A few days ago, I discovered Copic markers, which essentially provide a hybrid between the permanency of ink and the pliability of paint or graphite/charcoal. Since I really love to be able to blend and play with shading, I’ve never really enjoyed pens or markers – until now. These give you a lot of freedom to blend, especially if you use their colorless blender or some rubbing alcohol. Here is my first try at using them:
It’s messy, I know, but it was just for me to get used to how they work and how to blend. I actually only had a black one and two neutral grey ones to work with initially, so the shading here was primarily created using the blender – and since I didn’t plan ahead too well, there are some areas that should actually be lighter. But I think that considering the constraints of what I was working with, it was definitely impressive to be able to get that much shading with markers.
I picked up three more markers yesterday, all in the cool grey series, so I am looking forward to playing more! There are 358 shades available altogether, so if you are more of a color person than me there is a bounty of shading and blending options to play with. Here is a helpful page for understanding their system for designating their colors. I like the fact that the numbers indicate both the saturation and the brightness.
I also love the fact that they are refillable – the markers are expensive to buy initially although you can find the best prices at Oozak – if you sign up for a free account, the Sketch markers are $4.99 (instead of $7.99) and the Ciao ones, which hold less ink, are $3.41 (instead of $5.49). However, since you can get 12-15 refills from an $5.59 bottle of ink (usually $8.99), the cost ends up being more practical than buying a whole new marker every time it runs out, not to mention more environmentally friendly.
I will be sure to post any more sketches I work on with these – I really like them!