A Trick to Customize Your Copic Wide Nib

Jackson Root | June 27, 2017

Wide markers are great for a number of things: Filling large areas with rich, consistent color, calligraphy and lettering, applying background foundation tone for shading and sketching, and making plaid patterns. For those with an adventurous spirit there is a final frontier to the exploration of Wide markers, and that is the customization of your own nib.


These colorful lines were made with a single nib. Through the selective removal of areas of the Wide nib via physically cutting into the nib itself, you can add raking lines to your encyclopedia of mark making, as well as a really nice way of making rainbows!


02_tools_to_customize_copic_wide_marker_nibs.jpgCopic Tweezers: These handy tweezers have teeth that are handy for gripping the nib for mess-free removal and replacement.

Spare Nibs: The stock Wide marker nib is the angled Extra Broad chisel nib, but the flat Calligraphy nib is great for lettering and controlled raking lines.

X-Acto Knife: A sharp cutting tool is essential. There’s no match for a sharp blade when making clean cuts! Using a dull blade will result in frayed cuts that are undesirable for this technique.

Step 1: Safety first

Safety first! R29 is a great color for blood, there’s no reason to make your own! For this tutorial, I will show you how to cut a number of notches into the flat Calligraphy nib resulting in raking lines that are great for making crosshatch lines, and exciting zigzag lines. 

Step 2: Cut the notches

When cutting notches into the nib, you want to cut at an angle into the nib, resulting in a notch that has a V-shape. This will give you a clean, un-frayed notch.


Once you have your first notch cut, evenly space the notches along the nib, but leave enough space between notches so that the nib still has some structural integrity

Step 3: Swap out your nib


The next step is swapping out the existing nib from your favorite Wide marker and inserting the new custom nib.


Notice that with the tweezers, I am pulling the nib straight out of the marker. When removing the nib, be careful not to damage the nib, as you can save the original nib in an airtight ziplock bag, and swap it out later!

Step 4: Instant rainbows

Now what? Now we have a customized Wide marker.

At this step, the new nib is dry, without any ink and it will take some time for the ink from the marker to fully ink the nib, but if you are looking for faster results, you can use ink to “refill” the nib for instant coloring!


Now the fun part! As you can see from the pictures above, I have inserted my customized the nib into a colorless blender marker. Now I’m going to use a number of colors to make a rainbow with the notches that I have created.


Touching the chisel end of a sketch marker for a few seconds (any other marker will do, but I find that the chisel end works best) to the end of my customized colorless blender Wide marker, I have created an instant rainbow marker!

Voila! Depending on how much ink you add to the blender marker, the longer you will be able to color with your new Rainbow Copic.

Tip: Make sure to use up all of the added color to the colorless blender marker before capping the marker for the day. Any color left in the nib will seep into the marker itself and tint your colorless blender over time. Coloring on some scratch paper or smooth Bristol board is a great way to clean your colorless blender of added colors.

Step 5: Keep experimenting


FOR CALLIGRAPHY AND BORDERS: Use this technique to create interesting raking lines or for separating a marker into two broad strokes, which is great for calligraphy and borders.


FOR TEXTURES AND COLORED SWATCHES: Using the colorless blender with a number of notches cut into the nib, you can create some very interesting textures and colored swatches!

I encourage you to experiment with different ways of customizing the nibs and using your marker not only for lines, but also for stamping and patterning! Try overlapping your lines for quick gridwork, or for drawing flowing hair. Most of all, have fun!


Topics: Illustration, Copic

Jackson Root
Jackson Root on June 27, 2017

Jackson Root is a Los Angeles based Illustrator and Marketing Guy currently working in the tech industry. Daily activities include managing advertising calendars and media relations, writing, designing and executing ads and marketing plans and the occasional product and packaging design.