Saturday, 9 June 2012

Which pens...

...Copics or Distress Markers?

I've been asked a couple of times how these two pen ranges compare and really you can't compare them 'like-for-like' as they are two very different colouring systems - one is alcohol based and the other water based. All I've been able to say is how I find them to use and which colouring technique I prefer.

Copics will always be my first love and for most of my colouring these are and will be the first thing that I reach for. I love their brush tip and the way alcohol pens shade & blend.
The Ciao pens are a cheaper option to the Sketch but with 180 shades they are still a considered purchase if you want to collect all 180 (sounds like a dart score LOL). You can create your shading by 'layering' your colours - one pen can give you around 3 shades just by building up the layers or you can pick out 3 shades of a colour to colour and blend with.

Although there are some very pale shades in the Copic ranges, on the whole the colours are quite intense. I loved it when Letraset brought out their Flexmarkers as there are some lovely pale shades in the range and of course they have that fab soft brush type nib...I tend to mix & match.

With the "Tim" pens being water based they are very different to use - if you have tried using the Distress ink pads to 'watercolour' by stamping the pads onto a non-porous surface and 'picking-up' the colour with a paint brush - these pens let you put the colour straight onto the image and then using a water brush or damp paint brush you can drag the colour out and create your shading.
I have to admit, I'm not so good at this technique but these pens do make it quite easy and a lot less messy LOL So far that is really all that I've tried them for.

Being based on the Distress ink pad shades the colours have a different tone quality to them and obviously the addition of water allows you to create a really 'washed out' effect if that is what you are aiming at.

When comparing pens, the "Tim" ones are probably closest to the Aquamarkers for technique but have the lovely brush tip rather than a Letraset bullit tip.

Waterbased pens tend to take up less space as you don't need so many shades - a bit of water will do the shading for you. At the moment there are 36 shades plus the white Picket Fence - but as we all know, there are now more shades in the distress range so I'm sure it is only a matter of time before these are added to the pen range.

If I was starting again, I would probably give the Promarkers & the Aquamarkers a miss as I really don't get on well with the nib. That said; I have to admit that if I take 'pens' to a crop or class it will normally be these as I'm a lot less 'precious' about sharing these ones.

For alcohol based pens I use both Copic & Flexmarkers and for water based ones I will stick with the "Tim" ones.

Pricewise, they are a very similar price per pen and can be bought as individuals if you just want to try a few to see how you get on. It is easiler to build up your collection this way too if the thought of one large purchase is out of your reach - we are all watching the pennies at the moment.

So really, when you are looking at pens the first thing you need to do is decide the sort of technique you want to use and what sort of finished effect you want to achieve. If you are not sure, I would always advise anyone to try and find a way of 'having a go' with you have friends that would let you have a 'play' or do you have a local retailer who offers classes where you can try to see if this is really for you.

If you do try and find you like - be warned - colouring is very addictive and you may find that you just have to build up your collection of stamps and digi images so that you can make good use of your new pens.......................................


sutty said...

What a great post I only have a few pro markers and had a small dabble in colouring, I really like the sound of the distress marks and a bit more of a painty effect thank you :)

Claire said...

Thank you for this post... I read and I now need to buy Copics... I will once again go looking at colours.. but I will buy a few at a time...
also looking for a place that does classes is a good idea and then you can use a colour before buying...
Thank you for the info
CLaire x

Allison said...

not tried the distress pens- still liking my promarkers with a few copics too

Lynn Stevens said...

Some great info on the different pens. Been thinking about the distress ones since I Love the inks themselves.
Hugs Lynn

Thanks for entering my giveaway

fatmonica said...

Thanks for this info.It's always a puzzle to me which pens to use and I may have to try some Copics now!

Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

well you definitely know your markers. i'm a copic fanatic myself tho lately i've been looking at the spectrum noirs. either i'm never satisfied or my "cravings" get the better of me.

so glad you stopped by and hope you are well.

hugs and sparkles!!!!