Replaceable nibs allow you to extend the life of your tools. Copic markers and Multiliner SP pens feature replaceable nibs that allow for customization and longevity. Mix and match different nibs to create combinations that match your preferences.
A good rule of thumb is: if it is a material that smears when it gets wet, stay away. If it must be colored over, use the Copic Airbrush System to apply the color, rather than making direct contact using the marker nib.
Avoid coloring over white-out, even when dry. Aside from looking bad on paper, it will leave a white spot on the tip of the marker.
Bits of un-fired clay will clog the pores, leaving the marker tip discolored. Plaster may cause the same effect and should also be avoided. Clay coated papers should be tested, as some will work and others will not. Ceramic paint-it-yourself ornaments are fine. Sculpey, after it is baked, also works well. Glazed ceramics are generally okay, although the ink may build up on their slick surfaces.
Quick work or single strokes are generally fine, but trying to color over most acrylics will clog or discolor the marker nibs. If acrylics are used over original work, some dark marker colors may bleed through the layers of acrylic paint, so always test before adding acrylic to a finished piece.
Always use chalks or oil pastels after coloring with your markers, never before
Avoid coloring on top of solvents or oils. Many are okay to use over a marker drawing, but be sure to check the package to see if they contain alcohol, ethanol or something similar.
Copic markers are commonly used with watercolors, pastels, colored pencil or acrylics. However, these other mediums should be used AFTER the marker work has been done. Any other inks that are not given enough time to dry (but that usually work with Copics) will discolor the tips. Your pale colored markers will show the most damage .
If you color over a thick pencil line with your marker, quickly scribble onto some scratch paper to remove the residue from the tip. The same goes for colored pencils; while ink flow should not be affected, the tip will become discolored.
The paint is so thin that it usually won't cause a problem, but it may discolor the marker tips. If you are using watercolors, make sure to use them first, allowing the watercolor to dry completely before using the markers.
Use these only AFTER the marker work is done, as they will discolor a marker tip even more than a graphite pencil. Quickly scribble onto scratch paper if any penciled areas are colored over.
Even if an image is drawn with the proper inking pen, if the line is not totally dry there is a risk of staining the tip. Allow your inks to dry thoroughly, especially on non-porous papers like vellum, trace or mylar.
Firm nibs, like the Fine or Chisel, are made from fibers that are molded together. Under normal usage these hold up well and do not need to be changed when the markers are refilled. However, if the artist frequently draws on rough surfaces like stone, cardboard or scratchy fabrics, the firm nibs will begin to fray.
Super Brush nibs are made from two specially joined pieces of felt. These are flexible and do not fray or break, even when applying pressure. However, they can break off entirely if used incorrectly. If a Super Brush nib must be pulled on, be sure to use Copic Tweezers, as the gripping teeth are specially designed to avoid damaging the brush nib.
Brush nibs are more likely to get damaged if the marker is running out of ink and the customer applies more pressure to try and get the last bit of juice from their marker or pen. Always refill promptly once a marker shows signs of going dry.