I’ve been asked by a number of folks if I’ve tried some of the other alcohol markers that came on the market in the last year or so….I bought a small set of two of them to play with and see what I thought!
NOTE: In YT comments, I’ve gotten crazy numbers of requests to review all the cheap knockoffs. Please know I’ve tried lots of them over the years and wasted hundreds of dollars on them — they weren’t worth even reviewing. I’m sorry. If you’ve tried using cheap makers to color like I do and aren’t happy with your results, it could well be the supplies, not your skillz. As I always say—get the best you can, cheap supplies will hobble you. ❤️
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First, why bother trying out others when I already own the Copics and refills I need? Well….changes happen! Copic was going to release the new bottles for refills this spring – and of course then Covid happened. I saw one post on one retailer site a few months ago showing the tiny bottles – and mentioning the price was going to be the same as before. Which, as an end result, means doubling the cost of inks, if true. Yikes! I really hope that post was wrong.
However if it’s not wrong, I don’t think Copic will have legs in the craft community after we all run out of the reinkers we now own. I would be REALLY BUMMED, since I really love my Copics. But I also want to be prepared if that does happen, and if prices aren’t adjusted to meet the market’s ability to pay…..so I decided I’d get some other brands to see what they’re like.
Thus – another epic video! Here ya go…..
Aside from not being able to have a super variety of colors, I was able to get a general rainbow of blends – and I think the ink is the ink – it’s likely that the alcohol ink in alcohol markers is basically blendable with techniques we already know. I suspect the big difference will be in color selection and availability, the delivery system (pens and nibs), and cost.
Graph It Markers
These pens come in a bunch of color collections, and I just tried one little “Essentials” set – which didn’t have much blendable in it (everything blends, but I wanted to have three oof a color to really test that….Imagination International, the US distributor, kindly sent me three pens to try out to blend.) My swatch charts are HERE …..
And I love the price of these – $5.30 with $4 per refill bottle? Yes!
The color selection was the fail when coloring the mermaid from Sweet November Stamps – that poor girl’s skin! ha! So I did have to cheat and repair with some Copics. But The blending worked well enough for not having much for blending colors!
ABT Pro markers
I swatched these as well, just one set of them called Nature Palette; if anyone sees the bright colors like these in nature please do let me know! lol. Yes I suppose there are some florals in these colors – but you know me, I love my rich colors more than brights.
Performance with these was a disappointment. Yes they blend, since they are alcohol markers. The nib is even fine. But not being refillable, and arriving with a bunch that had little ink in them? That was a deal breaker for me. I’m really sad, I love so many of Tombow’s products.
No real review here – just coloring with my Copic marker true loves! I’ll still be sticking with these, at the very least until my refills all run out. (HA!) But I’ll keep my ear to the ground and try some pens occasionally and keep you posted. (Note: I have tried a bunch of the other brands – I haven’t reviewed because I got rid of the pens because they were so useless!)
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- Sweet November stamps
- Graphit Markers and reinkers
- ABT markers
- Copic Marker EH – Blick
Have you ever tried Spectrum Noir alcohol markers? I know the nibs are different, especially on the original markers, which are the ones I purchased several years ago. I do not use alcohol markers very often. I was just curious from an artist’s opinion if they blend the same as Copics.
Thanks for this Sandy … I’ll be sticking with my Copics too!
I think the holdup is that plastic bottle manufacturers are prioritizing manufacture of medical supplies during COVID-19. At least that is the case at Stampin up so I am that other companies are experiencing the same thing
Could you please give us a rundown of the fails so that we can avoid them? I know you got rid of the pens, but could yo tell us which brands need up in the trash.
Honestly there’s is nothing I have to recommend beyond Copic. The Graphit only came as close as you saw. Everything else has been useless, most especially alllll the Chinese knockoffs—-even all the brands bought by US companies to disguise the copyright infringement.
Thanks for the reply! That helps a lot to know We shouldn’t even waste our money on them!
Thanks for the review. I’m sticking with my Copics – I have too much invested to switch. I’m lucky enough to have an art supply store near me that will refill them for $2.50. They also often have a coupon, so if they don’t have a refill and it’s really a color I need, I just get a new marker.
I recently heard the same thing, and decided to try some Masters Touch markers that I saw at Hobby Lobby while passing by to pick up a frame. The barrel was nice, sort of a triangular shape, but felt a little big in my hand. The trio of pinks that I chose blended quite nicely, especially for a cheaper marker. What turned me off was the nib. I have several other brands, and I keep going back to Copics because of the quality of the nibs. Thanks for researching and sharing!!! Maybe Copic will read your post and change their minds!
Not gonna buy any other alcohol markers – like you I’m invested in Copics. That having been said, I sure wish they’d roll out those new refill bottles! I’ve been waiting ever since I took the Storybook Backgrounds class! Let us know if you hear that anybody is actually selling them… Thanks for the demo tho – always fun to watch you at work!
Agreed—often it’s the nib that’s a fail…