My Virtual Studio: Copic Color Charts

Swatching is often one of the first things people do with a medium – Copics are no different!

For many years we had numerically-ordered charts as above – and yes there’s a use for them for certain! Sometimes I do refer to them, because they give me different information than other charts. You can find a bunch of them on Sharon’s resource page on her blog; she’s an amazing colorist, go follow her, too!

The Copic Hex Chart

I designed the Copic Hex Chart, mostly because I wanted to see all the closely-related colors right next to each other. I would get tired of getting up from the sofa to go refill a marker mid-project, and wanted to know if there was a color really close that I could substitute, putting off the reinking effort. I began with one group of colors for skintones…that grew to the browns for hair, and a year and a half later the whole thing was done! At the time of this writing in 2019, no colors have been added – but since the Too Corporation has been undergoing huge changes in the last few years, who knows if that will change at some point!

How to use the Hex Chart

It quickly becomes intuitive, and some have said just the process of coloring it opens their eyes – but here are a few tips for you to consider:

  • Look nearby for possible blends. It’s not a rule to say one, two, or three hexes over will be a good blend, since the Copic system has varying amounts of colors in every range. But you can jump a few in a variety of directions and find something to blend with that you might not have considered!
  • Try something new. If you’re watching one of my videos or taking one of my classes and I recommend a complementary color for shading – hop to that section on your chart! Test it out on a scratch sheet or testing chart to see whether you need a light, medium, or dark hue to make your blend work.
  • Shop strategically. Look for areas your colors are clustered. That’s likely your favorite colors, and if not – you may have accidentally purchased colors very close to each other. Buy more colors from areas that have less filled in, and you’ll broaden your color range.

A favor…

I’d like to request that posted photos of the Hex Chart be done carefully; only picture a part of the chart, put markers over it, etc – you can make beautifully shot photos, but just be sensitive that untoward folks can’t steal your photo and not pay for the chart. It’s only a few bucks – and while some may think that’s a lot, it makes a huge difference in keeping my business going. The value of it to an artist is far beyond the cost of one marker. It always makes me sad to have to do get a lawyer to go get someone to remove a posting of my chart, but the law says I have to defend my copyright or lose it. Wahhh!

More Swatch Charts

When testing out color combinations, I’ve often just grabbed a scrap sheet to try colors out on – then found that I had no record of what I had tried last week, and regretted it! There’s a few color charts available within the classes here on the site (no extra charge) – but there are also some free charts:

  • Blank Swatch Charts are by request from some students who want more than boxes to fill in. You’re welcome! It’s free HERE.
  • The Human Rainbow collection is several charts an artist can use to test out skin and hair combinations. It’s free HERE.
  • Copic Blending Groups has a colored pdf with my favorite combos – but you can color a blank one with YOUR favorites! It’s free HERE

Videos

Here’s just one of many many videos in which I used the Hex Chart to come up with my colors; do a search on YT and you’ll find lots more where people discuss how they use ut.

Join our creative community! Our Student Facebook Group is for all classes here …and while there are no finished projects in this class, you’re welcome to join the group and get an idea of what kind of beautiful works can be created from learnings in classes on this website!


I'm an artist, papercrafter, instructor, Youtuber - and all around creative geek! I love all the mediums and experimenting with styles. I especially love seeing others take a step on their own creative journey...whether for the first time, or leaping into new territory as a creative veteran!