Copic markers are not cheap, so many people are wondering what are the best alternatives to Copic markers. There’s a lot of other high-quality markers that can be a great alternative for COPIC Markers and cost less.
Quick list – COPIC Markers alternatives:
- Promarkers – Letraset markers
- Prismacolor markers
- Zig markers
- Blick Studio Markers
- Touch Twin markers
- Mepxy markers
- Le Plume
- Tinge markers
- Watercolor paint
- Marker brushes for Digital software
List of COPIC markers alternatives
1. Promarkers / Letraset markers
Promarkers by Winsor and Newton (previously by Letraset)
- 148 colors from intensely vibrant to subtle pastels
- Blend-friendly, with malleable, alcohol-based, translucent ink
- Twin-tipped, with a broad chisel nib and a fine bullet nib
- High-quality nibs for consistent, streak-free coverage
- Skilfully versatile: it can be used on ink-resistant surfaces like acetate, glass, plastic, and wood.
COST: A one set of 6 markers (Promarkers 6 vibrant tones) can cost about 19 USD
The main difference between Copic and Promarker are the pen nibs. Both markers have two types of nib, sharing the wide nib. However, the most popular type of Copic (Copic Sketch) has a brush nib which is slightly flexible, so it’s great for blending, whereas Promarkers have a small hard nib which doesn’t bend. If the brush nib is something you want then Winsor and Newton also has a range of touch markers which offer exactly that, although I haven’t tried them before.
One major advantage of Promarker is that the inks are a lot smoother and produce a more solid, bolder covering in general. The ink barrels seem to be able to last a lot longer than Copic markers too.
However, Promarkers don’t offer refills so if you know you’ll be using markers a lot then this can be a downside since it is cheaper to buy refills rather than individual markers. The inks also blend differently than Copic’s- they tend to repel each other more so don’t get the same layering effect you can with Copics.
Learn more about Promarkers:
2. Prismacolor markers
Prismacolor offers a wide range of color pencils, markers, graphite, pastels, sets, and accessories.
There are few lines of Markers with different nibs: Premier Chisel, Premier brush, premier illustration markers, Scholar brush and Scholar brush markers (water based). Prismacolor also created a Premier Grey Marker Set.
The Prismacolor markers are alcohol based (except the Scholar markers)
COST: A set of 6 Premier chisel markers (Prismacolor 24190 Premier Double-Ended Art Markers, Fine and Chisel Tip, 6-Count) – cost about 26 USD
– Rich colors & smooth ink flow
– Less expensive
– Double-sided markers: Chisel/Fine or Brush/Fine
– Larger tips and larger barrel
– Round barrel makes them comfortable to hold in your hand
– Not Refillable
– The nibs can get worn down easily
Many people complain that colors are nice but blending does take a lot more work.
3. Kurecolor markers/Zig markers
Zig markers are created by Kuretake Zig company. Kuretake Zig developed a lot of different marker lines: Fabricolor, Illumigraph, Painty FX, Painty Twin, Posterman Dry Wipe, Posterman Waterproof, Posterman Wet Wipe, Woodcraft, Woodcraft Stain
Briefly, about the Twin line:
Kurecolor Twin S is a system of professional two-ring markers in 135 colors + colorless blender, produced in Japan. Available complementary inks in all colors, exchangeable tips, and additional tips that are not in the marker (calligraphic, brush, super-thin, sold individually). Kuretake Kurecolor Twin S is a great tool for design, architecture, fashion, interior design, drawing, manga, and comics.
4. Blick Studio Markers
The Dick Blick Studio Brush markers are alcohol based dual-ended markers, with one end being a chisel nib and the other being a brush nib. Both ends are clearly marked with a graphic icon for easy recognition. There are also only 95 colors available and a colorless blender, with 24 of them being grays. The caps have a unique divot that make them easy to grab and pull off, without making the cap any less snug or airtight.
COST: $2.29-$2.99 per marker
– Available openstock or in sets up of up to 48 markers
– 95 available colors + colorless blender
– Bullet nib and chisel tip
– Designed to look and function like the original Prismacolor marker
– Not refillable
– Cannot replace nibs
5. Touch Twin markers
The Touch Twin markers have a professional alcohol-based ink that does not dissolve the printing toner. Thanks to this, we can work freely on printed projects and vetting.
After using up the marker, we can freely fill it with a complementary ink. Each of the markers has two separate tips, on one side of the brush, and on the other side a truncated tip of medium width, which allows the user to use markers in many different techniques
– Ergonomic casing for perfect grip in the hand
– A range of 204 pure colors
– Bilateral tips: brush and beveled with medium width
– Excellent ink flow control system that guarantees clean strokes without streaks or streaks
– Replaceable tips and the option of refilling ink (96 colors)
6. Mepxy markers
Mepxy Inks are translucent which permits drawings being colored to show through in detail. You can layer different colors or blend layered colors for 3D effects and subtle shadowing. Double ended illustration markers are available in two versions.
The Brush Marker: This Marker has a remarkable brush tip that actually feels like a paintbrush, and has a chisel tip on the other end.
The Design Marker: For detail work, use either the fine tip or the chisel tip located on opposite ends of the marker.
7. Marvy Le Plume
The Le Plume series created by Uchida, have a pen tip with a versatile use in the drawing. There are alcohol-based and water-based markers. They are mainly recommended for creating comics, manga, illustrations, fashion designs, nature sketches, portraits. They will be great for decorating hand-made greeting cards, labels, tickets, scrapbooking. Among the colors, you can find several shades of pink, which is extremely useful for artists using pens for portraits and manga works. The ink-based pens are quick-drying and durable. The brush tip is characterized by solidity and precision. The mascara does not squeeze it in excess. Also, the offer includes a blender, thanks to which the colors will mix even better. The blender will also make it easier to create tonal color transitions.
Marvy’s Le Plume Brush series provides good quality at a low price.
Price per marker $2.99
- Non-replaceable Nibs
8. Tinge markers
The marker pen itself is also very similar to copic art markers, they have the double-sided pen, the color and code are also on the pen lids. The Tinge markers have good quality and will make an excellent addition to your art supplies but unfortunately, there’s not such big choice of colors as in other markers, and are not easily accessible in stores.
The colorless blender by Tinge is universal so it can be used with any other maker brands, however, if too much of this blender is applied it can ruin your drawing.
9. Watercolor paint
Here’s another alternative to Copic markers, however, it’s not another line of markers produced by Copic’s competitors.
With proper use, watercolors allow you to create a similar effect as using Copic markers.
Watercolor is a technique where the medium is water. With traditional techniques, water as a medium also is used in watercolor painting (although it can be replaced with another solvent), while working with tempera, gouache or eco-cream.
10. Marker brushes for Digital software
*image featuring brushes “Procreate Alcohol Markers & Papers by RadekBroz“
If you own a graphic tablet or iPad, there’s another alternative available to you – downloading brushes that imitate markers. With the right tools and some skills, you can create artworks, that won’t be distinguishable from illustrations created with real Copic markers!
So quite recently, I’ve gathered a list of some brushes that may help you:
– Marker brushes for Procreate [Free and Premium]
*It’s for Procreate users only, but I’m planning to make such list also for Photoshop users.
This alternative has one huge advantage -> you purchase the brush pack once, and that’s it.
No need to purchase new markers to complete your color palette, no need to get refills. And, by using digital software for drawing, you get a second (not so obvious) advantage -> you can undo your drawing mistakes.
Other often asked questions:
Also, here are some important questions I would like to answer in the article:
Can you blend Copic markers with other brands?
You can use Copic’s colorless blender with the original Blick Studio markers and vice versa, and Blick and Copic markers can be used together. Blick’s blender tends to work a little bit better with the Blick markers than the Copic Blender, but it could also just be the difference between application with a hard bullet nib or application with a soft super brush.
What is the difference between Copic and Prismacolor markers?
Copic markers can blend better together – and Prismacolor markers tend to layer on top of each other really well.
Most artists say that Copic markers are better, but Prismacolors also have lots of fans.
If you are a beginner, it’s recommended that you start out with Prismacolors because not only are they cheaper, they also are extremely good especially for beginners. Also, they last for a while and don’t dry out fast.
Prismacolor markers Advantages:
Prismacolor markers feature an advanced dye-based alcohol ink formulation that ensures rich color saturation and coverage, and smooth, silky ink flow. And of course, Prismacolor markers are less expensive.
Prismacolor markers Disadvantages:
In comparison to Copic markers, Prismacolor markers are not refillable, and you can’t replace the nib. Also, have an odor (a common complaint, described as “stinky” by many). Also, Prismacolor markers do not have as many color options as Copic markers.