Sunday, February 24, 2013

Outline for A Manifesto for the Internet Savvy Artist

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I'm writing a manifesto for my art history class- Virtuality and the Public Sphere, and I thought I'd share the rough outline here.  It's a topic I've touched on many times before, and one near and dear to my heart, so it's a pleasure to write about.


Outline:

A Manifesto for the Internet Savvy Artist

Introduction
-necessity for such a manifesto to exist
-what's wrong with the current environment
-huge pockets of hostility- Tumblr,DeviantArt.com, boards on ConceptArt.org

due to a lack of respect and proper online etiquette
-With exception of Tumblr, DA and CA were started with the intention

of helping artists across the board, providing a positive community for artists to

participate in
-unfortunately, it's hard to enforce/police this
-change has to come from within
-Some sites encourage this- (http://itcamefromdeviantart.tumblr.com/

NSFW!!!) (http://artist-confessions.tumblr.com/--http://artist-

confessions.tumblr.com/post/43905019353/her-anatomy-is-disgusting-and-shows-little-

to-no ) (http://deviantartconfessions.tumblr.com/ ) with the intention of shaming

other artists publicly

-social justice movement

Points of Manifesto

-Contribute more than consume.
-Tutorials
-Advice
-A sympathetic ear
-Tough love
Experience
-Ensure the distribution of freely available resources
-Don't be a dead end.
-Reblog, retweet, share with other artists who might be interested.
-Do not steal the fruits of others' labors
-Give credit where credit is due
-Participate publicly in intelligent discourse whenever possible
-Promote the advancement of the art community in general, and the communities you

participate in in particular
-Excel by one's own efforts
-Plant the seed for a new generation of artists
-Reward and recognize hard work, in self and others
-Do not negate the efforts of others nor yourself
-Do not be blinded by false fame
-Help others in honest need whenever possible
-Not slander other artists, nor their work
-If help is needed, be brave enough to ask or to give.
-Do not expect a free ride.
-Do not take the easy road
-Do not go down without a fight
-Do not take without giving
-Do not substitute traditional techniques and hard work for easy digital tricks.
-A bad traditional technique is more convincing than a mediocre digital

attempt to recreate a good traditional technique.
-Photoshop can not save everything.
-Nobody's buyin' those filters.
-Do not be afraid to invest time. The return is rarely immediately worth the

investment.
-Don't let others dictate your success.
-Take responsibility for personal success and failure.
-Know when to make necessary changes.
-Be particular about venting in public spheres
-Be respectful to other artists, regardless of skill level
-Encourage and respect drive in yourself and others

What these points will achieve:

-Improved overall online artistic community
-Environment where newer artists can solicit necessary guidance
-Environment where more experienced artists are admired and respected
-Better distribution of resources and information
-Improvement of available resources
-Self-actualized young artists who can perpetuate this system
-An online environment similar to art schools and atliers
-A better approximation of a digital meritocracy

Sites that espouse some of these beliefs:

-http://conceptart.org/forums/forum.php?s=636d9c3143e0be5a334e2d733168f269
-http://fyeaharttips.tumblr.com/post/13167449557/art-references-tumblr-accounts
-http://ibelievepracticemakesperfect.tumblr.com/
-http://amazinglyartisticadvice.tumblr.com/
-http://learninganatomy.tumblr.com/
-http://anatomicalart.tumblr.com/
-http://fluffixation.tumblr.com/post/41318833010/a-tutorial-masterpost
-http://fuckyeaharttutorials.tumblr.com/
-http://art-tutorials.tumblr.com/
-http://artists-help.tumblr.com/
-http://artistshospital.deviantart.com/

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Art Dump

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My last semester at SCAD has kept me pretty busy between finishing up my thesis comic, revising my thesis paper, and keeping up with my last art history class.  Unfortunately, that makes updating a little difficult to juggle, but I think I've done a much better job than last semester.  Granted, I'm not nursing a nasty staph infection, just a demanding class and a thesis paper that makes me question what I was thinking when I originally structured it.  Actually, I know what I was thinking.  It started out quite structured, but revisions seemed to get tacked on slapdash.

Last semester, I didn't take many in-process photos of 7" Kara chapter 1, and I've been waiting to post the finished pages online until I've hit a sustainable page rate.  This semester, I'll try to take more in-process photos so I can share them.

Here's a few sketches I've managed to complete here and there.  It starts off with some sketches done while visiting the Biltmore Estate, then there's a whole lot of Kara (as usual) and some comic-concept.












Monday, February 18, 2013

Art Marker Showdown: Chartpak Adpro vs. Copic Sketch

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EDIT: If you enjoyed this review, please consider donating! Donations go towards the purchase of additional art supplies, which may include more markers for testing. If you found this review useful, please consider sharing it on your social networks-sharing it on your social networks- a larger audience means I can afford to do things like Kickstart future projects and makes me more attractive to possible publishers.  There's also a handy pocket edition of ALL my marker reviews in a beautiful little 4"x6" photobook.  It's available for $3 in my Nattoshop, and proceeds go towards things like keeping the lights on and buying more markers to review.

Chartpak Ad Pro markers have been on the periphery of my marker purchasing bubble since I first started using markers for professional grade illustrations.  Conveniently situated right next to the Letraset Trias, Prismacolor Premiers, and Copic kiosks, I've often passed them by on my way to more familiar markers.

I didn't have a particular reason for passing up Chartpak's markers in the stores- I'd heard of no major flaw regarding the brand.  In a world of Prismacolor and Copic marker tutorials, there was surprisingly little regarding Chartpak, despite it's ubiquitous nature.  My severely limited supply budget meant that I skipped untested products for surefire ones, so Chartpak Ad Pro markers didn't enter my collection until very recently.

Unlike the majority of the markers I've selected to review, Chart Pak Ad Pro markers don't come with a brush option, nor are they twin tip markers.  I can't even say that they're alcohol based, although they certainly do involve a solvent besides water.

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.

Background Information on Chartpak

Chartpak is the parent company of several smaller art supply brands you may be more familiar with, including Koh-i-noor, Higgins, Pelikan, and Clearprint.

Chartpak got its start in 1949 and specialized in engineering and visual communication materials.

ChartPak Ad Pro Vs. Copic Sketch

Chartpak

Price per marker:
$2.69 (DickBlick.com)
  • Not refillable
  • No replacable nibs
  •  130 number of colors available in the tri tip, 25 available in the fine tip.

  • Two nibs available- fine tip and tri tip
Source
Tri nib:
Triangular shaped tip, three tips in one
Fine tip: Classic cone shape
Designed for detail work
  • Color sticker on cap
  • Color coded on side of barrel, sort of hard to find
  • Without cap, marker rolls
  • Availability: Amazon, DickBlick (online and in person), most art supply stores
  • Blender marker available
  • Sold individually, pack size
  • Blend-able
And here's a little tidbit, Jim Ligget  has made a chart of the 36 essential colors:

Source
And another interesting chart:

Source  Original source

Copic Sketch

Price Per Marker: $7.29 (Amazon)

Source

    • Refillable
    • Replacable Nibs
    • Comfortable in hand
    • 358 available number of colors
    • Blend-able
    • 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 Hi Tec C 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). New to this test is the compatibility with Copic's Colorless Blender as well as the compatibility with the Chartpak blender.


When selecting Chartpak markers, you have two options.  The tri nib tipped markers have a solid colored barrel.  The fine nib barrels have a white crosshatched pattern.  I've read online that the color dots on the caps aren't very accurate to the actual marker color, so you should make sure you test your markers before purchasing.  As with non-refillable Prismacolor markers, you should also test your marker to make sure there's plenty of ink left, and that the nib hasn't been wrecked before purchasing.  I've read that Chartpak markers last a very long time, but I have no first hand experience with that.


Chartpak marker nibs differ greatly from the nibs of other brands of markers.   They seem to be made of a much harder material, not the felt or nylon I'm used to when it comes to markers.  The material has no give, so the fine point nib has zero flex to it, and cannot be used in lieu of a brush tip.




Chartpak markers put down a lot of ink per application, and the ink is prone to bleeding.  Paper saturation is near instantaneous.


Compared to the Copics, Chartpak markers bleed A LOT, and though they saturate the paper easily, it's hard to get an even application of color with their stiff nibs.


This marker test alone bled through three sheets of paper.

The Test Results



Chartpak AdPro markers and Copic Sketch markers are not compatible.  The blender for the Chartpak 'works' with both brands, but the Copic blender does not work with Chartpak markers.  The Chartpak markers are the first brand I've tested not to cause smearing with the Akashiya brush pen, possibly because the solvent isn't alcohol based.

Chartpak markers are quite affordable compared to Copic Sketch markers, but don't offer nearly the same results.  The color range is much smaller, the bleed is much larger, and these markers are a bit difficult to control.  There's no flex to the nib.  They seem to be used primarily as layout markers and not as illustration markers.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines!

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It just so happens to be Valentine's, today. I cranked out a couple cuties using my test pad of Strathmore Mixed Media paper and Letraset's AquaMarkers (the review will be up soon!). I hope you guys have a lovely Valentine's Day with whomever you choose to share it with.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Art Marker Showdown: Letraset FlexMarker vs. Copic Sketch

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EDIT: If you enjoyed this review, please consider donating! Donations go towards the purchase of additional art supplies, which may include more markers for testing. If you found this review useful, please consider sharing it on your social networks-a larger audience means I can afford to do things like Kickstart future projects and makes me more attractive to possible publishers.  There's also a handy pocket edition of ALL my marker reviews in a beautiful little 4"x6" photobook.  It's available for $3 in my Nattoshop, and proceeds go towards things like keeping the lights on and buying more markers to review. 

In order to compete with the popularity of the Super Brush nib available on Copic Sketch and Copic Ciao markers, many alcohol based marker companies have been releasing an art brush option.  You've already seen a couple in action recently with my Prismacolor Premier Art Brush review and ShinHan Twin Touch reviews, and I've got another in store.  This week's contender is the Letraset Flex Marker, a super brush option available from the same folks who produce Promarker and the Tria alcohol based markers.

You guys know from my ShinHan Twin Touch review that there's three qualities I look for in an alcohol based marker.

  1. Flexable nib that can mimic the flex of a watercolor brush.
  2.  Refill-ability
  3. Blend-ability with other markers
It is with these qualities in mind that I rate my markers but I keep other qualities like availability and price in mind when writing these reviews.  Beyond personal curiosity and an actual love for art supply testing, my goal for these reviews is to help other artists begin or augment their marker collections with art markers that will benefit their art, not create obstacles.  While a very talented artist can work with any material given, there's no reason to unnecessarily shackle yourself to poor materials.

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.

Letraset History


I covered a basic history of Letraset in my review of their Tria and Promarkers, as well as a list of their available markers.

Letraset Flex Marker Vs. Copic Sketch

Letraset Flex


  • Refillable- could not find information
  • Replacable Nibs- could not find information
  • 148 Colors

  • Comfortable in hand
  • Color sticker on cap
  • Color coded on side of barrel, sort of hard to find
  • Without cap, marker rolls
  • This is the super brush option
  • Availability: Amazon, Letraset website, eBay
  • Same ink as Tria and Promarkers
  • Twin tipped- chisel end and brush tip
  • Blender marker available
  • Sold individually, in 6 and 12 blister packs
  • Price per marker:  $2.02 (Amazon)
  • Blendable
Source

Copic Sketch

  • Refillable
  • Replacable Nibs
  • Comfortable in hand
  • 358 available number of colors
  • Blend-able
  • Color Name and Family on Cap
  • Color Coded cap
  • Super Brush
  • Can mix own colors, blank markers available
  • Price Per Marker: $7.29 (Amazon)
  • 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

Flexmarkers come in a reclose-able blister pack that holds each marker snugly in place.   The blister pack is not very sturdy, nor attractive, but it's free and portable.


Unlike Trias and Promarkers, Letraset's FlexMarker does not have two different caps to denote the end.  Rather, there's a tiny symbol near the cap, but it's very easy to miss.

Unlike most of the brush tips I've encountered, this one is more conical



It's also a bit shorter than the Copic Superbrush tip.


The chisel nib doesn't seem to be as well fitted to the marker as the Copic Sketch's chisel nib.


A colorless blender came with my set of 12 markers.

Color comparison shots.

The Test Results


 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, 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 Hi Tec C 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). New to this test is the compatibility with Copic's Colorless Blender as well as the compatibility with the FlexMarker's blender.


I found the FlexMarker to be a bit dry, and even when I saturate the paper with colorless blender, I still get patchy blending.  Flexmarkers and Copics seem to play well together, and I believe Flexmarkers would make a very fair start for a marker collection, particularly as they're a fair bit cheaper than Copics.  I've never seen them in person, so they may be harder to find in a physical store.  I realize that this is a dealbreaker for many young artists, so if you cannot find Letraset Flexmarkers in stores, you should inquire about the Prismacolor artbrush, particularly if having a brush tip is important to you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Alcohol Based Markers Vs. Water Based Markers

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What are Alcohol Based Markers?

Photo and art courtesy of Heidi Black, markers are mine.
A lineup of alcohol based markers showcasing the diverse selection in nibs and brushes.

Having soldered my way through several reviews of these things, I realized that many in my audience may not know what I mean by the term 'alcohol based marker'. Alcohol based markers differ from water based markers in that the color (dye or pigment) is suspended in an alcohol, rather than water. This means that alcohol based markers are not water soluable, but may be alcohol soluable. Alcohol based markers tend to be permanent, and you can use them to mark on just about anything. I know several cosplayers who use Sharpies or Copics to add color to their wigs, in fact.

Alcohol based markers tend to perform much better than water-based markers, though I must admit, my experience with waterbased markers is pretty much limited to Crayola and it's ilk, or to watercolor markers.

For many artists, 'alcohol based marker' is synonymous with Copic marker, although Copic is just one brand among many. Prismacolor, Chartpak, Letraset, and many other companies make alcohol based markers. Even the ubiquitous Sharpie is an alcohol based marker, although for artistic purposes, it's not archival and will eventually destroy the paper it's on.

There's a variety of uses for alcohol based markers, and for each use, there seems to be a marker that suits that need. From stamping to fine illustration, graffiti to card makining, there's plenty of options to choose from.

Source

Source
Source

Alcohol based markers tend to cost more than waterbased markers, particularly if the comparison is between school-grade markers and illustration grade markers. School grade markers, which are often priced below a dollar per marker, are rarely sold open stock, are not designed to be archival, and are not really intended for professional artist use. They are not refillable, and the nibs are not replaceable (nor very sturdy), and the inks not color fast. Alcohol based markers, originally designed to facilitate graphic and concept artists in generating mock ups, are intended to be archival. You probably can achieve some very impressive effects with school grade markers, but it would take a lot of artistic experience, trial, and effort.

I've been using alcohol based markers (Copic Sketch primarily, before that, Prismacolor) for a little under six years. I use them primarily for commission and illustration work, and my technique leans toward my penchant for unsaturated color and watercolor-esque effects. Of course, they're not limited to that. Alcohol based inks come in a wide variety of colors, hues, and saturations, and one is not limited to watercolor mimicry. You can achieve some very bold effects with alcohol based markers.

What originally drew me to alcohol based markers was the fact that they could be blended, unlike water based markers. Both marker types are capable of overlapping color, but with alcohol based markers, you can blend two dissimilar colors utilizing either a blender marker, rubbing alcohol, or a color between the two. With alcohol based markers, it's easier to avoid the streaky color fields that all grade-school marker enthusiasts are familiar with. To do so, you can 1. saturate the paper with blender before applying your color, 2. saturate your paper with the color you intend to use, or 3. blend out the streaks. If you were to attempt similiar effects with a water based marker, you'd have to give each application time to dry, or the water saturation would make the paper weak.

Because alcohol based markers can be blended, you actually need fewer colors than you would with water based markers, which cannot be blended.  A well planned set of alcohol based markers can go a long way if strategically used.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Why I Chose SCAD

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There's been a lot of mixed messages regarding art schools. On one extreme, you have the art school elitists who insist that unless you've paid an arm and a leg, you haven't truly been educated. On the other, you have the die hard self-taught who declare that if you're destined to be famous, you don't NEED art school at all. In between, on this broad spectrum of art education, fall the rest of us.

I personally see nothing wrong with art school. I attend one, I pay a lot of money for it, but I'm not going into debt over my art education. My under graduate degree came from a liberal arts college which I attended with full scholarship. I was largely self taught until I enrolled in SCAD, and even while at SCAD, I've pursued scholarship outside of the classroom.

There aren't many art schools that can claim that they've taught you everything, and that nothing you've learned during your time there has been acquired without their intervention. Conversely, unless you exist in a vacuum, you aren't purely self-taught either. Any of us with access to the Internet have the opportunity for a free art education, it just may require more motivation and dedication than an education pursued at an accredited art school.

I chose to apply to SCAD because my BA from the University of New Orleans wasn't going to get me anywhere. I'd stagnated as a self-taught artist, the job opportunities were slim, and I knew there was a lot left to learn. During my time at SCAD, I've benefited a lot. My artistic ability has greatly improved thanks to guided instruction, in class critique, and the educational environment. Before SCAD, I drew and made comics on a regular basis, so motivation has never been an issue for me, but I felt like a big fish in a small pond. I needed a bigger bowl, a larger group of artists to draw inspiration from. While living in Savannah, I've attended various conventions as an artist, volunteered at several schools, and made a lot of friends. I've developed networks for critique and feedback, learned how to steal like an artist, and how to talk to editors. I've gained a lot of confidence.  SCAD is also the only school in the country which offers a recognized Masters degree in Sequential Art, which figured highly in my decision making.

Art school can't force you to learn these things, or to do these things. It just makes these opportunities easier to come by. Had I lived in a city with a vibrant comic social scene, had I been a more skilled artist, I may have forgone getting my Masters in Sequential Art. But then again, I genuinely love school and have wanted to pursue a Masters degree since high school, so there's a good chance I would have gone back.

What has my Masters Degree in Sequential Art given me? Nothing I haven't pursued for myself. What has it made possible? A Masters in Sequential Art is a terminal degree, meaning I am qualified to teach art at any level, including graduate. While at SCAD, I've worked on several comics under the direction of my professors, so I have a portfolio to show to editors. I've been taught how to refine my ideas, how to apply critique, how to take corrections, and how to develop stories, so I'm leaving SCAD with a story to tell. I've had an opportunity to meet professional artists and editors, so I know how to carry myself, how to organize a portfolio, and how to take professional critique.

There is no guarantee that I will publish a comic, no promise that I'll publish children's books, no character design waiting for me. Like anything of value in life, if I want these things, I'm going to have to pursue them on my own. I knew this going in to SCAD, I know this every time I write a check for tuition. I never expected SCAD to push me through doors, only to open them for me.

If you are debating whether art school is right for you, or even an option, there are several things to consider. Art school is expensive, out of school art school even more so, and there are many hidden costs. There's no promise of future jobs based upon your attendance, and sequential art generally doesn't bring in enough money to pay off student loans. You might gain a little respect and recognition for your choice to attend a well-known school, but that's nothing several well written mini comics couldn't attain for you. I wouldn't recommend attending if these alone are your reasons.

However, if you do well in a competitive, driven environment, if you've stagnated with your self-education, if you feel like you've hit a wall professionally, art school might be a good option. If you're interested in teaching, if you're looking for a degree to certify you, if you'd like to meet other artists on a level playing field, art school might be a good choice.

I highly recommend touring any art school you plan on attend, reading reviews online, and possibly following the blogs of students who attend the school. If you have the opportunity, I would talk to staff and students candidly. Check out the sort of work the school produces, but don't rely on school provided examples, as they tend to cherry pick the best. Check out the professors on Rate My Professor, and listen for buzz regarding the department you're interested in.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Art Marker Showdown: Copic Sketch Vs. ShinHan Twin Touch

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EDIT: If you enjoyed this review, please consider donating! Donations go towards the purchase of additional art supplies, which may include more markers for testing. If you found this review useful, please consider sharing it on your social networks.  If you found this review useful, please consider sharing it on your social networks- a larger audience means I can afford to do things like Kickstart future projects and makes me more attractive to possible publishers.  There's also a handy pocket edition of ALL my marker reviews in a beautiful little 4"x6" photobook.  It's available for $3 in my Nattoshop, and proceeds go towards things like keeping the lights on and buying more markers to review.

I've pitted Prismacolor Premiers, Spectrum Noirs, and Pantone Letraset Trias against the heavy-weight title holder, Copic's Sketch markers.  All of these markers share one vital aspect- they're all alcohol based art markers, used in a variety of ways.  From scrap booking and card making to professional illustration, selecting the alcohol based art marker that works best for your needs is important.  I've found that there are a plethora of marker reviewed geared at the hobbyist, but few toward professional illustrators looking for professional results.  I hope that my reviews can help to fill that gap, and I try to keep in mind three very important aspects that I feel all art markers should have.
  1. Flexable nib that can mimic the flex of a watercolor brush.
  2. Refill-ability
  3. Blend-ability with other markers
Not every artist purchases art markers with these needs in mind, and many excellent artists work with sub-par materials with great results.  However, the aspiring illustrator needs reliable tools that produce predictable results and are capable of reproducing techniques shown in tutorials, and this is why I test the parameters I test.  I'm aware that many artists are looking for a cheaper alternative to Copic brand art markers, so I try to test with that in mind.

I'm particularly excited about today's review, as I've tested the South Korean  ShinHan Twin Touch, which is considered by many to be Copic Sketch's closest competitor.  I purchased my Twin Touch markers online, via Jerry's Art-a-Rama (link).  Twin Touch markers come in two types:  the nib tipped and the brush tipped, so if you want the flexible brush tip, you need to make sure that's what you've put into your cart.  No matter which type you choose, both varieties utilize alcohol based ink and have nylon nibs.

I first saw ShinHan Twin Touch markers at this year's New York Comic Con, although I haven't had an opportunity to check them out until recently.  The fact that they looked so similar to Copic Sketch markers caught my eye, and I wondered if they could possibly hold a candle to Copic Sketch markers' super flexible brush tip.

Background Information on ShinHan Art Materials


ShinHan is a South Korean art supply company that makes supplies such as poster colors, watercolors, and alcohol based art markers.  It got it start in 1967, and began exporting in 1980.  In 1992, the ShinHan Twin Touch was launched, and the brush tip came out in 2000.

ShinHan Twin Touch Alcohol Based Art Marker
Source


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.

ShinHan Twin Touch Alcohol Based Markers Vs. Copic Sketch Alcohol Based Markers

ShinHan Twin Touch Markers
ShinHan Twin Touch Alcohol Based Art Marker 48 Color Set
Source
ShinHan Twin Touch Marker Features:
Broad/Chisel Tip:  $3.40 (Jerry's Artarama)
Brush tip: $4.30 (Jerry's Artarama)
Refill Ink (good for 4 refills) $5.80 (MarkerPop)

  • Refillable
  • Replacable Nibs
  • 204 Colors
ShinHan Twin Touch Color Chart

  • Comfortable in hand
  • Color name and Family on Caps
  • Color coded caps
  • Super Brush Option
  • Availability: Jerry's Artarama, Amazon, MarkerPop
  • Blender marker available
  • Two types of marker- Chisel nib and Brush tip
  • Alcohol based ink
  • Available in individual and color themed sets
Copic Alcohol Based Markers

Copic Original, Copic Sketch, Copic Ciao, Copic Wide alcohol based art markers
Source


Copic Sketch Marker Features:
Price per Copic Sketch $7.29 (Amazon)
Price per Copic Ciao $3.59 (Amazon)
Price per Refill $10.99 (Amazon Prime)  (I've seen it for around $8 at the Dick Blick in Savannah, though)

  • Refillable
  •  Replaceable Nibs
  • Comfortable in hand
  • 358 available number of colors
  • Blend-able
  • 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

ShinHan Twin Touch and Copic Sketch side by side marker comparison
 At first glance, the Twin Touch is very similar to the Copic Sketch.  They're about the same size and shape, although the Twin Touch is more square and the Sketch is more oblong.  Both fit into the hand well, although the Copic Sketch feels a little heftier (in a good way).

ShinHan Twin Touch and Copic Sketch cap side by side comparison
 Both the ShinHan Twin Touch and the Copic Sketch markers have color coded plastic caps that denote the color name, color family, as well as an approximation of the color itself.  The Twin Touch label seems to be printed on, while the Copic Sketch is embossed.
 Both markers have a stripe of grey plastic to help you find the brush tip of the marker easily, although the Copic's stripe is both larger and higher contrast, making it easier to find.  The brushes are approximately the same size and shape.

ShinHan Twin Touch and Copic Sketch super brush side by side comparison

The Twin Touch cap is pretty solidly on, so it wont fall off in your bag while travelling, pretty similar to Copic's cap.  The plastic of the Twin Touch color coded cap is a little more translucent than the Copic Sketch's.


ShinHan Twin Touch and Copic Sketch alcohol based art markers color accuracy test

For both Copic Sketch and Twin Touch markers, the caps are pretty true to the actual color of the marker.

The Test Results

 This test is my standard for all alcohol based marker comparison tests, and you've already seen it with my Spectrum Noir, Prismacolor Premiers, 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 Hi Tec C 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). New to this test is the compatibility with Copic's Colorless Blender. ShinHan also has a colorless blender marker available, but I don't have one to test for this supply review.

ShinHan Twin Touch and Copic Sketch marker test results

The test is a little blown out, as my scanner has a tendency to do that.  As you can see, it was fairly easy for me to match colors (the hot pinks notwithstanding, as I ordered them to add to my actual color collection, so I went for colors I did not already have).  ShinHan Twin Touch's Blue Greys are very similar to Copic Sketch's Cool Greys, and would make for excellent field skething markers, as they're much cheaper.

The ShinHan markers are a bit dry compared to Copic Sketch markers, and the brush tip is a bit gummy (it wants to stick to the page).  The inks work well together, although it's easier to blend Copic Sketch into Twin Touch due to the wetter nib.  Applying color with a Twin Touch marker is a little streaky (again, due to that dry, gummy nib).

As always, both markers reacted poorly to the Akashiya ink (it's possibly lacquer or shellac based, and the alcohol based ink dissolves that).  Both markers tend to pick up a little of the other inks as well, but that's because I'm applying color immediately after applying the ink.  I recommend waiting at least an hour to allow the ink to fully dry before applying color.

The Verdict


I think Twin Touch markers are Copic Sketch marker's closest competition with refillable ink, vibrant colors, and replaceable nibs, particularly as Twin Touch markers are cheaper than Copics and perform with similar results.  I think Twin Touch markers are an excellent addition to a marker collection, particularly if you purchase colors you only occasionally use.  My only issue is the gummy brush tip, which may be either the result or the culprit of the dry ink application.  If you utilize saturation in your markering technique, you would have a difficult time doing so with the Twin Touch markers.  Both of these alcohol based marker brands are an excellent choice for illustrators, although I would say that the Twin Touch is probably comparable to the Copic Ciao marker in price and features.

If you're looking for a cheaper Copic substitute for scrapbooking and stamping, the ShinHan Twin Touch may be just the marker to suit your needs.  If you're looking for a marker that performs as well as a Copic Sketch marker or a Copic Caio marker, you may be disappointed with the ShinHan Twin Touch's features.

Other Reviews of ShinHan Twin Touch alcohol based markers:

Invisible Paperclip
Get It Scrapped!
Crafty Moira



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