Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Building a Copic Collection- Helpful Tips Before You Start

Image via Amazon.com
A collection of Copics is enough to inspire envy in most aspiring artists. A GOOD collection of Copics may be enough to inspire a little light burglary in a few aspiring artists.  Fear not, that impressive collection is well within your grasp if you know how to plan wisely.

For the uninitiated, I won't be brash enough to claim that Copics are the best markers out there, but I will admit they are the best markers I've ever used.  I've given Prismacolors the old college try, and while they're half as expensive, they're also non-refillable and have a stiff 'brush' tip.  The Copic tip is nice and flexiable, and will a little practice, allows you to emulate a variety of effects.  The Copic blender is also much more effective than the Prismacolor blender, and I prefer the overall Copic format.  I use mine frequently and haven't had any run-outs yet, but when they do start running out, I can buy refill ink and refill them at home.  Pretty nice, eh?



Unfortunately, Copic markers are pricey, a seventy two piece set will run you around $350 on Amazon.  That's a pretty hefty  chunk of change right there.  Believe it or not though, you don't NEED to start out with the seventy two piece set, no matter what your gut tells you.  You can ease yourself into the Copic collection of your dreams.

Only buy a few markers at a time, and only as much as you can afford.  Price the Copic carriers in your area, and if necessary, be prepared to buy online.  Test markers in store so you're not buying empties and to make sure you're getting colors you can actually use.  Consider starting a swatch book or swatch poster.  I had one, until it 'walked', so I invested the four bucks in a wallet size Copic swatch book.

I swatch new markers as soon as I get them to avoid getting duplicates.

The nice thing about the Copic swatch book is that it's organized by color families, so it's easy to keep track of what colors you still need to get.  Unlike in Pokemon, there is really no need to collect them all.  Buy the colors and color families that you will use the most often- skintones and hair tones are the most useful in my opinion.

I do recommend that you start off with the warm gray set.

Image via Amazon.com
I've found the warm grays to be the most useful set as it allows me to tone comics if I wish.

Another useful investment would be the primary set.

Image via Amazon.com
Anyway, the most important thing to consider when buying markers, especially Copics, is to purchase markers you are going to USE.  The goal isn't to have the biggest set, but rather a collection that serves your needs as an artist.

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