Monday, May 20, 2013

Art Marker Showdown: Potentate Alcohol Markers vs. Copic Sketch Markers

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In my ever continuing quest to find and test markers for my audience's enjoyment, I quickly ran out of options that were easily available in US brick and mortar stores.  This meant I had to increasingly widen my search online, breezing through my usual resources- DickBlick, Jerry's Artarama, JetPens, in my search for new marker options.  It was on eBay that I hit my motherlode- Chinese markers, grafitti markers, as long as I wasn't required to buy a large set in a single brand, I was willing to give it a shot.  It was during this eBay exploration that I found Potentate markers, a Chinese alcohol based marker. Potentate, meaning monarch or ruler, has a lot to live up to.

Like most brands not easily available in the US, it's difficult to find information about Potentate alcohol markers.

According to the trading site, Road of Silk, Potentate Markers are:

"1. Famous brand in China, practical item for designers
2. Suitable for Individuals or teams’ animation and cartoon drawing
3. Suitable for Drawings, sketching for Interior Design, Architectural Design, Fashion Design
4. Especially suitable for students professionals in fields of architecture, interior, advertisement and animation design"

Art Supply Review Disclaimer

 As always, these art supply reviews are based on my own experiences and tastes, and may not be directly relevant to your needs and techniques. When investing in a product as expensive and potentially long lasting as alcohol based markers, it's wise to take into consideration a variety of sources, and to do your research.

Potentate Alcohol Markers VS. Copic Sketch Alcohol Markers

Potentate Markers:








  • Depending on where you buy, are available individually and in sets of 24, 48, or 60 markers
  • Are available via shops on eBay (just search 'Potentate alcohol markers') and on sites like Road of Silk  , Wanpin, and Aliexpress
  • Twin tipped marker- bullet nib and chisel nib
  • Body is similar to Kurecolor Twin S markers
  • Color code on cap
Source

  • Band of color on barrel and spot on cap to denote ink color
  • Also available in a waterbased formula
  • Square barrel prevents rolling
  • Can be blended with some reworking
Copic Markers
Price Per Marker: $7.29
  • Refillable
  • Replacable Nibs
  • Comfortable in hand
  • 358 available number of colors
  • Blend
  • Color Name and Family on Cap
  • Color Coded cap
  • Super Brush
  • Can mix own colors, blank markers available
  • Availability: limited availability at Michaels, many art supply stores, Dick Blick, Jerry's Artarama, Jetpens, Amazon
  • Available in individual and color themed sets
  • Alcohol based
  •   React to rubbing alcohol and 'blender' fluid
  •   Can be blended




The Comparison

 This test is my standard for all alcohol based marker comparison tests, and you've already seen it with my Spectrum Noir, Prismacolor Premiers, ShinHan Twin Touch, FlexMarkers, and Pantone Letraset Tria tests. I test the marker's compatibility with a variety of technical pens (Sakura Micron, Copic Multiliner, Pitt Pen, the waterbased ink found in Akashiya brush pens, the gel ink in Pentel Technica rollerball pens), as well as it's ability to blend and layer (shown on the sphere) and it's ability to mix with the other marker (show in the boxed area). I also test blender compatibility with the Copic Colorless Blender.


The Verdict

I wasn't particularly impressed by the Potentate markers. They're a little hard to come by (I ordered them off a trading site), and the plastic feels cheap. Neither nib is impressive, and while they do react to Copic Colorless Blender, they don't blend easily with either other Potentate markers or Copic markers. I ended up paying a fair amount for shipping, and since there are so many decent alternatives available (Shin Han TWin Touch, for example), I recommend skipping out on this marker.

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