Playing around with alcohol markers, watercolor markers (Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers), a Japanese brush pen, and a few Caran d’Ache museum aquarelle watercolor pencils. (I’ve decided these pencils should be in every artist’s toolbox!!!) I really enjoyed mixing all these different tools.
The mermaid markers act like a water brush, but filled with dye-based, water-reactive color. They are very different from a marker, bright and vivid, but require a little practice in handling. Still not sure how I feel about them. Prices are all over the place… I linked the best price I could scrounge on Amazon. Look around before you settle on a price. Once they are empty, I can use them as a water brush or refill with ink, I think.
I have only three Copic markers, and used one, and several less expensive “Illustrator by Spectrum Noir” markers. The crisp edges of the spectrum noir markers themselves, which keep them conveniently from rolling off the table and make them stack nicely, bothered my fingers after a few minutes of coloring, but I liked the way the ink and tip felt. The colors got a bit muddied but they all blended well even without a blending marker and I like the result. I think for my playing around purposes, inexpensive markers may be as good as copics, which I’ve been holding out for, so I think I’ll invest a few dollars in a cheap set. (I found a no-name set of 24 which cost nearly the same as the 3 Copics cost me) The ink of the spectrum noir did feather a bit after laying it down, but it didn’t bother me. In fact, I kind of like it. I think it is a result of more alcohol and less pigment in the cheaper markers. I’d pay extra, maybe, for excellent lightfast ratings, but from what I’ve read, markers are really very lightfast anyway, so that takes that worry off the table.
I added a few details with the museum aquarelles and really liked the way the pencils layered over the inks. You can barely see a little star shape here and there in the sky, but each time I go to make it brighter, I stop myself. They look better in person.
I can’t read the name of the japanese brush pen (It’s written in japanese!) and can’t even remember where I got it 😦 but it is a recent addition, and I really like it.