Today we are going to discuss alcohol markers and what the best alcohol marker sets are to invest in. Since Copic came out with their alcohol markers years ago, there are now even more companies that offer their versions of alcohol markers so there are lots to choose from. We are going to give you expert knowledge based on our years of working with alcohol markers so that you get the perfect set that's right for you.
The best alcohol markers have a heavy pigment load of ink that will fully saturate into alcohol marker paper. The pigment load should be formulated in a proper way so that the alcohol will carry the pigment into the paper fibers to allow for accurate blending and shading. Alcohol markers are made to fully saturate through the paper and dry evenly so that the color is evenly dispersed once dried. If you see full bleeding of color to the other side, then you know the pigment to alcohol ratio has been properly formulated. Look for alcohol markers that range from the lightest shades possible to dark bold shades for a range of blending options. The lighter colors should look like they are barely there and the bold colors should give you full color saturation.
We are fortunate enough to have many full sets of markers here at DIY Craft Club so we know our alcohol markers. The best alcohol marker sets come with shades that leave a tiny bit of pigment, to bold colors that are long-lasting and are easily blendable between the same shade families and colors. Professionals and also those who are starting out should always use alcohol markers that have the correct formula because that's what it takes to make your artwork the very best it can be.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR WHEN IT COMES TO ALCOHOL MARKERS
Practicing with low pigment, cheap markers will never show you exactly what alcohol markers can really do. If you are thinking of getting into creating artwork and designs with alcohol markers then you will require markers that will highlight, shade, blend, and transition properly. Here are our top choices that made the list.
This complete set of Everblend alcohol markers comes with 120 colors and shades. The Arteza markers are highly pigmented and are formulated to give you the best possible shading and blending that you can get from an alcohol marker. This marker set also includes a clear blending marker which is great for softening colors or to blend your shades together. If you are using these alcohol markers for manga or anime, you will enjoy these markers a lot. And the carrying case lets you create on the go.
Arteza alcohol markers come with refillable, double-ended tips. You get a wide chisel tip and a fine tip in this alcohol marker set.
The Copic TOO alcohol markers come in many color sets but if you are just starting out we recommend getting set A, as it will come with all of the colors that you need to get started on your art pieces right away. As you work with alcohol markers and begin to see what you truly enjoy creating, you will start to see that you will keep reaching for the same color families. That's when you can branch out and start playing with the other sets. Copic has alcohol marker sets dedicated to certain color families as you will see below.
There's a reason why these are popular. They are perfectly formulated to give you the very best ratio of ink and alcohol. These alcohol markers blend, color, & move on the paper perfectly. They are truly everything you could ever want in an alcohol marker. If you are a fashion artist or work with illustrations, you will love the soft brush tip.
Copic alcohol markers come with refillable, double-ended tips. You get a brush tip and a fine tip.
This is a professional full-color set of alcohol markers that have an advanced formulation for rich and saturated color. If you are a professional artist, you will really enjoy working with this set, especially for when you need to lay down color in broad strokes because the brush tip is great for that. The inks are formulated for superior blending and we find that they are right up there with the Copics in that they fully saturate the alcohol marker paper right through, which is exactly what you need for blending.
Prismacolor alcohol markers come with non-refillable, double-ended tips. You get a brush tip and a fine tip.
Here is an excellent brand that produces extremely high-quality alcohol markers. What we really love is their color packs. You can choose from many different sets so if you are going for skin tones, or a bold and bright look then you can pick and choose which ones are right for you. Or of course you can get the full extended set as shown below. These alcohol markers are very blendable and are streak-free as long as you make sure that you are saturating your paper correctly (that goes with all alcohol markers).
Winsor & Newton alcohol markers come in non-refillable, double ended tips. You get a hard chisel tip and a fine tip.
Chameleon alcohol markers are a great way to get started. This set is great for students, colorists, and professionals. We have the color top set and reach for them often for projects. These alcohol markers are perfect for blending and are just wonderful for manga and anime. What's truly wonderful about alcohol markers is that you can blend many colors with just a few. A set of 5 markers can give you over 25 colors to play with.
Chameleon alcohol markers come with refillable inks. You get a soft blendable brush tip and a fine tip.
If you are just starting out and want to play with alcohol markers before jumping right into a full set, then try the Spectrum Noir alcohol markers. We have many sets of these here and have used them often for different projects. They are great because you can grab a few different color sets without setting you back hundreds. These sets have a full saturation ink load so they are good quality alcohol markers, (not up there with Copic or Prismacolor) but still, you can achieve high-quality artwork with these no problem. You might really like the hexagon barrel which feels really great when you are creating your artwork or coloring. Keep in mind that the tips are quite a bit harder than Copics.
*These sets come with refillable, double-ended or even triple tips. Depending on what sets you choose from, you will get different tips so keep that in mind and make sure you grab the right tips that you want.
Yes, you sure can. BUT alcohol markers are designed to work with alcohol paper so that they can fully saturate and bleed through the paper without pooling ink on the back. They are designed for this so that they are easily blendable and give full color pigment. So you can use them on regular paper but they will bleed through a lot instead of properly saturating the paper and you'll waste quite a bit of ink. So use alcohol paper or the next best thing to use is Neenah white cardstock paper on Amazon which is especially great for card makers.
The correct way to store alcohol markers is horizontally. This is especially important for long-term marker storage because the ink inside needs to be able to touch both nibs on each side. If you've had your alcohol markers stored upright for too long, eventually one side of the nib won't have the saturation of ink that it needs to give you the best possible results for your artwork - especially if your markers are almost out of ink. Sometimes markers will last years stored any old way if they are full.
WATCH OUR VIDEO HOW TO STORE ALCOHOL MARKERS
Not all alcohol markers are created to be archival. If you want to find out if a certain brand of alcohol markers are light fast and archival, be sure to check with the manufacturer. Normally, the more expensive brands do have premium pigmented alcohol ink but each brand has their own formulas so it's a good idea to check on that before ordering if that is important to you.
Yes, you sure can. BUT alcohol markers are designed to carry the ink to fully saturate and bleed through the paper. They are designed for this so that they are easily blendable when using proper alcohol paper. So you can use them on regular paper but they will bleed through a lot and waste quite a bit of ink on coloring book paper. If you love to color, then you should order some alcohol ink paper here on Amazon, and then go to Etsy and purchase downloadable coloring pages and then print them onto the alcohol marker paper. You might have to heat set the paper with a hairdryer so that the black ink doesn't smear. That will just depend on your printer ink so do a test before going ahead with your coloring page.
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