I love using markers generally and each have their advantages and disadvantages so I thought I would do a mini review (my first!) Many of you may already have a preference and already have a pile of pens at your disposal and if you have any views please do comment below.
The thing all these pens have in common is that they are all alcohol markers, This means they are permanent. All except the Sharpies are double ended to give you options for line thickness and coverage.
The alcohol ink generally dries quickly but things to watch out for are that you can't just colour on any old paper or card unless you use something underneath the protect the surface. Alcohol markers can bleed terribly so it is best to use either good card or paper designed for use with them. The papers are usually one sided and won't bleed through but they produce beautiful colours so it is well worth getting!
Another marker tip is that they should be stored on their side, I find this particularly important with Spectrum Noir, I will explain later!
Right well let me introduce you to the pens in question!
- Comfortable size to use despite being the widest pen.
- Good coverage, You can colour over and over while the ink is still wet and the colour will not darken which means larger areas will end up all the same colour rather than being able to see pen marks like standard felt tip pens.
- If you wish to add another colour to say produce a shadow this can be done with a similar shade drawn over the top, this won't effect the pen nib of the other pen and discolour it for future use (think of how discoloured yellow felt tips go! none of that!)
- I have not had any leakage problems with any of my promarkers
- If you run out of one colour or need a particular one you can buy the main range singularly which is really helpful.
- Of all the markers they are the truest colour match to the packaging
- You can buy adapters to make ultra fine lines (come in a pack of 3 nibs) These are wonderful for intricate work. They are not interchangeable so you will need to decide which pens to use them with (I have one on my black)
- Colours aren't blendable, this actually doesn't bother me much but it can be annoying sometimes if you are trying to create more of a gradient. There is a blender pen which will blend the colours for you but so far it has been disastrous for me so need to practise more!
- Promarkers are generally the most expensive of all the pens,
- Although this can be an advantage too I find it frustrating that they release limited edition pens, these are usually really lovely and I want them all but once they run out they aren't easy to replace. I have a fav brown in particular called Tawny Owl, I will be sad not to replace it when it runs out (and I use it alot!)
- Colours of the pens are on the sides rather than the ends (except in newer versions) this make storage a problem.
- These lovely pens have good coverage and colours are vibrant
- Not too costly to buy, currently Hobbycraft is the only supplier. even my wholsaler who make them aren't selling them which is odd. I can only find them in packs of 5 so no singles ones as far as I know at the moment. The advantage of these sets however is that they come in themes so if you are after skin tones you can buy them in a set and you know they will compliment each other.
- Both ends are great sizes for both intricate and large areas.
- These are likely to be on offers like Spectrum Noir often are, I bought two packs for £15
- Not easily available at the moment
- Can't buy separately
- The colours aren't quite the same as the packaging suggests, you will need to either test before you commit to your work or create a chart so you can see the finished colour.
- They currently don't have too large a range (this could actually be an advantage if your as bad as me and want the whole range but can never afford it!)
- These pens are sold in either large packs of 24 or smaller 6 packs. The 6 packs often seem to be on offers which is useful and the big packs (normally around £20) build up your pen stash really quickly
- The shaft of these pens are around the size of the Promarkers but rather than round they are hexagonal. This is great if you struggle a bit with your grip. They also have non-slip sections for comfort.
- Both ends are great and like the other two the fine tip is great for more intricate drawing.
- Store them on their side! I stored my older models upright and found that they leaked. They seem to have improved the design however with the newer version but I would still store them on their side just in case!
- The colours aren't true to the ones on the pen lids, you will need to experiment a little before using.
- These pens can look streaky if you don't colour consistently over the surface.
- Cheep! and there are some great colours available now and they are often on offers so worth looking around!
- These work fantastically well on other surfaces, all the other pens can look a bit bleached on other surfaces but Sharpies hold their colour well on all sorts including china and glass!
- Not many colours so creating shadow effects are limited
- The nib isn't very fine so don't use for really intricate work.
Over all, I much prefer the Promarkers, despite being more costly they colour beautifully even on larger projects and each colour (despite limited edition pens) are easy enough to replace! They are comfortable to hold and for me the most important thing is that the colour on the pen is pretty bang on with the colour you will get!
One tip I will pass on to you is when using a thin black pen to create your drawing before colouring in! I am not sure of the science behind this but I have discovered that you do not want to use permanent pen or ink for the outlines (this may sound contradictory) But you will find that the markers will smudge the ink if you do, no matter how long you have left them to dry. I tend to use a pigment ink but despite this I am always careful when colouring over lines!
Now, with all these pens, I am faced with a total problem!!!
How on earth do you store them?
To be honest I haven't really conquered this problem. I have created a promarker system from scrap paper, but in practise it isn't quite as practical as I had hoped!!!
I will have to have a rethink I think!
If you use markers how do you store yours???
Well if you got all the way to the bottom of this post then thank you! I thought that I would share a little game with you that I play on my fb page.
This is a Crafty What-bat and is a puzzle which, when solved, should reveal the name of a blog! (on fb they are of fb pages!)
Can you guess who this first one is of???
I apologise for there being a missing word at the end so see if you can work it out!
Hope you all have a wonderful week, I'm off to Handmade Monday. See you there!