What Copics Should You Start With?

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!


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Related posts:

  1. How to Color Skin with Copics
  2. Copic Marker Tutorial
  3. How to Refill Copic Markers
  4. Manga Paper
  5. How to Color and Blend with Copic Markers


  1. sagakat says:

    If I want a decent red, what colour would you recommend?
    I’m about to buy some sketch markers and I have to buy them online because you can’t get them anywhere in Denmark, and I was thinking about buying a set, but i can’t really see any decent red in any of the 72 pieces sets, so I’ll just have to buy it on the side.

  2. Lauren BP says:

    Um, hello :) I know this is quite some time after the blog post, and you probably won’t reply but I’m going to at least try :D

    Well, I’m going to get my first set of copics, and I’m getting a 72 sketch set, but I’m torn between set A and set B. Set A has a good range of colors in general, but has almost no skin colors. Set B has a good skin color range, but it’s colors in basic speakings (red, orange, yellow, ect.) Are pretty dull. Should I just get set A and collect the skin tones one by one, or get set B and collect some of the general colors one by one? My style is anime, and I know set B is recommended for anime drawers, but it has dull colors, so…help?

    • 100puro says:

      well actually I think you could go with ordering a bunch individually. Otakufuel has an easy quick order form for ordering individual copic markers, so you could just choose markers you like from both sets?

  3. Niamh says:

    Is it best to colour skin with Ciao or sketch? :o

  4. Otaku193 Otaku193 says:

    Hey, I wanted to ask, what are grey copic markers for? I mean, im sure they’re useful, but for what? It would help if you had a tutorial to show as well

    • 100puro says:

      my my, everyone’s a psychic now huh? I was going to put up a copic grey tutorial about the useful ness of them and explaining them a bit. Simply put for now, you can use a light grey and color on top of a color to make it darker :)

  5. celty sturluson claudia says:

    i think prismacolor markers are a little bit cheaper that copics the almost color the same do u think they are good for coloring manga/anime or not :)

    • 100puro says:

      I’ve had prismacolor markers and I can tell you they are definitely not the same. The colors and ink are different (primsacolor also smells pretty bad) and the tip is completely different I say alternate brand would be touch or tria and I think deleter makes some markers also

      you should look its to copic ciao’s since they are cheaper if you’re on a budget :) copic has he most colors and they’re also my favorite one out of the bunch since I’ve used other brands before

  6. Kim says:

    @100puro: ok thank you! :) i’ll consider getting it!

  7. Kim says:

    Hi, which set do you recommend more: the pale pastels (in ciao, not the sketch version) or the skin tone set (in ciao)?

  8. daladodo2 says:

    hi :)
    i am actually planning on buying copics but i am actually in the middle east, and i do not know if they exist here! lol XD , is copic a worldide company?
    ps: ypur artwork is beautiful, hope to see more on your channel “zkittyz”

    • 100puro says:

      Well sorry, this reply isn’t from zkittyz. It’s going to be from me, 100puro, since zkittyz resigned from the mangalessons position.

      Copic is a worldwide company, its actually based in Japan! I’m not too sure about how to get copics in the middle east but you can check your local art stores or try places like eBay and such. Good luck drawing!

    • madboutmangaxD says:

      I live in the middle east too! I got copics from office mart in dubai but if your not in dubai try searching where to buy them on google I did that and found that you could buy them singularly in office mart that shop has like to loads full goodluck

  9. madboutmangaxD says:

    I got the basic color set and the skin tone set would you say these ones are good to get me started??????

    • 100puro says:

      I guess it depends on which basic color set you got. I’m assuming the 12 color basic set? I personally don’t like bright primaries but they are good basic colors.

      I just checked it out now and it looks pretty good. That plus a skin tone set and it looks like you’re pretty set! I would also personally recommend getting 2-3 gray tones, probably in neutral. (They come in neutral, cool, warm, and toner) Especially with a small set, a few grays helps a bunch in shading because if you don’t have the darker tone, you can just use a light gray and viola! its darker! :D

  10. you said to start with a 36 peice set or a 72 peice set but they are really expensive, so would a 12 peice set be good? i mean, im planning on buying 0.1, 0.3, 0.7, brush multiliner pens, COPIC Ciao Marker Set of 12 Basic Colours and COPIC Ciao Marker Set of 12 Skin Tone Colours. Would that be enough?

  11. Anonymous says:

    hey I find a 36 sketch marker set but its a stamper set. is that the good one or do I need a differand one?

    • 100puro says:

      All the markers are good! There are lots of different sets, but as long as you like the colors in the set, that’s all that matters. Keep in mind you’ll want a variety of colors and for each color you’ll generally want one light and one dark shade. So an ideal set would have a good variety of colors with light and dark shades that blend together well  :) hope this helped!

      (Sorry I don’t know the specifics of the stamping set… but I would assume its not ideal for illustrations but for stamping. though if you like the colors in it, that’s all that matters)

  12. Anonymous says:

    hey i find a 36 sketch set but its a stamper is that the good one? or do I need a differand one?

  13. Anonymous says:

    hey I find a 36 sketch marker set on the internet but it is a stamper set is taht the one I need to buy?

  14. Anonymous says:

    hey I find on internet a sketch marker set 36 for 143.53 but its a stamping set is that the good one? or do I need a different one?