Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Coloring Corner: Selecting Ink for Copic Markers

Welcome to our newest feature, Coloring Corner, which is replacing our regular Tip Tuesday feature (we will still offer tips from time to time, but not on a weekly basis.) The focus of the Coloring Corner posts will be coloring, with an emphasis on Copic Markers. As parts of this feature we will offer coloring samples, coloring tips, challenges, and more.

Today we would like to start with something very basic; ink selection. No matter what coloring media we want to use, we want to be sure that the ink we use to stamp or to draw is not going to run or bleed when we color.

One of the first things we did as part of the Copic Basic Certification was to learn to chose paper and ink suitable to the markers. The technique used is valid for ANY coloring media, though, and we would like to share our take on the ink portion of it with you now.

On a piece of standard white copy paper, draw a circle about an inch in diameter or stamp a simple open image as shown below, depending on if you will be drawing or stamping your image.

Next, use your coloring media of choice to color inside the circle or stamped image, up to but not touching the ink line (touching the line will potentially contaminate the tip of your media). Fully saturate the paper with the media (water for watercolor, Gamsol for colored pencil, or with the marker for Copic markers) you plan to use. I plan to use Copic markers, so that is what I will be sharing. (At first I was going to color my sheep gray, but then realized that in the photograph you would have trouble seeing the lines, so I switched to a pink tone. Please ignore the gray spot in the first photo.)

For the purposes of this article, I stamped my image with Memento, Memories, and Stazon inks. I next put the tip of my Copic marker a little distance from one of the lines of my stamped image and just held it there, allowing the Copic ink to saturate the paper. I made sure not to let the tip of my marker touch any of the lines.

Here are the three different samples:


Check carefully for ink feathering from the drawn/stamped line outward from the circle or inward into your colored area. (Feathering is what ink moving on the surface of the paper is called; bleeding is what ink moving through the surface to the back side is called.) Feathering is a sign that the media of choice acts as a solvent for your ink, and that the ink will smear or smudge with that media; try a different ink!

Can you see how much the Memories and Stazon inks feathered in our samples? Obviously, given that amount of movement in the other two inks, the ink of our choice Copics is the Memento ink.

However, you may find that another ink works well for you, or you might be without that preferred ink sometime and need to pick an alternate. This method will assure your ink is suitable to your task. And no matter what your ink needs might be, you can find them all at FranticStamper.com.


  1. Thanks for the tip
    Hugs Bonnie

  2. Anonymous12:15 AM

    I did learn something new. Thanks so much for sharing this. Barbara