Can You Use Copic Markers on Canvas?

The world of art is a very competitive place. There are many different tools that artists can use, and each one has its pros and cons to consider. Copic markers are well known for being the best tool in the world of art.

Nowadays, a question has come to the limelight: “Can you use Copic Markers on canvas?”

It’s not a question that pops up often, so it may surprise you to find out that yes, they actually can!

And the truth is, you can use copics on canvas and make art with it.

But is it a good idea, though? To satisfy your curiosity, dive into the article as you will get all the answers you were looking for.

Use Copic Markers on Canvas
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Though Copic is the best alcohol-based art marker in the market, its effectiveness depends on the surface you are using. It works smoothly on paper and helps to make great artworks.

However, the service it’ll provide on canvas depends on so many things. As canvas made of fabric and best for acrylic and oil painting. So, the result you’ll get on canvas using Copic marker might not be the same as paper.

In addition, Copic blends very well on paper, but the canvas is not a good option for blending. So, when you use it on canvas to make artworks or any design work, then be sure that you’ll need a lot more time and ink to get things done than paper.

Can You Use Alcohol-based Markers on Canvas?

Actually, if you want, you can use alcohol-based markers on canvas. And alcohol markers like Copic will do the job better.

But when you are using alcohol-based ink on canvas, it’ll act like multimedia or mixed media paper, whatever you called it. As soon as you touch the canvas, it’ll start to soak the ink immediately, and you will get less time to think.

In fact, it’s difficult to maintain sharp lines and doing all the details professional artists do in their artwork. Again blending is almost impossible on canvas fabric.

However, there is a way by which you can avoid all these problems and make artwork on canvas with alcohol-based markers.

Before starting, use a light coat of Gesso Primer on the canvas surface and let it dry properly. Hopefully, it will reduce the bleeding problem and help you to get your nearly expected result.

Now you may think that will it last long as other canvas artworks?

So, I would recommend putting some layers of professional artists’ grade acrylic varnish on it in terms of archival quality. It can be either glossy or matte, whatever finish you like depending on the nature of the artwork.

What Type of Canvas is Best for Using Copic Markers?

When using Copic markers on canvas, you first need to choose the type of canvas. Just like other media, there are different types of canvases for your artworks.

Keep in mind that every canvas is not the same, even if they look the same. I am not talking about the sizes of canvas.

The most important part is selecting the canvas fabric before starting. You’ll find canvases made of different types of materials in the market like – linen, cotton, synthetic fibers etc.

So, it is obvious that you’ll not get the same result on all of these fabrics.

For example – you can’t use Copic markers on canvas if you are using synthetic canvases. The reason is that it will ruin the fabric due to ink soaking, and it might also change your painting’s color.

I recommend using acrylic or natural fibers canvases as these materials absorb much less of the marker’s pigment than other types of fabrics do.

If you still want to choose a synthetic material for artwork with Copic markers, then make sure not to paint mostly black colors, showing up more clearly even after absorbing more ink.

Another problem you may face while choosing canvas is that most of the canvases sold in the market are already primed.

However, it would be best if you had a primed canvas for doing acrylic or oil painting. But in terms of using a Copic marker, it may affect differently.

So, choosing a suitable canvas is very important for getting the desired result. But from my experience, I’ve tried Artist’s Loft Heavy Duty White Canvas for Copic Marker painting, and the coverage was good overall.

This canvas is already Gesso Primed and not affect the color or drawing that much. However, this 100% cotton canvas is best for oil and acrylic painting. But it didn’t disappoint me while using Copic. It’s fully archival and acid-free.

The Proper Ways to Use Markers on Canvas

Actually, there are markers made for canvases especially, and you’ll find them in the art stores or online. And you can use them on canvas freely without facing any difficulties. For using them, you may not need to follow any separate tricks as they will behave like paints.

However, in terms of using Copic markers on canvas, you may need to follow some special techniques. Because the Copic ink is different from oil or acrylic paints.

Again, there some types of Copic markers named –

  • Copic Ciao
  • Copic Sketch
  • Copic Wide
  • Copic Classic

So, anyone can get confused thinking that which type to choose for canvas painting.

For painting the canvas properly with Copic, firstly you need to coat the canvas fabric lightly with Gesso Primer. It will help you to reduce bleeding of the ink.

After drying the base, you have to outline your drawing using colored pencil, graphite pencil, or mechanical pencil, whatever you prefer.

Then start coloring with the light color shades and slowly go to the darker shades. It’ll help you to make details of the artwork afterward. I’ve used Copic Sketch markers for coloring canvas, and it actually works well.

You can also use shading techniques around the pencil outlines. But it depends on what type of effect you want to put on your artwork.

For the final outline of the artwork, you can also use Sharpie Pens. You can use the colorless blender if you make any mistakes, as it’ll remove the ink in between.

Or, you can also use it to give different effects on the artwork where you think it’ll look cool if you erase the ink (once I had used this technique to make brick shapes inside the painting). But it’s not good for blending ink on canvas.

What are the most trusted canvas marker brands?

You’ll find a bunch of brands in the market that are producing paint markers for canvases. But among them, there are some popular names that you can’t ignore. And they are:

  • Uni Posca
  • Crazy Color
  • Tooli-Art
  • Artistro
  • Liquitex
  • and Crafts 4 All.

Each of these brands has their own uniqueness in their products and produce high-quality canvas marker pens. And obviously, not all of them will provide you the same service. So, you have to choose according to the type of artwork you will create on your canvas.


You can actually use Copic on canvas, but it’s not that easy. For example – you’ll not get the perfect straight lines, if the wrong canvas is chosen, then it may bleed, it’s not possible to blend colors, coverage is not so good, and the color of the paint may change over time.

It’ll also take more time than usual and will need a lot of ink to complete your artwork. Recoloring is the key to get close success. You may need to put in lots of layers of ink.

So, you may need to refill your Copic pens. And don’t even try to use the colorless blender for blending ink on canvas. It will remove the ink rather than blending.

Remember to start with diagonal or zigzag-type artwork rather than complicated ones. So, to avoid any disappointment in the process of your artwork, it is recommended that you do lots of practice on canvas with markers before starting any major projects.


Q: Can you use Copic markers on canvas shoes?

Yes, you can use Copic markers on canvas shoes. Due to their alcohol-based ink, the drawing will also dry within seconds. But how effective the result will be, depends on the canvas fabric.

How can you use Copic markers on canvas shoes?

Canvas shoes are mostly made of cotton fabric. So, you may not color it without any pain at all. The main problem you’ll face while coloring is bleeding. The lesser the weave, the more bleeding you’ll face.

So, to avoid bleeding problem, you can use a light coat of Gesso Primer on the shoes where you are going to paint. In order to make your drawing last longer, it’s highly recommended that you choose a pure cotton fabric with less weave. You can also use beeswax to make it act like permanent paint markers.

From my experience, I’ve used Copic Sketch on Vans Canvas Shoes, and it worked great.

Tips: Don’t forget to make an outline of your art using colored pencil or graphite pencil before starting coloring. And while using alcohol makers, always start with lighter colors and end with darker colors.

You can use Copic Sketch here and use as many additional colors as you want. But it is recommended to use darker shades for white canvas shoes. And for colored fabric, use lighter colors accordingly.

While working on cotton canvas shoes, you’ll notice that the fabric is thirsty for ink. So, it is obvious that you’ll need more ink than usual, and you need to refill your Copic pens.

In case you encounter cotton muslin-type fabric, use brush tips marker instead of Copic.

Q: What surfaces can you use Copic markers on?

We all know that Copic markers are expensive and it works best on paper. But what are some of the other surfaces on which you can use Copic markers smoothly?

Rather than marker paper, you can use Copic on a variety of surfaces like -cardstock, which doesn’t absorb ink and is better for blending.

However, wood, board, wooden board, and fabric can be your other options to use Copic markers.

Another important thing is that Copic markers ink is dye-based. And when you draw with it on paper or cloth, it soaks the ink and bright colors than the color code.

But it doesn’t absorb the ink when it is used on glass or metal, or other acrylic surfaces. So, you may not get the result you were looking for.

Q: Can you use regular marker on canvas?

Yes, indeed! Some markers play well on canvas. So, if you want to use marker on canvas, you should go for the brands that use water-based ink. Because water-based markers act like watercolor paints when you use them on canvases.

In this case, you can choose Uni Posca Markers for canvas. These markers contain water-based ink, and that’s why they will help you more in this regard. Rather than this, some other renowned paint markers work best on canvases.

Since canvases are made of fabric, you can also use water-based fabric markers here. If I start to take the names, then there will be so many. But among them:

  • Crafts 4 All Dual Tip Markers
  • Crazy Color Fabric Paint Markers
  • Liquitex Paint Markers
  • and Artistro Acrylic Markers

are my most favorite ones for canvas drawing.

Q: Can you use Crayola markers on canvas?

Of course, you can use Crayola markers on canvas. And if you can use it properly, the result will be amazing!

In this case, I’ve also experimented on Vans Canvas. I used broad line Crayola markers, a pack of 10 classic colors. It is actually best if you want to give your artwork a watercolor or tie-dye effect.

I had actually given my canvas shoes a tie-dye effect. For this, I had first drawn the design using a variety of colors. After covering the front area with colors, I used 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to make it more long-lasting and cool. I had also used Angelus Shoe Paint to draw some other artwork on it, though it’s optional.

So, you can also try it, and hopefully, you’ll be able to make your ordinary white canvas looking cool!

Final Word

So, the truth is, you can use Copics on canvases. But the main key is perseverance. And depending on the canvas type, your result may vary.

Still, if you can follow the instructions properly, you may get the nearest good finish. Best of Luck!

Maria Tanish

Hello World! Tanish here, a student of Fine Arts. Drawing was my passion from an early age but I also love to do some DIY projects to spend my leisure. Even I work as a writer, to share my knowledge about the ins and outs of drawing and the art industry itself. As an artist, I always wanna share my experiences with you all.

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