Over the past year, a lot of my drawing has been in black and white for my coloring book, and lately I've been feeling the urge to use color again. I went through my quite sad marker collection last week and realized I needed to add some major color asap.
As far as markers go, I've used several brands over the past few years, mainly Copic, Prismacolor, and Spectrum Noir. All are alcohol based, double ended, and the color is blendable.
After lots of testing I've settled on Spectrum Noir markers for a few reasons.
- The ink quality is wonderful
- they blend well
- they are double ended (chisel and bullet tips)
- they are refillable
- the cost per marker is much lower than the competition. You can pay up to $8 for one copic marker, where Spectrum Noir come in much lower - I got a 24 pack of brights on Amazon for $32. The cost alone is a huge selling point!
I comparison, I love Copics just as much as Spectrum Noir (even more because they come with a brush tip), but they are too spendy for me. Prismacolor have a brush tip and good quality color, but they are not refillable and I've found overall that they dry out more quickly, so those are big drawbacks.
And now a few drawbacks for the Spectrum Noir markers.
- They don't have a brush tip if you prefer that to a bullet point or chisel tip. You can purchase replacement brush tips though, which I'm considering.
- You also can't buy single markers (or at least I haven't seen them sold that way). You can purchase them in colorway packs of 6, or larger packs. But when you can get 6 markers for $12 I don't mind not being able to buy a single color.
- My biggest annoyance with these is that the color on the end of the cap doesn't always match the actual color of the marker. Here's an example...
Because of this I created a marker "menu" of sorts to help me decide which colors to use on my illustrations. There are also a few colors that are extremely similar.
Despite these drawbacks, I still think these markers are a fabulous choice, especially for those on a budget who still want great quality color.
Here is a fun piece I created last night to test out my new colors...
I hope this is helpful for you! If you have any favorites, tips, or tricks about using blendable markers, leave them for everyone in the comments!