Copic makes a number of drawing pens, in different styles and different colors. So far I've briefly mentioned the Multiliners and the F01 drawing pen. Today I'd like to talk more in-depth about another wonderful pen style, the Colored Multiliner SP's. If you're interested in the disposable colored multiliners, then check out this blurb from The Pen Addict a few weeks ago.
Multiliner SP pens come in 12 colors besides black. You can see a color chart if you go to the Copic website. What I like about these pens is that they are pigment, archival, acid-free, and won't bleed with my markers. Best of all, they are refillable and you can replace the tips.
Copic Multiliners are water-based, which is good because there are no oils to leave a residue that markers will pick-up and smear around. Water-based also means that you can't keep coloring in one spot without ruining the paper like you can with the markers. These pens are intended for drawing lines, not coloring (though the brush pen is perfect for fine, quick color swatches, just don't keep layering or it ruins your paper). Papercrafters love these pens for journaling and writing.
There are two sizes standard- 0.3 mm and the Brush Small. Look at the photo to compare the two widths of Wine Multiliner SP's . If you don't like those sizes then you can swap in any Multliner nib that's a size 0.2 mm or larger (the ink is too thick to flow through the smaller nib sizes). If you need a finer point then use one of the disposeable multiliners, they just don't come in as many colors.
So what are the differences between a regular Multiliner and a Multiliner SP?
Besides the SP being refillable, the tip is more sturdy on an SP. Also, the brushed Aluminum casing on the SP is a real pleasure to hold- it feels substantial in your hand yet allows for good control. The SP's are more expensive, but refills are cheaper than our disposeable pens. (One other minor difference is that on a disposable Multiliner the word has a space (multi liner) but on the SP's it is all run together (multiliner). Either way it means many lines).
As an illustrator, I tend to work mostly with black lines, however, working in colored lines gives a softness to my work. Look at the mermaid header- although this was drawn with one of our disposable multiliners, the gray line is much softer on the eye than if I had drawn it with black.
Usually I draw something in black also because I can photocopy it easier. Some color photocopiers can pick up the multiliners evenly, but I have the problem where the copier darkens some lines and lightens others, so my line work appears blotchy. To avoid this I draw my main lines in black then trace over my work on a light table and add fine details with the colored multiliner (this is how I did the mermaid- I have no un-colored nice line work of her because I traced from my rough, dark outlines).
Here is a drawing I would usually do in black, these are my husband's black dress shoes he left on the floor next to me. I decided to try drawing them in the first colored multiliner I grabbed, which happened to be an Olive 0.3 multiliner SP. Look at how the picture doesn't seem so dark and heavy because it is'nt drawn in black. I drew this on color laser copier paper, with rough outlines in pencil that I erased after I had inked.
How can I get line variation from one pen size?
If you look close, my picture has different line widths, though I drew it from just one pen size. I achieved the thick/thin line variation by pushing heavier or lighter. Even though the pen tip is very firm and has no flexibility without breaking, it is still possible to push less or more. The trick to this is have something softer under your paper other than just a firm table surface (not too soft!). Always keep a few sheets of scratch paper under your work, not because the pens will bleed through (they won't bleed), but because that added depth has a slight give to it so I can push harder without damaging my pen tip. Working in a sketchbook is a great way to get this line variation.
I apologize in advance, my posts will not be as regular for the next few weeks, since I am busy out and about traveling. Wednesday I will be in Charleston, SC teaching a certification class, then Friday, Sat, & Sunday I will be in Savannah, GA at the Savannah College of Art & Design. The Savannah event is open to the public- you can come and purchase directly from us, ask questions, and learn techniques from me all weekend. For more details click on my link to classes and events.
Next week I will be in Kansas City, MO teaching a couple certification classes. I still have a few spaces for those classes, but you need to call us directly to get in (866) 662-6742.
For those of you in Seattle, WA or Vancouver, BC who want to come to the classes in November, they are filling up fast, so get your applications back to me right away. I will NOT be opening the Vancouver class to the general public, but I will know in a couple weeks if I have space left in the Seattle class for people who are not designers, teachers, or otherwise affiliated with papercrafting stores.
I am looking at possibly doing a small certification class in Portland, OR in early December. If you are interested please e-mail me to get on that mailing list. Have a great week!