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Tuesday Tips and Tricks

Before we get to today's Tips and Tricks, I want to announce our winner from the Christmas Blog Hop. The winner of the goody pack of Copic markers is. . . KERRY!!!

Kerry said...I love COPICs -- my favorite! Love the puppy - so very cute and wonderful card. Thanks for sharing. I did become a follower. I'll be back!

Congratulations Kerry! Please email me at with your mailing info so I can get your prize mailed out to you.

Now, let's start today's Tips and Tricks lesson.

Today, I want to talk to you about airbrushing! Airbrushing is one of my new Copic loves so today, we're just going to cover some of the basics.

Airbrushing with Copic markers can be done with the Copic Original Markers and the Copic Sketch Markers. There is a special holder that easily fits these two varieties of markers. Since the Copic Ciao markers are a little smaller than the Sketh, they do not fit inside the holder without wiggling (unless you adapt your holder, which I will cover in another Tips and Tricks segment in the future).

If you want to airbrush, there are some supplies you will need besides your Copic Markers. You will need an Airbrush System for Copics, which are referred to as ABS. There are three different systems to choose from and there are pro's and con's about each system. You can find all three systems available in the iCopic store.

ABS systems are basically a holder, a connection tube, and a form of compressed air. The ABS systems are numbered based on what type of compressed air they use:

This is the mid-range system, because it uses the larger air cans.
If you want our complete, most cost-effective system without buying a compressor, then you should get the ABS 1. This lets you use our larger, more efficient Aircan 80 and Aircan 180.
Pro: Cheapest unit without a compressor, larger aircans last quite a while before you need to replace them.
Con: You're still throwing away an aircan. After you've gone through 5 of the large aircans you really should start looking at getting a compressor.

This is the most affordable system, but it only works with the smallest air cans, which means they don't last very long.

If you just want to try airbrushing before jumping into a larger system or you need a really portable system without much fuss, use the ABS-2. Uses Aircan D60, which hooks directly into the air grip.
Pro: This gets you started with our smallest, most basic system.
Con: The Aircan D60's don't hold much air and just when you figure out how cool it is it runs out. This can be an expensive way to airbrush.

This is the most expensive of the three systems, because rather than using air cans, you are using an air compressor. This is the system I have (and I will explain my reasoning at the end).

If you already own a compressor, then use the ABS 3 set. You’ll need to get an adaptor to match your air compressor to our 1/8 inch hose fitting. This set-up will work with almost any compressor that can go between 40 & 60 psi, as long as you can match the hose fitting.
Pro: Never buy another can of air
Con: Compressors come in all sizes, costs, and levels of noisiness and they can be pricey. Choose a compressor carefully since it is a long-term investment.

Like I mentioned above, as a Copic lover, I went with the ABS3. For me, it was about the cost over time and the ease of use. If you plan on airbrushing a lot, then ABS3 is probably the best system for you because you won't have to keep purchasing air cans and running out of air. With an air compressor, you always have air as long as the compressor is functioning. Air cans are convenient and relatively cheap, but they don't last long, and you cannot use them over extended periods of time because the can starts to get cold. I didn't even want to consider the air can systems because to me, that screamed high maintenance and I want my crafting to be as easy as possible. I am also a very impatient person so the thought of having to wait for my air can to warm back up didn't sound like something I would enjoy! :O)

When choosing an airbrush system, it is important to weigh the options and choose which system works best for your situation.  I will be sharing some more airbrushing projects, videos, and tips with you in the future.


Great tips - thanks! I've been considering the ABS...this helps!

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