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Alcohol Markers

Updated on June 10, 2020
BitterFiction profile image

I have experimented with alcohol markers for a few years now and wanted to share with you a medium not widely talked about.

Can alcohol markers be used for all types of drawing?

The best thing about alcohol markers is that they blend seamlessly. For this to happen they work best on paper, so they are not really appropriate for canvas work. That being said, they are very versatile when it comes to TYPE of artwork. By that, I mean that they are a great base for portrait work and give a really professional look to drawings of objects. Alcohol markers can also be used for landscape drawings as well as their more popular use serving as tools to bring anime characters and cartoons to life.

Do any pens work the same?

Alcohol markers are made especially for artists. This means you don’t have streaks across your drawings like you would if you were colouring with water-based pens. Alcohol markers dry quicker and are better for blending because the isopropyl doesn’t soak into the paper and damage it like water based pens do. On top of that, alcohol markers are more eco friendly because they have replaceable nibs and they are refillable so you don’t have to keep buying more pens.

Prices of different brands of markers

Brand
Price (pack of 12)
Copic classic marker
£84.95
Spectrum noir illustrator
£17.93
Windsor&newton promarker
£18.83

Spectrum Noir also have the cheapest price of the three whilst maintaining the same quality. I have a pack of the Windsor & Newton pens and actually prefer the Spectrum Noir pens.

Is it the best type of medium?

Obviously this question is subjective and really depends on your preferred style. For those of you who like watercolour, then the aqua markers might be ideal. Those who prefer pencils might find, as I did, that alcohol markers provide a great base. My favourite medium used to be acrylic, however, I have found that alcohol markers make a lot less mess and don’t require additional tools such as paintbrushes.

Some of my work

This photo shows what the glitter pen looks like but I can assure you that the sparkle looks much more impressive in real life!
This photo shows what the glitter pen looks like but I can assure you that the sparkle looks much more impressive in real life!

My experience with markers

I mainly draw objects, but recently I have experimented with using them for portraits and have been really impressed with the results. I personally use ‘Spectrum Noir’ markers but there are other brands available. What I love about Spectrum Noir is their different collections of pens. I have pens from 5 different collections including their Tri-colour pens, watercolour markers and glitter pens.

Some of my pens

Here is a photograph of a work in progress with one of each of the collections I have. (As you can see, I like to draw butterflies!)
Here is a photograph of a work in progress with one of each of the collections I have. (As you can see, I like to draw butterflies!)

Where I got my markers

Crafter's Companion SPECN-SKIN Spectrum Noir Alcohol Marker, Pale Hues, 6-Pack
Crafter's Companion SPECN-SKIN Spectrum Noir Alcohol Marker, Pale Hues, 6-Pack
I have this particular set of pens as well as all of the other colour sets in this collection. This collection of pens are the original markers, so the ones I have had the longest, have the most of, and use more than all of the others.
 

Other pens in my collection

Spectrum Noir Sparkle Fine Glitter Brush Pens Set, Clear Overlay, Pack of 3, Multicolor
Spectrum Noir Sparkle Fine Glitter Brush Pens Set, Clear Overlay, Pack of 3, Multicolor
I absolutely LOVE glitter. When I have seen videos of people pouring glitter resin over their artwork I have always been mesmerised, however, I don’t work on canvas often so when I found these I just had to buy them. In the photo I attached higher up you can see a drawing I did with Spectrum noir alcohol markers and finished with the sparkle pen and yet the photo does not do the shimmer justice. These pens should work over the top of any dry medium too!
 

Comments

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    • BitterFiction profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellie Harding 

      13 months ago from England

      Hi Lynsey, thank you for your comment!

      Personally, I prefer the spectrum noir pens, however, I do only have one pack of the pro markers and have had them for a lot less time, so I haven’t used them as much. I would say that depending on the collection of the spectrums, pro markers do have a finer nib.

      Also, thank you for complimenting my work, you’ve really made my day :). Honestly, my talent lies in layering lots and lots of similar shades starting from the lightest to the darkest and bringing the colours slightly less to the centre as I go.

      Please let me know if you decide to try Spectrum Noir pens because I would love to hear your opinion.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Hart 

      13 months ago from Lanarkshire

      I love using alcohol markers! My favourites are promarkers, but I have been meaning to try spectrum noir for a while now. Do you have a preference between those two brands?

      I am nowhere near as talented as you are in their use, though! I love the butterfly head, it's really cool.

    working

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