22 August 2010

Copic Markers

I was looking forward to doing this review, as I currently use a different brand of marker but have heard people raving about Copics. Are they really that great? Let’s have a look!

I tested several different things with the Copic products we were sent. Things that were important to me and the use that I thought most crafters would have for them. Firstly, what ink should you stamp with if you want to colour your image with Copic Markers? Secondly, how easy are they to use? Do they work for the projects I need them for? And thirdly, I tested the Copic Bleedproof paper pad and the Copic Mulitliner to see if they held up to their promises.
So, inks. I have read on various forums about what inks people recommend to use. I know what ink I prefer with my other markers. But I wanted to test a wide variety to be sure I was getting the best results. I stamped with black StazOn, Impress, Momento, Archival and Distress inks. The one I found to be best was Momento – no bleeding or smudging at all, even with the palest of colours. Second best was Impress, as long as I left it for a few minutes before colouring.
Once I’d selected my ink I stamped a design with some very small details specifically to check if the Copics could handle it. To colour my image I used a combination of Copic Sketch and Copic Ciao markers. Of the two, I found the Sketch markers easier to use as they are shaped differently. I found this made them easier to control, even compared with other markers I have used in the past. The actual nibs of the pens are the same size and shape in both types: a brush on one end and a medium broad chisel tip on the other. They are really luscious and juicy whilst still managing to be precise, so you get a good ink coverage with plenty of control. I have to say, the brush tip did scare me slightly as it looks incredibly broad. How would it handle the tiny spaces I needed to colour on my image?

Well, that broad brush can get into some very tiny spaces! I did struggle with some of the very tiny areas (less than 1-2 millimetres) but I don’t doubt that someone with more colouring experience could have made easy work of it. Quite simply, the more pressure you use, the broader the stroke.
The Bleedproof drawing paper was exactly that. There was no bleeding and the colours stayed crisp and true. One thing I would mention is thatit is drawing paper, and as such is 70g/m2 so quite thin. I backed my coloured image with cardstock before adhering it to my card.

The Copic Multiliner, I admit, I kind of fell in love with. It’s so smooth to write or sketch with and I can see myself buying more of these for journaling on my scrapbook pages. They claim to be water and Copic proof, so naturally I set out to test their claim. Water; no problem at all. Copic; Hmmm, I did manage to get it to smudge, but I was literally waiting with Copic poised in one hand and multiliner in the other ready to pounce on it straight away. If I left it to dry, it was completely smudge/bleed proof.I could have played with these pens for a good while longer, and I will do soon. They are one of those products that you invest in and know they will see you through. Fantastic quality.

Overall, I would give the markers a 4 scissor rating. The initial cost of the product is expensive if you want to buy a good range of colours. They retail at around £5.99 per marker for the Copic Sketch markers. The Copic ciao are a less expensive option at around £12.99 for the skin tones set that we had. But the quality is obvious and I’m a firm believer in the philosophy ‘you get what you pay for’. I would also say that beginners might struggle to colour tiny areas, as it was tricky for me at times. The Multiliner is my pick of the products I tried. It’s amazing!Here’s the card I made using the Copic products:
Supplies:Copic markers from Copic Sketch 12 colors item no. 21075 02 and Copic ciao 5 + 1 skin tones set packs; Copic Bleedproof Marker Pad; Folk Inspired stamp set from Unity Stamps; Patterned paper from BoBunny; Cardstock from Bazzil; Scalloped card blank from Craftwork Cards.
Copics are available from Copic UK and Copic Germany. To find a retailer in the UK try this page. In the US try here.

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