hence, it maximizes your options so you can produce different line widths. It ranges from the finest tip (0.03) up to the broadest or thickest brush nib.
If you apply it on a paper surface, the strong tips deliver varied line widths without compromising the ink quality. This is also the reason why I like using it for calligraphy apart from adding decorative and detailed strokes.
I find this a sleek and splendid touch on drawings, sketches, and other art projects to amp up the sharpness and dramatic effects.
Every Multiliner pen and brush pen is Copic-proof. This means that the ink doesn’t smudge or bleed through which I consider an imperative feature when working on intricate strokes and line widths. Plus, it dries quickly.
It also has a better edge in terms of ink quality. Unlike typical pigmented pens or gel pens, these Multiliners do not run down but rather provide a consistent ink flow. I don’t mean to exaggerate but every stroke with these pens is exceptionally on point.
However, these pens are not refillable, unlike the Multiliner SP Series. But they’re guaranteed to last for years before the ink runs out.
5. Copic Sketch Set A Markers
If there’s one more fascinating fact about Copics that I’m always amazed at, it is their massive collection of colors, particularly the Copic Sketch markers. Since this variant has the largest selection of colors, this Copic marker 72 set truly is heaven-sent for artists.
Whether you’re a professional artist who needs to expand your stash of markers or an art student who wants to explore a broader range of colors, you won’t need to look further than this set.
It might seem intimidating because of the color count but once you try them all out, you’ll definitely enjoy using them as much as I did. As always, Copic has been consistent with its ink quality that provides a diverse set of colors.
I was a little hesitant to settle on this vast array of colors because some brands tend to have duplicates. Luckily, this isn’t an issue with Copics and upon swatching these colorful markers, the vivid hues incredibly pop out. Every shade is unique, deep, and solid.
Each marker has a cap that matches the actual ink which makes it easier to identify the colors. To give you a quick overview of the shades, Set A is a mixture of vibrant basic colors, skin tones, warm gray tones, and earth colors that are all ideal for comic illustrations, characters, portraits, and a lot more.
But besides the careful and organized layout of shades, these markers are all about effortless application. It’s so smooth that the colors blend well even when you build layers of colors. They also do not smudge or bleed even when you mix it with other media.
However, I’ve found two slight drawbacks with this set: firstly, it may not be the best set to start with if you’re a beginner. Secondly, it is expensive.
6. Copic I6-Skin Ciao Markers
For art students and beginners who want to enhance their blending and layering skills with skin tone colors, you shouldn’t miss out on this 6-pack set.
Since these are Ciao markers, this Copic markers review focuses on skin tone markers that are ideal for every artist who is new to Copics, particularly with this kind of color range.
I’ve had my fair share of challenges when it comes to producing custom shades and balancing out colors to achieve the perfect complexion. But I’ve found a reliable solution from these marker because of their convenience and ink quality.
The shades range from the lightest which is Floral White (looks a bit like off-white) up to the darkest shade which is Copper. I think the colors are a great combination to elevate the contrasts and highlights on a subject.
In addition to that, I can’t get enough of the quality of these markers which lend a similar experience with Sketch markers. The ink is well-saturated and hence, it renders a smooth finish that polishes the overall appearance of your artwork.
I also love the double-ended design; a chisel marker and a brush tip at the other end. Thanks to these durable nibs, the markers glide nicely on the paper without leaving any messy ink specks.
Since their alcohol-based ink is non-toxic, they’re safe to use even for kids and young students! With the round-shaped barrel, they’re easy to hold and feel great in the hand.
Another advantage is the price that’s relatively lower than Sketch skin tone markers. It’s a great buy although I’d say that it can still be a little pricey for its limited color range, especially if you’re a beginner on a tight budget.
7. Copic CSCF 5 Sketch Color Fusion Markers
If you’re an artist who loves to work with a monochromatic color palette, then you’ll find these fusion markers a great addition to your collection.
This set includes 3 different shades of green that you can use to build custom colors until you develop your preferred scheme of hues.
The colors are actually a practical choice to elevate certain areas or subjects in an art. This may include trees, plants, nature designs, and other decorative details besides creating an artwork from a single base hue.
Like any Copic Sketch, these color fusion markers highlight their remarkable ink quality that does not wear out easily. If you layer it with other markers, Multiliner pens, or mix it with other media, it does not bleed or smear.
Apart from that, I’ve always been a fan of their dual-tipped designs including these fusion marker pens. One is a chisel and the other is a brush tip. Both nibs deliver versatile applications that can produce fine to broad line widths.
With such versatility, it can add more finesse to your artwork while maintaining the vibrancy of colors. They’re easy to use and they didn’t disappoint me with their blending ability. It’s just so seamless every time I work on various strokes.
When you also take on large scale projects that require a lot of space to cover, you can maximize the usage of these markers because they are compatible with the Copic airbrush system.
One downside of this set is that you have to purchase individual packs of fusion markers for every color that you want to practice with. That means spending more money.
8. Copic I6-PASTL Ciao Pastels Markers
It is the soft and subtle tone of pastels that make them a popular choice among markers. But if you’re a fan of such color selection but also rave about Copic markers, wouldn’t it be nice to have these pastel shades available in Copics? That’s double the treat!
With that in mind, this 6-pack Copic Ciao pastel markers would probably be the first on your art tool must-haves! First of all, I love the recommended Copic colors in this set that includes shades of blue, pink, green, purple, and yellow.
Just by looking at the caps, I can say that they’re truly pleasing to the eyes and even more so when applied on marker paper. The pastels lend muted tones that will work great on various illustrations.
Besides that, these pastel markers exhibit the best features of Copic markers; exceptional ink quality, smooth finish, maximum blendability and layering, and seamless application.
When you try it out on paper, the brush and chisel tips glide smoothly on the surface. It doesn’t skip, smudge, bleed, or leave any messy ink blotches.
Since these are Ciao Copics, they are beginner-friendly and among the ideal options to start with if you’re into pastels or you want to explore your color range.
They don’t run out of ink easily and if ever they do, these markers are refillable. It’s also nice that they don’t have the toxic smell that some marker brands have.
The only thing I don’t like about these pastel markers is the slight squeaky sound every time I color or create different strokes. It’s no big deal, though.
9. Copic Montana Rainbow Doodle Markers
If you can’t decide between a pack of Copic markers and Multiliners, why don’t you settle for both kinds? Fortunately, you can find them in a set with this Rainbow Doodle Kit. It includes 5 Ciao markers and 2 Multiliner pens.
I consider this a practical option for those who want to experience the superb quality of the brand’s markers and pens at a more reasonable price range.
But apart from that, this set definitely displays what every Copic is popular about and hence, each piece doesn’t fall short on the ink consistency.
When it comes to the markers, they give off five subtle Rainbow colors that can complete or refine illustrations. What’s also special about the markers are their double-ended designs that can produce thin and thick lines.
The Multiliner pens, on the other hand, have always been a favorite when I need to add precise details or complex lines on a subject. They never fail with exceptional ink consistency and very vivid hues.
Therefore, I find this set a perfect combo to complete different kinds of illustrations or flourish subjects that require varied line widths and smooth bright colors.
What’s also great about this combination is that they’re compatible with one another. They’re Copic-proof and therefore, the pens and markers do not bleed or smear even when you apply the pens on top of the markers or the other way around.
I just wish that there were options for the colors. But I still find this an awesome steal for its price and excellent quality.
10. Copic Multiliner SP Black Ink Markers
If you don’t mind investing in a pen to spruce up the intricate details on your art, this Copic markers drawing tool must be worth your bucks. It is a Multiliner SP black ink marker that highlights its 0.5 tip size for very fine or ultra-thin strokes.
It is a top choice among many professional artists because of its black pigment ink that can last for years, not to mention its refillable ink and replaceable nibs.
While this promotes exceptional quality, such features allow versatile applications, especially when your work calls for accurate details, consistent line flow, and complex decorations or illustrations.
When it comes to its appearance, the body is crafted with a durable aluminum material that lends a comfortable feel to your hand. Well, of course, the tip is also very sturdy despite its very fine size.
Although it is available in single nib size, the 0.5 tip size can actually produce more than single lines. With precision and light strokes, you’ll be able to create an array of line widths. Plus, they drive smoothly without damaging the paper surface.
Unlike ordinary pens or gel pens, this pen doesn’t bleed or smear even when you apply it multiple times.
My only concern with this pen is that you should be careful with the type of paper to use. Although it is compatible with almost every marker paper, avoid papers with rough textures as the nibs can wear out too easily.
What to Look for When Buying a Copic Marker
Type of Copics
When choosing a Copic marker set, one of the first few things to consider is the variant. Copics come are divided into 3 types: Copic Classic, Copic Sketch, and Copic Ciao. These markers are carefully categorized according to nib styles, color range, price, customizable features, and target skill or market.
Also referred to as Copic Original, this variant is the pioneer of Copic markers that have been widely used by both professionals and beginners across the globe. One of its noticeable features is the large barrel that holds more ink than other types. The replaceable nibs are available in 9 different styles. You’ll also have a vast selection of colors with its 214 available shades!
It is the most popular type among these Copic markers and I’d say it’s quite exceptional for its immense color selection of 358 shades! This would be a perfect steal if you need a massive range of colors for your large scale projects or any creative artwork.
With this lavish collection, there is no doubt that many artists (including me!) consider this as their favorite marker. The barrel size isn’t as large as the Copic Classic, though. But like the Copic Classic markers, the Sketch doesn’t fall short on its performance and ink quality.
These markers are the most affordable among the Copic markers. The barrel shape is a lot smaller and the color selection is fewer (180 shades but still a lot!) than the two but Copic Ciao markers deliver the same quality as Copic Sketch markers.
They’re a lot easier to work with which makes them the best Copic markers to start with. Aspiring artists of any age and level like teenagers or kids will definitely enjoy these markers.
Color Selection and Marker Sets
Copic markers offer an extensive collection of colors that will take your layering or blending techniques up a notch. I also find the immense color range a pretty sweet deal, especially when working on large scale projects although Copic also has an airbrush system that artists can purchase.
It truly is a palette party that lends a stunning and organized layout of themes or a combination of colors for every type of marker. Probably the challenge here is to pick out which marker set or color themes you should use.
That’s why it is imperative to determine what colors you usually work on or what you need for your artwork. There are Copic marker sets of skin tones, shades of gray, earth tones, pastel colors, vibrant hues, and a lot more.
For example, if you opt for Sketch markers and you’re thinking of which Copic 72 set is best for coloring manga characters and portraits that require some skin tones, you should probably go for the Copic marker 72-piece Sketch Set A.
The main nib styles of these markers vary between chisel, bullet, and brush although this feature varies according to the type of marker. For instance, Copic Classic markers primarily use chisel and bullet tips but they are interchangeable. If you want to replace the nib, there are 7 available nib shapes that you can purchase separately.
Barrel Size and Shape
The barrel size and shape can tell you the amount or level of ink in a marker. If you’re all worried about running out of ink, this factor should be among the top features to consider. As mentioned before, Copic Classic, Copic Sketch, and Copic Ciao all have differences including the barrel size.
The Classic has the largest size while the Sketch comes second. The larger the barrel, the less frequent time you have to refill. Ciao markers have the smallest Copic marker size but since they are smaller, many artists find them highly portable and more comfortable to hold.
Know Your Skill or Level
Is it your first time to use Copic markers? Perhaps, you’re an experienced artist who wants to expand your color palette and techniques? Consider your skill or level before you grab your first set of Copic markers. If you’re a beginner, a color set of 72 shades might seem intimidating to work with.
Therefore, you might want to start with fewer color counts and work your way up until you get a hang of it. You may invest in a Copic starter set under the Ciao marker variant. Plus, they’re more affordable than the other types.
Copics come at a relatively higher price range than other marker brands. Some may find this unattractive but Copics don’t compromise quality. They’re not disposable like other marker brands because Copics offer replaceable nibs and refillable inks.
Other than that, the impressive range of colors, exceptional performance, and lifetime quality counterbalance the price tag, making these Copic markers worth the investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is This for?
Copic markers are innovative art tools that target professional and amateur artists. With their vast collection of markers that are thoughtfully curated according to their type and colors, every artist, illustrator, designer, teacher, or art student of any age and level can showcase their art pieces with exceptional quality and a beautiful array of colors.
What are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Copic Markers?
The primary advantage of Copic markers is their excellent quality that can last for years because of their refillable design and replaceable nibs. These amazing markers are all about effortless application and expandable color selection due to their vast range of brilliant and highly-pigmented colors that will definitely give your artwork a beautiful pop of colors.
Among its finest merits is the exceptional versatility that allows artists to execute various line widths and consistent strokes. The manufacturer categorized the markers according to their type, nibs, and target skill level, thereby providing a fundamental and systematic layout of options that help many artists and professionals decide on their ideal design.
While everything seems to be on point, we can’t just easily brush off some of its downsides. One issue is the lightfastness of the colors which aren’t as resistant as other types of media like pastels, paint, and some markers. Therefore, you may expect that the colors will wane down in the long run, especially when exposed to light and wavering temperatures.
One more thing is the price tag. Copic markers typically fall under a high pricing mark compared to other brands of markers. However, the impeccable longevity of these Copics counterbalances the expensive price, making them worth every penny.
Are Copic Markers Really the Best?
For professional quality markers that can last for years, offer maximum blendability, provide versatile application, and render a consistent range of colors, I consider Copic markers the best when it comes to these particular features.
You’ll probably find these amazing markers a great addition to your stash of art tools if you’re after the aforementioned aspects. But of course, your preferences may vary depending on your art projects or particular styles or effects that you want to achieve.
Why are Copic Markers so Special?
Many artists rave about Copic markers. But what’s with all the hype? What makes them so special? Here are the reasons why:
- Copics offer a remarkable quality that can last for a long time, may it be years or decades! Since they are refillable, you can always purchase refill inks or bottles to expand the lifespan of your markers.
- Copic markers have a systematic arrangement of colors that provide consistent quality of hues. Every shade is labeled with shade codes and names which make it a lot easier for artists to find and identify the ink color they’re looking for. You can even customize your own ink!
- Copics use an alcohol-based ink that dries quickly and therefore, this allows you to layer or blend the colors seamlessly without damaging the surface of the paper.
- When the nibs wear out, do not toss your markers in the bin just yet. The nibs are replaceable! While such an innovative design extends the life of your markers, it lets you switch between different nib styles that range from fine to broad widths.
- Most of their markers are double-ended.
- Copics are easy to work with. If you want to mix it with other art media, you can combine them with your preferred tools like gel pens, paint pens, pencils, and more.
Are Copic Markers Good for Beginners?
Yes, they are. While most of their markers are considered to be beginner-friendly, this brand designed a particular type of markers known as Copic Ciao markers that usually target beginners, art students, and young artists. They also come at a more affordable price range but still maintain the exceptional ink quality, refillable features, and replaceable nib design.
Are Copic Sketch Markers Refillable?
Yes, they are. Sketch markers are one of their flagship designs that present the primary features of Copic brand markers including the refillable design.
How to Use Copic Markers?
First time to use Copic markers? Here are some easy ways that you can try.
- Since Copics vary according to type or nib size, you should identify first what line width or style you’re trying to achieve. Broad widths are for thick lines and to fill out larger areas while fine nibs create precise and intricate strokes.
- Do know that these markers are double-ended. To use the chisel tip design, lay the tip flat on the paper and let it glide on if you want to create thick lines or fill in some vast spaces. On the other hand, you can use the other end of the marker or the edge of the chisel tip to produce thin and precise lines.
- Among the best things about Copics are their maximum blendability and smooth application. Choose a color that you want to combine with another color. Apply it on and slowly to build the colors until you achieve your desired shade.
- Remember that Copic markers don’t work well with highly-absorbent paper. You should use marker paper but you can also use cardstock.
- When you’re done, don’t forget to put the cap back on to prevent the ink from drying out. It’s much better to place them in an upright position to avoid any leaks.
How to Refill a Copic Marker?
Ready to refill your Copics? Take note of the quick and easy tips along with the following precautions.
- Before you refill your marker, it is imperative to check the ink level. The updated bottle design is slightly transparent so you can easily read the amount of ink.
- Remove the caps of both ends of the marker.
- Go for the end where the broad nib is. Use a tweezer to remove the nib.
- Insert the nozzle of the refill ink bottle into the marker. Fill up the marker carefully to prevent overfilling. Make sure to check the ink level while refilling to avoid any leak.
- Put the nib back into the marker using a tweezer. Don’t forget to place the cap on.
To sum it up, Copic markers deserve a spot in your creative art tool collection. They aren’t just about the vast array of vibrant colors or beautifully polished artworks but also a remarkable quality that can last a lifetime. No doubt you’re looking for the best Copic markers to use on your next art project.
But of course, there are still some factors to take note of such as your skill or experience to be able to decide on which type of Copic markers to choose. But one thing’s for sure: they’re worth the investment! So, the next time you shop for a new set of markers, you know what to do!