Following on from the post I made earlier, here's my personal opinion and advice on Copic markers when you first start off...
I made a *LOT* of research on Copics before deciding to invest in some and also before deciding which type of marker to go for. Below is a photo of my Copics at the moment. I use Copic Sketch markers. I haven't counted them but I think I have around 3 figures at the moment.
First of all, the difference between Ciao and Sketch markers:
* Sketch markers are oval so they don't roll off the table like Ciaos do (big thing to me as you pick up and put down your markers a lot while colouring!)
* You need the Sketch markers if you ever want to use the Copic Airbrush system
* Sketch markers hold more ink than Ciao markers do.
* Sketch markers have the colour name + code marked at each end of the pen (on the caps) which Ciao markers don't (very useful to have this info when you're looking for a certain colour)
* Sketch markers come in the complete (as of right now) colour selection of 334 colours while Ciao markers only are available in 144 colours.
Me? I went for the Sketch for several reasons. The info at each end and the fact that they don't roll off the table. I also think they both feel better in the hand (shape) and look better. And (maybe a bit silly) but I like everything to look the same and I would have been very unhappy to start buying Ciao markers only to want some colours not available in the Ciao collection and therefore having to mix in a few Sketch pens anyway. LOL!
The only negative thing I can think of where the Ciao is better than the Sketch is that the Ciao is cheaper. On the other hand, the Sketch markers hold more ink... so per ml of ink, who knows, it might work out the same anyway...?
Now onto some suggestions for what colours to buy as a beginner. It's a bit tricky because the main point of Copic markers is of course the pretty blending & shading you can do. And to do nice blending you need several shades of the same colour. So you can't really recommend 10 markers to start with as it might only be 3 colours or so. But I'll try my best to limit my choice :)
Please keep in mind that I have only had my Copic markers since October (or was it early November?) so most of the images I have coloured have been Christmas images. Therefore I have mainly worked with skin colours, browns, greens and reds. But anyway...below are my suggestions on what markers I would recommend to buy first, based on what I have used most.
Colours I used most/recommended for beginners:
Red: R27 + R29 (R24 also if you want a third) plus R20 (which is a great blush colour for cheeks)
Orange: YR04 + YR07
Yellow: Y13 + Y15
Green: G17 + G29
Blue: B21 + B24 + B26 (if you want some nice light muted denim-type colours try: B41 + B45)
Brown: E33 + E35 + E39 (very useful browns I think!)
For light skin colours: E50 + E51 (plus E11 if you want a bit deeper shading), or if you want a slightly more pink skin tone then go for E0000 + E00 (and E11 again)
Grey: N0 + N3 + N5
I could easily go into pinks (RV23 + RV 25 are nice) and purples (BV02 + BV04 + BV08) too, but I think the ones I mentioned above are a bit more important to get when you start off. Also I would say, do not do the mistake of buying a black marker (which I did!) as you really won't need it. What's the point of having pure black if you want great shading, right? If so, it's better to go with a darker grey and also add N9 to your grey set :)
Right that took some thinking (and writing!) LOL! I hope that was of some help to some of you out there, and Kat in particular. Please do not hesitate to ask if you want to know something more. I'll do my best to help when I can :)