Friday, September 12, 2008


I have had a few people ask me about COPICS - there are many places you can get information, but here is some information that I have gathered from use and a class I took...

These are notes compiled from the class I took and other research I have done.


- Compatible dye ink choices, Adirondack or Marvy Matchables. You can use Brilliance pads but these will need to be heat set.
- If embossing - use clear embossing powder only (colored powders, particularily black powders will not work.)
- May use brilliance pigment ink without embossing on regular cardstock - not coated paper.
- Best suited to Matte coated paper for beginners.
- when stamping with Adirondack inks, heat set and/ or blotted - you can emboss this with clear powder


- They will not cause the paper to "pill" when layering or blending.
- You can replace the tips when worn or damaged
- They are refillable
- The alcohol base allows you to use them on multiple other surfaces not suited to water based mediums like - plastic, glass, wood, shrink plastic, fabric, terro cotta, wood and vellum.
- They allow for coloring without leaving unsightly brush strokes (this requires certain techniques and varies with types of paper.)
- They are a professional marker vs. craft marker
- Color is extremely vibrant and intense.
- They are the most highly fade resistant coloring marker available

Codes for Colors - You will notice there are three numbers in codes for colors -

First alpha characters represent the color family (R=red, B=blue, YG = Yellow Green, E= Earths, etc.)

The break down works like this - for instance, R01

R- Red family

The second number in the combination here is 0. There is a GREY SCALE that ranges from 0-9 that will show the intensity from light to dark. This will represent the value or shade within the color .

This last number represents the intensity or brightness of the color, with 0 being the lightest and 9 being the darkest. So R01 is the same shade or value as R09, but a MUCH lighter color.

When selecting colors to use for shading, if the alpha/ number in the first two column are exactly the same, make sure there is a difference of 2 or more in the number of the last column. For example, shade R01 with R03 or greater. If you shade with a marker 1 number up, such as R02, the difference in colors is so slight that your untrained eye probably will not even detect it. Keep that in mind when selecting colors to purchase!

Grays are divided into 4 catergories - C for Cool Grays, W for Warm grays, N neutral grays and T is for Toner grays.

Make sense?

General Tips & Info
- Keep caps on markers when not in use. Alcohol markers dry out quickly if left uncapped.
- Markers can be stored upright or flat, it doesn't matter.
- Use care when replacing caps on Caio style markers - if you hit the cap at an incorrect angle with the brush tip of the marker, you can damage or destroy your tip.
- A refill bottle of ink will fill a Sketch marker 10-12 times.
-Regardless of what paper and ink you use, always make sure your image is completely dry! Never just stamp image and begin coloring.

Matte coated paper/cardstock
- Use Adirondack Ink and heat set AND blot before coloring
- Ink sits on top of coated paper - this makes it easy to move and manipulate with blender pen and other markers
- For small areas, can color directly to image with marker
- For larger areas, to avoid obvious brushstrokes, use palette & blender pen technique to "paint" the image
(similar to using water based inks and blender pens)
-Can use blender pens to combine inks on pallette to create new colors or shading effects

Shading possiblities
- Can use lighter color markers to pick up darker colored ink to create shading effects (gently drag & twirl lighter colored marker on Paper towel to remove excess darker ink when done.)
- Can shade by coloring over with a lighter color with a darker color, then use color less blender in small circular motions over the line between the two colors to blend them together.
- Can use the colorless blender directly on the colored image to remove a little bit of color in small areas

Any other cardstock (considered absorbent cardstock, includes SU Whisper White, Papertrey Ink, Georgia Pacific, etc.)
- Use Brilliance Graphite Ink - let dry thoroughly (can heat set to speed up process)
- Ink sinks into paper quickly - can't move the color around with blender pen. Do NOT use Blender pen, this will just make a splotchy mess on your work.
- To minimize brushstroke marks while coloring image, color selected area of image in moving in long strokes from top to bottom across from one side of the area to the other without lifting marker until entire section is done. Go back over any "missed" white spots along edges.

Shading possiblities
- Use same color to go over the shaded areas - subtle shading effect
- Use darker color marker to go over shaded areas or pick up a darker color with the tip of your lighter marker and use that to shade
- Use chalks with small applicators to shade areas. Can use with white eraser to remove chalk from areas or clean up edges if you chalked outside the lines.
- Use colored pencils to shade areas -

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. PLEASE let me know if this is helpful!
Thank you!
Chris Dickinson
Design Team Member:


Christi (Cici510 on SCS) said...

Wow! Very helpful Chris! Thanks!!

Christina said...

Very helpful but can't afford em!

Anonymous said...

I am with you Christina (plus I am no good at colouring, lol)

Jacquie said...

Very helpful!! I assume I could use these tipd for the Prismacolor markers too? What paper do you use or like the best, for coloring? Thanks for the great info!!

stampencamper said...

I am so glad they came out with markers that are going to last.
They are worth the expense, waiting
for second order to arrive, thanks
for all the tips Carolyn

Lori Barnett said...

This is great info! THANKS SO MUCH for taking time out to share all that :)

Renee' said...

This was helpful. I will tag it and have to refer back. Thank you for doing this.

Verna Angerhofer said...

Awesome tips and suggestions. I have been using Momento Black ink myself and it seems to work, but I do make sure it is well dried before coloring. Also sometimes I print out digitals and that seems to work too.