First up, you need to make sure you’re using a bleed-proof marker pad for your drawings. If you use ordinary cartridge paper with your markers, you’ll find that when you turn over the next few pages your marker will have bled through onto your clean sheets. Bleed-proof paper has a specially treated surface to prevent this from happening.
Promarkers were made by Letraset up until they were bought over by Winsor & Newton in 2012 (the branding wasn't switched until 2015). Letraset are a well known brand, they’ve been on the go for years; you’ll probably hear people in their 40s banging on about how good their ‘Tria’ markers were that they used in their technical drawing classes. Here’s the product info for Promarkers straight from the company website-
- Promarkers are twin-tipped with a fine bullet nib for detailing and a wider chisel shaped nib for colouring larger areas. The chisel nib can also provide a further variety of line widths depending on which side is used.
- They’re non-toxic (always good to know)
- They’re alcohol based meaning it can be used on many surfaces including paper, glass, acetate, plastic, ceramic, wood and metal
- They have a translucent quality and can be layered to achieve varying depth of opacity. Going over the same spot creates a darker tone of the same colour, enabling a versatile range of shading effects
- High-quality dye based colour allows each colour to appear perfectly even, with no unsightly streaking.
- Fully blendable- it’s possible to overlay different Promarker colours to produce new colours and depending on how wet the ink is, smooth transitions can be achieved
- Promarkers come in an extensive palette of 148 colours ranging from pastels through to bold hues.
- Yes they’re twin tipped. The bullet-tip is good for quickly scrawling something on a piece of paper or going round the outline of a drawing before shading the rest with the chisel tip. This tip isn’t much different from a standard felt tip, and I wouldn’t recommend it for shading as it will make your drawing look like something from primary school.
- Just because they’re alcohol based doesn’t meant that that the colour won’t wash off certain surfaces, for example ceramics. There’s a Pinterest craze of doodling designs on mugs with a Sharpie and baking it in the oven, you may have seen it. They say that baking the design in the oven will make your design dishwasher proof. Truthful answer is, it won’t. It may stay on for a while, but it will soon start to chip and wear off because both Sharpies and Promarkers and are NOT oil based.
- Promarkers will work on a smooth-surfaced wood, but not on a rough one as the bullet nib will give in and start to split/fray. The colour will seep into the grain and give a blurred edge, meaning your desired design won’t come out as well as you had hoped. Acrylic or oil based paint markers (such as the Montanas we have in store) will work much better for this kind of activity.
- I will say that the Promarkers do last well though, and as long as you keep the caps on you'll definitely get your money's worth in that respect.
Copic say they have been the leaders within the marker segment for decades due to their
- Unique quality and design
- They’ve fantastic luminosity thanks to their alcohol-based ink
- They’re refillable (not many people realise this) A refill bottle is the equivalent of up to 16 markers
- You can mix your own inks by purchasing empty bottles and markers to create your own colours
- Their large vials hold enough ink to create many illustrations
- They have 9 interchangable tips which can be used for different techniques
- Double ended- chisel tip and brush tip
- They have 180 colours in their range- 32 more than the Promarkers.
- I do think the Copic is an all-round nicer looking pen, but I also find them a lot easier to hold than the Promarker. The Copic Ciaos are slender and feel nice in your hand, whereas I find the Promarker quite chunky, and for me feels like I’m using an oversized crayon. The Copics are easier to get a good grip on and easy to manoeuvre.
- They are alcohol-based ink, which is the same as the Promarker, and to be quite honest I feel the inks and the colour range of both brands are really good.
- They are re-fillable, though I’ve never tried it myself. The refills aren’t cheap, but they would work out better in the long-run. I think these would be best for those who use the grey tones and black as these are the most popular hues out of the whole range.
- Longevity... This one definitely goes to the Promarkers. I do find the Copics can dry up a lot quicker, especially if you are using them on a regular basis.
- Copics, like Promarkers, have a double nib. Copics have the same chisel tip that the Promarker does, but instead of the bullet tip they have a brush nib, which I absolutely love. I find it a lot less streaky (it’s very forgiving) especially if you’re just starting out. The brush tip is super smooth and blends beautifully. This is one of the main reasons why I prefer the Copic over the Promarker; I’d rather pay that little bit more for a marker that gives me the results I’m happy with.
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