Understanding The Copic Colour System

With 358 colours in the Copic colour range it is important to understand how the colours work together. Each colour has a unique code representing its family saturation and brightness. 

The colour code is broken into 3 seperate points of information:

Colour letter – Represents the colour family (eg BG = Blue Green)
1st digit – Saturation (amount of grey)
2nd digit – Brightness (how pale or dark the colour is)


Copic Colour Wheel

The Original Copic colour wheel is a great tool to use to find blending combinations; you can download it here.

Basic Blending

A good rule of thumb for basic blending is to choose colours from the same family with the same first number and the second number 2-4 digits apart. Eg. B02 + B04.

When you are confident working with basic blending combinations you can  extend the variety of colour by adding lighter and darker colours from the same band making your spectrum of colour B00, B02, B04, B06.


Adding more Grey


When you are confident with your blending, you can start adding more grey to your work, moving in and across each band of the wheel, this will increase the amount of grey in your colour range. Eg B00 + B12. You can then extend your colour range even further B00+B12+B23....


Leave your comment
20/08/2020 10:54 PM
Hi just wondering if it's possible to custom mix colours based on your colour system. Eg. If I take a colour like B09 and mix it at a ratio of 1:1 with Y09, would the resulting colour be G09?
21/08/2020 12:28 PM
Thanks for your inquiry.

The Copic system does allow you to mix your own colours and the possibilities can be endless.

With the Copic ink refills and Copic empty markers that are available.

However there is no ratio on mixing Copic colours to reproduce existing Copic colours.

Below is some information on understanding the Copic colour system.

The first reference is to the colour family eg. E - Earth Times or B - Blues
The second reference is the saturation point or amount of grey 0-9
The third reference is the brightness or colour intensity. 0-9. So colours ending in a 0 are very pale and colours ending in a 9 are very intense.

You can also use your 0 colourless blender to dilute colours.

Happy Copic-ing!
3/03/2021 3:54 AM
hello, thanks so much for the chart and explanation FINALLY i understand!