Hello Copic colorist friends! A few weeks ago I posted my Copic Marker Basics and asked on social media for topics that weren’t covered or could use another discussion – so the Copic Numbering System is one that came up a number of times. Let’s do it!

You might want to download and print out the free Copic Blending Groups chart to follow along – that’s HERE. It describes the code:

  1. The letter is the color family. Blue (B), Green (G), Red (R) etc. Greys are Warm (W) Cool (C) Neutral (N) and Toner (T). The only color without a letter code is the colorless blender.
  2. First digit: SATURATION. Highly saturated, intense colors are low numbers. Desaturated, greyed-out colors have high numbers.
  3. Second digit: VALUE. Light colors are low numbers, dark colors are high numbers.

Some have multiple 000s – that just means they’re extra light.

Supplies for this project are linked at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used at no cost to you.


It’s a long one today, so grab a cup of coffee and let’s have a chat.

Saturation comparisons

Note below that the BG1s and BG0s are more saturated – more intense – than the BG7s in row 3. And any color ending in a 1,2,3 is lighter than anything ending in an 8 or 9. Some colors, like BG05, might not even look like they “fit” between colors numerically in line with them, and unfortunately that’s just something that happens – but it doesn’t mean we can’t use them to make beautiful art!

Want more on color theory? Try out the Copic Jumpstart class, it’s chock full of teaching and exercises to help you understand more!

Card samples

The airplane and helicopter were a fun pair to try the two main combos with.

The BG13, BG05, BG09 combo comes out with stronger color – because there’s no really light color. It means that an extra layer of a dark might be needed to convey dimension, but the BG05 is a fun addition to also add a different flavor to the BGs.

The helicopter, on the other hand, looks like a lighter aircraft – because it has that BG11 for a light color. The BG13 is the medium tone here, where in the previous card it was the light color. The dark marker in this blending group is a BG18 – which is more desaturated than the BG09.

The plane with the BG7 family has a very different feel to it – quite antiqued! I chose an orange to go with it, a rather rusty orange, to add to that vintage feel.

YT Livestream coming

It’s my birthday month! Last year lockdowns started a few days before my day – and nobody really used Zoom yet. I spent last year throwing a bunch of Zoom parties for others to make up for not being able to do anything for my own day…and since we’re still stuck being apart, I thought maybe I’d throw my OWN birthday party!

You can “RSVP” by adding it to your calendar via my public calendar if you want, or just set a reminder on your phone….and drop a card in the mail for me to share that day! I’ll do something art-y that day too, no idea what as yet – but I wanted to get the word out beforehand to give you time to mail a card….remember, the Post Office is slowing everrrrrrything down so might want to get on it quick! Mail to: Sandy Allnock, PO Box 23395, Federal Way WA 98093


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art