Copic Markers Skin Tones [Fair and Dark]

Check out what Copic Markers have to offer in regard to coloring skin.
Are their “Copic Markers Skin Tones” sets enough, and useful for coloring dark skin? What colors are the best for this? I will try to answer these questions in this article.

I stumbled upon an article about the “Nude” color in the Art Supplies. There’s a problem with the definition of this color, and therefore many paints and sets featuring Nude color include only very fair skin tones. Unfortunately, dark tones are often omitted.
Intrigued by the article, I checked on the internet some art supplies from big brands, including Copic Markers.

How Copic Markers, one of the biggest brands, deal with skin tones? Here are the colors they offer:

Copic Markers 6-Piece Sketch Set, Skin Tones I

Check out the price

Markers: Copic Sketch, Refillable,
Quantity: 6 markers
Ink: Alcohol based ink – permanent and non toxic
Copic markers skin tones numbers: E00(Cotton Pearl), E11 (Barley Beige), E13 (Light Suntan), E15 (Dark Suntan), E18 (Copper), R20 (Blush)

Copic Markers Skin Tones set chart

Copic sketch are refillable markers with replaceable nibs, compatible with copic air brush system.
They are incredibly high-quality markers, and some of the best for blending- when you look at Copic Sketch reviews it’s often mentioned as the biggest advantage, along with its brush nibs. Also, they can store more ink than other Copic lines.

The lack of skin tone choices currently available may be frustrating for some artist, so I should mention here that you can use layering techniques with this set to create additional tones. Since Copics are alcohol-based, you are able to use them to layer your coloring more without worrying about tearing the paper.

Warning: if you press just a little too hard on the Copic (really not that hard at all) too much ink will come through and can destroy your artwork. I would suggest to try the markers on a blank paper first, before coloring your drawings.

As a disadvantage, many people tend to mention that Copic marker’s prices are very high. Indeed when you buy your first Copic markers, you will have to spend some money. However, Copics have refills and replaceable nibs + they are high quality and blend easily, so they are less expensive in the long run.

How to color skin with Copic Markers

When I was doing research about this Copic Markers Skin Tones set, I found a YouTube video created by Odunze Oguguo, know as “Whyt Manga”.  He’s an experienced artist, a creator of the comic series “Apple Black” and one of the co-founders of Saturday-AM.

He shows his coloring technique using markers included in the set above, and explains the process + gives some tips on how to color skin with Copic Markers.

If you watched the video, you might notice the sheet he created before coloring his artwork to help him decide which colors he should use.
Also, just before starting the coloring, he slightly presses his Marker onto the blank paper to remove the excess of ink. This is a very important tip since I saw some complaints about Copic markers leaking, and artists having unpleasant situations where this destroys their artwork.

Another artist using Copic Markers to color skin that I found on Youtube is ActionHankBeard. He’s able to create comic stylized drawings, as well as hyper-realistic portraits. And that’s what brought my attention, I wasn’t aware that Copics allow to create such stunning, realistic artworks, as I’ve seen mostly tutorials for coloring manga characters.

ActionHankBeard takes a little bit different approach – he additionally uses other Art Materials to enhance his artworks (that are mainly created with Copic markers) – such as color pencils ( he uses white pencil to create soft highlights on the hair and skin).
Also, he uses different color markers than those included in the set that was mentioned above.


Color numbers of markers used to color skin, lips & teeth: E50 E42 E43 E31 E33 E02 R00 R01 R11 YR01 V91 V95 RV32 R32 R20

*Above I linked Copic Markers numbers used in the video to relevant pages, so if you need one, you can check out the prices.

As you can see ActionHankBeard doesn’t use just one marker, but a lot of different markers with various tones.

Info for beginners: Also, I want to point here a few important things that will be very useful for people who just started to learn about drawing/painting.
Good art supply is not everything, and if you don’t have the basic knowledge about color theory, lightning, and human anatomy, you may encounter problems with creating realistic drawings.
ActionHankBeard understands this, you can see this in his process – he doesn’t use just one color.  He uses many colors, not only the ones that are considered “nude” – but various tones, and so he uses pink markers on the cheeks for shading, and yellow-ich tones for the chin and rest of the face.

Another important note is, that he doesn’t use straight dark colors for shading. Rather, he shades his artworks going gradually from light colors – then adding more saturated tones – to very dark colors at the end.


How to color dark skin with copic markers

I searched for some Copic markers for coloring Dark skin tones and tutorials. Again – ActionHankBeard has some amazing videos from his process of coloring dark models.

Copic markers skin tones numbers: E21, E23, R12(lips), E04, E15, E25, E43, E41 (for eyes), E27, E49, E29, W10

His process is the same as in the video mentioned above (starting from very light colors – to saturated – and adding dark shadows at the end). The main difference is of course the choice of colors. But still, you can see the rule of choosing various tones for face’s areas – on the forehead, there are more yellowish tones; middle area (cheeks, nose) appear more reddish; and finally the chin – there was used W10 “Warm gray”, creating less saturated colors.


If you are planning to get some Copics with skin colors for coloring comics and manga characters, the set Copic Markers 6-Piece Sketch Set, Skin Tones I will be sufficient.
But if you are looking for a set to create semi-realistic or hyper-realistic paintings, you will have to get certain colors separately  (check out the details under videos) and complete the skin set yourself. Copic Markers has a lot of colors and tones suitable for painting darker skin, the problem is just that they don’t have a completed set dedicated only to dark nude colors.

The artists features in this article are:
Whyt Manga – check out the Youtube Channel  (great tutorials and videos for artists interested in drawing comics)
ActionHankBeard- check out the Youtube Channel (I sincerely recommend his tutorials on how to draw portraits)




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