How to use Sketchmarker and Copic Color Charts

How to use Sketchmarker and Copic Color Charts

Color charts, color charts, color charts – it’s a FIESTA! I hope these will be helpful to you all in participating in the fundraiser below – Sketchmarkers are new-ish in America where I am and not a lot of people know much about them. If you’ve been pondering trying a few colors, I’ve got some suggestions you can shop from and participate in the fundraiser all weekend long. 

 

Color for Ukraine Fundraiser

This post is in support of a fundraiser that you can read more about here: if you want to join in, buy Sketchmarkers at Ellen Hutson OR Amazon and the profits will be donated to support Ukrainians! And there are THREE hops going on this weekend on Instagram…lots of crafters, sketchers, and artists from all over the WORLD! I’m in the Saturday and Sunday hops, so go see all the fun and enter to win a HUGE prize.

Read Ellen’s story here.

In addition to the prize offered by the sponsors of the fundraiser, I’ve got a new hex chart that I just launched: Sketchmarkers! Every purchase of the chart this weekend will have 50% of the proceeds donated to the fundraiser. Scroll on to see the hex chart and two FREE charts. Even if you don’t use Sketchmarkers you might want the conversion chart!

 

Video: How to use my marker color charts 

A little of the making of the charts, and how to get updates when they happen!

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YouTube and leave comments over there.

The 3 Sketchmarker Charts

Sketchmarker Blending Groups Chart

First is a chart of color suggestions – I’ve had one of these for Copic for years, now I have one for Sketchmarker. Download it for free – you’ll get one version with my numbers on it and a blank you can choose your own combos to keep on hand.

Sketchmarker – Copic Conversion chart

Two charts….one is listed by Copic numbers and the other by Sketchmarker numbers. This one will be great to use when following a class or tutorial in one brand but using the one you have in your art room!

Sketchmarker Hex Chart

Last but never least, I worked my fanny off to get this done in time for this weekend! It’s not perfect, these charts never are, but…this week was just a bear! I had the blues and greens down pat days ago but no matter spending 16 hours a day working on the reds and yellows, I just could NOT get them the way I wanted. But….perfect is the enemy of the good, so I’m calling it good. It’s still helpful for finding color combos as well as figuring out what colors are similar enough that you don’t need them all.

This weekend I’m donating 50% of Sketchmarker Hex Chart purchases to help Ukrainians!

PS Especially if you’re a regular reader and Copic user – leave a comment about how YOU would use any of these charts. Let the Sketchmarker folks know the treat they’re in for!

Next week’s altered schedule

After the week I’ve had, I’m giving myself a little time to breathe…no Monday video. Maybe only one this week. I lost my dearest aunt and godmother on Friday, and I’m a bit wrecked from that on top of the work in this chart project. I never did get to the watermelon project – so when I get my feet back under me I’ll be here. Subscribe and you’ll get an email when that happens!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Tree silhouette over dusk sky (and little Sketchmarker update)

Tree silhouette over dusk sky (and little Sketchmarker update)

After using the Sketchmarker Aqua last week, and testing them against other pens, I had a few emails asking what’s up with the alcohol pens, so it was time to update ya!

The Sketchmarker company is HQ’d in the region affected so terribly by the war in Europe – and had a hiatus of a sort, and are getting back on it now. That followed some confusion with an intermediary distributor – and that meant I have most of a full set, yet not a full set, so there’s no hex chart yet. However, I trust that’ll loosen up at some point, but I’m giving them grace to get all the balls back in the air before bugging anyone over some missing pens. I’ll let you know as soon as I have a hex chart ready; the best way to be sure you’re the first to know about it? Sign up for the email list at art-classes.com, since that’s the first place I usually send out updates like that! (I’ll be updating you here and YT and social too, but that email list is typically just new-product-related; right now it’s still in weekly email mode with the Peace Love and Art challenge but after that will revert to only sending emails when there’s a new thing.)

Okay let’s get on to today’s project – and the theme for this week: Silhouettes! And don’t worry, you don’t have to be someone who draws a lot to accomplish a nice silhouette – you can use a stamp and just create a few simple elements to create a scene! I’ll show you some stamp ideas on social media all week.

Video

Watch the video below or click here to watch on YT.

The Sketchmarker colors used in this drawing:

Something to note: these pens are quite affordable when buying a set – the bigger the pack, the better the discount. They’re $2.25 per pen when you buy 96! (That set is a bit over $200) However you might just want a few colors, and those singles are more costly, $4.85. Please don’t go getting mad at retailers when you see that; the set referred to on Amazon is directly from the manufacturer, and any crafty store has to price a bit above what they buy it for so they can stay in business. Some manufacturers price products at the same cost as retailers, just to prevent everyone getting upset.

Once I do create a hex chart I’ll work out some recommendations that are the colors that best fill in the Copic set of colors, so if you just want to add a handful, I’ll help you work that out at that time.

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Warm and cool greens: part 1, watercolor and Copic

Warm and cool greens: part 1, watercolor and Copic

This week, a color study – what could be better than a study of greens? Temperature – warm and cool, in particular! This is a 2 part series – and today we’ll talk about two mediums. Most people think of color theory as only affecting fine art and painting, but it really applies to all application of color!

Video

Watch the video below or click here to see it on YouTube.

I got out my Lake Michigan Book Press “Sketch a day” sketchbook for today’s little testing of mixing. The tiny watercolors are so cute – I keep the Daniel Smith 6 essentials in this tiny Whiskey Painters palette for quick studies like today’s. It’s always so interesting to me to see just how many different colors can be gotten from six little pigments!

Swatch some of your own greens, just pair up your blues with yellows. Any kind. What happens when there’s a 50-50 ratio? 70-30? 85-15? Do they go from cool to warm or vice versa?

Any other medium uses the same principles – but the style of delivery of the pigment may mean different ways of blending. For this tree I chose a range of cool and warm greens – there’s a BG96 that was used for the tree trunk and parts of the vehicles.

Layering the colors on top of each other is how alcohol markers “mix” color – but the warm/cool principles are just the same.

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Frustrated by art tutorials? Here’s why.

Frustrated by art tutorials? Here’s why.

If you’ve ever tried to replicate a tutorial – mine or anyone else’s – and been frustrated that it just doesn’t come out the same….you’re not alone. Yes it happens to me, too!

I’ve put together a little demo that will show you that you can use the same colors to create different skintones – just by altering how MUCH of them is used. Same colors! Watch and see.

Video

Watch the video below or click here to see it on YouTube.

Any medium is subject to some basics:

  • Brands and individual hues. Sometimes even how OLD the supplies are; some change over time.
  • Techniques – pressure, layering
  • What you see in a video usually isn’t “all” there is. Hours of video often get cut down to 10 minutes, so there could be steps unseen.

Colored pencils can be affected by the pressure applied, not just in one layer but in successive layers.

Copics can be affected by layering too – sometimes the order can really change things a lot.

For patrons

If you’re a patron and missed it yesterday….the two larger drawings with the whole image are in a video over there. Happy Valentines Day!

The bottom line

Don’t get frustrated. It’s not always “you”!! Too many people leave a video tutorial thinking they’re a failure, they’ll never be an artist, they just aren’t talented. But it could be a lot of factors that don’t translate into video teaching in a ten minute demo!

It’s why I believe in classes. Where I can teach and re-teach. Show several examples of the same thing in successive lessons. It helps to see things a few times, and let them sink in.

Artventure App

My new app is out there – and hopefully the walk-through at the end of today’s video will help explain a little more of how to use it! It’s a platform that only allows me to customize some parts, and some things are getting fixed right now – I’m learning how to update it through the app stores, but it takes a bit of learning! You can download it for iOs or Android – enjoy!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Sketchmarker Alcohol Ink markers: Unboxing, first look, and 4 tests

Sketchmarker Alcohol Ink markers: Unboxing, first look, and 4 tests

The Sketchmarker manufacturer in Slovenia made it Christmas early in my studio! I put on my Christmas pjs for the unboxing…..ha! (Anyone else “get” that new-art-supply feeling?)

First, let me say I’ve tried lots of alcohol markers. Usually I only buy a set of 12 since I’m not about to sink precious art money into unproven items….I’ve been disappointed on nearly every occasion with copies of Copics! Once a company sent me 12 colors of a brand to play with and….that just wasn’t enough, and yet they were still pretty meh for an alcohol pen. But when this company offered a reasonable number of colors, I thought why not – if the MSRP is $3 each below Copic, and if they’re any good — i can’t really ignore that.

My advice is at the end of this post, along with shopping links.

BIG CAVEATS

  • The company only asked for an unboxing on social media in exchange for the pens. I wasn’t required to like or recommend them, and if there had been a quid pro quo I’d have told them to take a hike.
  • For $3 in cost-cutting SOMETHING WILL SUFFER. With a lot of markers, it’s the nib, or the colors, or other important things. Making the choice to have a marker BODY that bears the brunt of the cost cutting isn’t so bad. So watch the video with that in mind. When raising my concerns with the company they did say they plan on upgrading the marker bodies as they increase production to bring that cost down, so that shows they at least know there’s room to improve.

Special disclaimer for this marker review:

Before Sketchmarker approached me, my friend Ellen Hutson said she wanted to bring them into her store, and asked if I wanted to play with them. I was hemming and hawing, because I’m getting ready for Christmas and an ironically-busy sabbatical in December. Then, completely independently, the Sketchmarker company approached me on Instagram because they also launched on Amazon. I decided that two independent requests was probably a sign I should at least look; I wanted to be able to get an early opinion out there to the craft community, as I know a lot of people may just hit YT with “Hey loookee cheap copics!” with some fast swatching – and I didn’t want folks making an investment decision based on someone trying to just get the first sales on a product new to our sector.

As with EVERY art supply, I don’t recommend things willy nilly. I truly believe in getting the best supplies you can afford, because my experience shows if I go for cheap, I end up tossing it at some point and getting the good stuff instead. It infuriates me that I fell for it yet again (ha!) and I want y’all to have your eyes wide open.

So the disclaimer on all this: If you make a purchase using my Amazon links, I will receive a % of that sale, at no cost to you. If you buy from my Ellen Hutson links, I will only receive a % if you have cookies turned ON.

So I humbly request you turn them back on if you’re attempting to help keep this blog going. Thanks!

Okay are ya ready? Get a cup of your fave beverage, this is a long one!

Video

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YouTube.

The markers

Sketchmarkers come in either 400 or 448 colors – there’s apparently a special 48 set not available everywhere (like Copic had an anniversary set at one point, I’m guessing).

The nibs are Japanese, as are the inks – I don’t know what it is about Japanese art supplies, but that gives me confidence. At first look I have zero idea how they last long term, how long the nibs last, how long til refilling (or even what that process is, etc). Lots of outstanding questions for me in a lot of areas.

The tests

After each image are some notes about what I learned in each test.

I made the choice to receive the “Pop” collection of colors, as it was the largest of the sets they offered me; I didn’t want a small set like skin/hair colors that wouldn’t give me an overview of naming conventions in other colors, etc. So the realism fail(ish) is not at all their fault – it’s mine. The US distributor did offer to send me some in between colors – perhaps we’ll still go that route, but I wanted this post out there sooner rather than later (Christmas is a-comin!) so opted to go with only what’s in my box. Aside from items listed in the animé piece below.

That said, once I got over not getting a strong creamy yellow for my trees, I was pretty satisfied with the ability to layer colors for a more realistic kind of colorway. This was a quick sketch – but I’m betting I could spend more time on something (and more product knowledge, and on better paper) and come out with something really nice.

As for the nib performance, it felt much like coloring with Copics – marks I made felt very natural. The pen is smaller in my hand, and I actually like a round body pen in general more than the oval Copic body – so that’s all pretty good.

I wish the caps did “post” (click onto the back of the pen while coloring) – Copics never did that at all and I’ve always wished they did – my pups love to chew on lids if one hits the floor. The pen bodies, as I said, are the part that got “cut” to lower the price, so the inconsistency in the posting (some do, some don’t) is to be expected.

A challenge: blending with really limited color selection! ha. Yeah, I know, probably unfair with the Pop collection! But even though it was on marker paper that doesn’t like to smoothly blend anyway, I was able to preview the color issue I was going to have with pink hair later – when trying to blend the several pinks, it went red really fast! And the edge of the yellow-orangey color didn’t want to melt/soften, though I could do some tip to tip coloring to try to compensate.

In general when people think of marker coloring, regular folks think of more graphic application of color – it’s cardmakers who insist on perfection in blending. Markers are considered more of a sketching medium than a fine art medium – think back to my waterfall drawing, where I wasn’t worried about blending, but more about the sketched result from a distance, not the nose-to-paper perfection.

On to Neenah! I stamped “Get Together” from Colorado Craft Company with Lawn Fawn’s Jet Black ink, on Neenah Cardstock, and everything felt much better right away. Ha! That’s the paper I use for almost all my marker work so it was comortable.

While this will take a lot more testing, I did notice more of the light colors “eating into” the darker areas – it’s something I’ve definitely seen with Copic but not to this extent. I’d have to test it with more color pairings and more of the Sketchmarker light colors to see if it really is a “thing” or not. For the casual user, especially cardmaker, it may entail being careful that light colors could act more like a colorless blender, pushing back darks – and for some you might love that if your darks take over! But – I was looking for differences to note, so that’s one.

And of course colors are different than Copic, so that’s to be expected. I’d be curious to see the full range in person and see if overall they’re more bright/cartoony as this Pop set feels – but remember – I chose this one, knowing it’s “pop” kinds of colors. So I wasn’t expecting my beloved neutral-ish colors. Plus, who wants the exact same colors in two lines? I’d like to be able to supplement my Copic collection with some useful other colors, so I’m glad they’re slightly different.

I know, I’m not an animé artist! That’s not my jam, though I’ve been asked if I’d create an animé coloring class for the kids and grandkids of some of my students – watch for that in 2022.

But I thought since some might want these less expensive pens for their young folks, I thought showing you this piece would help.

First – I wanted to see if the Copic airbrush would fit these pens, so handled the skintones that way. And yes, they fit! Just snap them all the way into the gun. (At first I thought it was a fail til I pushed it in til it snapped in place.) The angle that it sprays is different, so be aware of that.

Then the colors- the hair made me crazy! In my first attempt at this, I tried for smooth blending of the hair, and that reddish pink totally took over the pinkish pink, which was not what I wanted. Way too red.The whole thing came out really muddy, so I started over with a different plan – leaving some whites, then airbrushing on the last bit of color on top. That kept the pink feel.

The deeper shadows were, well, another problem. I tried using the bluish purple, and unfortunately that was too blue, and going over it with the reddish purple, it got muddy fast. In general I found the “muddy” to be an ongoing overall sadness with these pens – most people will never see it, but it’ll take having the right colors potentially to keep from creating muddy layers, I think. Hard to say with a limited color collection.

And if you want to download this to color up yourself – here’s the link to get it from my teaching site: LINK

My verdict, for now

For those who haven’t invested in Copics, these would be a decent alternative. Though right now I honestly can’t tell you what colors to get, or how to choose by color number (with Copics you can kinda say “get the same letters but go up or down two digits). I’m of no help at this point. But subscribe to my YT if you want any further updates in 2022. Be very careful who you listen to about “buy this set!” or “buy these colors!” Because everyone wants a piece of your dollars in their affiliate sales. Look at their art – is that what you want to create? If not, find someone else with advice for ya.

For those already invested in Copics: stay the course, IMHO. I won’t be choosing any of these as a go-to for my coloring, at least not yet. I may try to find some colors to insert into my Copic range, but I won’t be abandoning the investment already made – even WITH the cost of refills, they’re a better value for you as an artist. Remember, you already paid for that marker body. Use it! If you want to mix some of the Sketchmarker colors in with what you have, that’s totally fine.

For those who don’t even care about alcohol markers: You’re free to enjoy whatever mediums you love!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

I’m only listing the brush marker sets here but you can get them in bullet (fine) with Chisel. NOTE: the fine/chisel MAY NOT have same colors as the brush sets. I’ve listed both Ellen Hutson’s links and Amazon’s; the AMZ Sketchmarker store has a selection of just a few sets.

  • 96 Set 1, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • 96 Set 2, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • 96 Set 3, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • 96 Set 4, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • POP 48, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set — AMZ
  • People 36, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EHAMZ
  • Starter 36, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • America 36, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set — AMZ
  • Starter 24, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • 24 Portrait, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • 24 Manga, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • 12 Gray, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • 12 Skin, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • Skin 6 Set 2, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • Cool Gray 6, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • Neutral Gray 6, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • Skin 6 Set 1, Sketchmarker Brush Pro Marker Set —- EH
  • These items are not in their Amazon store:
    • Sketchmarkers sketchbook
    • Sketchmarkers Bristol pad
    • Sketchmarkers Illustration pad
    • Sketchmarkers Marker pad
    • Sketchmarkers liner pens
Copic Maintenance Day: dry markers and squishy nibs!

Copic Maintenance Day: dry markers and squishy nibs!

Just a little marker maintenance! I wanted to get the post-watercolor month off and rolling but….my markers, oh my! I had a lot of work to catch up on.

Video

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YouTube.

I did make a video on the new reinkers before – but I’m still working with my old ones, but here’s what the new bottles look like if you haven’t seen them. Yes, more expensive. But Copic should have been raising prices by a little bit every year for the 10 before they hit us with the increase last year – it’s only super painful because they kept putting it off. I don’t hold it against them, even if paying for new ones makes me wince.

The official Copic tweezers have little teeth that works better than makeup tweezers. How do I know? Coz my Copic tweezers had gone awol last year and I had to use the others. I’m so glad I found this one again!

I dono’t weigh my markers like some do – that’s overkill as far as I’m concerned. 40 drops for a really dry Sketch marker, and scale down from there based on just how dry it is. This rarely has me overfilling anything.

Got gunky markers?

The video on the fix for gunky nibs (watch below or click here to see it on YT)

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art