Sunday, December 16, 2007


A couple of posts back I talked about my wanting to learn more about coloring systems especially COPIC markers. I decided to try my own little experiment using various different products and methods of coloring to see if I could see any differences or come up with the product and method I preferred. I also was trying to answer for myself whether COPIC markers were worth the investment for me a non-artist. By non-artist I mean that I have very limited skill in how to shade and color things effectively.

This was not as easy to do as I thought it would be. One thing I discovered was that there were a lot of different variables to consider including paper and ink used to stamp the image. So though I have eliminated a set of options I am not sure that I am any closer to deciding the best set of products and methods for me to use. Here is the fist installment of what I discovered. Through out this process so far I have used a single stamp to color using different products.

I used Watercolor paper for these samples. As labeled; image 1 uses Prisma markers; 2 uses SU markers; and 3 uses the Copic Sketch markers. I have to say that though I already own all the SU markers I only purchased 3 colors of Copic and 4 of Prisma. I thought would just be enough of each to be able to experiment. I used watercolor paper because I had found a tutorial on making SU markers look like Copic markers. I wanted to see if this would work for me because if it did I could save LOTS of money.

So....what did I discover. Well one thing I discovered is that I want to try this again using SU watercolor paper with the SU markers. I used some off brand that I have on hand and I think that it still looks more like water coloring than markers. Which in and of itself is not bad, but I was trying for the bold marker look. Still I do like the way number 2 turned out. I don't really like the way 1 and 3 turned out as much.

Now to be fair, there are a couple of issues that I think gave an unfair advantage to the SU markers. The first being that I don't think either Copic or Prisma markers are made to be used on watercolor paper. (Of course I didn't think of this when I began my little experiment. I was thinking more about holding a variable constant; which in this experiment is really not a good idea!) The second problem is that I had such a limited color set to choose from with the Copics and Prismas. In fact the Copics I only have the primary colors red, blue and yellow because another tutorial suggested that was all you needed and you could just blend them. Blending I've discovered is something I can't seem to get the hang of. Part of the problem may be that I cannot find a Copic blender and though they told me Prisma would work fine I'm not sure it does.

So did I learn anything from this other than Prisma and Copics don't work well on watercolor paper. Yes, I did discover that one thing I don't like about Prismas is that they don't have a brush end the Copics do and I really like that. On the other hand to get into small spaces I like that Prisma has a fine point end. They both have a chisel point broad tip on one end. SU markers have both fine point and brush ends. SU markers however are water based inks. Prisma and Coptic are alcohol so are not going to run if they get wet and they work on surfaces SU won't. I've also learned that if I choose to get either Copics or Prismas I need to get a lot of them to do any effective amount of blending and that will be a big expense.

So where do I go from here.....I'm going to try my Copic and Prismas on regular card stock. And while I'm playing I am going to compare my Prisma pencils with turpentine ( I haven't found anyone who sells Gamsol around here yet and turpentine works it just stinks) and my watercolor pencils using plain old water. So stay tuned!


Lee said...

Well, I think your experiment is going great!! And as someone who only has SU Markers I'm very interested in your experiments!! I like the SU sample the best out of the first set you made. I'll definitely be eagerly awaiting your next samples!! Thanks for sharing this enlightening project!!

Christi said...

I just joined Gina K's Copic Markers club so I really hope that Copics come out on top. LOL Thanks for doing this experiment. You have a lot more patience than me!

LadyDoc said...

I will be watching your experiment progress with great interest. I have not invested in markers yet, but that is on the horizon after Christmas.

I liked the Prismacolor effect best of your three samples so I am anxious to see how things turn out on cardstock. I might be prejudiced- I LOVE my prismacolor pencils and am inclined to get their markers, but am open to seeing how each turns out.

Susan said...

I like the new look of your blog, Suzanne! And I will also watch your experiments with interest. I haven't invested in ANY markers yet. Maybe I'll have a better idea about what I eventually want after watching your discoveries. No pressure!! Lol!

I have been making cards again but have been holding off posting them as I sent them to some people who might read my blog. Tonight I am going to post them up. The cards have been in the mail system long enough!

Have a lovely Christmas and New Year, won't you.

Diane Noble said...

Suzanne, I'm so glad you are conducting this experiment because I've been wondering about the differences myself. I like the effect of the SU markers the best from what you show here. I think you achieved more dimension. I do like the look of copics on some of the cards I've seen but *ouch*--the expense.

Will follow your continuing experiment with interest.

Sue said...

Great information!!