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Ever wonder what the secret ingredient to creating a beautiful hand-drawn illustration is? I’m sure there are a variety of utensils that artist’s will list off. However, there is one tool that will add color to any drawing and instantly make it a work of art – copic markers. These are not your typical markers; Copic markers have a smooth, blendable ink and their soft tip acts as a paintbrush.

Nobody ever told me about Copic and I truly wish someone had. I discovered these markers randomly within the past several months and they have quickly become my new obsession. I stumbled upon a talented Boston-based fashion illustrator, Holly Nichols, on Etsy and immediately fell in love with her work. Below are a couple pieces she currently has for sale which doubles as my major inspiration.

Copic Marker Inspiration by Holly Nichols

Gorgeous, right? Make sure to check out the rest of her work, here!

Copic currently has 358 colors to choose from – I started my collection with 15 basics. I’ve been working on my technique for about a month now and it’s very clear that this is the tool to use for highlights and shadows. The best part about these markers is that they’ve inspired me to start illustrating again. I’m still working on my Copic skills, but these are a few of the exercises I’ve gone through so far.

Copic Art using Copic Sketch Markers

The last illustration shown is what I consider my first piece of Copic art, it was specially created for my niece, Lilly. The other sketches were fun ways to explore the inking stage. I plan to continue refining my technique and once it’s at an expert level, I will begin selling prints and cards via Etsy.

I have really enjoyed learning how to work with this new tool and truly believe it’s the secret ingredient to hand-drawn illustrations. Have you ever worked with Copic markers? If so, what are your favorite color combinations?

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