How to Color and Blend with Copic Markers

September 26, 2010

So you are excited because you just got some Copic markers.  Yay!  But…how exactly do you use them?  These aren’t your everyday buy-off-the-shelf-at-Walmart markers.  To get the proper effects, you need to know how to use the markers properly!  In this lesson, I show you the basics of how to lay down color with your Copics, and how to blend in the shaded areas.

Step 1: Choose two or more markers in the same color group that are one to two digits apart.  For example, use R20 for the main color, and R22 for the shading.

Step 2: Color in the desired area using the lighter color.  When using Copics, color in little circles at a time to make sure the paper is saturated (meaning it has soaked up as much ink as it can).  Color quickly so the ink doesn’t dry on the spot you are coloring.  This way you can’t see your marker strokes and you get a nice, smooth solid color.

Step 3: Use your darker color to shade your drawing.  Always imagine where the light source is coming from to figure out where to shade.  For example, if the light is coming from above, there would be shadows under a character’s chin and nose and brow bones.  There would also be shading underneath strands of hair.  Try looking at different objects under a lamp to see where the shadows are.

Step 4: After laying down your shading, quickly switch back to your lighter color and blend in the shading.  This usually involves coloring in the entire area again, using small circular strokes.  Once you are satisfied with the amount of blending, you are done!  Move on to the next section of the picture and repeat these steps.


-Color in the lightest areas of the picture first.  Otherwise the light colors tend to “grab” darker colors and smear them onto the lighter areas of your drawing. 

-If after blending your shading doesn’t look dark enough, go over it again with your dark color, or choose and even darker color to make the shading stand out more.

-Even if you are using the same color to fill in more than one area of a picture, color and shade only one section of the picture at a time.  For example, I will color and shade one arm before moving on to the next arm because the colors blend better when they are still somewhat wet.

Here is a video where I demonstrate the steps above.  Have fun coloring with your Copics!

2 Responses to “How to Color and Blend with Copic Markers”

  1. Hi can you buy copic markers off the shelfs or do you have to buy it online?

  2. At certain stores (Like Hobby Lobby) you can buy them in the large box sets, or in the small packs( ex. Skin color pack). At other craft stores(Like Michaels Art’s and Crafts) you can buy them individually.