Monday, June 1, 2015

The Copic Airbrush System

Today we are looking at the Copic Airbrush system or ABS for short.  The Copic ABS (Airbrush System) allows you to use your Copic Sketch or Original markers in new and exciting ways and provides an easy and relatively inexpensive way take your Copic art to the next level!


The Copic ABS is extremely simple to use, just attach the Airgrip to the Aircan (or compressor), insert the chisel tip of your Copic Original or Sketch marker into the Airgrip and press the trigger to deliver a steady and even colour across porous or non-porous surfaces!  To change colours just swap one marker for another.  Why do you need an ABS or compressor - well to create beautiful even backgrounds, graded colours, amazing blends and it actually uses LESS ink than normal colouring!

If you are new to airbrushing then Copic has several starter kits available, ABS1-N, ABS-2, ABS-3 - more information is available on the Copic ABS flyer.  I'd recommend the COPIC Marker Airbrush Kit #1 – as this versatile kit includes: Airgrip, Air Can 180 (about 45 mins of air time),  Air Adapter, Air hose, and a handy can holder. Everything you need to create airbrush art with your COPIC markers! This  kit also has everything you need if you decide you LOVE airbrushing and want to upgrade to an air compressor in the future (which is why I'd recommend this particular kit). Though you will need to make sure your new compressor comes with a hose, as the air hose included in this kit isn't suitable.


Here are a few quick exercises to help you better use your new Copic ABS system, whether you are using an Aircan or a compressor.

Make sure your marker nib is not pushed too far in or too far out.

Spray Close to the Card 3-4cm - from left to right quickly, fast = light

Spray Close to the Card  3-4cm - from left to right slowly, slow = darker

Spray At a Distance (15cm) from the Card = a finer spray

The trigger is pressure sensitive and will create different effects according to the pressure used.

Give it a try - press trigger down 1/2 way = lighter colour

press all the way down = darker colour

The ABS is pure magic when used with Stencils or Masks.  I've created this using  X-Press Graph-X Stencil Sheets (these have an adhesive backing so give a super crisp result).  Spray your ink from a distance, moving slowly back and forth over the card to achieve a smooth and even result.

  1. Airbrushing uses LESS ink than direct colouring since saturating the paper isn't necessary.
  2. Don't shake or lay aircans on their side while in use.
  3. If your aircan gets too cold (happens after about 90 seconds spraying) then your spray may become splotchy or the airflow may be reduced.  Just wait for a minute or so, until your air can warms back up!
  4. Begin by starting with a light spray.......... you can always add more colour, but you can't take it off
  5. If your project begins to feel tacky you have added too much ink (this will happen more quickly on non-porous surfaces).  To combat the tacky feeling, carefully spray your project with a fixative - make sure it's non-alcohol based or the fixative will react with your Copic ink!
  6. Ensure your marker is aligned vertically with the nozzle - if it's off to one-side or the other your spray pattern will be off.
Have fun using your Copic ABS system, though fair warning it's rather addictive!

Back next month with more,

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