Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Copic Marker Thoughts II

For those who aren't familiar, I have a pretty long post titled Copic Marker Thoughts. If you haven't read it already, you might want to start there. I wrote that back in May 2008 when I was still considering whether or not to buy Copic's, where to get them, and which colors to start with. Ideas about all of those topics can be found in that post. I also started a thread on Splitcoast Stampers around the same time (asking more questions), and that thread can be found HERE.

I decided to do a second Copic marker post because I've gotten some questions in the past few weeks, and I thought this would be the best way to answer everyone. I am by no means a professional, and will never claim to be. I am, however, very opinionated. LOL. So I have thoughts, and I'm not afraid to share them! :)

The first question was about what paper I like to use with my markers. My preference is Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select white cardstock. The paper is thick though, which I know some people say is a bad thing (because it absorbs a lot of ink). As a stamper though, I hate flimsy paper. I like sturdy paper, and if it soaks up a little more ink than it needs to, well, so be it. I get the blended effect I like, and the sturdiness I like, and therefore I'm a happy girl. I've also used Stampin' Up!'s Whisper White, and Georgia Pacific cardstock (found by the ream at WalMart).

In my opinion, Georgia Pacific has the same blendability as the PTI paper, but it is much thinner. If that's ok with you, it would be a good option for you as it is also much cheaper ($5 for 500 sheets, compared to PTI's $6 for 40 sheets). SU paper is coated so that it doesn't pill when used with the Stampin' Up! markers, and that makes it difficult to blend properly. However, you can get some pretty cool effects by accident (LOL!), like I did on this bucket. It almost looks like a deep watercolor, because I had so much ink on it, that it actually started to pool, and then just got pushed around rather than blended together.... all by accident.

Another question was which colors, and how many to start with. You can see the 50(ish) colors I started with on that post I linked above. I've added to my collection since then, and recently sent a list of my "top 25" markers to a friend. Here is a copy of what I wrote in that email:

BV00 or V01
BV04 or V17
BV08 or V09

RV14 (a pretty hot pink)
RV69 or R39
R02R29 (a nice red)

YR000 or YR01
YR07 (a nice orange)
YR 24 (like More Mustard, nice for blonde hair)
Y38 (like Summer Sun)

YG99 or G99 (pretty Olive color)
G21 or G24
G28 or G29 (coordinate G21+G28(or G24+G29)+E33 for pretty grass)

BG10 (one of my favorites)
BG13 or BG15

B18 (like Brilliant Blue)
B34 (I use this a lot for denim)
B99 (a nice dark denim color - very dark)

E04 ( a recent addition to my stash, nice earthy pink for lips and animal ears, etc.)

C3 (I have C1, but I think it's a little too light for most things I use it for, other than outlining images)
W5 (my favorite grey)

100 (or 110 - I still don't know the difference, but I have 100)

I typed up my must haves, and then went back and made some of them optional (in green). Where two colors are listed with an "or", they are very similar and you could go with either one. In the case of the BV or V's, I'd go with either all BV or all V to start with. A lot of stuff I read said the colorless blender was a must have, but to be honest, I rarely use it. You can blend darker colors with a lighter shade of the same color, and it ends up looking better than if you were to use the colorless blender. I'm sure there are cool things you can do with the CB, but I haven't learned them yet.

When I color, I use the palette technique, adapted from what you can see in THIS video on Jenn's Kyomi Kraft blog. I use an empty cd case as my palette, and I keep a piece of white paper inside of it so that I can see the colors easily.

I also printed THIS color chart on cardstock, and filled in all of my colors. I pull it out every time I pull out my markers, because the colors are truer by looking at the chart than they are by looking at the marker caps (always darker on paper).

Another question was which kind of marker should a person start with? Well, I use the Sketch markers. I've never tried any others. I know a lot of stampers use the Ciao markers, and they are cheaper, but if I'm not mistaken, they are not refillable. For the cost of the markers, I figured I'd pay a little more and get the refillable ones. Sketch markers seem to have the best resale value, too (yes, I think about resale - you never know!). I Like Markers is an AWESOME blog/resource for all things Copic, and Maryann has a specific post HERE on the differences between the markers, and how to pick what you need.

As for where to get markers, I still stand by my original decision to shop at the Carpe Diem Store, especially if you are going to buy a significant amount of markers at one time. I bought $225 worth of markers in my first batch, and paid $12 in shipping. The downside is that they will charge you $12 in shipping even if you only by one marker, but I don't do that, because that would just be silly. ;o) lol. I have bought individual markers primarily from Hobby Lobby, either during their "30% off all art markers" sale weeks, or using their frequently posted 40% off coupon. You can use one coupon per day every day, and I've been known to take the whole family including Mom and Grandma, and sent every one of them through the check out with one marker and one coupon. Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Hobby Lobby doesn't carry all of the colors though, so I am almost out of options there. When you consider shipping costs, Oozak is probably the best price for individual markers, but they are often out of stock of many colors and that frustrates me to no end, so I've never bought from them.

There is a thread HERE on SCS that shows which Copic colors match the Stampin' Up! colors. There is even a word document attached to one post in the thread with all of the info in it, which is very handy.

You might also find this Stamping With Copic pamphlet useful for more relevant information.

I think that just about covers it! If you have any questions or comments, let me know. I don't have all of the answers, but I can usually find them somewhere online, and I'll post edits to this post as I get/find questions/answers!
One thing I can tell you is that I doubt you'll ever regret your purchase. And if you do, well, you know where to send them. ;o) hee hee.

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Sue said...

Great info Sarah! I will save this for all the links. I still have my THREE sketch markers and do use them on almost all my cards. Although I am still partial to the look of prisma's, I do eventually want to get some more and your master list will be most helpful! Mucho Gracias for all your hard work and research!

De said...

Wow, thanks for the great info Sarah! I have been researching Copics for awhile and have about 6 but I'm always looking at things like you have provided here! I appreciate the great info! Now I just need to go practice on how to use them!!!

Gina said...

Wow, thanks for all the great information! I am thinking of expanding my collection in the near future and this will help.

Lesley said...

Glad to see the list you wrote up for me got some air time! I'm amazed at how versatile my first set of 20 has been. There are a few colors I still "need" but I think I'm doing pretty well. Thanks again for all of your help. I wouldn't have taken the leap without you!


Holly said...

I gotta tell ya Sarah, that Y21 buttercup yellow is perfect for blonde hair!

Pat's little corner of the world said...

Thank you for all your hard work on this...You have helped me out to make up my mined..Thanks to you I will be getting out my Checkbook for this one LOL...Are you sure you don't live in my checkbook? HA- HA
Your big sister,

Emily said...

Thanks for the helpful info Sarah! I need to get some more soon! Ciaos are refillable BTW. http://www.copicmarker.com/features_ciao

Janna said...

Sarah thanks for posting this! This was very helpful to read!


Tracey said...

Thanks for the tips Sarah!! I'm still building my collection so the colour tips are helpful. Oh, and I totally agree on the blender - never use mine. :)

Ciaos are refillable though. My understanding is that the only difference between them and sketch is that they are smaller (in that they hold less ink so need to refill sooner) and there are not as many colours available.

Kim said...

Hi Sarah~ Awesome information! You rock! Thanks for sharing all of this! I see a few people said the Ciaos are refillable..and they are correct (just a small fyi) :) I have the ciao and the only difference between them and the sketch is the sketch holds more ink. I am like you and have done tons of research before I spend my oodles of money on the markers...but like you I am in love with mine! :) Thanks again for all the info...it's greatly appreciated! Hope you have a great night!
Hugs~ Kim

Christine said...

Wow, that was some amazing information that you have on Copic Markers. I am definitely going to bookmark that post. Thank you for sharing what you know. I am fairly new t the Copic markers but thanks to you and others who are willing to share I have learned a lot in the last month or so. P.S. I have also used your purchase method at Hobby Lobby. You are right! A girl has to do what she has to do. :)

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