OC Copic sketch

Hello again!

After messing exclusively with digital stuff for a while, I needed a break so I turned to my alcohol markers.

I  decided to use a brush ink pen for the first time to ink an old drawing of my original character Ersza (not Erza from Fairy Tail). Turned out it definitely wasn’t easy. Apparently I needed a much smaller size to be able to control the ink flow without accidentally creating super-thick lines. So I am not happy with the way my inking turned out but oh well..

I was sketching on the couch when I was drawing this so I didn’t use a reference at the moment and the anatomy bothers me a little. Meh.
Photos are not really good, as I didn’t plan to feature this sketch on the blog.

Here are the coloring steps though:

Inking. meh :/
skin tones


hair and accessories
80% done


supplies: Kuretake Mangaka n.22 brush pen

Copic Markers :
Y17, YR000, YR00, YR02, YR07, R02, R32, R05, E08,  E57, E59, BG13, BG15, BG49, YG06, YG13, G05, G17, B02. BV02

160g smooth cartridge paper


I usually add a color pencil layer on top and add a bit of depth, texture, diverse color hues or a few shiny stuff here and there. But as the colors were so vibrant, I didn’t want them to get muddier or be toned down. There will be an update if I change my mind.

Anyway, laters!


OC Copic sketch

Sketching on toned paper

Just something small for this post. I haven’t been drawing on paper at all this month. Last night i was sketching on an empty page of my dad’s old sketchbook with toned paper. And discovered  how fun can it be. It can sort of compare to my digital drawing/painting process: I like to sketch over a medium gray-toned layer, because stark white hurts my eyes and confuses my perception of tones and color.

I used pencils for the sketch, went over it with black ink, and created some shadows with copic warm greys W1, W3, and W5. Finally I added some small highlights with a white gel pen. As usual the subject is another one of my lab rats  original characters. No reference used. And when i sketch at night in order to make myself sleepy, I only use a small lamp so I cant see really well, lol.

L on toned paper-small-wp
A5 size. What a smug face.


It looks better in real life. And even though its awkward and unfinished, I liked the overall style. But this particular paper is a little too rough for the soft tips of the markers and ink pens, and I don’t want to damage my tools. I also liked the rougher pencil sketch a lot better than the inked lines. And last, but not the least, the cool white highlights bother me next to the warmth of the paper tone. Maybe next time I just scan the pencil lineart and color it digitally. Oh well..live and learn.


See you next time!


Sketching on toned paper

3 marker challenge & using Copics like watercolours

Hello Readers!

Ok, this started as a “3 marker challenge” exercise: You blind-pick 3 colours and draw something only with them. I thought it is a cool way to experiment with color schemes that are not too close to my comfort zone.


So i picked these colours. My immediate reaction was ouch..they are pretty dark, and they will be hard to blend.

The fierce red colour reminded me of the colour of red anthurium plant, so I decided I’ll do something inspired by it.

First I did a  primary sketch to see if the colours will blend at all.

not blending at all..

although i love the fierce colours, I am not happy when I’m unable to blend. So I tried something different. I put some marker color on a porcelain dish and picked it up with a small synthetic brush dipped in alcohol (colorless blender can also  be used but I am sort of running out), like watercolour. It would be best to use a cheap brush, since alcohol might damage the bristles.

bad photo is bad. yep.

I applied the lighter colours first and gradually layered the darker ones. It was not as easy as with watercolours, since alcohol dries very fast. Paper shouldn’t be an issue, I used 160gr smooth cartridge paper.

this was the result

the rendering was paler than I expected but at least the colors were blendable and easier to control.

In any case, the result might not be the best, or exactly what I had in mind. But trying something new was fun again.

See you next week!


3 marker challenge & using Copics like watercolours

Copic Markers: info & swatches

Hello again!

This time I’d like to talk about my experience with Copic Markers. I have been only using them for a few months, but I had enough time to experiment a bit.

So, what is special about these markers. They are manufactured in Japan, and are commonly used by manga artists, illustrators etc. They are alcohol markers, and since their colors are dye-based (therefore not lightfast), they will fade if exposed to harsh light for a prolonged time. They come in four sizes, more info on the sizing here. More general information here.

What seems to attract artists to Copics (and maybe other brands of alcohol markers, i have only used Copics though), is:

  •  the fact that they are refillable. Instead of purchasing another marker, you can purchase just the ink refill bottle that can fill the marker a lot of times.
  • Their nibs can be replaced if damaged.
  • They blend with eachother. You have to work quite fast and use similar colors to achieve a smooth blend in my experience. There is also a colorless blender marker and assorted ink, useful for lots of effects.

I prefer using them with pigment ink liners (like pigma micron or copic multiliners), or in mixed media techniques with coloured pencils (usually watersoluble) and sometimes watercolours and other inks.

What makes the biggest difference though is paper. Different types of paper give different results. Some blend better than others, some absorb more ink and make colors look much darker, some are not absorbent and give lighter results..It really depends on the look you are trying to achieve. But since there is so much to consider about the correct type of paper to use with Copics, I am going to create a separate post for it, and link it here.

For now I am going to share some swatches I made on Fabriano multipaper 160gr. It is more absorbent than the thin marker paper, but allows for more layering. I prefer using the 300gr version of the same brand for more important projects, as it feels more solid, but the colours show up the same way in both.

If you are new to Copics, don’t be intimidated by the numbering system, it is quite simple


Image Source 

Swatches by colour group:






(* 3 green swatches missing, will update)





cool grays

warm grays


custon skintones

I have also swatched them in thin “marker paper”, but my handwriting and layout wasn’t very presentable, so I’ll update the post when I do.

Some Bleach fanart sketches made with Copic markers on the same paper:





Where to get them: They are very popular so they are available in a lot of websites. Depending on where you live, they would be more or less expensive though.

Where I got them:  You might know that capital controls were imposed by the Greek government a few months ago, so the only way to get my markers at such an unfortunate timing was via Greek e-shops, hoping that they have them in stock. There are two e-shops that offer them in Greece: ΚΥΒΟΣ and art-center. I checked both, but I couldn’t find many of the colors I was looking for, so my color collection is weird. But I guess it is a “first world problem” right now, and it is possible to work with less.

Again, I am not affiliated with the company, this is my honest opinion as a customer.

See you in the next post.


Copic Markers: info & swatches