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Testing Copic Marker Shadow Colours

Today I'm taking a huge leap and experimenting with different colour Copic markers to add interest to shadows.  Now I'm not sure if you've seen this post but in it, Mandi-Lee talks about using complimentary colours in your shadows for extra wow factor.  I've previously tried using the Blue Violet family, the Cool Greys and even the occasional Blue, but I was wondering what else might work other than complimentary colours.  

To test some combinations, I created a grid using a single Copic colour marker and a single colour for the shadow - not the easiest blending combo in many cases, but this provided some incredibly interesting results!  I was expecting many of my shadows to look pretty awful, but was quite surprised by how good so many of them looked - some of these colours even blended rather well!

Now for the best results, ideally pick a colour darker than you are colouring with, (this didn't always work out that way the way I did this), as a result, some of these colour combos may have looked better with a slightly darker colour for the shadow.  Although I didn't use them here (as we know these should work), don't forget about the complimentary colours when looking for shadow colour options!

On to the test... 

First I tried some of the light/bright colours - these were a bit tricky to blend and some of the combos turned out a bit interesting, the yellow in particular proved quite fussy.

Copic Shadow Colours 1a wm

My favourites for shadows on: 

  • BG02 were W3, BV00 and R02 - though C3 was also ok
  • YG05 were BV00, B01 and W3
  • Y02 were B01 and E02
  • V04 were C3, B01 and W3 - though some of these aren't really shadows, but they do look great!
  • E11 were C3, BV00, R02, E02 and W3 - plus I found mermaid skin combo with B01!
All in all, there were many more colours than I was expecting, that produced great results, though not all results are 'shadows' exactly!

Next I tried some mid tones and darker colours - I think these were even more successful, but again I ended up with some interesting combinations. 

Copic Shadow Colours 2a wm
My favourites for shadows on:

  • V06 were T5, BV17, G28 (closest to complimentary colour)  and B37
  • RV29 were G28 
  • B08 were T5, BV17 and B37
  • YR09 were RV19, TR18 and B37 (closest to complimentary colour) 
  • YG67 were T5, BV17, G28 and B37

It turns out there are many more choices for interesting shadow colours than I originally thought, and not at all what I would have predicted!  The colours that worked as shadows did not follow any particular pattern that I could find, I was hoping to be able to say something like - Tetradic colours work wonderfully, or Split Complimentary colours are fantastic - but I was unable to find any rhyme or reason to what worked!   All I can do is encourage you to try your own version of this to find more exciting options for your shadows, you can find my A5 page template here if you'd like to print it and try out some colour combos for yourself!

If you're a bit nervous then the amazing team at Copic have made it easy for you with the new Copic Colour Wheel.  For reliable shadows with the wow factor,  try using the complimentary colour for the marker you have chosen - you will find potential colour choices opposite your chosen colour on the new Copic Colour Wheel.