Post by fairycardmaker on Aug 23, 2014 2:45:42 GMT
Love my copics. I also have some Letraset Promarkers. They are nice too. I have some even older Letraset Tria Markers (like 15 years-ish old) and, out of about 30, only 2 were dried up after about 12-ish years of disuse before I rediscovered them. So, definitely consider professional style art markers an investment. You'll get your money's worth.
For beginners who want to test the alcohol marker waters - try BIC Mark-Its or Sharpies. I got a set of 36 Fine Tip (not ultra fine tip) BIC Mark-It's at Walmart for $25 (in Canada). Pretty decent for the hobbyist!
When I was in art school many moons ago, I spent a small fortune on alcohol based Letraset and Prismacolor markers for an illustration class. They smelled so bad that even with the windows open they would give me horrible headaches. I used them a little bit with an airbrush sprayer after that, but eventually they dried up and were tossed.
Several years later when I had my store, I worked with watercolor markers like the Tombow and Marvy brush pens that I sold. I also used colored pencils and gamsol quite a bit. You can get a nice, saturated and blended coloring effect with either of these. A HUGE part of your success hinges on a good working knowledge of color theory, which I taught regularly in classes at my store. When you are using a water based marker, you need to use a waterPROOF ink or you have to heat emboss or the stamped design will bleed. If memory serves, you will want a water based ink when you are coloring with anything alcohol or solvent based.
If you go the colored pencil route, it will serve you well to spend a little more on a nice set of quality pencils such as Prismacolor or Lyra. The leads are softer and lend themselves more readily to blending. Cheapie brands such as Crayola or RoseArt are very hard and are much more difficult to work with. That said, if you do buy a nice set it is imperative that you take care not to rattle them around a lot or drop them. Because the leads are soft, they will break easily and that will only create frustration as you sharpen and sharpen and the tips repeatedly pull out because the lead inside the barrel has shattered. In addition to the gamsol, I have also used colorless blender pens or even regular watercolor markers in a coordinating very light shade to blend my pencils and it works very much the same way gamsol does.
Fast forward to the present Copic craze. I keep seeing so many beautiful things that people have done with them and I am VERY tempted, but I resist. I think back on those horrid headaches (not to mention the expense!) and I just say no. When I finally get my stuff all unpacked and start stamping again, I will probably go back to my colored pencils and gamsol. I also have a nice set of SU markers that I love and will use those some, but I'm not too keen on using waterproof ink on my clear stamps because it stains the dies horribly.
Miracles shouldn’t be Plan A
I’ve got mountains to climb and I don’t need a backpack full of rocks.
I was given a set of Spetrum Noir markers but haven't REALLY used them so I don't have an opinion formed yet. LOL! But I do love my pastel pencils and watercolor pencils from Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft! I use them together for a real fun effect. Good luck on finding the right product for you!
I have some of the spectrum noir pens and have been really happy with them. For $3.95 you can get a trial pack of two markers and some items to make a tag. I thought it was the best investment I made, it was nice to be able to try them out. They have improved their packaging (the caps are now airtight) so you need to make sure you get the "round" ones and not the "square" ones. I noticed at Joann's and Michael's they still have the old markers.