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Spectrum Noir Pens: The Basics

Updated on March 21, 2019
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Complete collection of Spectrum Noir pens in my craft room
Complete collection of Spectrum Noir pens in my craft room

Why Spectrum Noir?

When I started creating cards and scrapbook pages, I wanted to do some special artwork that would say more about my crafting skills. I started to need to invest in better pens in order to go farther with my crafting. Though I liked the copic markers, they seemed a little high in price and a bit out of my budget range. Then I found the Spectrum Noir pens and I fell in love with the choices, options and techniques.

The Spectrum Noir Marker system is great for scrapbooking, card making and paper crafts. What first appealed to me was that these markers are very easily blendable, even for beginners. They are also acid free which was important to my scrapbooking projects.

Beyond that, I started creating images and greeting cards that were so much fun with these markers

But they work equally well on metals. There are many jewelry artists using these amazing pens on metals

Spectrum Noir Tip

Always make sure that the lid on your pen is replaced tightly. These are alcohol pens and will eventually dry out if the lid is left open.

Spectrum Noir Marker Basics

There is a lot to consider when you are making an investment in alcohol markers. The first consideration is price. I have looked at a lot of serious pen systems and found some of them way above my budget . I wanted to invest in good pens that I could add to over time. This system was right for me, because I could buy basic color sets that had varying tones in different colors. The pens come in color tones, so you can start out with one set and add on as time goes buy. Lots of times you can find them on sale or bundled at sale prices.

The next was the issue of durability and use. What I really liked about this system was that the pens were refillable and the nibs were refillable. This was a strong point for me so that I only had to buy the pens once and could refill them with a bottle of ink that lasted for quite a while.

Another thing that attracted me to this system was the numbering system. Each pen is clearly marked on each side what the color is. When I am doing a project this is especially handy.

Each pen has two sides. The broad side is for large area coloring and the chisel side is for detail work. The caps of these pens fit on very tight, making the ink inside last for quite a while. There is also a brush nib that you can purchase.

The whole set has 168 colors. But here is what I really liked. The basic Each package contains pre-matched color tone families with three pens in warm tones and three pens in cool tones, allowing for several blending possibilities. There are no duplicate pens across the six-marker sets This makes it very affordable to build your system gradually. Which is exactly what I did over time. There are no pen duplication in any set.

Besides the color sets in greens, pale hues, pinks, purples, red ,turquoises, warm greys and yellows, there are also sets of 24 that round out the spectrum of colors. They are called brights, lights, darks and pastels. They add more depth and color choices to the basic colors. With the entire system now in my hands, I have so many options in my coloring for all my paper crafts.

Color tones of the system are built to blend together
Color tones of the system are built to blend together

Spectrum Noir Refills

These refills are easy to use. They have droppers that make it easy to refill your markers
These refills are easy to use. They have droppers that make it easy to refill your markers

Spectrum Noir Pens Are Refillable And Reusable - How To Refill A Spectrum Noir Pen

What I love about Spectrum Noir Pens is that they are refillable and reusable. Once you make the initial investment, the pens will last you a very long time. When they become dry, you simply refill them with a refill. Each refill bottle come with a pipette that makes refilling them easy and clean. The nobs on both ends are also replaceable. I am into crafting with a responsibility to the environment, so I am all into anything that keeps down the amount of trash that I create

One Tip For Refilling Your Pens

The sponge inside takes a few moments to absorb the ink, so leave your marker in a horizontal position for at least 10-15 minutes if possible.

The Nibs Are Replaceable Too

Not only can I replace the ink in my pens, but I can replace the nibs if and when they wear down. I simply use a tweezer to pull the old nib out. Then I gently replace the nib, making sure it is securely in place

Replacement Nibs For Spectrum Noir Pens

Crafter's Companion Brush Pkg. of 3 Replacement Nibs, White
Crafter's Companion Brush Pkg. of 3 Replacement Nibs, White

These are the newest generation nibs that can be used with any Spectrum Noir marker. These brush bibs give you more options over the nibs that come with your pens. You can do brush letters and some other art work in your art journals and on greeting cards. Price is right and I have found them to be very useful


Always store your Spectrum Noir Pens on their sides rather than upright. The ink will stay fluid better and your pens will be always wet

Spectrum Noir TriBlend Markers

Tri color pens are exactly what they sound like. There are actually three ink chambers. Each one delivers it's own color through a fine tipped bullet nib, one for each color in the marker.

Every pen(marker) has a gradation of three colors. The colors are numbered from light to dark. With the three colors together, there is less guessing on which color to use. They do blend very well together.

The fact of having the three colors in one marker makes this system unique. Less of a storage area will be needed. They will also be more portable.

Each marker is non toxic, fast drying and acid free. They blend seamlessly and colors can be mixed or layered over each other.

They can be purchased as a single pen or as a bundle of colors.

Blending With Spectrum Noir Pens

Always place a piece of scrap cardstock under the projects that you are coloring with alcohol markers so that they don't bleed onto your work surface

Ultra Smooth Cardstock

Crafter's Companion Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Premium Cardstock, 8.5 by 11-Inch, White, 50-Pack
Crafter's Companion Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Premium Cardstock, 8.5 by 11-Inch, White, 50-Pack

This paper is perfect for alcohol markers. It is heavy enough to use in all your paper crafts. It is made to prevent bleeding of any alcohol markers. A necessity for all paper crafters


Spectrum Noir Accreditation Program - Become A Colorist to A Certified Instructor

One of the things that sold me on this color system is the fact that there is unlimited support for using this coloring system. One of my favorite programs, that I am currently working on is the colorist program. The program is available world wide. It is a program series of videos, tutorials and downloads that take you step by step to get you off a great start in using these pens. You start off with basic coloring skills and advance through techniques. When your skills are perfected, you can take a coloring test and achieve a certificate. As you are working through the system, you are becoming the artist that you want to be. You start as a colorist and can advance to a certified teacher. Every step of the way you are learning new techniques and the cost to you is nothing. Where would you get those kind of classes without being charged?

Consider Determining Your Light Source

When shading always determine where your perceived light source is. Shadow the darker area away from your determined light source to achieve an even blend

If you blend colors, Make sure to get the excess color off your marker. Just color the ink away on a scrap piece of paper until you cannot see the blended color any more

Spectrum Noir Resources - Free Downloads, Tutorials And More

One of the things that I looked at when deciding on what system to go with, went way beyond the purchase of a system. I needed and still do to learn how to use the pens to get the most out of my investment. That's where this system shines. There are so many resources available to use for free, that you cam spend hours downloading and using them all. From the very start, you have all the resources you need to take your projects beyond what you personally thought possible. Here are some of my favorites

More Uses For Spectrum Noir Pens

When you spend money on a set of pens, you want to be able to get the most use for your investment. Besides coloring, here are the other things you can do with your markers

  • Color My Pearls and Buttons -Think about those times when you want a specific color gem or button and you don't have it. I simply color one with my alcohol marker and I can customize what I have for what I needColor
  • Chipboard Pieces- I customize my chipboard pieces by coloring them with my Spectrum Noir Pens
  • Custom Color Ribbon- You can custom color any ribbon with the wide side of your markers
  • Color Brads and Eyelets- Color custom embellishments for every project
  • Color Flower Embellishments- Color the tips of flowers to add depth and dimension
  • Color Tint Photos-Add color to black and white photos

Blender pens can be used to make corrections when you go outside the lines. Dab the blender pen and let dry. Redo as necessary, but let dry in between corrections

Use Reinkers To Make Embossing Powder Colors

© 2013 Linda F Correa

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