Vanilla Undercover: Underpainting with Copic Markers for Beautiful Realism - Leafy Green

Underpaint with Copic Markers! Try coloring with B34 underneath your YG blending combination, adding realistic dimension to summery green leaves.| | #copicmarker #realisticcoloring #underpainting

Realistic Color

Traditional Copic Marker blending combinations can add a little bit of depth and dimension but they can not add realism.

It’s not a case of finding better marker recipes. You can not color with realism until you use the shadowy, grayed, and desaturated colors found in nature.

Always remember: real shade is not darker color, shade is desaturated color.

To create the desaturated colors that Copic does not make, Vanilla Arts Company teaches online Workshops and coloring challenges using the underpainting method. Students learn to layer colors realistically rather than blend.

Underpainting creates natural colors found in everyday life.


Copic - Leafy Green

Try layering B34 underneath YG17 with YG03 to lighten and brighten the end of the color run. You’ll love the slightly murky Sap Green color it creates. It’s perfect for the underside of raspberry leaves on a sunny summer day.

Elena’s Advice:

Make sure not to overstroke the B34 or it will disappear. And don’t go crazy; we’re adding gentle shadiness, not darkening the whole leaf.

Learn to use B34 underpaint here:

Vanilla Arts Company - Sakura Blossoms Online Class

Vanilla Arts Company - Great Marker Challenge projects

Crafts for Paws - Copic Coloring Club with Elena Casarez

Further reading:

Why Artists Do Not Shade

Coloring Delicate Greens

Why Copic Colors Make Your Coloring Flat

Add dimension and realism by underpainting with Copic Markers! Use B34 underneath your YG (Yellow Green) blending combination to capture the look of realistic summery green leaves.| | #copicmarker #realisticcoloring #underpainting


Elena Cazares is a Vanilla Arts student and a budding online instructor with beautiful sense of color and style. She is a hurricane of positive creative energy.

Elena runs, an online stamp & coloring supply store which donates 100% of their profits to rescue and care for worst-case stray dogs and cats in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.

Shop at Crafts for Paws here. Join Elena’s Copic Coloring Club here for online class announcements.

Elena Bio Pic.jpg

Show us your b34!

Share your project pics using B34 - YG17 - YG03. We want to see your amazing Leafy Green!