Friday, June 27, 2008

Frequently asked questions

Before I cover Sketch markers, I want to address a few things that people always ask me, and no matter how many times I answer, someone else will ask me the same thing. Hopefully this will help you with all your questions you've been dying to have answered, or just wondered about.

So here we go:
Q. How do I pronounce Copic? Ciao? Spica?
Copic- long o, Coh-pick Ciao - chow, like the Italian greeting Spica- speek-ah is the Japanese pronunciation and how we say it, but it could be called spike-ah, which is the way Americans pronounce the star of the Virgo constellation it's named after.

Q. Which way should I store my Copic markers? Horizontal or Vertical?
A. However they look best on your desk :) Japan sells them stored either way, so it doesn't really matter.

Q. Will the marker dry out if I don't use it after a while?
A. No. We guarantee a 3-year shelf-life. These are very airtight and will last for years, even if you never use them.

Q. Are Copic Markers lightfast?
A. No. They are a dye. they will fade in harsh light unless they are protected from direct light.

Q. What happens if I leave my marker in the hot sun or a freezing car?
A. Nothing. They are air tight, alcohol. It will take a lot for them to freeze or boil due to extreme temps.

Q. I was coloring away and suddenly my marker blobbed. I've had the marker for a while, what happened?
A. The air pressure inside the marker is messed up. Remember, these are very airtight markers. A pressure change from weather, elevation, or my frequent problem is from coloring while flying with the markers. Just pull the cap off both ends and let it sit for a moment. This evens out the air pressure and you should be OK after that.

Q. Are Copic Markers acid-free?
A. Depending on the surface, they dry acid-free. The alcohol carrier solvent is slightly off-neutral pH, but once that evaporates they are neutral. Some papers retain the alcohol more than others though.

Q. One side of my marker seems to be dry. Do I need to refill both sides?
A. No. Both nibs share the same ink reservoir. If one side is dry, chances are the other side is almost dry too. Just refill from the chisel end and you'll be fine.

I hope you find these little tidbits useful. If you have questions, please ask- send me e-mails at Have a great weekend!


Stampin_Melissa said...

THANK YOU SO VERY (and I VERY) MUCH! You answered a couple of questions I had.

Just to let you know that because of your tutelage I got my COPICs out last night and gave them a spin and quite happy with the results! (I admit, it was a little project of a couple of flowers and a bee.) I had only been so-so happy with them before (but then I didn't have a clue how to use them!)

Karen Lindsay said...

I have found *every* "lesson" you've written since you opened this blog helpful. Because of this blog and what you are so generously sharing with the world, I have taken that giant leap and purchased my own custom set of Sketch Copics to play with. With your instruction, I feel that I will be less fearful of learning to use them. Thank you!


Judy in Indiana said...

You did not answer my favorite question "Why don't all the markers have numbers on the ends?" I know the answer is probably "They just are not made that way." But I love the numbering system and wish I had the numbers on all my marker ends, and not just some of them. tell the people in Japan about my problem, will you?

Whimsey said...

Fabulous information as always!!

Barb Hardeman said...

Thank you so much for all the information on Copics that you put out on your Blog. I'm very new to these amazing coloring tools and I am just soaking up all the information I can store. You've done a great job and I'm learning so much.

Patricia said...

I noticed your comment earlier about which was the sun was shining. Have you ever heard of Bert Monroy?? He is the best digital artist ever and does all of his design in Photoshop. I think you could even learn a lot from him and that is why I am bringing him up. He does a show called pixel perfect on Itunes and has written many book. You should really check him out.

Unknown said...

This was very helpful Marianne!! I just LOVE your tips and lessons . . . lots of reading to do! (and practicing!) :)

Donna said...

Hi! I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. I just got my first set of Copics so the information and tips you post here couldn't come at a better time for me.

Anxiously awaiting your next post,


Janet said...

My first 16 Sketch markers were just delivered and I bought a Copic to see which I liked best. I have a problem - - I like the brush end of the Sketch and the thin end of the Copic. I'm not thrilled with the wide end, which is on both! Are there nibs available where I can change out the wide end and how do I find them if they are? Otherwise, I like the Sketch much better. I bought a pretty good set of colors, so I can play until I get the shading straight. I live by your blog! Without you, I'd never have bought any of them! Thank you for all of your help!

Deborah said...

I have been using the same paper (a non-feathering, non-bleeding paper for pens, 110lb) for a few months now. I use the lamp black by nick bantock as my stamp pad and have been very happy with it.

I am trying to colour a new image and whenever I use YG95, followed by yg97 its like the ink won't soak into the paper. I have tried colouring over the ink in other spots, that works, I have used other colours on the image, and I have stamped the image on another piece of paper. I finally tried the blender on it, and much to my shock the blender picked up the green ink (which came off on scrap paper).

Is there a reason for this? It only seems to affect this colour combination.

marianne walker said...


is the YG95 completely dry when you add the yg97? Sometimes if it's still wet when you use colors that are so close to each other then it won't soak in because the paper is already saturated with the first color. Try letting it dry, then add your darker color.

Deborah said...

I thought it was dry. I'll try again. It is very strange, I can colour on the spot next to the image, and it is fine there.

Thankyou for your prompt response.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the invaluable information. I'm new to your blog and to Copics, so am grateful for all the help I can get. 🤗

Unknown said...

Very fruitful content shared by you. I appreciate your efforts...
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Unknown said...

Came across my daughters copic markers. She never used them but they are dry now. Hoew can i revive them?

Unknown said...

Please help