I get a lot of questions from people saying they want to get their first Copics, but they don’t know what type of Copic marker to get, or they don’t know what colours to choose. I suggest two things to get your collection started:
1) The first thing I suggest is to buy a set of markers, like a 36 piece set or a 72 piece set, and then build your collection from there. This is what I did and it helped me a lot! First of all, the set comes with many colours I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own, like some dark greens or oranges (there were many others too). You don’t realise you need a colour until you go to colour in a picture and you don’t have the colour you want. This is why I was so glad I got a 72 piece set. Once you colour with your set for a while, you will quickly learn what colours you use most. This helps you figure out which markers you will need refills for. It also helps you pick out more colours in that same colour group that you could add to your collection. Let’s say you have BG02 and you really like that colour, well you could buy BG05 to use as shading with that colour. Also, I had no idea what colours were good skin tones to choose, but by buying the set I was able to try out some skin tones and use the ones I liked best. I bought the 72B set because it was advertised to have the most skin tones.
2) My second suggestion is for people who can’t afford to buy a big set right away, or people who just prefer buying individual markers. What you can do is start off by buying two colours from every main colour group. By main colour group I mean the reds, oranges, yellows, greens…etc, not the colours from the cool grey, neutral grey, warm grey, toner grey, and fluorescent colours. You also can stay away from the blue-violet, yellow-green, and blue-green combination groups if you can’t afford to get colours from all groups. What I’m trying to say is stick to the main colours of the rainbow!
So choose a colour group like blue. What blues should you pick? Choose colours that are similar to one another so you can use one for shading. So the colour should have the same letter(s), the same first digit, and the last digit should be between one to three numbers away. For example, B24 and B26. If you have a store near you that sells Copics, bring in a piece of paper to test the colours. Some stores even have paper there already. Otherwise you will have to rely on the online colour chart to choose colours.
Now, another important thing to take into consideration is what type of Copic marker you want. If you are using them to draw manga, or for scrapbooking, stay away from the Wide and the Original. The Wide is SUPER wide and doesn’t come in very many colours. The Original has a wide range of colours, but the brush nib is like a little nub. It is very small and doesn’t come to a sharp point like the Ciao and Sketch. I think the main question is, should you get the Ciao or Sketch?
The Ciao is smaller, round, and holds less ink. Also the colour name is on the side of the marker instead of on the top of the cap. The Ciao cannot be used with the airbrush system. But it is the least expensive of the two. The Sketch is a bit bigger, ovoid, and holds more ink than the Ciao. the colour name is on the top of the cap, which is really handy for people who store their markers vertically, or people who store them horizontally in a little shelving unit, like I do. The Sketch can be used with the airbrush system. Another major difference: the Sketch is available in twice as many colours as the Ciao. This gives you a greater choice of colours. This may sound odd, but to me, the Sketch wins simply because of the cap. It is SO annoying trying to find a colour that is a Ciao. And I have a lot of Ciaos, because the 72B set I got was a Ciao set. So that is my main reason for choosing Sketch.
But what it all comes down to is money. If you can’t afford the Sketch, go with the Ciao. That’s what I had to do. But I sort of regret it because now I have so many Ciaos! So just get whatever you can. And if you really want to save money, buy online. I cannot stress this enough! Here in Canada, Sketch markers are $7 each, but online I can get them for less than $5 a piece and that really adds up! Shipping can eat up most of those savings, but some sites like OtakuFuel offer free shipping on their Copics, so you can keep all the savings for yourself!
Hopefully this helps you choose some markers!