Someone asked me in the week why I had chosen ProMarkers over Copic Markers… So I thought that the differences between them would make a good musing for this week.
Firstly what is it that makes these two brands of markers so special? Why are they so popular?
They are both Alcohol Markers, so you can layer up the colours and blend them together without soaking and tearing the paper as you would do with water based markers. This allows you to attain a much more realistic and subtle shading with your rubber and digital stamps giving you a professional look to your cards and paperarts.
Both Makes also provide a airbrush system to increase the range of effects you can gain with the pens
Copic Markers are the most popular brand in the USA and has had an established market there for years. The Market in Europe has taken a while to become popular but are getting there.
Copic Marker – Have a Wedge and Fine Felt Nib, a Square Barrel and are available in 214 colours
Sketch Marker – Are a slim flat side oval marker which is the most popular type and come in all 358 current colours. The flat sides mean that the marker doesn’t roll off the side of your table. They have a brush and wedge nib.
Ciao Marker – Slightly cheaper than the Sketch Markers, they have a round body with the same wedge and brush nibs as the Sketch Markers. They come in the most popular 180 colours.
For me, one of the downsides is the colouring numbering systems, they use a combination of letters and numbers with a smaller description. Once you get use to it, its OK but you could find yourself making expensive mistakes along the way.
They give brilliant colour coverage but are slightly more expensive than Promarkers as well not being widely available in the UK.
ProMarkers is the more established brands in the UK and therefore are widely available – One of the most reasonably priced places in Bristol is HobbyCraft at Cribbs.There are currently 148 colours in the main range and a Spring Limited Edition set of 6 colours. They come in a range of types of Markers
ProMarkers – They have a thick barrel with a thin and wedge nibs. You can also by an extra thin nib to attach to the existing pen. In addition to the current colour range you can also purchase 6 metallic pens. You can also get a blender pen which allows you to soften the effect.
AquaMarkers – These are Water Based Pigment Marker making them lightfast. They have two thickness of nibs and come in a range of 40 colours and must be store horizontal.
FlexMarkers – These are the newest member of the family and have a brush nib, currently they come in 52 colours from the main family and give you different options when colouring.
The colours are named (Buttercup, Daffodil, Pastel Yellow) and I find that easier to follow.
So why did I go for them? I tried Copic first but didn’t get on with the brush nib on the sketches and Ciao markers. I liked the weight of the Promarker in my hand and I also like the nibs and thin nib bolt ons.
The fact that ProMarkers are also readily available and reasonably priced (about £2 per marker) also makes them attractive to me.
How to Use Your Chosen Marker
Because of this subtle shading you “colour” in a slightly different way than most of us are taught. With normal felt tip pens, you colour by drawing lines in the same direction from left to right (if you are right-handed). With Alcohol Markers you colour in small circular movements working fast from the area of darkest colour to lightest.
I always shade with three shades of the same colour. I start with the lightest and colour the whole area, I then take the middle shade and colour a thick area around the edge. I then go over the join of the two areas with the lighter shade. To finish I add a thin line of the darkest shade before going over the edge of that with the middle shade.