Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting to Know Copics

The introduction of the Flourishes Collection has presented to many of you some questions that have been on your mind for a while. To that end, I will try to answer some of those questions about Copic Markers.
What is a natural color blend and why is this important?

To get the most out of Copic markers you should use a variety of shades to blend from light to dark for a realistic look. There are 310 different colors and with so many colors to choose from it's hard to know which to choose!

We've done the work for you! Flourishes created 20 different groups of markers in their natural color blend.
We offer a wide color range and the groups contain either 3, 4, or 5 markers. You will find the lightest to darkest in the select color range and intensity for each color group.

This does not mean that you will not add in a little extra here and there for highlights, but by sticking with these color groups until you have become Copic savvy you will have success.

Why did Flourishes decided to make Copics available in this manner?

Some stores sell Copics individually and leave you to figure out what are the natural blends. Others sell Copics in groups of 12 markers - with NO guarantee that you'll get a natural color blend group, and you may get colors you'll never use! Other stores require you to make a 6 month commitment - very expensive and you may never use them all! Still others continue to match them to a paper group.

A lot of thought and research and attending Copic certification classes led me to believe that the problem for most stampers was the way that Copics were marketed.

Why are Copics so expensive and do you think they will go down in price?

Copics are an artist quality medium. These markers have been on the market for 25 years and the formulations have not changed. These markers are refillable and the tips can be changed, but probably will never require you to do so. Considering that they are a lifetime investment I do not think they will go down in their price. The markers speak for themselves.

Flourishes choose to carry the Sketch markers for two basic reasons:

1- There are 310 colors available in Sketch, more that in any other style.

2- They hold the most ink in the chamber, requiring less refilling. Ciao markers sell for less but hold much less ink requiring more refilling and have less colors available.

What important things do I need to know about my new Copics?
By choosing Copics in the Flourishes Copic Collection you have already made the best choice. A few tips about your markers and you will be ready for my next post on simple coloring techniques.

Let's look at the markers.

Here I have a marker closed and open. You will notice that the oval "can't roll" styling makes the stay in one place. They are clearly engraved as to the style and colors of markers.

The closed marker on the top has a grey stripe around the cap opening. This grey band denotes the brush tip of the marker, so that you can tell which end you are opening....COOL !

The open marker on the bottom again shows the grey marking at the brush tip of the marker. The rest of the marker is the same color and the opposite end of the marker is a chisel end marker. Both of the tips are virtually indestructible.

Copics do not require any special direction in storing. I store mine in a case I obtained from Copic class and will share that with you on another day.

Can I blend one group of color groups with another?

Absolutely! Again, the more savvy you become - the more you will learn about blending. I will tackle this in another session, I don't want to overload you today! This is just an introduction of our groupings.

OK, I think you have convinced me to purchase my Copics from Flourishes, how do I determine which one to purchase first?

Flourishes' unique groupings allows you to select the natural blend groups that appeal to you and our groupings are small enough that the investment in minimal! So if you tend to use pinks and yellows, start with those groups. If blues and greens are more your style, we have several groups you will like!

Not only have we taken the time to put together these groups, but we'll also provide you with information on what we've learned about Copics! We'll let you know what those letters and numbers on the marker mean (yes they are important!), the type of paper that works well with Copics, and the Flourishes Design Team will dazzle you with incredible cards!

One last question Jan Marie. I have heard that the learning curve is hard and paper is very important , is that true?

Well in all truth and honesty, I have had a learning curve with every new medium I began learning to use. Just because I started out using Tombow or Stampin UP markers, did not make me a wiz at Copics. They are all different mediums and if you are like me, practice will make perfect. If we already knew how to do every aspect of art and most things in life, there would be nothing called learning!

Now on the subject of papers. Having sat through several of the Copic Certification classes with Marianne Walker, I know she has has some basic guidelines, but endorses no one paper exclusively. Again when FLLC started on this path, we knew that finding the best in our estimation for the products we carry was important. We want successes for our customers not customer service issues. To that end the search was long and intensive. We have worked directly with a very large paper company, and they were so helpful. They learned about the needs of stampers along the way as well. The bottom line, we think we have made an excellent choice. The whiteness of the white is a very bright white. The ivory is a beautiful buff. The paper is absorbent but does not suck up the ink. Being alcohol based inks, these are actually absorbed into the paper, rather than sitting on the top of the paper. Our paper is environmentally friendly, it is not a coated paper. I think you will find it a great paper for many of your projects, but it may not be a one paper fits all of your needs paper.

Thanks for joing me and Getting to Know Copics.



NancyK said...

Great information - thanks for sharing!

Kelly said...

Outstanding Copic Blog today! I sit on the Copic sidelines... waiting to see if I can truly "understand" how they work and why they would work with my papercrafts. This is PERfect! info. Thanks so much and look forward to more info.

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog today. Hope to see some tutorials on using/blending Copic markers or do you have any links to Copic tutorials?

Katie K

Marilyn Hitterman said...

Thank you so much for the first of several (I hope) "lessons" on Copics. I bought a large set several months ago and haven't used them yet! I love the idea of your offering them in these small sets - what a wonderful and smart idea!! I'll certainly be purchasing them!!!

The Paper Artists' Boutique said...

Thank you for this post!! Really, I have been searching about these markers and had found nothing that was as good as your tutorial about them. Sherry

Becky said...

Great information, since I do not own copics but have been thinking on getting them

Anonymous said...

OMG! You did your homework, didn't you!! This is the kind of information customers like me appreciate and need to know before a purchase. No wonder you're one of my preferred online website. I will definitely continue to support your online store. TFS


Elaine M said...

Can we get the color chart from you? Think it'd be a great way of keeping track of what colors we still need.
Elaine Moore

Anonymous said...

You've done some absolutely beautiful work. Thanks for both sharing and inspiring!