Using Copic Markers


Get the Scoop about Copic Markers!

 I have been using Copic Markers for over 14 years now and I still get all giddy to color an image using these markers.

What makes Copic Markers so special?

They are an alcohol marker so you can blend the inks together to create different colors, gradients, textures and create shadows. You know when you use a Crayola marker, let’s say a light pink and a dark pink and you want to create shadows or depth in your coloring. Well using Crayola markers will create those lines between colors and the inks will not be able to blend together smoothly. Another bonus to these markers is the fact that they are refillable and you can change their nibs. So, if taken care of they will last you many, many, MANY years!

There are other companies who offer alcohol markers that I have used and I always go back to my Copic Markers.

What do these bad boys cost, you’re probably thinking? I don’t recommend going out and purchasing them right away. Do your research, watch videos, tutorials and soak up as much information as you can about them. If you are looking to make the investment in Copic Markers, I suggest you check out — they have awesome prices. You can get Sketch Copics for 5.85 and Ciao Copics for 3.90!

I suggest you start your Copic Marker collection slow — buying a few at a time and not those big Copic Marker sets. I know those big beautiful, colorful sets look very appealing. But it’s so hard to blend the colors that are in those sets because most of the time you don’t get the complete color families, so the shades are off and it’s difficult to blend them.

What Copic Markers should I buy first?

There’s over 350 Copic Colors, do I have them all? NO, I don’t. I do have over 200 of them though that I have bought over the years. I really don’t feel the need for all of the Copics and if you are just starting with Copics all of those colors can be extremely intimidating. Plus, having a bunch of Copics and not even really knowing how to use them can be frustrating. You will feel forced to use them and probably ending up feeling like you’ve wasted your money. 🙁

The first thing you need to ask yourself is, “What do I like to color?” For me it’s people critters and backgrounds. I’m not into coloring a whole lot of flowers and that’s because coloring a flower is very repetitive since you’re coloring petals and leaves over and over. So, if you like coloring flowers you don’t need as many of the browns.

There’s also the question of what Copic Marker style is for me? I personally suggest the Sketch because I like seeing the color number on the cap. The Ciao is the same as far as the way each of them color. Here’s a photo so you can see the differences in each style of Copic Markers.

Simplified Beginner Copic Marker List

Skin – E000, E00, E11, E13

Peaches/Reds – R30, R32, R35, R37, R39

Blues – B000, B00, B12, B14

Blue Greens – BG10, BG11, BG13, BG18

Blue Violet – BV000, BV00, BV02, BV04

Brown – E30, E31, E33, E35, E37

Green – G20, G21, G24, G28

Pink – R00, R81, R83, R85

Yellow – Y000, Y11, Y13

Orange – YR000, YR00, YR12, YR14

Gray/Black – N0, N1, N3, N5, N7, N9

I also have a FREE Checklist full of my favorite color combos and what I use them for. You can get the download sent straight to your inbox by adding your email in the box below!

New to Copic Markers?

Here’s all my favorite color combos! Perfect if you’re starting your Copic Collection!

Please know by signing up for this free Copic Checklist you are also agreeing to be apart of my mailing list; where you will be sent my bi-weekly newsletters, free digi stamps and special offers on my online coloring classes. Please see my Privacy Policy for full details.

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Paper and Stamping with Copic Markers

If you are a card-maker like me, you’re probably wondering what ink and paper to use with Copic Markers. You can’t just use any paper and an ink when you are stamping and coloring in the images with Copic Markers. I use Black Memento Ink or if I’m doing the no line technique  I’ll use Desert Sand Memento Ink. Paper is also very important– you can’t just use any ole white card stock. It has to be a heavy card stock with a smooth service. My current choice of cardstock for Copics is the Copic Xpress it blending Card. I love it and for me it works really well with all of the layers of colors I like to add.

I’m sure there are plenty of other papers and inks that work just fine with Copics. This is what I started with with 14 years ago and I just stuck with it. I never felt the need to experiment and invest in something else.

Check out my other Copic Marker MUST Haves!

Check out my Favorite Craft Companies!

Copic Marker Maintenance

Once your Copic Sketch and Ciao super brush nibs become very flimsy, squeaky (when coloring), sticky or dry it will be time to replace your Copic Marker Nibs.

Copic Refills amounts for old style refills

  • Sketch Marker – can be refilled about 12 times with the Copic Refill Container
  • Ciao Marker – can be refilled about 15 times with the Copic Refill Container
  • Wide Marker – can be refilled about 7 times with the Copic Refill Container
  • Copic Marker – can be refilled about 9 times with the Copic Refill Container

Copic Refill amounts for new style refills

  • Sketch 1.8ml  – about 7 refills
  • Ciao 1.4ml  – 9 refills
  • Classic  2.5ml – 5 refills
  • Wide  3.4ml – 3.5 refills

If you’re looking for a Copic Marker Maintenance Guide, sign up for my FREE Beginner Copic Marker Training Course!


Most Popular Struggles with Copic Markers


 If you’re having trouble blending make sure your paper is Copic friendly, I use either Copic Xpress. When you start coloring try not to go back over the dark colors with the light, repeatedly. This causes your darker color separate and make your coloring look blotchy. Another thing that might be happening is you’re not adding enough color to the paper. So, if you’re using V12, V15, V17 (a coordinating family of purples) to color and it’s not smooth. Add another layer in that order exactly how you laid the color down the first time so you can get those colors moving and blending together, while the ink is wet. Once it dries it’s harder to get the colors to blend. So it’s always good to finish a section before taking a break.

Here’s a great video to show you how to blend 2, then 3 and then 4 colors.

Light Source

If creating Shadows with your Copic Markers isn’t your strong point – try thinking of your image in a fully lit room. Where would shadows make sense? If she was wearing a hat there would be a shadow on her forehead. If you’re coloring a dog with big floppy ears, it will be darker under those ears and onto the sides of his face where the ears are casting a shadow on it.It’s easier to start by doing this rather than focusing on a certain direction where the light is coming, while you’re still learning. It will soon just come to you and you will color without thinking.

Check out this post – STOP trying to find the light Source!

Coloring Skin and Hair

There’s only one Copic Combo I use for all my skin tones E15, E13, E11, E00, E000, E0000 and W5. Depending on how light or dark I want the skin will determine how much of the dark or light I use. My cheek colors are R20 and R22 or R30 and R32. I will usually start darker on the outside of the face and under the eyes and then work my way out with each lighter color flicking in towards the face.

Hair is one of my favorite things to color. I never blend the hair solid.. I always keep the lines.. it’s HAIR! It should look like hair.. so don’t blend it all the way through. That alone really helps people to not overthink coloring hair.. because it is intimidating. Also remember where-ever the hair gathers together so if it’s in a pony tail or at the twist of a curl.. that’s going to be the darkest point. I usually start at the darkest point and flick the tip of my Copic Marker, following the lines and leaving white space between. Then Once I do that with a few coordinating colors E44, E43, E42, I’ll then take one lighter color, E41 and do one swipe over filling in the white gaps. This blends the colors together some but leaves the definition of the lines to create a hair texture.

Check out my post All About Skin Tone using Copic Markers

FREE Coloring Pages and Digi Stamps!

We all love a getting freebies to color. Well how would you like to get access to all of the digi stamps and coloring pages in My Creative Library? I know you want in!!! So sign up! Everyone who joins My Creative Library will get free digis in their email a few times a month, then I add those digis in there later on in the month. 🙂



 Why not check out some of my tutorials? Here’s a few of my favorite!

Different Styles of Coloring with Copic Markers

Creating Gradient Backgrounds using Copic Markers

How to Create Water Step by Step Tutorial + FREE Digi Stamp Otter

Soft No Line Coloring Step by Step Tutorial

Coloring Hair Step by Step Tutorial + FREE Digi Stamp Download

Copic Marker Classes

I love Copic Markers and coloring it is relaxing to me. I have had the opportunity to teach class all over Southern California, Las Vegas and even Puerto Rico! When I would go to my classes I would bring a little information packet about how I color using the flicking technique, how I use grey tones to enhance the depth of my coloring and I have the color list I listed above in this information packet. I’ve created a FREE Copic Marker Class E-Course for you! You will get 6 days of tips and tricks, tutorials, PDF’s, E-Book and access to my Private Facebook Group!

Join my FREE Copic E-Course!


If you are looking for some Online video more detailed Copic Marker Courses you can check out my paid classes.

 What if I could walk you through how to color a beautiful image and create a gorgeous scene using techniques you will be able to use over and over again?

Sign up for one of my Online Coloring Classes here!

Are you interested in starting your own Creative Blog or looking to get serious about Blogging?

Check out my Creative Blog Business Posts!

Creative Blog ResourcesUsing Pinterest to Drive Traffic to your Creative Blog

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me and I’ll help you as best as I can!

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Rita T. Kienholz

    I really enjoy Copic pens, I like the way the ink flows and how the colors are so vibrant.

  2. alice

    beautiful work, just found your blog through pinterest. going to bookmark it or subscribe or whatever so i can follow your work. thank you 🙂

    1. Mindy Baxter

      Hi Alice!
      Thank you so much. I’m so glad you find my blog inspiring. I hope you visit often!

  3. Jan

    Glad to find your blog. I love my Copics. Over time I have acquired all of them. I love the way the ink flows from them. I use the Super Brushes in mine as there is no drag on them. The refill colors can be purchased for about $6.00 from They give excellent service and speedy shipping. They have great prices also.

  4. Sonja

    Wondering if these markers can be used on wood and I’d sprayed with lacquer will they run or hold their color

    1. Mindy Baxter

      Hi Sonja!

      I’m not sure. I’m guessing you can use them on wood, you wouldn’t be able to blend colors too much and I’m guessing ink would spread. For example if you stamped an image on a piece of wood the Copic ink would come out of the lines a little so don’t color up on the edge of the line.

  5. Marilyn in E~Town

    Just stumbled upon your blog through Pinterest, amazing work, love ALL your information. I definitely am going to become a follower, thank you so much for sharing.
    Have a wonderful day!

  6. Lynyl

    Thanks for the SCOOP! I do LOVE my Copic markers! I enjoy using them along with my Derwent InkTense pencils because TOGETHER they create such intense and rich color! The adventures continue! Thanks for your contribution to our continued learning. And mutual enjoyment of this beautiful world of art!

  7. Sue

    Thank you for your tutorials! I admit to being daunted by the blank space and how best to use the markers! And you live in the Youtube! How lovely!

  8. Karen Daniels

    Oh my goodness your work is stunningly amazing! I’m just starting to learn and collect. I’m starting with the Copic Sketch Blending Trio’s. They move on the cardstock like butter. Seriously in love with these markers! I do hope to learn as much as I can so I can add this method to my card making techniques. Thank you for all that you share.

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