ETA: I just was in contact with Marianne, the COPIC representative I have been learning everything I know from, and the information regarding the Ciao Nibs not being replaceable is no longer true. They will be updating their website to reflect this change as well. This piece of information will come in SO useful for those who own the Ciao markers. Do not throw them out, but order replacement tips if the current nibs wear out! I apologize for this error, but am so grateful to know this information now so that I do not provide misleading information regarding the Ciao markers! Would I still have selected the Sketch Marker - YES. For me it is once again about the color selections, comfort of use and versatility of using it in the airbrush system.
The COPIC Sketch Marker with its’ Super Brush tip and Medium Broad tip is the perfect tool for coloring in stamped images! At least that's my opinion - LOL! After many months of research and testing and playing I came to this conclusion without a doubt in my mind. Not only can you color in stamped images boldly, you can blend and airbrush, you can use these markers on textiles, in fine arts lettering and calligraphy, in producing graphics or to add a painted feeling to your works of art. The possibilities are endless and we (Julie Ebersole, Debbie Olson, Trudee Sauer, Michelle Wooderson and myself) will do our very best to educate you to the limitless uses these markers provide. Education is so important to me and I hope that I will always be able to provide you with the reasoning behind my selections.
Following are the reasons that I selected COPIC Sketch markers as the marker that I felt would best suit the needs of a rubber stamper:
· AMAZING color selection – in fact it was so amazing no one seemed to know which colors to start with – LOL! This is why I went ahead and broke it down in to a set of 48 colors that I think are the must have colors.
This is the primary reason I selected the Sketch variety of COPIC marker over the Ciao. The Sketch markers are available in more colors than the Ciao and when I made my final selection of colors, basing it totally on color, some of the colors were missing from the Ciao collection – colors that I feel are extremely important when shading and blending. This selection of colors will provide you with an amazing assortment of colors necessary to color in any stamped image. By touching two tips together you can create your own color and add even more colors to your color assortment.
· Fast-drying, permanent, non-toxic, and toner compatible – what does this mean? These markers not only work great on stamped images, but you can also use them with printed or copied graphics. When sending your cardstock through a printer to add a sentiment or digital element you can still use these markers! COPIC ink does not dissolve toner. Since COPIC markers are alcohol based, ink dries quickly and blends smoothly.
· Works well with watercolors, and can be easily touched up with colored pencils. Blending this fine art medium with other fine art media adds so much to the versatility of this product.
· Liquid ink flow - both points get the same amount of ink – thus one end will not dry out.
· Oval body profile is roll resistant on working surfaces - meaning it won’t roll over and off your desk (being these are alcohol ink I didn’t relish the idea of cleaning the ink from my carpet - round Ciaos roll). The oval shape is another of the primary reasons I selected the Sketch vs. the Original as well. The original felt too large and clumsy in my hand.
· Body inscriptions and symbols are wear resistant and easily cleaned with COPIC Blender Solution. The high quality construction of the marker has a tight fitting cap and clearly printed identification of color code. What does this mean – it means that writing and coding will never come off.
· Replacement Nibs are available for the Sketch. This adds to the longevity of the marker making it less costly over time. It also allows for different shaped nibs to be inserted in to the Sketch marker should you want to choose a bullet tip similar to the Copic Original tip you can purchase these seperately and insert them when you want to use a bullet tip.
· Sketch markers have a broad tip (good for filling large spaces) and the other is a brush-tip (this tip places the ink onto the paper much like a paintbrush - this is how artists/crafters can get a 'watercolor style' effect using COPICs). The Ciao has the exact same tips therefore this was of little consequence in choosing between these two lines, but the Original has a slightly broader "broad tip" and has a "bullet-tip" on the opposite end. I found that I can get a MUCH finer line with the brush tip vs the bullet tip. I do believe that the bullet tip may offer some benefits to those who do not have a "light hand", but for the average individual I firmly believe that the brush tip will provide much better control.
· Refillable with the standard COPIC Various Ink (here is where my math skills have come in helpful! Each marker costs $4.99, each refill costs$ 5.79 – I am told that this refill will fill your marker six (6) times. So $4.99 + $5.79 =$10.78/7 (original + 6 refills) = $1.54. That is an amazing value for a product of this caliber!
· The color and codes of the Various Ink Refills are identical to COPIC Sketch Markers for easy identification.
· The refill bottles are calibrated for easy refill measurement. 3 ml fully refills a marker.
· The colors can also be intermixed to create an infinite color range. They can be mixed with the Colorless Blender solution (solvent) to create a diluted tone value. Special colors can be filled into empty COPIC Markers, creating an original color. This cannot be done with the Ciao markers being there are no empty Ciao markers to begin with.
· Fit into a special airbrush system, thus turning the markers into an airbrush. Ciaos did not do this. Having a sense as to what future trends are going to be this was extremely important to me. I wanted to be certain that I was providing my customers with a product that would stand the test of time and thus meet their needs today AND tomorrow.
· The high quality inks are checked four times for accuracy in manufacturing. Anyone who uses COPIC products quickly feels the quality difference of these markers.
So why did I not select Prismacolor markers? There are a number of reasons I choose not to go with Prismacolor Alcohol Markers:
· Much more limiting color selection.
· Clear Blender pens are extremely expensive in comparison to the COPIC refillable colorless blender.
· Capillary ink feed (both ends do not get the same amount of ink therefore the big end gets all the ink and the small end dries out REALLY fast).
· NOT refillable – therefore over time these will cost a lot more and end up being a much larger addition to our landfills.
· NON-replaceable nibs – if nib becomes worn (which I’ve heard happens more readily with this marker) you must buy an entire new marker.
· Labels and stickers are not reliable – pretty soon you won’t know what color your marker is without having them laid out on your work surface.
· Have a distinct odor – COPIC markers are virtually odorless.
Not as versatile when used with other art media – other media can cause the ink to run.
I hope that you find this information helpful when making your decisions regarding these fine art materials. I realize that you have many places that you can choose to purchase your markers through as well - I sincerely hope that the education that we are trying to provide you over the next months and years will show you how much your support means to us. I would like to thank you so much for your continued support and enthusiasm and will do my best to continue to inspire and educate you as we move forward with this new product line.