Monday, January 30, 2012

The virdict

In the previous two posts I took a measure of what I could achieve with the colors in my Prismacolor markers palette. I have had these markers in my cabinet for a while, but I never dared to use them on a full scale before, because I had too little experience with them and I was afraid of ruining my drawings. I knew the earth and grey tones work very well to establish backgrounds and to create a base that  keeps brighter colors from becoming overwhelming, in other words, to give unity to the drawing. 
However I had to plan ahead, for my own peace of mind, before making more ambitious attempts.

My impression at the end of this experiment is that Prismacolors are most definitely not equivalent to Copic markers. The colors that I would have instinctively picked for skin gave at first very scary results. Both Pale Peach and Eggshell (not to mention Light Peach) are way to orange-y and bright for my taste. In general all neutral combinations resulted too dark for my tastes. I usually like to start really light (with Copic R000, to give you an example), build progressively the skin-tones and shade/shadows, and have full control on how deep or intense they become. Here, after laying down the first "lighter"color I found myself regretting the choice and looking anxiously for a way of smoothing things down. 

Maybe I should have made bigger use of the colorless blender. I could have started laying color at the borders of the face and then I could have diluted the excessive brightness by blending it away toward the center of the face. I did not think to do this, because with Copics the blender is something I mostly ignore and pick up only to correct accidental smudges here and there. With Copics I always blend with other colors.

With Prismacolors blending is much more difficult and the effect is always to intensify whatever color you began with. I am sure part of the issue has to do with my choice of paper. I used Fabriano Artistico Watercolor paper, which usually works marvels with Copics. Looks like Prismacolors soak the paper too quickly and also that they dry much quicker than Copic, leaving a very tiny window for attempting to blend. I would like to see how they behave with Strathmore Bristol paper, which I have used in the past with alternate fortune.

Bottom line, while using this Fabriano Artistico (of which I have purchased several pads) I will happily used Prismacolors in some special occasions and like before for big areas (they go down really evenly and this is a great plus), but for delicate details like faces I will rely mainly on Copics.

What were your experiences comparing Copics and Prismacolors?


  1. ah this is very interesting! and so are the previous posts!
    i really have no experience at all with markers, but i have been secretly in love with copic markers and dream of getting many of them! they just look so good, those sets where it's like a rainbow. that purchase just always gets prioritized after dolls and so, so far i haven't gotten any yet.
    but it's on my list!
    but first i want to start drawing more ;)

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