Copic pens are made by Japanese company .Too, and are commonly regarded in the industry as "the highest quality markers in the world". They were specifically developed for Manga artists, and are extremely durable, refillable and will last forever as the nibs are replaceable. They have a 3 year guarantee, don't dry out, and are free of harmful chemicals and odour. Each marker is rigorously tested 3 times before leaving Japan, so quality is assured. There are four different types of Copic marker:
The biggest draw about Copic pens is that super long, lusciously thick brush nib. I've never been a chisel tip fan, but I'd buy Copics purely for the brush! It has just the right amount of flexibility and is truly akin to using a paintbrush.
The way the marker system works can be a little confusing to beginner users. As explained on the left, each colour has a series of letters and numbers (as well as a colour name) to represent it. This is broken down into three parts:
1. The colour family it belongs to (BG is Blue Green, RV is Red Violet, etc.)
2. The first number represents the Saturation level (0 being very rich, 9 being very dull)
3. The second number refers to how dark the colour appears (0 being very light, 9 being very dark).
Now I have (hopefully) clarified the basics, I can (finally) review the Starter Kit! This kit is made up of Sketch markers, the most popular type of Copic. It contains 24 colours which include something from every colour family as well as a Colourless Blender and a Black, so it's a really good base to start from if you're new to Copics and want to get a feel for them.
As you can see from the photos at the beginning of this review, the pens are presented in a professional black wallet with individual slots for every pen, perfect for taking out and about. There's even a zip pocket in the back to hold a small sketchbook or other colouring tools.
There is a great selection of skin tones in particular, something a lot of colourists look to have in their arsenal. Although you would ideally need more mid-tones to create seamless blends, it is somewhat achievable with this set alone as I have demonstrated below...
Even when using pens from a different colour family you're able to create fairly smooth blends, which is testament to just how good these pens are. I have validated this further by colouring some gradated flower petals (left) using just the pens in this set, which I think have turned out really well. I particularly love the Frost Blue which I faded out into white using the Colourless Blender.
Just think, if you can create these kinds of blends using just a small selection of pens, imagine what you could do if you had more of those in-between tones to really get that seamless look.
I hope you've enjoyed this mammoth review & look into Copic markers! Just a quick final note about alcohol ink: it will bleed through most paper stock so do remember to use on one-sided illustrations and pop some scrap paper behind to avoid ink transfer onto the next page.
This set can be bought with FREE UK DELIVERY from CultPens.com