So I got a present from my boyfriend for Christmas – a set of 12 Copic markers. They are fancy pants pens that are super popular amongst the Manga/Illustrator community. Wikipedia says “The markers are available in 334 colors and are refillable. The inks used to refill the markers can be mixed to create new colors, and empty markers are sold for this purpose. There is also an airbrush system available.”

See – fancy!

That said, could I figure out how to use them? No. I tried colouring in a square and the strokes overlapped I got an extra dark stripes. Problematic. I tried to draw and eggplant but I couldn’t get the colours (which were fairly different from one another) to blend. Frantic, wanting to impress my boyfriend with my flawlessly art-savvy transition to this new material, I hit the web.

Quick! YouTube give me a tutorial! Bloggers, get blogging! I need skills!

I discovered that entire certifications were available in America to master these pens! Oh dear. I crammed as many poorly filmed amateur ‘look how easy it is’ styled videos, into my eyeballs. Discovering that I was missing the critical “blending” pen I sped (without breaking the law) to King St Art Supplies where I bought this notorious clear marker, along with a skin colour a red and an awesome Chartreuse (I used to design for the liquor/spirit back in the day so I couldn’t not!).

So as you might have guessed, I had to buy extra pens to even start using them properly. You see, in order to ‘blend’ you need to buy a colour ‘a few tints darker than the one you have’. Or go over the same spot a few times and hope that the paper holds out. A very exciting challenge.

Since then I have tried my luck with two illustrations, with mixed reviews but steadily improving results! I will see if I can bring in an example of my work so far (but promise, no laughing). A snap of the pens that have challenged my intellect, will suffice for now.

Andrea 25.1.11