This week, I got a set of gray copic sketch markers. I have tried to use copics in the past, but I've never been a fan of them. It has probably been a decade since I last tried to use copics. I chose to buy the grays set because it felt the most versatile.
The set came with N0, N2, N4, N6, and N8 copic sketch markers and one black multiliner size 0.5. The copic sketch markers are duel tip with a brush nib and a broad nib. I was most interested in the blending ability of the markers, so I did not use the broad nib. This is not my first time using a copic multiliner, and although all of the images above were lined using the multiliner, I will not include it in this review as I am keeping this to first impressions.
My first attempt, I just executed simple cell shading to get a handle on the range of tones available in this set. This is the second image in the first picture (I am left handed so I tend to work right to left to avoid smudging my work). I was happy with the results of this experiment. I like how light the N0 marker is. I suspect I will use the N0, N2, and N4 markers the most as the N6 and N8 were a little dark for my normal use (they are great for dramatic and dark images though). The darker markers did seem to bleed at the end. This is great for a blended look, but it made the cell shading look a bit messy at the end. This could have been because I was trying to work too fast and not allowing the markers to dry.
My second and third trials were to achieve the blended look that copics are notorious for. The brush tip nib is perfect for this effect. I was impressed that the markers didn't not seem to hold the colors I was blending them with. For example, if I used the N0 brush to blend N0 with N2, the N0 brush did not appear darker on the next use. However, this may not hold true for other colors that are more dissimilar than the grey set. Overall it was very easy to work the ink across to give a nice smooth gradient from one color to the next. The darker colors were more difficult to control as they had a greater tendency to bleed and it took more space to work them into the next color, but sticking with the N0, N2, and N4 brush, it was easy to control and blend them together.
One problem I did not expect was that these marks to splatter. Seen in the first image. I did not expect this and suspect that there are precautions I could have taken to avoid splatter. Such as being careful to open and close the markers over another surface that wasn't my work area. It is worth noting as it did affect my work. Also, all the markers bled through to the other side of the page and a few spots bled through to the the next page. This I expected, but it is worth being aware of.