Sketch, Ciao or Original
It is entirely up to you! My preference is Sketch markers. Both Sketch and Ciao markers are very similar - they have the same tips - super brush and chisel. There are only two differences (1) Sketch markers are currently available in 346 different shades and Ciaos just under 200 different colours and (2) Sketch markers hold more ink than Ciaos. Original markers have a superfine tip which is hard, and a chisel tip. Most papercrafters prefer the superbrush to the superfine tip and hence Original markers haven't been so popular with us.
Ciaos are less expensive than Sketch markers however, so if you think you want to try Copics but don't want to make such a huge investment, Ciaos are definitely the way to go. You can always start with Ciao markers in the colours available and then supplement with Sketch markers for the colours that are not available in the Ciao range.
Is this important? YES - it really is. Some cardstocks suck the ink right out of your markers while others are impossible to achieve a decent blend with. I use Xpress It Blending card for 90% of my colouring work.
Other good cardstocks are Neenah Super Smooth , Cryogen Iridescent White or Gina K.
I only ever stamp with Memento ink. I predominantly use Tuxedo Black, but if I want to make a card a bit vintagey, I use Rich Cocoa ink.
If you want to use a different ink, do a test prior to colouring with your Copics. Stamp an image, and place the tip of your marker a few millimeters away from the stamped line. Do not let it touch. When the ink soaks and bleeds on the cardstock, if the stamped image starts to dissolve, it is NOT Copic friendly.
StazOn IS NOT COPIC FRIENDLY and will ruin the tips on your markers if you attempt to colour an image stamped in StazOn.
Versafine can be used if you heat set the image first.
You can use Copic markers to colour Digital stamps. If you have a Laser printer, this is perfect as the toner is heat set onto the paper and is therefore bleed proof. With ink jet printers, I find I still have issues with the ink running sometimes, but all printers and inks vary. These tips should help:
- Set your printer to "fast draft" this ensures that less ink is placed on the paper
- Set your print settings to photo quality paper. This makes your printer think the paper is glossy and less ink is placed.
- Print your images well ahead of when you plan to colour them. If they are left to dry for a day or two, the ink won't bleed.
- Heat set your images with your heat tool
Most beginners don't really know where to start! I found so much conflicting advice when I was purchasing my first Copics. If you like what I do, then these are the colours that I recommend....
- You will definitely need a 0 blender for removing colour or fixing areas where you've gone outside the line.
- Caucasian skin - E 11, E00, E000, blush R20
- Blond hair - E 50, 51, 53, 55
- Brown hair - E 55, 57, 59 or E 42, 44, 47
- Blue - B 93, 95, 97 these colours are great for colouring jeans, oceans or any other grey/blue item. If you prefer a brighter blue, I suggest B 21, 23, 26
- Red - R 22, 24, 27, 29
- Pink - R 81, 83, 85
- Yellow - Y 23, 26, 28 - these are a sunny yellow combination, great for flowers or colouring gold
- Green - YG 61 and 67
- A set of greys - either C 00, 1, 3, 5, 7 or W 00, 1, 3, 5, 7. The C stands for"Cool" and the W stands for "Warm". Which one you choose depends on what you plan to colour... Cool greys are used to colour metals or stone. Warm greys for creating shadows on "white" items
So what do the numbers and letters mean?
The letter is the colour family. B = blue, YG = Yellow Green, etc. The first number represents the depth of tone, ie, how much grey is present in the colour. The higher the number the more grey tone present. The second number represents how light or dark the colour is. Therefore, a marker with the code B21 is going to be much brighter than a B91. But the markers B 21 and B28 are from the same colour family, only the B21 is much lighter and the B28 is very dark.
Copic have produced a Copic Colour chart which shows all of the marker colours and where they sit in their family. If you want to choose a colour and don't know where to start, download this colour chart and a good rule for beginners is to "stay within the ring on the wheel", ie, purchase markers in groups of 3 (light, medium and dark) from the same depth...eg, all 20's - B20's Y20's , etc.
I hope that helps a bit! Of course if you are still wondering and want to know more, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org