Zoe’s COPIC color guide for beginners

Zoe - Make it Crafty April 18, 2016 15
Zoe’s COPIC color guide for beginners
Hello Everyone,

Over the years I have experimented with my COPIC markers by mixing the colors to create new blends and effects. I rarely use the suggested color families but I am not saying they don’t have their advantages.  As of this date, I still do not have the full collection – and I am proud to say so haha! – although I have slowly acquired more over the years. I originally began with about 10 markers and built my way to 100 markers which I ended up quite happy with for a long time before beginning to add new colors due to peer pressure! giggle

I have been meaning to create a list of suggested colors that I felt would make a good variety for someone who wanted to begin collecting colors and work towards a good ‘all rounder’ set, before continuing to add/collect more markers. If I had my time again, I wish I had a reference like this that I could work towards, saving me quite a lot of money when buying two markers that were nearly identical. There are a number of markers I could have done without and these days only end up using them because the ink has ran out of my favorite. haha!

In my opinion, the most redeeming attribute to COPIC markers is the translucency of the ink that is used. It can almost be considered to react like watercolor paints in that you can lay down one tone of color as an ‘undertone’ and then color another tone over the top to create a completely different look. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try these effects, you can’t ruin the markers, and you will learn so much more about your markers and what they can do for you.

When you have a limited color palette, you tend to be more creative and find new ways to use the colors you have. So don’t be afraid to experiment and blend blues with greens, yellows with reds and purples with blue! With this color guide, I have included a few examples of how you can mix the different colors together and how by doing so, you can create a whole different look.

Below I have created a color guide that you are welcome to click and open as a PDF to save.
One the left hand side, I have created what I call the ‘Easier’ blends and on the right hand side I have shared some examples of the results you can achieve when mixing the colors.


copic-colour-guide-coloured-smlOpen PDF file

I must make mention that although I have drawn a skirt and attempted to keep my blending smooth, some of these selections are NOT easy blends. For example, Y21, E25 & E29 – are very difficult shades to blend together smoothly but they are a fantastic blend for textured areas such as hair.

The same is true for some of the ‘Mixing the Colours’ suggestions. Although I have attempted to create a nice blend, in reality it would have been much easier to color them on wood or hair. However, with that mentioned, I still recommend experimenting with shading smooth gradients using these mixes as it will help you to improve your coloring skills and practice in mixing and blending different shades and tones together. It can take a little more effort to blend certain colors, but once you find your knack through experimenting you will become more confident to continue to experiment with new colours.

copic-colour-guide-smlOpen PDF file and color your own chart

If you have already started your collection and you do not have some of the colors I have suggested, try and substitute my colors for colors you already own!

I hope you have fun experimenting with your COPIC markers and trying new color combinations. Just remember to try different ideas. The way I apply and how much ink I add of each color will also alter the results. It just takes practice so all I can keep saying time and again is to practice and experiment. 🙂

If you have a go at coloring my chart, I’d love for you to share by linking in the comments below, tag #makeitcrafty on Instagram or head on over to our private Facebook group and post it there.

Thanks so much!

Big Squeezes

Zoe  xox


  1. Elaine Sever April 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    This is just what I’ve been looking for. Can’t wait to get started!

  2. Andrea Tully April 18, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Thanks Zoe, this is great 🙂

  3. Kymona April 18, 2016 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Totally awesome!! Thank you so much for this!! I need this!!

  4. Jean Chaney April 18, 2016 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    You are just a love, Zoe! Thanks for another great resource. Can’t wait to see you very soon 🙂

  5. Sue Mac April 19, 2016 at 2:05 am - Reply

    Thank you for this! I can use the help. ?

  6. tracy wray April 19, 2016 at 4:12 am - Reply

    Oh wow this is fabulous thank you so much <3 such a sweet heart x

  7. Michelle C April 19, 2016 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Just what I need! I am slowly building my collection and with this, I can invest in new colours more confidently. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Jeanette Hebden April 19, 2016 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this Zoe. I like to try different combinations but not always with success. This will be a big help.

  9. Charmane Ingram April 21, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Wow, this is a great help, thank you for sharing.

  10. Lenny April 24, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Wow!! this is so awesome!! Saw it poppin’ up in my FB feed … totally helpful!!
    Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  11. Denise May 1, 2016 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Thanks so much Zoe, such a great help and really appreciate you sharing.

  12. Pocono pam October 13, 2016 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this1

  13. Maureen April 5, 2017 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this post! I bought several colics a few years ago but have not learned to really use them the right way. Now I am in search of tutorials and your post came up in my pinterest search. Looking forward to trying some of your color combos! (When I bought my markers, I picked my colors by what I liked and thought I would use – not very scientific but it has worked out pretty well – surprisingly!). Thank you for providing the PDF downloads!

  14. Tina July 17, 2017 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    thanks so much for this great PDF! I definitely want to practice blending and this is such a cute image! thanks again!

  15. Michelle September 13, 2017 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    This is awesome! Thank you!!

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