Monday, June 9, 2008

PrismaColor Markers

My favorite art supplies at this current moment is Prismacolor markers. My second favorite art tool at the moment is micron pens, and thirdly Prismacolor Pencils. Oil paints, airbrushes, mechanical pencils etc all fall short of my top three list right now.

I wanted to write a short blog about my excitment about Prismacolor's products. While I always cringe at paying 3 dollars per marker when I get to my local art store here in Minneapolis, I cannot resist. Prismacolor markers are the best markers on the market. I use them to create my bearded bunnies, to draw webcomics, and do fine artwork.

Each marker comes with a fat tip, for larger drawings and areas, and a fine tip. Every year or so they make slight changes to make these pens better. In 2000 I purchased a huge set of 132 markers, and unfortunately the fine tip sides seemed to dry out and did not work very effeciently and the caps had trouble snapping on all the way. In 2004, when I went back to replace a few markers that I had used up, I found that prismacolor had created a brand new fine tip which works far better than the previous tip and makes the markers that much more useful. The caps also seemed to be fixed as well.

I have not been able to afford buying an entire new set, especially since I go buy individual markers whenever one runs out. I also try out the new colors each time I visit the art store. I cannot resist adding new colors to my collection, and one of my favorite series of colors are the grayscale colors. Prismacolor has designed a set of warm gray colors in varying darkness percentages (10% 20% 40% ect), and a series of cool gray colors as well. These are extremely handy for shading and values. I use a lot of single colored shapes, with grayscale shading.

A few warnings... I do find that the markers bleed a lot. It is the downside of having extremely vibrant colors. This is something you need to constantly be aware of, and put some bleed paper under your work to avoid getting ruining the table, or next pages of your sketchbooks.

My one other warning is using dark colors. Often the dark colors are unforgiving or bleed beyond the lines (this depends on the paper you use). You cannot go back from a dark color, very similar to watercolors. So use them very strategically and make sure you know exactly where you want those dark colors to go. I always start with the lighter colors and build towards the darks. You can always go over the lights to create dark, but you can never go over the dark to create lights. Unless you want to use colored pencils over the top of your art (which i do all the time, actually).

I plan to review some of my favorite supplies and hopefully lead other artists to products that I strongly recommend or, possibly products to avoid.

Here is a sample of work I did using prismacolor markers and micron pens. Click image to enlarge it.

If you enjoyed this blog you may also like How to become an airbrush artist and also a Story about Prismacolor Markers

1 comment:

Bengo said...

I'm drooling over those markers. Big, hanging gobs of drool.

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