IT. IS. TIME. You guys LOVED the first video of me talking about five mistakes I myself and other Copic (or any alcohol based marker) artists make, so now I'm back with a sequel!
If you haven't seen the first video, definitely check it out!
You guys ready? This is five more mistakes Copic artists make ;)
#1: Not lightfast
Copics were not meant for serious work to be kept indefinitely. They were originally intended as a cheap tool (yes, I know, they've since upped the prices due to demand) for graphic designers and comic artists--things that were to be scanned and used later. They're not designed to be hung up or displayed, as their colors fade when exposed to light.
If you'd like to see more details about lightfastedness and various examples with loads of different products, I highly recommend checking out this page, which includes a test with Copic colors and more.
Alcohol based markers in general are not lightfast. If you're uncertain about your own art supplies, try finding out via a Google search or your own test sheets. Keep in mind that different colors and brands react differently.
#2: Opening both caps
This one isn't really a mistake, but it's a tip that I would've LOVED to have had years ago! To avoid your marker bleeding out and making a blob on your precious artworks, open both caps to help relieve the pressure build up. This can happen due to improper storage or after long periods of non-use. (Make sure your markers are stored away from the sun, room temperature, and horizontal if possible.)
You can often spot the build up before it happens; the marker tends to look more wet at the tip as the ink starts to pool around it; just tip it up and open the other cap, give it a few seconds to a minute and you should be fine. This is also the case when refilling, let the marker lay flat with both caps off for a couple minutes for everything to settle.
#3: Buying new markers instead of buying refills
Copic, unlike most other alcohol based marker brands, has this amazing things called 'refills', which is a separate product of pure Copic marker ink. This is what helps make Copic markers one of the cheapest options over time, since each refill container can refill a marker several times.
Unless your marker is dead beyond repair, there are refills, if you run out of ink, and nibs to replace any damaged ones. In rare instances, there might be something otherwise wrong with the marker, like with my R39, which has a build up of a gooey/sticky texture on the nibs, and no amount of repair has fixed it. (I honestly don't know what causes it, haha.)
#4: Thinking you can't mix brands
I'm not really sure how common this is, but I do quite often see artists sticking with just the Copic brand and avoiding other alcohol based markers for their collection. Alcohol based markers are alcohol based markers, regardless of the brand. Some brands might have colors that others don't or might work better for you than copics, and if you can't flesh out the investment for Copics, then you can at least build up your collection with other brands.
Keep in mind that each brand of markers may behave a bit differently, so it's a good idea to test things out before going full out on a project.
If you want more markers but can't flesh out the cash for Copics, try one of the alternative brands. I've already reviewed one of them, Studio Series, you can watch that review video here. If ya'll would like me to try out more brands to compare, help support me by donating to my Patreon or Ko-fi or by sharing this blog post :)
As a bonus cheap "alternative" to Copics, some markers might work out by being refilled with Copic refill ink. Though I haven't personally tested it myself, I'm putting this up as a potential option to experiment with. Some marker brands might be finicky, but it could be worth testing. If you've tried this, lemme know how it worked out for you!
#5: Not utilizing multi-media
Pure Copic pieces can look beautiful, but don't feel limited to just using markers. Copics can go great with watercolors and colored pencils. (Even scanning them and then working digitally!) This also works well if you don't have many marker colors or are looking to do unique effects. Colored pencils, as an example, can be great for more precise lineworks and details, something that Copics, especially when working small, aren't great at doing. Using markers as a base for colored pencil pieces can also be really helpful for quickly filling in the white of the paper!
Be sure to test papers and different medias together with the markers before doing any serious pieces, just to learn how things interact or how the markers respond with different paper.
And that's all I have for you! Have you guys made any of these mistakes, or know of any I've missed? Let me know in the comments!
Hopefully you found some of these tips helpful!
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