Copic markers use alcohol ink, which are waterproof and can be layered and blended on paper and other surfaces. Available in an extremely wide range of colours, Copics are refillable and the tips are replaceable. This means you can also mix inks to create your own colours. Copic guarantees the markers for three years, which can also be used with coloured pencil and watercolours. Avoid using copy paper, printer paper or newsprint as these tend to bleed. Many types of paper work well with Copic markers. Test all papers prior to use to ensure the end result will be what you imagined.
Copic makes its own paper brand specifically for use with the markers. Spiral bound sketchbooks work well for mixed media in addition to Copic markers. As of January 2011, the sketchbooks range in size from 5 by 7 inches to 11 by 14 inches. The Blending Card allows you to use Copic markers for stamping and card making. The smooth, almost slick surface, keeps colours bright and is acid-free. Manuscript paper comes with measurement guides for working with comic-strip panels and comes in two sizes. Illustration paper also comes in two sizes and two colours, Pure and Natural white. The paper works well with pen or ink, in addition to markers. Pure white is more transparent and bleed-proof. Natural white retains colour better and is bleed resistant. Architects and other designers appreciate the bleed-resistant quality of alcohol marker pads, created for their layouts. The paper "grabs" markers with a slight tooth.
Glossy or coated marker papers hold the ink well and does not allow bleeding through the back or the paper. Matt card stock permits the ink to soak into the paper. In contrast, marker papers use less inks, but do not respond well to heavy layering as the colours will pool. Colours look different on both types of paper. Allow ink lines to dry very well before you colour over them so they don't feather or smear.
Copic markers work well on smooth-grained paper, or with watercolour paper. If you use a paper with a slightly rough finish, take extra care when using fine tips so you do not damage them.
Images Printed Off a Laser Printer
With Copic markers, you can colour images copied from most photocopiers or printed with a laser printer. The toner fuses the lines to the paper so the markers will not alter it. Test inkjet printers before you attempt to colour them as each printer responds slightly differently to the alcohol in Copics.