I Understand the Alcohol Marker Love

I know alcohol markers (ie: Copic, Spectrum Noir, etc) are big in the craft world, and have been for some time! I kept resisting because we all know I don’t need another obsession! I loved the look of gradient color that I saw created with the markers, but the price was the key thing that kept me resisting a purchase. I learned to use my distress inks and water color pencils and paints to get similar looks. It wasn’t the same, but it was enough. I knew I wanted to try the colored pencil and gamsol technique one day, but I just haven’t made it that far. It’s on my list, though! 😉

Well, I came across a crafter that was wanting to sell her full collection of Spectrum Noir markers at an amazing price. Around a dollar a marker.  Copics average $5-6 each, and Spectrum Noir average $2-3, so you can see this was a fantastic opportunity. I jumped on it. They are in practically new condition. There are a handful that need to be reinked, but I have 61 functioning markers now. And I understand. I get it. I know the love, now. I was happy to invest this smaller amount to see if I liked the markers without the huge outlay. I got them a few months ago, and have slowly started playing and trying to learn how to use them. There is a bit of a learning curve. They aren’t like regular Crayola markers that we all used as kids. They are better! 😀

I had already planned on getting Spectrum Noir markers because of the price point. It’s more of a realistic splurge for me at this point. One day I may start investing in copic markers, but for now, I’m happy with Spectrum Noir. The main draw for me to eventually consider copic was that that brand has a brush tip on one end and a chisel on the other. Spectrum Noir pens have a bullet tip and a chisel tip, but their new ‘next generation’ pens allow you to trade out the chisel tip for a brush nib! The markers I have now are the older style, but Joann sells the sets, and I may convert to the newer next generation SN pens and sell the ones I currently have to another crafter wanting to learn and try them out. At Joann I can use a coupon and knock the price of the pens even lower, making it a smart way to grow a collection on a budget!

Ok, a little more about the Spectrum Noir (SN) markers. There are 168 colors available. This is broken down into 12 groups of 6 color families and 4 sets of 24 markers. There are no duplicates between sets. I have the 12 sets of 6, but 11 of the markers are too dry to use, so I have 60 colors and the blender. I love that I can get certified online! They have an online test you can color and send in to their company, and they will certify you at no cost! They have been uploading lots of videos on YouTube to give you direction and instruction on each step of the test, too. They also offer a dvd of instruction. It’s on my wish list! Eventually I’d love to take the copic certification test, but this will give me a fantastic start! (and I may decide I don’t need copic when all is said and done!) I’ve downloaded and colored in the color chart that is offered on their website and started coloring images.

You want to use an ink that is friendly with alcohol markers. I found that my home printer ink plays well with the ink in the markers. Yay!! This makes digital stamps easy for me to color. The most popular ink recommended to stamp with when using alcohol markers is the Memento brand ink. I do not have the black, but do have the rich cocoa, so I’ve been using that. (on a side note, alcohol markers do NOT play well with embossing powder. They sorta dissolve it and make it yucky. Don’t try it – it’s not pretty!)

Here is a pretty water lily stamp that I colored in.

water lily

I love how pretty the flower blended in the petals and the center. I need more green colors to get the look I want for the lily pad. I’m not really that happy with the result here. I’m still learning, though, so I may be able to get better results in the future. We’ll see.

Here’s a tip for you if you like fussy cutting your images to use on cards or pages. When you are done cutting it out, take a black marker (or marker that matches your stamping ink, like brown in the example shown below), and run it around the cut edge. This covers any minor imperfections made when cutting the image out and gives it a finished look to the edge. Try it! You’ll see how much more crisp and professional the finished result is!

before after

This is all I have for you today! Lots of info shared, though! You can find more info on Spectrum Noir Markers on their website and YouTube Channel. I’ve been working on revamping my video camera set up, and hopefully will be starting some more video shares very soon. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you won’t miss anything!

Stop in at Sam’s to see what she’s been working on! (maybe I should follow suit, and post some pics like her one day as a bonus!)

There’s also plenty of time to link up your SHINE project to this week’s Make Something Monday Challenge. See you on Friday!

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