What is in that Copic marker skin tone set?

19 Sep

I wanted to buy Copic ciao markers to learn coloring my sketches as early as possible. If I want to become a street artist (as a possible extra source of income, on the side), I should be able to present drawings people genuinely like, and color is certainly part of that.

Always on the lookout to save money without sacrificing quality, I checked if the skin tone set made by Copic is more expensive than buying the 12 markers separately. And indeed it is. Of course, if you buy the markers separately, you will miss the handy container. However, if you’re like me, the container will only be used to store, and while using the markers, they lie around on the table. To store, a simple carton box will do just as well. If really want to have a handy container, you could make sections inside a box that will hold each marker in its separate section.

So what colors are in this skin tone set? Well, through Google image search I found an image with the package, and it had these colors stated on them:

  1. YR 02 light orange
  2. R02 flesh
  3. R20 blush
  4. R32 peach
  5. E00 skin white
  6. E04 lipstick natural
  7. E11 barely beige
  8. E21 baby skin pink
  9. E35 chamois
  10. E37 sepia
  11. 0 colorless blender
  12. 100 black

Of course, the color highly depends on the paper you’re using, but to give you an indication of the colors, see this color chart on refuelled.com.

As I understand it the color naming works as follows:

  • leading letters indicate the color group (BV = Blue Violet, V = Violet, RV = Red Violet, R = Red, YR = Yellow Red, Y = Yellow, YG = Yellow Green, G = Green, BG = Blue Green, B = Blue, E = Earth, etc.)
  • first digit indicates the “dullness”, or how much grey is added to the tone, the higher the digit, the duller the color
  • second digit indicates how dark the tone is, the higher the digit, the darker the color

Then there are special “colors”:

  • 0 colorless blender, to make blended color ranges (one color slowly changing into another color over a distance); basically, to dilute a marker’s color
  • 100 black, for black-and-white effects

When you start collecting colors, I’ve read you should pick your skin tones first, because those are the most important if you draw and color human (like) figures. Next, you should pick some colors in the same color category (letters and first digit) and pick several shades of that color, e.g. a 0, 3 and 5.

I guess it’s needless to state that coloring is expensive, especially if you want predictable colors, as with the Copic markers (but also in other media, where you want the professional colors instead of the student colors). A well colored piece of art can sell at a much higher price than an equivalent monochrome ink drawing. People are better able to connect with it, and therefore willing to spend more money on the artwork. “Better marketable” it is called I believe. Even so, it stands to reason that a well inked drawing can also be very “marketable”, depending on the subject and the taste of the audience.

That is all.

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