Creating Copic Colour Blends


Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I've used the blog since I am always in our Facebook Community! But I thought this might be helpful to post here to help you understand how the Copic Numbering System works so you can create your own Copic Colour Blends :) This information can be found again at any time on our website at via the Colouring FAQs tab, along with lots of other helpful info. Find Colour Blend charts under the Colour Blends tab.

Copic have an actual method to their numbering system to help you create colour blends. There are many different ways you can create blends, and there is lots of conflicting advice out there which can make it hard to know where to start. This is widely considered to be the most effective and easiest way to get started with your markers, and to help you show depth in your colouring.

Find you learn best doing rather than reading? I have some blending exercise sheets for you to fill in over in our free Markers 101 class here.
👉What is the numbering system? The numbering system is used in conjunction with showing lightsource (light vs. shade) which is what helps our colouring have depth - we aim to shade with a light colour (to show the highlight; where light hits an object), a midtone (the true colour of an object, neither affected by light or shade), and then a dark colour (the shadow).

👉Second Number - Most Important The second number is the most important and helps to show that lightsource - you want a *minimum* of one of each: marker ending between 0-3 is a highlight colour, marker ending between 4-6 =midtone, and marker ending between 7-9 = shadow. This is the actual method that Copic themselves devised for their markers.

👉First Number/Letter The letter is the Colour Family - eg. B for Blue. The first number is the tone of the colour - naturally, markers that are all the same tone go best together, so an example blend would be b91, b95, b99 - all b90s so we know the tone will all be the same, and one highlight (b91), midtone (b95), and shadow (b99). However! The more colours that are available in a run, the less gaps there are on your blending so the easier it is to get smooth. It's actually easier to blend with more markers. So Copic actually make b91, b93, b95, b97, b99. Less gaps between colours = easier to blend.

👉You can mix and match the first number So you can see, what is most important is that second number - the first number can be mixed and matched to create colour blends, so long as you are following the rule of highlight, midtone, and shadow. For example, g21, g94, g99 is one of my favourite olive green combos. There is no low g90 colour made though, but the g21 is quite a light olive pastel green. Coupled with the deeper grey green in the g90s it looks lovely. Sometimes I even like to add a little YG11 - this is a light yellow green and can really brighten the highlights. And notice we've got a highlight, midtone, and shadow colour with that second number.

👉What if I want a light colour? Sometimes I see people say they don't want to work with "contrast" though as they want a light colour blend. It's important to note that there is a difference between shadows vs. a dark blend. Keep in mind a white piece of paper - if you hold something above it, it leaves a dark shadow across to show the distance between these two objects, however the paper is still white. Learning about lightsource and how to convery this is how we help our colouring look realistic. If we want a lighter blend, we still use lightsource, but keep the darker colours to the shadows only and increase the amount of the lighter colours used.

Hope you've found this helpful! For more on getting started, please remember to check out the FAQs tab on our website, or check out our FREE Markers 101 Class at - select Class Rooms, then Markers 101. Find more free classes on the homepage. I look forward to seeing you in the classrooms!

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