Do you need all the colors in order to feel ready to make art? In a comparison of marker brands, I tried matching colors by layering, to see if I could make them look right without having the exact colors they called for – by layering.
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Tutorial: Alcohol Markers: Do you really need ALL the colors?
It’s a long one – skim through to the section you want, or just park with a donut and coffee and let’s chill together a while!
- Three brands of alcohol marker – Copic, Sketchmarker, Olo 03:22
- My alcohol marker reference book 05:16
- Alcohol marker conversion charts 08:13
- Red blending test 09:30
- Green blending speed drawing 14:44
Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!
Basic blending test
The markers all seemed to perform the same in blending with two exceptions:
- Copic retained some hard edges (see the light outline around the butterfly)
- Copic’s blender pen retained some of the “removal” of color, the others just got very very soft.
Copic’s c0lorless blender has never been something I’ve loved because of the almost pixelly-texture created, but I was really surprised the other brands just melted in instead. This might be the paper or the fact that it’s RED. Hateful red that loves to be a pain. LOL.
Drawing head-to-head test
The greens between the three mediums aren’t apples to apples by any means; but an overall assessment:
- Copic’s range contains more useable muted greens IMHO. The other brands are generally more saturated, with the exception of the G1s through G3s, which are a nice warm range that I’ve been hoping would show up. (No luck on getting dark desaturated ones, bummer!)
- Sketchmarker has a lot of greens, or shall we say “G” markers, that are actually blue or bluegreen. Hard to call them greens, but – they were very helpful in layering with their more yellowish greens to create the tones in the Copic version.
- Olo. Poor Olo with so few greens to play with! The ones they have are nice, and I like the way the color lays down, but I hope their next release whenever it happens will have more range. But even with that – I was surprised I could get the right greens!
Part 2 is coming up Saturday
Now that this one is finished, my attention turns to the neutrals – the browns. So far I haven’t found any gamechangers in that range, though the Red Greys for black-brown hair are pretty interesting from Sketchmarker. But stay tuned – that post will also talk about some colors in both Sketchmarker and Olo that seem to be unique to them, so if you had interest in adding a color or two, I hope to have some suggestions!