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Learn how to get the most from Mangaka using these great tips and tricks.

Q. What is the difference between Markers?
Q. What are COPIC Markers?
Q. What makes COPIC Markers so unique?
Q. How do you refill the COPIC Markers?
Q. How does the colour-number system work?
Q. How stable and fast are the colours of COPIC Markers?
Q. How do you get the air brush effect with COPIC Markers?
Q. Why are there WIDE markers?
Q. Can you combine media?
Q. What are the best skin colours?
Q. What are some tips for colouring well?
Q. What are screen tones used for?
Q. What is COPIC Opaque White?
Q. How do I blend colors?
Q. What if my markers bleed?
Q. How do I learn to draw comics or manga?
Q. What are the steps to drawing a Professional Manga?
  Why is COPIC so unique?
When COPIC was introduced in 1987, it was the only marker in the world that was alcohol- based, refillable and equipped with replaceable nibs. Today COPIC remains to be the leading name in professional markers made for the demands of artists and designers in the industry. These markers have high quality inks that are checked 4 times for accuracy in manufacturing. COPIC pens are subject to toughest quality controls: they are therefore free of any reclamations. The high quality construction of the marker includes also a tight fitting cap and clearly printed identification code of colours . The markers fit a special airbrush attachment thus turning the markers into an airbrush. Anyone who uses a COPIC sketch marker, a WIDE or ciao marker, quickly feels the quality difference to other brands.

  Why is COPIC marker system the perfect choice?

The COPIC marker system resulted from the expectations and demands from various groups of professional designers and illustrators. The system was continuously adapted and further developed to the needs of the market. Thus the system expanded to consist of many other products and components, each one functioning to complement and be compatible with each other

  Will the markers dry out?
Properly stored with the special tight fitting caps these markers should last for years. Always recap the markers when not in use. If the caps are left off when not being used the fiber tip will dry out. Also, extensive use of the airbrush attachment may dry out the very tip of the marker, especially if too much air pressure is used. If ever it occurs that a nib dries out, simply replace it with a new one.

  How do you refill the COPIC Markers?
VARIOUS INK refills are the "gas stations" for COPIC markers, thus making them the most economical marker presently in the market. The refilling is easy, quick and can be executed in a clean way.

  How does the colour-number system work?
Let's begin with a colour, say R08, the R stands for the colour family Red (B-blue, Y-yellow, NG-neutral gray, E-earth, etc.) The last number, 8 in this case, is how dark it is. So R59 would be darker than R08, but R08 would be darker than R20, because the '8' is higher than the '0'. The number after the letter(s) is the colour tone or the brightness/ dullness of a colour. In the case of R08, it has a slight orange feel, but an R59 has almost a red-violet tint. When shading an object, try to use two shades of the same colour family, the lighter one for midtones and the darker one for shadows

  How stable and fast are the colours of COPIC Markers?
Like drawings made with other dye based markers, many colours will fade if exposed to light for extended periods of time. To preserve your art work it is suggested that you make coloured copies directly from them. These copies will often last much longer than the original and can be exposed to light in a picture frame. If you do wish to display your original, transotype offers folders, which block most of the harmful UV rays that damage a marker drawing. Eventually, however, even protected drawings will fade if left exposed for many years.

  How do you get the air brush effect with COPIC Markers?
For this the COPIC Airbrush System was developed. The system consists of an air grip in which a sketch marker is placed, with compressed air coming either from air cans or air compressors. The air is then blown from the broad or the brush nib on the paper to achieve that soft-edged airbrushed look. Should you already own an air compressor, you can adjust the airflow to the output of the compressors, then you can attach your compressor to the COPIC system with a 1/8 inch hose.

  Why are there WIDE markers?
COPIC WIDE markers has a super wide nib of 21mm, making it ideal to colour bigger areas, the object itself or for entire backgrounds. The sharp edges of the nib allow a precise placement on the paper, and works in three widths of strokes.

  Can you combine media?
Yes. Many artists combine markers, coloured pencils, pastels and ink. Illustrators use this combination of media to achieve beautiful effects.

  What are the best skin colours?
Upon requests by COPIC users, special skin tone sets for sketch and ciao markers were selected. Profile illustrators have a choice from the total 12 colour assortment - each colour suited for drawing different shades of skin.

  What are some tips for colouring well?
Colour in small circles, keeping all your edges wet. To give depth to an image, choose 3 markers within the same color family (B00, B02, B05 for example). Use the lightest (B00) for highlights, and start with this colour first. Add the next darker colour for the midtones (B02), then use your darkest shade for the shadows (B05). For best results, it's ideal to use only high quality paper such as the COPIC marker pads. Avoid colouring over whiteout, this may discolour your nibs.

  What are screen tones used for?
Screen tones are a clear sticky-backed film you cut to fit an area on a comic illustration. They are usually patterns or textures and are added for effects. Screen tones are used because they photocopy smoothly, where shading with a pencil or with markers won't copy as well.

  What is COPIC Opaque White?
Opaque white is a white pigment/paint you apply to finished drawings with a paintbrush to add highlights, or "glints" of white. Opaque White is used for corrections too.

  How do I blend colors?
The easiest way to blend colors is to start with the lighter colour, then colour over it with a darker colour, of similar tone, while the lighter colour is still wet. Then go back over the edge where the two colours meet with the lighter color again. Or you can go with the colourless COPIC Blender over the area between the two colours until they blend smoothly into each other.

  What if my markers bleed?
Markers based on alcohol will bleed on most papers. Therefore one of Europe's biggest and most important paper mills developed for transotype the exclusive COPIC alcohol marker pads, available in 3 sizes. These papers possess the best caracteristics in responding to alcohol- based markers.

  How do I learn to draw comics or manga?
Check out useful tips and samples on manga tutorials. We recommend also Manga art books on pages. All these books are illustrated with many drawings and give detailed directions.

  What are the steps to drawing a Professional Manga?
For more detailed drawings and finer lines we suggest that you draw first in a bigger size and then reduce afterwards. We likewise suggest that preliminary drawings be done in pencil. Afterwards, inking begins with COPIC Multiliners SP in about 0.1 or 0.3 mm line width. Go back with a slightly heavier pen (0.5 mm) and thicken any lines you need to. Use a brush last to finish accenting and darkening areas. Once you've finished inking, photocopy your work! Then you can go in and use the screen tones preferably on your copy. Screen tones are a see-through sticker that you cut to add precise shading, effects, and backgrounds to your work. A black & white photocopier will pick these designs up nicely, where pencil shading, markers, or watercolors wouldn’t show up as smooth. Then photocopy your work again.
This is your finished black & white for Manga purposes. If you want to colour your image, don’t colour your original, colour only copies! For the nicest coloring surface, make your copies on paper from the COPIC alcohol marker pads.
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