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Old 10-15-2016, 09:31 PM   #1
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Question Ok, I need help... markers... or something

I bought a 24 pack of Spectrum Noir markers about a month and a half ago. I took them back today. =/ I bought the 'Brights' set, which may have been mistake number 1. Regardless, I couldn't blend with them. Granted, I'm new to the marker scene... but for $35 I expected a bit more. I know Copics are even more expensive. But, I've also seen some niiiiice cards done with Copics.

I do have a decent set of Sharpies... but haven't had much luck blending them either. Do I need a blending pen? Special paper? =(

I did buy a 24 pack of watercolor pencils... to give those a try. I like coloring with regular colored pencils and blending with baby oil, but it takes sooo long. I like the idea of markers.


Suggestions?


I'd really like to try some Copics, but I have no idea where to buy them to get the best price, nor do I know what colors I should start out with.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:31 PM   #2
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The thing about blending with the alcohol markers is that you generally need to work with ones that are similar in color. Like, this trio from Copic. The big 24 packs, and this includes from Copic, give you a range of colors, but not a range of blendable colors. I don't typically use a blending pen with my copic-- the lightest color of a grouping usually works for that.

I haven't colored with sharpies, so I don't really know how to work with them, although they seem much drier than the copics and spectrum noir.

If you click on the link above, it will take you to the copic site. There is a lot of info there if you feel like reading.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Emily... I'm currently doing some internet scouring. Eesh, so much to learn... and such a huge investment. I really did not like the Spectrum Noir caps either.. they were a pain to open. Literally. I sometimes suffer from arthritis and there is no way I'd be able to get the caps off if I was hurting. So.... Copics, here I come. lol All this on top of the fact that I just didn't like how they colored.

Buying the Spectrum Noir 24 pack was probably not very conducive to blending colors. But I didn't want to have only pinks or blues or greens... another thing I don't like about the SNs... you can't buy them individually.


Do you have the sketch or the ciaos? I found a good price on sketches... and the only real reason I'm leaning toward them is because you can get them in all the colors... and their shape. The ovals. I think I would like that.. and it might be easier to hold. Idk. I'd LOVE to find a place that has them so I could actually hold them each.



Do you find by using the lightest color, it picks up darker colors? I don't want to ruin my light colors by using them for blending color.
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:09 AM   #4
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Jennifer, I do know you are not on your own in not liking Spectrum Noirs. I remember when they first launched, a lot of people were unhappy with them, and having watched a few of the creators videos, I decided I didn't like the look of the blends, so never got any. I'd suggest watching a lot of You Tube Videos on colouring with the method you choose- it does seem different people have slightly differing methods, or prefer different colour combos.
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Old 10-16-2016, 12:50 PM   #5
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Thanks Shaz! I've been all over the internet.. blogs, youtube... lol It's a little overwhelming!
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Old 10-16-2016, 01:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInPink View Post
Do you have the sketch or the ciaos? I found a good price on sketches... and the only real reason I'm leaning toward them is because you can get them in all the colors... and their shape. The ovals. I think I would like that.. and it might be easier to hold. Idk. I'd LOVE to find a place that has them so I could actually hold them each.

Do you find by using the lightest color, it picks up darker colors? I don't want to ruin my light colors by using them for blending color.
I have a mix of all the copics-- the sketch, the ciaos, and the originals, which are the square barrels... mostly because when I was filling in gaps in my collection, I found one or the other on sale. But I do like the sketch the best. The squares are just awkward shaped and after you use the sketch for a while, the ciaos seem tiny. I think they'd seem extra small, too, if you have arthritis. (Also, ciaos roll off the table.)

There is a dealer locator on that imagination international website. Take a look around and see if there's anything near you where you can scope them out. In my area, there is a college bookstore that carries them (along with other supplies for the art students). They were cheapest for a while but then got up to date on pricing.

The only time my lighter markers pick up the darker colors is when I specifically touch the lighter one to the darker one for that actual purpose. (It's a shading technique that I am not very good at. ) But even then, if I am done with the technique, I just scribble off on scrap paper. I have occasionally discolored a nib, but (1) it doesn't keep transferring color, and (2) the nibs are replaceable on copics.

Keep your eyes peeled on the buy/sell board, because people sometimes look to unload their single copics. Read a little bit about how copic does their numbering/color theory, and then you could try to grab a duo or trio of markers to try out. Not returnable, but sometimes people are selling markers for $2 or $3, so if you just get a couple to try out, you're not out a whole lot if you don't like them.

I will say this, though: I do like using my copics, but sometimes, they are a pain. Sometimes the colors don't blend like they should based on the numbers. I have a couple where I don't know if the ink is messed up or what, because they don't physically seem to blend right. They're my favorite of the markers, but they are also not perfect, so it's okay if it turns out you don't like them, either.
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Old 10-16-2016, 02:40 PM   #7
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Yeah, after doing some research, I really want to go with the sketch... I considered getting the ciaos and filling in colors with sketch, but I'd rather they all match. haha. Of course, I'd want the more expensive of the two. hehe Oh well. Christmas is coming!! Maybe Santa will bring me some.

That's a very good idea about posting them in my ISO thread and looking for folks selling them!! Heading over there now.
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Old 10-16-2016, 02:55 PM   #8
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I have been buying the copics over the last 5 months for my granddaughters birthday and for Christmas. I have been buying the ciao but this info applies to both. I got a lot of them from Michaels using a 40% or 50% off coupon and getting a set each week. It's taken several months because Michaels does not always have them in stock and per the manager the local store doesn't control when or if they get any in. They just get what they get from corporate. But with the coupon the price is very good for a set of six. Also watch dickblick.com which is an art supply site. I have gotten some of them on their site at very good sale prices also.
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:13 PM   #9
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Hi Becky, (where are you in Ohio??)Thank you for that... I just ordered my very first 15 sketch markers from Joann.com. They are having a really good sale right now.. even their regular price on them isn't bad. The only one I really wanted that I was unable to get there at this time was the blender pen. So I'm gonna scout around and see if I can't find one.


I need to sign up for dick blick's email promos...


How are you buying them in sets? I saw some on Hobby Lobby website in sets, but not sure if I saw them on Michael's. It's too far for me to drive very often... I need to call ahead maybe... to see if they have a good stock before I go.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInPink View Post
Hi Becky, (where are you in Ohio??)Thank you for that... I just ordered my very first 15 sketch markers from Joann.com. They are having a really good sale right now.. even their regular price on them isn't bad. The only one I really wanted that I was unable to get there at this time was the blender pen. So I'm gonna scout around and see if I can't find one.

How are you buying them in sets? I saw some on Hobby Lobby website in sets, but not sure if I saw them on Michael's. It's too far for me to drive very often... I need to call ahead maybe... to see if they have a good stock before I go.
There are multiple sets for sale-- check pages 5 and 6 of that link. Michael's first got them in a few years ago (and check the ART section, not the stamps)... I still see the singles at my Michael's, but I haven't seen the sets lately. (The ones I saw were sketch sets, which is why I've linked you to those.)

On the blender, you're okay without it to start. I can't remember actually using it to blend. Some people call it an eraser-- you can use it to clean up if you color outside the lines, but only a little. It doesn't really erase so much as push the stray ink in another direction. Other people use it to add texture to a solid shape-- like, if you colored in an umbrella and wanted to make it polka-dotted, you can use the blender to make spots.

Anyhow, that's one I have as both a sketch and an original. The original comes with a fine point nib on one end. I like that a lot for cleaning up tight spaces. (I believe you can buy a fine point nib for a sketch marker, but then I'd have to learn how to change those out. Hee hee.)
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:08 PM   #11
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A few months ago, I did a post about what I consider to be essential colors: Copic 101 - Which colors to buy?

I narrowed them down to 50 - which seems like a lot, but it's really not when you consider that it covers all the color families + grays + skin colors. The recommendations are based on what I personally reach for the most, and they're generally bright (and happy!) colors that go with cute or modern stamps.

I figured I'd share just in case it helps someone. Copics do have 358 colors, so it can be pretty overwhelming to figure out which shades to get.

Another great tool is Sandy Allnock's HEX color chart: Hex Chart - Sandy Allnock

Her chart is the kind of tool I wished I had back when I first got into Copics. It would have made for a much better color collection originally. Not that I mind having a big variety... but if you're trying to be frugal, you want to go with what works from the start.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:33 AM   #12
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Elle you are an angel. Thanks so much for your list.
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:23 AM   #13
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I've been stamping/cared making for 11 years. I am still overwhelmed by what it would take to buy a good supply of copics. I really don't know which colors to buy even though I've tried to learn how to buy the shades.

I loved Blendabilities from SU as they did the color choices for you. I also liked how they colored. I only have one set and it was free from SAB. I didn't like that they were not refillable. That is why I didn't buy any.

I finally jumped into copics two years ago and had my husband get me about 12. I've used them a little and I also bought the large set of Sharpies from Target.....poor man's version of copics!

I don't know if I'll ever buy anymore copics. It's just too overwhelming to choose and also expensive. Then you have to learn how to color with them.
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CreativeCardsea View Post
A few months ago, I did a post about what I consider to be essential colors: Copic 101 - Which colors to buy?

I narrowed them down to 50 - which seems like a lot, but it's really not when you consider that it covers all the color families + grays + skin colors. The recommendations are based on what I personally reach for the most, and they're generally bright (and happy!) colors that go with cute or modern stamps.

I figured I'd share just in case it helps someone. Copics do have 358 colors, so it can be pretty overwhelming to figure out which shades to get.

Another great tool is Sandy Allnock's HEX color chart: Hex Chart - Sandy Allnock

Her chart is the kind of tool I wished I had back when I first got into Copics. It would have made for a much better color collection originally. Not that I mind having a big variety... but if you're trying to be frugal, you want to go with what works from the start.
I've been looking for something like this for years.THANKS,
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:49 PM   #15
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I have every set of blend abilities! After I bought my last set, they sit selling them. I like them, except that all shades seem dark to me. No real light color in each group
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:51 PM   #16
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I do have a decent set of Sharpies... but haven't had much luck blending them either. Do I need a blending pen? Special paper? =(
Yes! You need to have the right paper! Makes a huge difference! There are papers specifically for alcohol markers. You will want this no matter what brand of marker you use.

I have been getting sets of Spectrum at Consumer Crafts when they go on sale for 5 bucks for a 6 pack. They dont do all of them that way though. there are 3 (?) packs of 20 something. Until I am sure I love them, I wont go there.

I also went with Tombows dual tips. Brush and fine. Water based. Much cheaper and you can get them individually. I got them at Dick Blick on sale.

I am now hoping for zigs for the holidays to add to my water based collection.

I have never found sharpies to blend easily. I like the fine tips for detail work but not blending so much.

Blending is not something you just do. People practice this for a long time. I still have not mastered it either. If you can find just a basics class you can do live it would probably make a huge difference.
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:22 PM   #17
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Good grief... I need special paper too?! My bf is going to divorce me!! rofl

I don't know.. I think I started out with the wrong set of SNs... I wanted a red... for cardinals and berries and Santa suits... and Rudolph's nose. So I got the 'brights' set. I think I should have started with the 'lights' or 'pastels'. *sigh*


Now I'm 15 Copics in debt... (not really debt, but I ordered them yesterday)


I feel like I'm doing more researching/shopping/buying than I am creating. =(
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:24 PM   #18
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Copics....look at this blog. It is by Marianne Walker. She is the woman that brought Copics to the stamping community. You can search for anything on her blog and you'll find it.

I Like Markers

Have fun!
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:49 PM   #19
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@susie australia & Allistamps123:
You're most welcome! I know most artists will tell you it's hard to come up with a good beginners' list because the right combinations will depend on what you want to color. Someone who wants to color flowers won't need the same markers as someone coloring people. So, a comprehensive list that takes everything into account is impossible.

At the same time, I think people - particularly those who are new at coloring - need something to start with. So, I built a starter palette. I'm really happy that it's helping out.

@Jennifer:
Try this paper - https://www.simonsaysstamp.com/produ...1?currency=USD
(I linked to Simon Says Stamp, but lots of other stores carry it. I usually order mine though Amazon when it's in stock for Prime).

It's only 5$ for 30 sheets and it's sized for A2 so you could have it as an entire card front. It's a thin paper, but it gives smooth blending and it's very easy to fussy-cut with. If you like how it works and blends, you can invest in a thicker/bigger pack like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Copic-Marker-.../dp/B0044JPR7E
I bought the 125 pack 2 years ago and I still haven't finished it -- and I'm on a design team for a company that does digis, so I do a lot of printing and coloring.
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:48 PM   #20
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I'm not great at markers, so I bought THIS set of 80 dual tip markers from Amazon for $44.95. And free shipping!They came on a slow boat from China I think, but WOW!! Worth the wait, and the price! I started playing right away.


80 markers for under $45 total. That's a cheap way for me to experiment.
I am especially pleased with the pastel shades. Usually I find that my eclectic collection of pastel markers are much darker than I expect. But these are quite satisfactory.
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:06 PM   #21
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Thank you ginger, I did check out her site last night... She has a loooot of info on there.. wow.

Wow, thanks Elle, I had no idea there was Copic paper!!! hahaha


Sewnmachine, I saw those on eBay!!! At least I think it's them... how long have you had them?? How well do you like them?? I might just give them a try!
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:19 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavejumper View Post
I do have a decent set of Sharpies... but haven't had much luck blending them either. Do I need a blending pen? Special paper? =(
Yes! You need to have the right paper! Makes a huge difference! There are papers specifically for alcohol markers. You will want this no matter what brand of marker you use.

I have been getting sets of Spectrum at Consumer Crafts when they go on sale for 5 bucks for a 6 pack. They dont do all of them that way though. there are 3 (?) packs of 20 something. Until I am sure I love them, I wont go there.

I also went with Tombows dual tips. Brush and fine. Water based. Much cheaper and you can get them individually. I got them at Dick Blick on sale.

I am now hoping for zigs for the holidays to add to my water based collection.

I have never found sharpies to blend easily. I like the fine tips for detail work but not blending so much.

[B]Blending is not something you just do. People practice this for a long time. I still have not mastered it either. If you can find just a basics class you can do live it would probably make a huge difference[/B].
That! (Bolding/italicising is mine.) I think some markers and mediums are easier than others, like Zig CCB's are quite blender-friendly. But they're not markers per se, at least not in my head.

Beth

Last edited by bjeans; 10-18-2016 at 05:22 AM.. Reason: Sorry, wanted to bold/italicize waverunner's last paragraph, but didn't work for some reason
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:27 PM   #23
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Simon Says Stamp is having a Copic sale through Nov. 1.
25% off.
Use code: COPICSALE
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:13 PM   #24
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Thanks Beth... =) CCBs? what is that? Good heavens... too much stufffff! *faints* haha

Thank you Cathy! I actually just got an email from them. =)
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:58 AM   #25
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When I first started learning about Copics I put some of the information from various blogs into a doc for my own reference. I've attached the doc but I don't know if I'm breaking any rules but it was useful for me to have it all in one place. My lessons learned:

Don't buy sets unless they are the blender sets with colors that go well together otherwise you could end up with colors you may never use (lesson learned). Early on I learned about buying 3 markers of the same color (the lightest, middle, and darkest) then you use the lighter colored markers to pick up the colors. Easy blending and you don't a boat load of markers. After all these years, I still only have about 100 that I bought over time.

I took a class with Sandy Allnock this year (she's wonderful) and I wish I had her chart when I first started as I wouldn't have bought some colors I never use.

Paper is key for blending - if you are just going to color without blending it doesn't make as much difference, if using other papers you need a light touch because the Copics will bleed. If you want to really and truly blend, then you need one of the recommended papers. Also, if you blend correctly, the color will bleed to the back of the paper.

I have one wide Copic that I use to make sky backgrounds. The wide markers are not discussed very much, but I love having the ability to do skies with less effort.

Practice - it takes a lot of practice to get that amazing blending. Try all the different techniques (coloring in circles, flicking, etc.). I use different techniques based on what I'm coloring. You'll find your sweet spot but remember, you have to practice.

Refill and new tips - beyond the coloring ability I love that I can refill my markers and replace the tips. Some will say they never have to refill but I do a lot of blending and having a marker go dry at 3 AM has convinced me I need to keep refills. A bottle will refill your marker about 10 times so it's well worth the price. Also, the refill tools are very helpful - not required but I like having them.

Blender - the blender pen is 90% ethanol alcohol. I buy fills the drug store. It is THE most important marker to have. It will erase the ink and when you're learning, you may get a lot of bleeding so it will remove boo-boos. Also it helps you to lighten darker areas. Because it removes the ink it's not really a blender. Yes, I know people use it that way but its harder because instead of blending the colors together, it just removes the color. KWIM?

Marker tips - The Ciao and Sketch have the same nice brush tip and the Copic has a bullet tip like SN. I prefer the brush tip as I just can't blend with a bullet tip. I keep spare tips on hand but they last a long time unless I color a rough surface. If you use your copics to color glitter paper, make sure you clean the glitter off the tip as the glitter can work into the tip.

HYH (hope this helps)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Copic tutorials .pdf (1.25 MB, 10 views)
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:27 PM   #26
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Thank you SO much for all that... and the file. I downloaded it! I'm feeling a little disappointed, because my markers have shipped, but I was unable to get the blender... and I don't have special paper... so even when they get here, unless I shop soon, I still won't be able to play with them. I hope some of the colors I ordered will play well together.. if not, at least I got them at a good price and can use them to color with or I could always sell them, worse case scenario. Live and learn.

I ordered the Sketch. I considered the Ciaos since they were $1 cheaper, but decided against it since they don't come in all the colors.. but I may go ahead and get some.. and just fill in with the Sketches.. that would make more since in terms of money I have to spend.


So you just fill your blender with regular rubbing alcohol? That's cool! Thanks for that tip... and allll the others! *hugs*
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:28 PM   #27
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Jennifer, glad to help. I have a mix of Ciaos and Sketch - it just depended on what I could find for a good price at the time. LOL

Also, note that it's 90% ethanol - not all rubbing alcohols are the same and IMHO (in my humble opinion) it makes a difference.

You landed on an expensive hobby but oh the joy it brings.

Hugs back to you, Pauline
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:53 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInPink View Post
Thanks Beth... =) CCBs? what is that? Good heavens... too much stufffff! *faints* haha

Thank you Cathy! I actually just got an email from them. =)
Zig Clean Color Real Brushes. (I call them Zig Clean Color Brushes, forgetting the "Real." Some call them markers, others pens. But they have tiny brushes on the tips, so are different.

If you want to learn about them down the road, Susy, aka aka Boss, posted a link to a couple super videos in this thread, maybe post 35.

http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...s-t611710.html

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Old 10-20-2016, 03:57 PM   #29
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Pauline, thanks for the heads up on the alcohol. I still have to find a blender pen. And I'm so sad... the place I ordered from now has about 5 times as many colors listed... figures. My luck is horrible. =(

Hmm, Beth, don't tease me with MORE goodies.. my bf already thinks I'm nuts for needing so many different markers.
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Old 10-20-2016, 04:27 PM   #30
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Since the Zigs aren't markers, certainly he would understand. ; ) Kidding - stick to what you're just starting to explore.

I was at my LSS for a book class today, and they carry Copics. A staff member showed me super samples from a combo Copic and colored pencil class coming up, but I told her I thought Copics required a real commitment in order to become proficient, and I'm already working/learning with watercolors, Zigs and Gelatos, plus have tons of quality colored pencils (needed years ago), not to mention using inks for painting. Enough already. Plus I'm not into coloring as a major activity.

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Old 10-21-2016, 02:20 AM   #31
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If you want to buy ethanol- or Isopropyl Alcohol-, try E-Bay. i get mine from there, it's really cheap, and as Stamphappy1650 says, there are different strengths. I get the 90% to use as blending solution for my alcohol inks.
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:29 PM   #32
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hahaha, Beth, yes... he would probably just roll his eyes at me and say suuuure... haha! He was not thrilled at first with the Copic idea when I told him how expensive they were.. and I told him that was fine... I wouldn't get them.. because I do understand... they ARE expensive!! But later that evening he just looked at me and said, "Get your markers.." hehe. He has a hard time telling me no.

Thanks for that info.. I am excited to try to use them. Sad that I don't have a blender.. ugh. Maybe I'll go somewhere where they have them... so I don't have to pay shipping... but Michael's and HL are both an hour away... so, do I pay for shipping or for gas? lol


Thanks Shaz.... I'm pretty sure I've seen the 90% at Walmart.. I'll have to look the next time I go.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:50 PM   #33
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Swenmachine: That link goes to markers that says OILY alcohol markers!! Does the oil spread on the paper? Great price if they are good markers, Please tell us more.

Dreamsinpink: ZIGS (Zig Clean Color Real Brush) are not alcohol based, so completely different product. That's the way I went, and found them low priced at Carpe Diem Markers. They may carry Copics, I have never looked.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:19 AM   #34
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Yes, they sell Copics. They sell everything from Prismacolor to Sakura to Moleskine (not markers!) to cases. Very nice company, fast shipping, and I agree their Zig prices are excellent - $1.89.

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Old 10-27-2016, 10:45 AM   #35
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Most of my copics came from Carpe Diem. I started buying from Stampsalive. She had all the copics in stock even when everyone else were sold out and she is very quick. Contact her for pricing as I found she does discounts on copics.

I bought about 42+ Markers from Joanns this week. This is the first time I have every seen them on sale! I was like you when I started and wanted all sketch, but I wanted to color more. Now I have a mix of ciaos, sketches, and originals.

I personally like the ciaos best because they fit better in my hand.
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