Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Choosing Copic Color Combinations Revisted

Copic Markers come in 346 colors. That is a lot to choose from and the selection process can be very overwhelming. Let's face it, these markers ain't cheap! Since we know the price per marker is going up as of August 1st... it now more important than ever to wisely choose which colors we purchase.

I have seen people ask many times if it is better to purchase individual markers or should they just get one of the pre-packaged sets. I am torn on that question. While the paper crafting sets have great colors that work together, they also are missing some "VIP" colors in my opinion. Since the sets also don't necessarily offer a cost savings or "deal" over picking your own colors I say - it is probably best to purchase markers individually.

For reference, here are the colors that come in both of the 72pc Papercrafting Sets:

(There are other sets, but I don't find those worth mentioning...lol!)

While you do get some really good color choices in these sets, I think there are several great colors and combos you miss out on in these kits.

Here are the colors that I use very often that are not included in these two sets:

First off, I like having all of the 0000 and/or 000 for blending. I think you can achieve much more dynamic and visually interesting shading when you have the lightest colors to blend with. (I especially like the B0000 and BG0000 for coloring snow, snowmen, snowflakes, ice etc)

I think more gray values are necessary for your collection including: C7 C9 C1 W5 W7 W9 (in order to color "black" with dimension I feel you need to have C1-3-5-7-9 or equivalent in the Warm, Toner or Neutral Grays

My favorite colors for denim are B91 (B93 or B95) B97
A tried and true pink combo- R81 R83 R85

While I love the E30's range for coloring things brown like wood and animals, for skin tones I would definately recommend E0000 E000 E23 E27 (plus E29 and E21 E25 which come in set A and Set B respectively)

I adore E71 E74 E77 for a vintage/ greyish brown- like the color of a man's suit/briefcase or shoes
I think for Blue Green you have to have BG70 BG72 BG75 BG78 - for coloring ponds or deep water (this combo is used on the image below on the bows, skirt, and stockings).
One of my favorite dusty purples combos is V91 V93 V95 (this combo is used on the dress below)

Things to Consider when Selecting Color Combinations-

1. I think the smartest /most frugal way to select your marker colors is to first determine your style. Look at your stamp collection and decide what colors you would like to have to make your images come to life. Consider your style...do you prefer bold bright colors and bling, or is faded vintage shabby chic your style? Are you a pastel or earth tone lover...etc

2. Look around at blogs to see what color combos others are using and what looks they achieve.

3. Pick a selection of 3 markers from each of the following color families + the very lightest color of the family.

Red (example R0000 R35 R37 R39) or (R000 R81 R83 R85)

Red- Violet (example RV000 RV10 RV32)

Yellow -Red (example YR0000 YR12 YR15 YR18)

Yellow (example Y0000 Y21 Y26 Y28)

Yellow -Green ( example YG000 YG93 YG95 YG97)

Green ( example G000 G21G24 G28)

or chose the following combo of YG and G for coloring landscapes and greenery- G99, YG67, YG63, YG03, G20 + YG000 G0000 G85 (link to example picture here)

Blue -Green (example BG0000 BG70 BG72 BG75)

Blue (example B0000 B91 B95 B97)

Blue- Violet (example BV0000 BV11 BV13 BV17)

Violet (example V0000 V12 V15 V17)

Earth (example E000 E00 E11 E21 +E25 E27 E29)

Gray (example C00 C3 C5 C7)

Plus a Colorless Blender 0

Below is a chart of some other combinations that work together grouped by Basic, Bright, Earth or Pastel... to give you an idea of how different color combinations can suit different styles of paper and stamping.
A good way to start your collection would be to select 4 markers from each color family + the colorless blender. I would also suggest if budgets allow to select an additional 3 from the Earth family. This would give you a collection of 52 markers to start out with.

Stamped Images:

The Greeting Farm (B90's) image colored on Copic X-Press It Blending Card

Tiddly Inks (E70's) image colored on Paper Trey Ink Stampers Select White

Sureya's Open Coloring Book http://sureya.deviantart.com/gallery/25150012 (V90's and BG70's) images colored on Boise HD Color Copy Cover


  1. That is a great chart you put together there! TFS

  2. THANKS MICHELLE :O) Your post is so helpful. thanks again Tricia.

  3. Oh I wish I had this chart *before* buying any copics! It's going to be an essential reference before making any future purchases, thankyou :)

  4. This is by far the best info I got as far as selecting colors going together.. I was very lucky to have found a store up in Northern California (Memories Live On)where I could try and blend the markers before buying then. Unfortunately the store that sells Copic in my new town of Plantation, Florida does not. This is very frustrating to me. You just saved me a major headache and money!Thank You!

  5. Thank you so much for taking the time to set out this chart and the blog post about COPICS, I'm a beginner and its all very daunting.

  6. you are amazing! this blog was incredibly helpful. I am new to the world copic. some people are very forcoming and others tell you to "take my class". I look forward to reading your blog in the future.

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