Thursday, December 07, 2017

Intermediate Alcohol Marker Artist Gift Guide

Gift Guide for Intermediate Marker Users

Last year, I wrote a comprehensive gift guide for the beginner marker artist.  This gift guide is full of brand recommendations, color recommendations, and even supplies that help your marker illustrations shine, and I strongly suggest you check it out if you haven't yet.  Over the past year, I played with so many inks, spritzers, masks, and other materials, I thought it was high time I put together an intermediate alcohol marker artist gift guide.

Holiday Gift Guide: Alcohol Markers for the Aspiring Artist

If you're new to alcohol markers such as Copic markers, Chameleon markers, Prismacolor markers, Blick Studio Brush Markers, or alcohol inks, I can't recommend that post enough.  I explain why alcohol markers are great for artists and crafters, I go over my favorite colors for skintones and more, I make set recommendations, and I go over all the basic accessories marker artists love.

Recommended marker supplies for alcohol marker enthusiasts, gifts for marker artists, gifts for alcohol marker users, gifts for artists, gifts for crafters


So this year, I want to take it to another level.  You've got your markers, you've been making art with it, and you want a little more flexibility.  A little additional range.

Or maybe you know a marker artist or crafter who loves their alcohol markers, but wants a little more flexibility.  You don't want to buy them markers (because you don't know what they have), but you don't mind buying them accessories.  But what do you buy?  What might they be missing?

Becca Hillburn, Nattosoup, Copic illustration, Copic marker illustration, alcohol marker art,
A marker illustration created with custom Copic Wide markers, alcohol spray mists, masking, and Copic markers

If you like this gift guide, don't be shy!  Shoot me an email and tell me so!  Please make sure to share it with other artists and crafters on your favorite social media sites- Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, even Mastodon- this helps me out a lot!  And if you really like this post, consider tipping me on Ko-fi or joining my artnered community on Patreon.

My marker buddy Kabocha helped with these recommendations, so please take a moment to check out her webcomic, Linked, and our webcomic collective, Ink Drop Cafe!

And please note, other than Amazon affiliate links, I am not affiliated with any of these brands, companies, or courses outside of my own.

Colored Leads:

alcohol marker art, alcohol marker illustration, Copic marker art, Copic art, Copic artist
A Copic Marker illustraiton that demonstrates the use of colored leads for a 'lineless' artstyle

Pilot Color Eno Leads
Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencils


colored leads, leads for marker art
Top: Color Eno Mechanical Pencils
Bottom: Color Eno Mechanical Pencil Leads

I use these leads every single day- you often see Soft Blue in my inked sketches.  These are my favorite leads, and I recommend them for all types of artists!  They work with watercolor, waterbased markers, inks, and alcohol markers.

If you want to try these without making a large investment, I recommend buying the mechanical pencil set- they come with leads at an affordable price.

Tutorials:
Colored Lead Introduction
Giving Style to Your Characters with Colored Leads
Quick Colored Leads and Copic Markers Tutorial

Alcohol Inks:

spray alcohol inks, alcohol ink sprays, spray mists, alcohol marker art, Copic marker art, Blick Studio Brush marker art
An alcohol marker illustration created using alcohol inks in spray bottles, dripped Snowcap, masks, and Copic and Blick Studio Brush Markers


alcohol inks, ranger adirondack ink, jacquard pinata ink, kuretake zig kurecolor ink
Left Row:  Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks, Ranger Adirondack Snowcap Mixative, Spectrum Noir Refill Inks
Right Row: Ranger Adirondiack Alcohol Inks, Ranger Adirondack Metallic Mixatives, Kuretake Zig Kurecolor Alcohol Ink, Jacquard Pinata Alcohol Inks

Alcohol inks are often unnoticed by alcohol marker illustrators and artists- marketed mainly at crafters and stampers.  But alcohol inks are a useful, affordable addition to your collection- perfect in spray bottles for soft spray mists, great for splatter effects, and ideal for filling empty markers.

Ranger Adirondack Inks:
Usually sold in sets of 3's
Openstock

Recommended Colors:
Patina
Botanical
Lettuce
Mermaid
Pool
Sunshine Yellow

Definitely Try:
Silver
Gold
White

Demonstration:

Tutorials:

These inks are pigmented, which makes them opaque.  Not suitable for spray bottles, and marker suitability still pending.

Jacquard Pinata
These are often sold as a set online, but you can find them openstock

Both brands feature a eye dropper tip and a screw top- the Ranger ink bottles have a finer tip and make for easier filling.

These are both great if you want a small bottle of ink for an alcohol mister or for a custom Copic Sketch or Wide and are perfect for augmenting your marker collection with unusual colors without breaking the bank.

Copic Various Inks

If you use Copic Markers, you're familiar with these inks.  You might not be familiar with other alcohol ink refills:

Kuretake Kurecolor
Spectrum Noir

Tutorials:
Making Alcohol Misters
Using Ranger Inks to Fill Copic Wides
Filling Copic Sketch Markers with Ranger Alcohol Inks

Alcohol Misters in Use:
Artsnacks June 2016 Challenge
Using Brusho Watercolors with Copic Markers


Rubbing Alcohol

High proof rubbing alcohol is essential for my marker work!  In a spray bottle for toning down marker 'washes' and mists, used for cleaning overfilled markers, and cheaper than blending solution for large areas, rubbing alcohol is always at hand for easy access.

Markers:

Empty Copic Sketch
Filling Copic Sketch Markers with Ranger Alcohol Inks

Empty Copic Wide
Using Ranger Inks to Fill Copic Wides

These are great for filling with your favorite non-Copic inks.  I love making custom Copic Wides for washes, as the Copic Wide selection includes fewer than 40 of the available Copic Colors, so I often buy empties to fill with my favorite Various Inks.

Colors to Augment Your Collection:

Copic is weak in a couple areas- it's great for skintones and muted colors, but not so great if you want intense color.   For bright, vivid Purples, Blues, Red Violets, Greens, and Yellows, I turn to Prismacolor.

If you're interested in Copic, Blick Studio Brush Marker, or Shin Han Recommendations, I suggest you check out the Holiday Gift Guide: Alcohol Markers for the Aspiring Artist from last year.

Brilliant Prismacolor Markers I recommend:
Note: I'm still collecting Prismacolor markers, so this is by no means comprehensive

PB-17- Sunburst Yellow
PB-18-Yellow Ochre
PB-19-Canary Yellow

PB-25-Spring Green
PB-27-Chartreuse

PB-37-Light Aqua
PB-46-Aquamarine

PB-40-Neon Blue
PB-179-Copenhagen Blue

PB-51-Violet Dark
PB-127-Imperial Violet
PB-128-Parma Violet

PB-56-Rhodamine Dark
PB-177-Neon Pink

Top row: Chameleon Markers, Complete Set, Individual Chameleon Markers
Bottom Row: Chameleon Color Tops

Chameleon Markers
I have frequently complained that with so many companies entering the alcohol marker market, there's nothing new or innovative under the sun.  Chameleon Markers are the exception and turn alcohol marker techniques on their heads- there is no blender marker, you infuse your original color with blender and it blends from light (blender) to original color.  For many seasoned alcohol marker artists, this is difficult to get used to (I really struggle with it!) but many new users prefer it, as it means you don't need as large a collection.

Chameleon Markers Unboxing
Chameleon Marker Overview
Chameleon New 30 Swatch Test

Chameleon Color Tops
Color Tops are even more innovative than Chameleon Markers- they allow you to 'infuse' your Chameleon markers with another color.

Chameleon Color Tops Unboxing
Labelling Your Chameleon Color Tops
Chameleon Marker and Color Top Overview and Demonstration

Marker Papers: 


papers for Copic, papers for alcohol markers
Top Row: Canson Pro Layout Marker Paper, Strathmore 500 Series Plate Bristol
Middle Row: Strathmore Toned Tan Paper, Vellum, Deleter Paper
Bottom Row: Copic marker sketchbooks, Bee marker paper sketchbook


Deleter Comic Paper
Strathmore 500 Series Plate Bristol
Vellum
Strathmore Toned Tan Paper
Canson Pro Layout Marker Paper
Canson Comic/Manga Illustration Pad

Glossy Photo Papers

Hot Press Watercolor Paper:

Strathmore Ready Cut Hot Press Paper

Sketchbooks:
Copic Paper Sketchbook
Bee Creative Marker Paper
Strathmore Visual Journal Plate Bristol


Marker Accessories

Top row: Small spray bottles
Bottom Row: Copic Opaque White, Dr Ph Martin's Bleed Proof White

Spray Bottles
Perfect for spray mists with your alcohol inks, or for your rubbing alcohol/colorless blender!

Tutorial:
Making Alcohol Misters
Alcohol Misters in Use:
Artsnacks June 2016 Challenge
Using Brusho Watercolors with Copic Markers

Spray Bottle Storage and Organization

Copic Opaque White
Dr Ph Martin's Bleedproof White
I love these thick white correctional inks!  Like gouache, but so much easier to handle, and can be watered down.

Winsor and Newton Pigment Marker- White
You can build up progressively opaque highlights using this marker!  Great if you want just a hint of white

Atomizers:

Top Row: Copic ABS
Bottom Row: Ranger Spritzer, eBrush airbrush


Copic Air Brush System

Tutorial:
Materials and Mistakes: Masking for Copic ABS
Will It Work: Copic ABS and Blick Studio Brush Markers
Works with Blick Studio Brush Markers too!

Ranger Marker Spritzer Tool
Designed to work with Distress markers-waterbased markers- and may work with similarly sized waterbased markers.  Features a screw to adjust sizes, and while it will not take Copic markers, it may take Neopikos.

eBrush Airbrush System
Supposedly works with a variety of marker brands.

Masks:


Top row: Grafix Masking Frisket Film, Winsor and Newton Masking Frisket
Bottom Row: Washi Tape, Japanese tone, bone folder

Tutorial: Masking Techniques for Copic Markers

Masking Frisket
Grafix All Purpose Low Tack Frisket Film
Tutorials:
Spray Inks and Lace Blick and Copic Marker Tutorial
Kara in the Flowers Marker Tutorial

Masking Fluid
I like Winsor and Newton's Masking Fluid
Synthetic Brush for application

Masking Tape

Washi Tape

Japanese Tone-
When it comes to markers and marker art, tone can be used like a frisket you can easily see!  It's also great for adding monotone patterns on top of your marker art

Bone Folder
Useful for flatting tape, tone, or even making sure masking frisket film adheres properly

Masking Fluid

Masking Fluid Pick Up

Other Essentials

Exacto Blade

Thread Scissors

Tombow Removable Taperunner
Tombow Permanent Taperunner


Storage:

Top Row: Art Bin Marker Satchel, Marker Satchel insert, InterDesign 4 Draw Organizer
Middle Row: Copic 72 Marker Case, Spectrum Noir Marker Rack
Bottom Row: Meeden 72 Piece Marker Carrying Case, 120 Slot Marker Case, Artbin Marker Satchel


Artbin Marker Satchel
Marker Satchel Insert
InterDesign Clear 4 Drawer Organizer
This is almost identical to the system I use!
Marker/Paint/Ink Pad Organizer
Multipurpose Craft Storage Organizer
2-Drawer Craft Organizer Cube
InterDesign 3 Drawer Organizer
Copic Marker Sketch 72 Marker Case
Acrylic Marker Storage Rack
Kids Desk Pen Marker Organizer

Crafter's Companion Marker Storage Rack- 6 Racks

ArtBin Side Kick
Perfect for traveling with your markers.  Sturdy and lockable.


Totes: 
Storage Tote for Markers
Holds up to 130 Pens
Meeden 72 Piece Marker Carrying Case
80 Slot Heavy Duty Marker Case
120 Slot Marker Case
Chris W. 80 Slot Plastic Marker Carrying Case

Great to Have:

Toner Based Home Printer

Dell C1760NW 

Great for printing lineart- both your own and digi stamps

Coloring Books and Packs:

Downloadable:

31 Days Under the Waves Coloring Pages
Favorite Fictional Femmes- Coloring Pages

Guardian: A Fantasy Armor Coloring Book 

Vatican Assasins 5 Year Anniversary Coloring Page

The Coloring Book of (Scientifically Accurate) Dinosaurs

Physical:

The Coloring Book of (Scientifically Accurate) Dinosaurs
The Coloring Book of (Scientifically Accurate) Paleofauna

Everything Will Be Alright

Alcohol Marker Education:


Resources:

Copic Color Charts

Free:

Written:
Vanilla Arts
Nattosoup Studio Art and Process Blog
I Like Markers- owned by Marianne Walker, the author of many of the official Copic books
Copic Marker Tutorials
Color Me Copic
Distinctive Touches
The Creative Closet
Information about Copic Markers

Video:
Nattosoup Studio Youtube Channel
Draw with Jazza- Top 10 Tips for Using Copic Markers
Copic Marker Skin Tutorial- 9 Ways
Rambutan- How to Color Skin with Copic
Rambutan- How to Color Eyes with Copic

Paid:

Courses: 

MarkerPainting.com

Books: 

ElectricAbyss- The Art of Heidi Black- a tutorial book that covers more than just alcohol markers!

III Academy Mission 1
Great for beginner artists and colorists- features adorable art and tutorials for drawing and coloring

Copic Coloring Guide
Level 2: Nature
Level 3
Fine Details
Copic Maniac 1
German Marker Design Book
CF: Coloring Faces and Hair with Copic Markers
Coloring Flowers with Copic Markers
Intro to Coloring with Copic Markers