An aspiring artist needs a reliable set of supplies to help them bring their talented ideas to life. Copic markers are popular among amateur and professional artists because they are of excellent quality. They’re used in illustrations, cartoons, design, crafts, and several types of art projects due to their high-quality and amazing results.
Copic markers give the same result that you get when you blend paint. But they’re less messy and more portable. They’re perfect for amateur and professional artists who are always on the go and want to execute the best drawings and creations every time.
As an artist who has just begun their Copic art making journey, the Copic set options can be a little bit confusing. For that reason, we will explain the difference between the four types of Copic markers in the next session,
And then in this article, we will follow it up with recommendation of three Copic sets that are perfect for beginners. Let's start, shall we?
What Are the Different Types of Copic Markers?
But because they last for long, they’re not cheap. This is why you need to understand the difference between several types.
Copic Ciao Markers
These are entry-level markers offered by the company for first timers and beginners. They’re even suitable for kids and teens because they’re more affordable than other types of markers.
The markers are not of less quality than the other products offered by the company. But they come in fewer colors. The company offers 180 shades which are enough for beginners. Moreover, you can mix and match several types of markers to execute your illustrations and drawings.
They feature double ends, but you can’t fit any additional nibs to the marker. The Super Brush nib is pointed and can bend easily to mix shades. The Medium Broad nib has a chisel-like tip that can quickly fill big areas. It can also be used for highlighting.
The Ciao marker is small and fits into smaller hands easily. It’s quite easy to control even if you’re not that experienced. This also means that it gets more refills from one ink container. One ink container will refill your marker up to 15 times.
The cap is child-safe with small holes for air. These markers aren’t compatible with Copic’s AirBrush System. They don’t have a color identity to help you find the color you’re looking for when you have lots of markers.
You should, however, be careful with storing your markers because they’re perfectly circular. They can easily roll off a flat surface like a desk or table.
Copic Sketch Markers
These are probably the top-of-line markers offered for designers, artists, cartoonists, and illustrators. They’re designed for perfect coloring and blending.
The markers come in 358 colors that cater to the needs of all artists. Buying the whole collection costs lots of money, so this collection isn’t suitable for amateurs.
Just like the Ciao collection, the markers come with a Super Brush and a Medium Broad nib. But the Medium Round nib fits too, although you’ll have to buy it separately. The Super Brush acts like a paintbrush, while the Medium Broad nib works for coloring.
Illustrators love the versatility these markers offer because they can be used for coloring big areas and detailed work. They provide excellent quality shading, coloring, and blending. These markers are compatible with Copic’s AirBrush System.
These markers are larger than the Ciao markers. They work perfectly for smaller and larger hands. They’re oval, so they won’t easily roll around flat surfaces. One ink container fills the marker for up to 12 times.
Copic Classic Markers
The Classic markers are the original Copic markers, although they might not be the most popular ones. Nevertheless, they’re highly desirable because they offer the needed balance between the Ciao and Sketch markers.
They come in 214 colors, so you won’t face a problem finding the exact shade you’re looking for. There are fewer options than what you get with the Sketch markers but you can easily blend shades to get the one you need. There are certain shades that are unique to this line and that are not offered in the Ciao line.
These markers offer nine different nib options. They come in the Standard Broad Chisel tip and Standard Fine tip. The Standard Broad Chisel tip is a bit bigger and broader than the Medium Broad tip. The Standard Fine tip is smaller and firmer for detailed work.
They’re compatible with Copic’s AirBrush System. These markers are more versatile than any other markers offered by Copic. You can install nibs for calligraphy.
The Sketch markers are bigger and have a square barrel. They won’t roll over a flat surface and are more suitable for bigger hands. You’ll get nine refills out of every ink container.
These markers are perfect for coloring, but they won’t do good blending unless you install the blending nib.
Copic Wide Markers
If you want to color big areas, then this is the marker for you. Wide markers look different from other models offered by Copic because they’re wider and shorter. They have a single coloring end with a large chisel tip.
The Extra Broad nib is firmer and wider than any other option. It’s perfect for filling bigger areas with even colors. There will be no overlapping which makes the color smoother.
These markers come in 36 different shades. This is less than what you get from any other collection so picking Wide Markers shouldn’t be your primary option. Artists need to combine these markers with other collections to create interesting drawings and illustrations.
They’re flat and rather wide, so holding the marker might feel a little awkward at the beginning. Kids and people with smaller hands find these markers difficult to hold and control. They won’t roll around the desk and will allow you to make long precision strokes easily. You can also install an additional nib or broad calligraphy.
The wider nib lays color quickly, but the markers can hold more ink than other option. You’ll get seven refills from a single ink container.
Best Copic Marker Sets for Beginners
Here are reviews of three Copic Marker sets that can you add to your toolkit.
1. Copic IB12 Ciao Markers Basic Set
This is the perfect choice for an enthusiastic beginner. The set offers 12 shades that allow you to build your coloring arsenal.
These markers provide smooth and vibrant colors that suit different kinds of illustrations, art, designs, and crafts. The color is permanent because these alcohol-based markers won’t destroy paper fibers. They’re non-toxic and dry very fast.
They’re affordable, but also refillable. You can use the same marker for years. You can use the dual ends to highlight, color, and paint. You won’t be able to install any additional nibs.
The Ciao markers are circular and come in a plastic cover. But be careful when you place them on your desk as they might roll around.
The Basic Set is a good choice for teens and kids who want to start experimenting with markers. They feel quite comfortable to hold and are easy to maneuver.
- Affordable set
- Various basic colors to blend
- Suitable for beginners and kids
- Only two nib options available
- Limited options
2. Copic Marker SB12 12-Piece Sketch Basic Set
This set of 12 markers can help you start or add more options to your set. The Sketch markers feature two nibs, the Medium Broad nib, and the Super Brush. These two options allow you to alter between precision coloring and covering larger areas successfully. You can also install the Medium Round nib or the AirBrush system.
These markers are refillable and will last for years. You can always upgrade your collection by adding new shades to finish more drawings and illustrations.
The colors are permanent and will not fade with time because the alcohol-based ink doesn’t affect paper. You can also re-wet the ink and add more color or adjust your drawings. This is why these markers are the top choice for Japanese manga artists.
They’re slightly big, so you might need to practice a little before you can hold your marker right. The markers are also more expensive than the Copic Ciao markers. They’re oval so won’t roll around the desk or table.The markers help you blend amazing colors. You can also buy other sets for shading and highlighting once you’ve learned how to use your markers well.
- Two nibs for detailed work and coloring large areas
- Compatible with the Medium Round nib
- Compatible with the ABS
- Oval markers are suitable for bigger hands and professional illustrators
- More expensive
- Needs more practice to use well
- Not suitable for beginners and kids
3. Copic Classic Markers 36-Piece Basic Set
After you’re done experimenting with the previous two sets, it’s time to upgrade your toolkit. The classic set from Copic offers endless options for illustrators, designers, and fashion designers who want to execute their sketches and paintings in the best quality.
This set comes in a clear plastic case and features the original markers offered by Copic to cater to the needs of art enthusiasts. Although aspiring artists need more than 36 shades to finish their drawings, these markers blend very well and dry fast because they’re alcohol-based.
This line is devoted to professional manga and anime artists in addition to cartoonists and calligraphists, so it’s compatible with nine different nib options that will help you draw and color any shape. However, you’ll buy these nibs separately. They’re compatible with Copic’s ABS.
The colors are permanent, are acid-free, and not toxic so they will always look bright and fresh. These markers are not suitable for kids and beginners because they’re bigger. However, with a little practice, you’ll be able to maneuver and control them well.
You can buy this set as an upgrade, and you can keep on adding more shades to your kit. The markers won’t roll around your work area because they are square.
- High-quality set for professional cartoonists, illustrators, and calligraphists
- Compatible with nine different tips for various drawing and coloring options
- Compatible with ABS
- Big and square-shaped markers
- More expensive set
- Not suitable for beginners
What Copic Markers Set Should I Start With?
Buying a high-quality set of markers is a good way to build your toolkit. You can keep on adding to your favorite kit by mixing and matching markers of different shades and installing several nib options.
Think of whether you want to start drawing portraits, focus on landscape paintings, or wish to experiment with cartoon and manga. You’ll find several options to choose from.
We hope that any of the three sets that we reviewed in depth above suits your need as an artist. If you are still unsure, we suggest that you start with the most basic of the three - the Copic IB12 Ciao Marker Basic Set, you really can't go wrong with this one.
Happy Copic drawing!