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Old 02-15-2019, 07:40 AM   #1
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Default Copic vs ShinHan vs Prismacolor vs ??

I have a complete set of Spectrum Noir markers but I'm dismayed at the (lack of) quality quite often. Colors don't stay true, the entire tip separates from the barrel when you remove the cap - things that should NOT happen!

Because of this, I'm investigating replacing them little by little with a higher-quality option. I'm not concerned about brand name or "status", just quality and functionality. To that point, if you are aware of a generic/store brand that is wonderful, I'm totally open to that.

I have never owned a single Copic or ShinHan Touch Twin, but I've read good things about both. I did have a 24-marker set of Prismacolor markers and loved those, but they're long gone at this point (two decades later). I have (and use) Bic MarkIt markers and a fistful of Sharpies and like those, too.

Anyone have an opinion an any/all of this? Recommendations on best sources? Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:32 AM   #2
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I gave up on Spectrum Noir quite a while ago. I have Bic MarkIt and some Sharpies and have gradually switched to Copics. There is a big difference in blending and I'm glad I made the switch. I started out by using coupons at Michaels. Joanne carries them now too. I think my first set was the skin tones. I now buy through Carpe Diem. They have a sale through this Monday. Sketch are $4.25 and Ciao are $2.95.

If you decide to start purchasing Copics, buy Sandy Allnock's Hex Chart. It is well worth the $5.95 to keep you from purchasing colors so similar that you've wasted your money. Here's a couple of other sites that have helped me as I've built up my set.


Starter Marker Recommendation Vanilla Arts
Frugal Crafter Color Chart comparison for Bic and Sharpie to Copics


Hope this helps!
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:34 AM   #3
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I should add I've tried Prismacolor and prefer Copics. Haven't tried ShinHan though.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:55 PM   #4
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Thanks, Carla! I appreciate all of your input. I do have some "starter" recommendations from several sources and have been contemplating where I want to start with this re-vamp. I do know that I will NOT be doing the "complete collection" of whatever-it-is. I only need a decent variety and feel that this would best be accomplished with the starter recommendations and not a lot beyond that...
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:10 PM   #5
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Carla gave excellent advice. I think Sandy Allnock's Hex Chart is a must have! (I wish I'd known about it when I first started my Copic collection.) I also buy my Copics from Carpe Diem.
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:34 PM   #6
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I don’t like straight coloring - didn’t as a kid either. But when I need to, Copics are easiest for me. My first instructor had us use just one color on one of the cards to go light to dark, and with the right paper (XPress It in class), it was impressive and easy.

Recently I went to a short Copic workshop and the instructor worked with participants who needed starter sets individually by asking what they would most likely color the most initially: Animals? Flowers? Trees? Faces/hair? So the starter sets were different. But color families were key in all cases.
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Old 02-15-2019, 03:32 PM   #7
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Here are a couple of charts I wish I had seen when I started purchasing copics. It's all going to depend on your color preferences and the types of things you like coloring (flowers, people, etc.) but hopefully these will give you some ideas.

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Old 02-15-2019, 07:44 PM   #8
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Passionate Paper Creations was one of the sources I was perusing for "starter" sets, so thanks for validating that choice. I will likely check out Carpe Diem, especially if they're having a sale. Thanks again!
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Old 02-16-2019, 12:39 AM   #9
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I haven’t tried Shinhan but I have tried Spectrum Noir and a couple of others (Tria for sure, I forget what else) and I’ve always come back to Copics. I have mostly Ciao and just a very few Sketch. I like the way they feel in the hand and the nib quality is excellent (replaceable too so if you do end up ruining a nib somehow you can just replace it, you don’t have to toss the marker). I’ve gradually added to my collection, I started by buying markers to colour a specific image and went from there.

Have fun, whatever your choice!
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:42 AM   #10
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I have almost the complete set of Spectrum Noir, and they work very well for me. I think they blend very smoothly, and they're very inexpensive. If I were a professional artist, like my daughter, I'd probably go for the Copics. I let her take them all to school, and I went with the SNs.
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Old 03-07-2019, 02:14 PM   #11
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My main problem with the alcohol markers is most are not lightfast. Maybe I'm too old-school but if I put in the time and supplies to make something I'd hope it wouldn't fade out in two years.
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:38 PM   #12
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I've been using Copics for a number of years as one of my coloring mediums. They are my favorite alcohol markers, as I have purchased a few others and tried other brands in classes. For me, they lay down the smoothest, and blend so easy. I love my finished look. I've got Sandy's Hex Chart which is a terrific tool for coloring, and agree with an earlier comment that it could save you purchasing colors that are very close to one another. I, however, have accumulated mine since they first came out, and I thought just a couple sets of the Ciaos would be plenty; now I have them all!! I mainly purchased them years ago from Carpe Diem during their sales. Now I just get the refills. Oozak.com is another source that can compete with Carpe Diem. Of the others I've tried, nothing beats the brush tip of the Copics, which I've never had to replace. If you take care of your markers, I feel, they will last years, which can't be said for all the others on the market. In this case, I feel I definitely got what I paid for; a real quality product that has paid off for me.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:36 AM   #13
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My daughter is a cartoonist-to-be (she hopes!) and follows A LOT of art people on You Tube, instagram, etc. A lot of them like to use the Ohuhu markers. The quality is not as good as Copic, but nearly so. I don't think they are refillable and we don't know how long they will last, but for the price they are amazing. The color choices are great!

This is the set we bought: Amazon.com : 100 Colors Art Markers Set, Ohuhu Dual Tips Coloring Marker Pens for Kids, Fine and Chisel Tip Double-Ended Alcohol Based Drawing Markers for Sketching Adult Coloring Book, Great Christmas Gift Idea : Office Products
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:38 AM   #14
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So, I worked a make n take at a stamping show recently and we used Copic Markers for coloring. Everyone was saying what markers they used, and there were less Copic users, and more Spectrum noir users.

The SN’s are what I mostly have, as the cost was 1/4th of copics when I was buying. The pens that I have had issues with, I had replaced at no cost by the company, after emailing them.

The interesting thing is that during the make n take, a bunch of the Copics were bleeding out of the tip and dripping onto people’s projects.

I do think that the Copics color and blend a bit better.

Also, several ladies were very happy with the Spectrum Noir Illustrator pens, especially the nibs. Does anyone know if the Illustrator ones have any of the same problems that the regular Spectrum Noirs have?
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:52 AM   #15
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"The interesting thing is that during the make n take, a bunch of the Copics were bleeding out of the tip and dripping onto people’s projects. "


Someone added too much ink… in case anyone has had this issue and doesn't know what to do, remove both caps and let the ink there re-balance within the barrel. Just lay it flat and let it sit a while. Or the lazy way - I have a couple of extra-juicy markers and I tend to color with both caps removed so that it doesn't drip. From experience I know it will be fine once I've used it a few times.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:57 AM   #16
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Quote<<<Someone added too much ink… in case anyone has had this issue and doesn't know what to do, remove both caps and let the ink there re-balance within the barrel. Just lay it flat and let it sit a while. Or the lazy way - I have a couple of extra-juicy markers and I tend to color with both caps removed so that it doesn't drip. From experience I know it will be fine once I've used it a few times>>>


Thanks for that info. I don’t refill markers so I didn’t know about this. It was later in the night after many others had colored no problem, and another person had thought that the newbies were pushing down too hard while they colored, and that is what caused the problem.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:59 AM   #17
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<<<@[email protected]>>>
[/COLOR][/B]

Pressure just needs to be equalized by taking both caps off, waiting a moment, and putting them back on. It can be caused by any pressure change - even weather, according to the manufacturer, and was what our instructor taught in my first LSS Copic class, and a different instructor pointed it out at a different LSS. IOW, doesn’t have to be overfilled.

(Speaking of pressure, I had my standard favorite writing pen on an airplane one, took off the cap, and ink spurted all over my clothes. Good times.)

ETA: Trying to quote Heidi’s post #14. Something is wonky with quotes for the last couple days.

Heidi said, “The interesting thing is that during the make n take, a bunch of the Copics were bleeding out of the tip and dripping onto people’s projects.“


BTW, from Copic about storage, though not about the problem mentioned “Basically it would make no big difference whether you store your markers either upright or on their side as long as the ink is nearly-filled, but we recommend you to keep Copic flat.”

Last edited by bjeans; 03-15-2019 at 10:34 AM..
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