I have been thinking about the things I would like to have known when I started my copic marker collection and the main one was an answer to the question where do I start? I think I have already partially answered that question with my post on ‘Getting started with Copic Markers’ but I didn’t really address which colours might be a good starting point.
Firstly there is no set formula or list of colours you should start out with – it really does depend on what you are going to be colouring. And I want to say again that I am not Copic Certified at the moment, so this is just my thoughts from my experience so far. I have read somewhere that it is good to get about 30 markers to start with so that you can have a few markers in each of the colour families(ie some greens, some blue greens some yellows, some reds etc), which I can see would be a great start if you were able to get 30 markers to start with but I think most people are not going to just buy 30 markers in the first place, especially if they haven’t been able to try the markers out beforehand. So what I thought I would do would be to give some advice about where I would have started with my copic marker collection if I had the knowledge that I do now.
Although not essential to have immediately as you can give things a go without it, you will want to get a colourless blender (0) (remember that it acts like an eraser if you colour out of the lines and lightens up your colouring). There are some different effects you can do with it also but I won’t go into that in this post.
I would also start out with a couple of browns, as these colours are useful to colour hair, wood, animal fur, clothing etc. I would recommend a couple of markers from the following E31 (lightest), E33, E35, E37 (darkest) as I have found these to be easier to colour hair than some of the other browns when I was starting out. You would need at least 2 of these markers so you can do shading ie E33 and E35 or E35 and E37. Remember that 3 or 4 markers gives you more shading possibilities and you can add to your collection later.
If you are going to colour people, my favourite skin colours are E000 and E00 to start (and then I use E01 which is a sketch marker and E02 at times also) But other skin colour combinations for caucasian skin are E50, and E51 and E21 can also be used. It is also good to have a colour for the cheeks – if you like pink go with R20 or E11 gives a more subtle look and is great for male images.
So far that is 5 markers, not including the colourless blender.
This is where it is going to depend on your favourite colours and what you are wanting to colour.
I would recommend picking up a couple of green markers, as they will do for colouring grass, leaves and clothing. Then I would recommend getting a couple of markers in the colour you are most likely to use straight away, whether that is red, yellow, blue, pink, purple etc is totally up to you. If you have a specific question, please feel free to leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer it for you.
Early on, I would also add some grey markers to your collection – I know that doesn’t sound so fun at all. But the grey markers can be used to desaturate colour (tone it down) which gives you more colour possibilities for the colours you already have, create some shading/depth, for colouring white (C0 and C1) and colouring black (C5, C7, C9). I will write more about grey markers in another post in the future.
I hope this information is helpful! Happy Colouring!