July 23, 2013

BEHOLD! Glorious Skintone Swatches! (And A Mini Tutorial)

So I had myself a bad arm day. What's a bad arm day you ask? Well it's when my tendonitis flares up a little and it makes it really hard to do things like grab and click using a mouse, and holding pencils and all sorts of other precise work.

I was determined to do something productive with my day even if I couldn't ink comic pages today. So I set out on a task to find out what kind of color combinations people use for coloring in people with Copic Markers.

I did a lot of searching and discovered that I learned the most from, believe it or not, scrapbooking tutorials. WEIRD, AMIRITE? Well, I came across this little page called "CopicOz". You can find it here: http://copicoz.blogspot.com.au/. They have all sorts of little tutorials and I look forward to reading through them.

However, I did come across some tutorials of their that had... EMPTY TEMPLATES. They have templates for hair and for... you guessed it, SKINTONES. So I printed some of those empty templates out, broke out all my "E" labeled markers (I think it's for "earth tones", but I use em for skin), and started going to town. A day later I have 4 pages of swatches to share with you, along with a short tutorial on how I shade skintones.

First of all, if you're coloring with copics and you have more than say, 6 of them, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you guys to go and print out one of these with a laser printer:

You can find these at: http://www.copicmarker.com/resources

Preferably on SMOOTH CARDSTOCK. Chances are likely that you are coloring on bristol board of some kind - and it's best to get as close to the actual colors as you can. Markers will react differently on different paper. Once you have a handful of these things it'll get really confusing and you will waste time deciding what color works best. This at least eliminates some of the "what color do I need" and instead you spend all your time looking for the markers.

And if you didn't read the caption, the blank templates can be found at: http://www.copicmarker.com/resources



Anyway, onto the next part of this, my templates! I filled in 4 pages of skin tones, underneath each swatch is a listing of letters and numbers. These indicate the markers you are using, darkest shade to lightest (L to R).

Any numbers in parentheses (#) are shades added after the intial coloring (see tutorial below).

I used the same extra shading colors on each sheet to demonstrate what the same color does on varying skintones.

And without further ado... THE SWATCHES:

I color with copics in a very particular way. Namely, I am coloring darkest shade to lightest. So I will start with the deepest color and put that onto my figure/object/etc, and slowly work up to the lightest shade which I then cover the entire area with as a "glaze" which helps to blend all the colors together.

For the more visual, here's a reference!

So there you have it. You may now enjoy the fruits of my labor, without having to do as much of it yourself. I highly recommend making your own swatches though! It's quite educational!

Empty Templates can be found here: http://copicoz.blogspot.com/2013/05/copic-technique-journal-2-skin-swatches.html


  1. I may have just squealed with unadulterated joy! Thank you for this!

    1. You're welcome! I hope that people find it useful. I can't tell you how many times I've lamented over what skintones to use. I'm sure there's more,I just need to get more of those colors...

  2. Skintone tends to be the bane of my coloring existence, so this definitely helps.