Who doesn’t love a beautiful Copic Marker combination? Light, medium and dark! Those glorious Copic trios are so delightful to play with. And Copic makes it so easy… pick a 02 to go with a 05, then jazz it up with a 07.
It's like paint by numbers.
And that works… sort of… as long as you don't mind your artwork looking a bit cartoonish.
You’re going to be pretty disappointed if you depend on a numbering system to deliver realism.
Take R20, R22 and R24, for instance. They're each stand alone beauties, but put them together and they are, well, a little boring. A little kindergartenish. Each color is trying to shine and in the end, they all fall flat. It's rather like those over-budgeted, epic films with too many stars in one movie…. the story line is weak because it’s all over the place trying to give everyone equal billing.
Well, dear friends, just as in film, Copic markers need supporting actors if you want your masterpiece to look realistic.
Stage left, enter B32.
Yes, B32 is pretty in its own right.
Not all supporting actors have to be plain. They just have to be willing to take a backseat.
In this watermelon photo, look closely at the darkest red circle where we’ve pulled out the shadowy areas. Now take another long hard look at your R24 marker cap. Hmmmm, do they look like the same color?
So if you use straight R24 for the shadowed areas, is your image going to look realistic? Not likely.
But the good news is, a knight in not-so-shining armor is on his way!
Remember B32, our unsung hero waiting in the wings? Now is his chance to tone down that cocky R24! Try underpainting your watermelon shadow areas with B32 and then go over (and slightly beyond!) with R24. Sheer perfection!
And they lived happily ever after…
Always remember: real shade is not merely darker color, real shade is desaturated color.
To create the desaturated colors that Copic does not make, Vanilla Arts Company teaches Online Workshops and Livestream Coloring challenges using the underpainting method. Students learn to layer colors realistically rather than blend.
Underpainting creates natural colors found in everyday life.
Copic - Cool Watermelon
Layering B32 beneath R24 really adds sophisticated drama to your coloring. The blue undertones will make that watermelon cool in the shade. Perfect for a hot summer day!
To get a beautiful gradation of color, be sure to completely cover the B32 with R24 and go slightly beyond. R22 alone simply isn't strong enough to cover the B32.
Learn to use your B’s to underpaint:
Vanilla Arts Company - Red Bird Online Class
Vanilla Arts Company - Marker Painting Foundations
Crafts for Paws - Copic Coloring with Elena Casarez
Looking for More Blending Combinations?
Elena Cazares is a Vanilla Arts student and a budding online instructor with a beautiful sense of color and style. She is a hurricane of positive, creative energy.
Elena runs CraftsForPaws.com, an online shop for Copic Markers, Various Inks, and Copic friendly specialty papers which donates 100% of their profits to rescue and care for worst-case stray dogs and cats in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.