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Old 02-17-2010, 06:30 AM   #1
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Default Prisma pencils or Copics for a newbie?

For someone who is new to coloring, which do think would be easiest for someone to learn...prismas+gamsol or Copics? I don't know much about shading and highlighting or blending. I love the results I see with Copics but I'm afraid to pay that kind of money for something that's not easy to learn how to do. Pencils seem like they'd be easier, but again with the shading etc.., pencils+gamsol may not be much different than learning how to use a copic. Any advice would be great!! Thanks
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:50 AM   #2
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IMHO Prisma and gamsol. I am far from an expert color-er and I feel I have soooooo much more control with the pencils. I have some copics, took a class, and still I fight with them. I love the work that people do with them, but I struggle. Look to ebay for a great price on a big set of prismas.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:00 AM   #3
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I love the copic markers. They are easy to use and look beautiful. I am still not a pro, but I much prefer them to my pencils which have been in a draw since I got my copics.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:00 AM   #4
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I have both. I also tend to pick up techniques quickly. I can understand how people CAN fight with copics -

Personally - if you like softer coloring then Prismacolor pencils are beautiful and will always be a useful tool.

If you aren't certain about copics then truthfully how do you like coloring with Crayola's/Bic's/or Sharpie's - if you like coloring with them but need more versatility then take the Copics plunge. My favorite thing about Copics is the "nib" it absolutely spoils me for laying down color - I went to do some watercoloring last week (one of my favorite mediums to work with) and started fighting with it because I was so used to the nibs on the Copics.

I got a pack of 36 Bics for under $20 and love them too! They are an alcohol marker (different ink color manufacturing) too and a lot of the copic techniques can be carried over without the "huge" investment. And a great way to learn shading, highlighting and blending.

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Old 02-17-2010, 07:08 AM   #5
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I have both and love both. I agree with the first poster, prismas and gamsol (or baby oil) are easier to learn plus you wouldn't need different shades of one color to get great results.

Here's the you tube video that taught me how to color with prismacolor pencils.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:26 AM   #6
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When I started out I purchased the Prisma pencils and used the Gamsol/Oderless mineral spirits. I found that the pencils are a little more forgiving when you make a mistake and I could use them on an inexpensive cardstock so if I made mistakes I wasn't wasting money or good cardstock. I still reach for my Prisma's every now and then depending on what I am coloring and the size of the image, I even use both the Copic's and the Pencils on the same image (you do need to color with the Copic's first and fill in with the Prisma's as the pencils can damage the copic's) My advice to someone starting out and unsure of there coloring/shading ability is to start with the 132 set of Prisma's and work your way up from there once you are comfortable with your abilities. I purchased my132 Pencils from eBay for $80 including shipping and Canadian exchange. Good luck and relax and have fun with whatever you decided to use.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:

Originally Posted by newlystampingView Post
For someone who is new to coloring, which do think would be easiest for someone to learn...prismas+gamsol or Copics? I don't know much about shading and highlighting or blending. I love the results I see with Copics but I'm afraid to pay that kind of money for something that's not easy to learn how to do. Pencils seem like they'd be easier, but again with the shading etc.., pencils+gamsol may not be much different than learning how to use a copic. Any advice would be great!! Thanks
I'd go with pencils over alcohol markers simply because there's less of a learning curve with pencils. Also, you don't necessarily "need" gamsol to achieve lovely coloring effects.

With Copics, you need to be mindful of which type inks work best, which paper types work best, bleed-through, what to do with color that seeps beyond the image lines.

If it helps any, I've been teaching art-stamping for 14 years, and work with both colored pencils and Copics.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:37 AM   #8
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I think it really comes down to what you think you will prefer. I'd go on youtube and watch some videos of techniques using both primsa pencils and copics and see which appeals to you most. That's exactly what I did and am so glad with my choice.
I started with bics and moved onto copics and love them. I recently rec'd a 12ct prisma pencil set and I honestly cant get the hang of the gamsol magic. Maybe I dont have enough colors? but I think shading with copic is easiest for me. Either way I still use the pencils with my copics and it works out nicely. As far as the paper I use with copics. It's really inexpensive it's called Georgia Pacific 110lb. and I get it at walmart, so if I goof it's no big loss. Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:23 AM   #9
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I definitely think that the pencils are easier, although I know I couldn't get great results with a set of 12. I was really excited to try the gamsol technique. I couldn't afford a ton of expensive prismas without knowing how I would like the technique, so I bought a 36 pack of crayolas. They work great! If you are having a hard time deciding, I would suggest picking up one of these sets (with a coupon!) and trying it out. If you like it, you can always go for the prismas. I have decided to stick with the crayolas because I am satisfied. I also purchased a 36 set of copics, but I don't find using them to come easily to me. I am working hard to learn.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:35 AM   #10
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If you want to get copics to try only buy 3 ciao's, that way it's no big loss if you dont like them. Stay withing 2-3 numbers apart of eachother.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:39 AM   #11
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I like Copics better. The pencils (when I started) seemed harder.

For me the Copics gave instant satisfaction as they were easier for me.

Now I am going back and learning.... it's all personal preference.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by EllibelleView Post
I have both and love both. I agree with the first poster, prismas and gamsol (or baby oil) are easier to learn plus you wouldn't need different shades of one color to get great results.

Here's the you tube video that taught me how to color with prismacolor pencils.

I love my pencils and agree that they're easier to start with. That's a great video!
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:00 AM   #13
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Thanks so much for the advice. Since they are cheaper and more forgiving, I'll start with the pencils. If I enjoy coloring and get the hang of shading, then maybe I'll dive into the Copic world. Thanks again!!!
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:19 AM   #14
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I don't have an answer, but I have a question--just when I think I have seen everything, something new comes along. What exactly is Gamsol. One of you mentioned baby oil, and all I can visualize is oil on my pictures. Can someone enlighten this old lady on this. I love the video as I do a lot of coloring for bulletin boards (I am a librarian) and really learned some neat things. Oh, and one other question, where can you buy Gamsol (I hope I spelled that right). Thanks in advance. Deanna
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:25 AM   #15
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Gamsol is a brand of odorless mineral spirits, but I think any artist-grade OMS will work. Most crafts stores sell some brand of it. You use a paper stump dipped in OMS to blend the prismas. Since they are wax-based, the OMS kinda melts the color and lets you blend. There are some great tutorials on youtube, which is how I learned about it. Just search prisma pencils and gamsol, then some videos should pop up. It's really cool!! It gives a similar effect as Copics, but not quite as vivid, from what I have seen. I was just wondering how hard it is for someone who hasn't really colored before.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:05 AM   #16
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Forget the gamsol, use baby oil instead. Here is a tutorial on my blog with instructions on how to color with Prismacolor pencils and baby oil:

http://uselesscrafts.blogspot.com/20...-tutorial.html

I have taught about 5 classes at my LSS using this method with great success!

Happy coloring!
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:16 AM   #17
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I would go for Copics because i don't like the look *I* get from pencils and found Copics EXTREMELY easy to get the hang of.. i don't understand when some people say there is a steep learning curve with Copics. I say, "Isn't there a learning curve with EVERYTHING?"

What do you like the LOOK of better?? Go for that!
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:43 AM   #18
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So if I understand you, this is an EITHER/OR question?

I started with Prismacolor pencils. They work great, and you can get some effects with them (soft shading, etc) that I cannot get with the Copics. That being said, I haven't had my copics that long.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:59 AM   #19
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I haven't bought the copics yet (not in the budget, hopefully soon!) but I just wanted to say that I taught my 14 year old son to use the prismas and gamsol and he mastered it very quickly and easily (never thought he would even be interested in trying but he always complained that he did not like to "color" his art work - he loves to now!).

I love using my prismas and it is really pretty easy to pick up the technique and create beautiful work with.

I still intend to purchase copics as well, and learn to use them too!

Good luck with your decision
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:56 PM   #20
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Personally, I prefer my Copics. My prismacolor pencils and gamsol sit in the closet all alone.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:56 AM   #21
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I'd go with prismas/colored pencils first 1) ease of use 2) cost. If you buy a few prismas or a low cost set of crayola wax pencils you do not have a large expenditure of cash.

Buying a couple of copics isn't going to work as you are going to need a variety of colors and shades of those colors to get the results you will see posted on pictures. I tried the buy a couple and see if I like them and quickly found that my 4 copics were not enough.

I really like my copics and now have about 50 and don't think I will need anymore. also, it's not just the initial cost of the copics, eventually, if you use them often, you have to buy the refill.

I love my prismas, but for a beginner, you can get excellent results with a pack of 24 crayolas that will cost you under $10. Don't get suckered into buying the expensive sets of prismas until you know if you like it. I bought all mine over time by starting with a few basic colors. With prismas you will have to buy new pencils but at under $2 a piece the maintenance cost is less.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:01 AM   #22
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Great thread. Pencils for me. I like Copics but I don't have a good eye for color and Prismas are more forgiving when it comes to correcting color imo.

What I like about Copics is their intensity. I'm making up for that now by using Derwent Inktense Pencils first then using Prismas over them. It gives the pencils the kick they need. They are water soluble ink based pencils. Don't need a lot of water either which is what I like especially working on card stock.

Good luck and Happy Coloring!!

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Old 02-19-2010, 06:13 AM   #23
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If you don't want to kick out the cost for Prismas, but want something a bit better quality than Crayola, try Koh-i-noor. I bought a 24 count at Michael's with a 40% coupon for about $12 and they are great! They're in the art supplies section with charcoals, canvasses, etc (and prisma's are back there, too).

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by MrHamboView Post
Great thread. Pencils for me. I like Copics but I don't have a good eye for color and Prismas are more forgiving when it comes to correcting color imo.

What I like about Copics is their intensity. I'm making up for that now by using Derwent Inktense Pencils first then using Prismas over them. It gives the pencils the kick they need. They are water soluble ink based pencils. Don't need a lot of water either which is what I like especially working on card stock.

Good luck and Happy Coloring!!

Tim
I am intrigued, Mr. Hambo!

I love my Derwent Watercolor Pencils, and I also enjoy my Koh-I-Noors.

Hmmmm, which set to get. I'm fluctuating between the 36 and whether or not I'd get a lot of use out of the full 72.

What do you have/recommend for someone who only has a 24 set of Koh-I-Noors at this time?
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:59 AM   #25
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JulieHRRView Post
I am intrigued, Mr. Hambo!

I love my Derwent Watercolor Pencils, and I also enjoy my Koh-I-Noors.

Hmmmm, which set to get. I'm fluctuating between the 36 and whether or not I'd get a lot of use out of the full 72.

What do you have/recommend for someone who only has a 24 set of Koh-I-Noors at this time?
I've got the 72 color set, and I can't think of a color in there that I would want to be without. I've used them under Prismas as Mr. Hambo suggests and they are fantastic for that. (Copics can be used the same way, btw.) I'm also loving them all by themselves on watercolor paper. The colors are absolutely scrumptious.

Oh, and so at not to hijack this thread completely, I think I would recommend the Prismacolors for a beginner. They are less costly (think 40% coupon at Michaels') and very versatile. I use mine most often without Gamsol, and they are perfect for coloring small images. Another nice thing about Prismacolor pencils is that you can color on colored cardstock and printed paper, and if you're not using Gamsol, the ink you use doesn't matter much. Don't get me wrong, I love my Copics, and they would be great to add later, but I would recommend the pencils to start.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:32 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by DonnarieView Post
I've got the 72 color set, and I can't think of a color in there that I would want to be without. I've used them under Prismas as Mr. Hambo suggests and they are fantastic for that. (Copics can be used the same way, btw.) I'm also loving them all by themselves on watercolor paper. The colors are absolutely scrumptious.
Oh, lolly. I had a feeling you'd enable me . . .

*chuckle*
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:52 AM   #27
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I love my Prismas. I started out yrs ago w/ the 72 set. This Christmas, DH filled in the difference between that and the 132 plus some new colors. I'm in heaven! Usually, I don't use gamsol or baby oil. I have a couple of Prisma colorless blender pencils which make it easy and more precise. You can get a pack of 2 at Hobby Lobby for a few dollars.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:57 AM   #28
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I have both Copics and pencils, and I must say that although I'm getting used to the Copics, I still gravitate towards my pencils. It is (to me) a lot easier to get the color exactly where I want it to go
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:32 AM   #29
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I love my Prismas. I started out yrs ago w/ the 72 set. This Christmas, DH filled in the difference between that and the 132 plus some new colors. I'm in heaven! Usually, I don't use gamsol or baby oil. I have a couple of Prisma colorless blender pencils which make it easy and more precise. You can get a pack of 2 at Hobby Lobby for a few dollars.
I too have tried the colorless blending pencil but I found that the colors do not brighten up like they do when I use baby oil. I do like to use it for smaller more precise areas though. It is cheaper than buying blending stumps, sandpaper blocks and OMS or baby oil.

I have copics (82 of them) also but for a beginner, I think that pencils are easier to learn (and cheaper!!).
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:24 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by JulieHRRView Post
I am intrigued, Mr. Hambo!

I love my Derwent Watercolor Pencils, and I also enjoy my Koh-I-Noors.

Hmmmm, which set to get. I'm fluctuating between the 36 and whether or not I'd get a lot of use out of the full 72.

What do you have/recommend for someone who only has a 24 set of Koh-I-Noors at this time?
I have the 24 Inktense set... they are pricey. Since I do mostly under coloring with them it's fine but the colors are kind of weird and find myself wanting colors I don't have. HTH or did it just confuse?


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Old 02-19-2010, 09:52 AM   #31
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Oh, lolly. I had a feeling you'd enable me . . .

*chuckle*
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:56 AM   #32
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I like to use Copics and then use Prismas for extra shading......I have a tutorial on my blog.

But, of course, now I am being enabled to buy another coloring medium!
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:03 AM   #33
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I'm posting this just so you all can see that bright, fully saturated color is possible with Prismacolors with or without the use of a solvent like Gamsol, OMS or baby oil. I started this piece in the upper left hand corner using OMS to blend the colors. I soon realized that if I put enough layers of color down first, I could achieve the same blending with just the pencils and finished the piece with no solvent at all. The real trick is to get enough of the pigment on the paper so that you can move it around, and to do that you need to work in layers. I was working on colored paper here, so the first layer I put down was white, then I worked the rest of the colors from light to dark.

Just thought I'd share.

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Old 02-19-2010, 10:35 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by DonnarieView Post
I'm posting this just so you all can see that bright, fully saturated color is possible with Prismacolors with or without the use of a solvent like Gamsol, OMS or baby oil. I started this piece in the upper left hand corner using OMS to blend the colors. I soon realized that if I put enough layers of color down first, I could achieve the same blending with just the pencils and finished the piece with no solvent at all. The real trick is to get enough of the pigment on the paper so that you can move it around, and to do that you need to work in layers. I was working on colored paper here, so the first layer I put down was white, then I worked the rest of the colors from light to dark.

Just thought I'd share.


Ooooh, LOLLY!!! I see what you mean! Altho, you had me pre-pic.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:38 AM   #35
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I have the 24 Inktense set... they are pricey. Since I do mostly under coloring with them it's fine but the colors are kind of weird and find myself wanting colors I don't have. HTH or did it just confuse?


Tim

No--makes sense! It is maddening to want more colors and not have them at your disposal, so given the comparative costs to other more expensive coloring tools, I'm inclined to go for a larger set, based on your thoughts, and Donnarie's smooth persuasion and enablement skillz . . .

*chuckle*

Or, mebbe I'm just easy.

BAH HAHAHAHAHA!!!!
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:01 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by DonnarieView Post
I'm posting this just so you all can see that bright, fully saturated color is possible with Prismacolors with or without the use of a solvent like Gamsol, OMS or baby oil. I started this piece in the upper left hand corner using OMS to blend the colors. I soon realized that if I put enough layers of color down first, I could achieve the same blending with just the pencils and finished the piece with no solvent at all. The real trick is to get enough of the pigment on the paper so that you can move it around, and to do that you need to work in layers. I was working on colored paper here, so the first layer I put down was white, then I worked the rest of the colors from light to dark.

Just thought I'd share.
Wonderful drawing Donna!! Quite impressive!! I usually don't use OMS but I have lately just because the water that I do use with the Inktense roughs up the paper a little and the prismas go down rough. So in areas with few layers I use it now.

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Old 02-19-2010, 11:00 PM   #37
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I'm w/ you, Donna. I find just adding layers of color gives very intense shades, if that's what you're going for. The blender pencil I use mainly to smooth things out. When I'm shading, I usually use a lighter color of the same family to blend with.
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:04 AM   #38
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I have both and love both. I agree with the first poster, prismas and gamsol (or baby oil) are easier to learn plus you wouldn't need different shades of one color to get great results.

Here's the you tube video that taught me how to color with prismacolor pencils.

Thanks so much for the video ... so very helpful ... I always struggle with shading and this explained everything perfectly.
Now I need to find gamsol .... does Michaels carry it ?? I cannot find it in Canada...
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:04 PM   #39
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I vowed that I would never be a Copics user. Well, between you and me, I now own 17 of them. I have only had them for about a week, but have enjoyed playing around with them. I am not satisfied enough to use them as my best quality work, but I am going to keep trying.

With that said, my Gamsol and Prismas are my good ole stand by. Kind of like an old friend.

Have fun trying to decide and maybe the post above about getting the BIC markers might be a fun place to begin.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:42 AM   #40
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Thanks so much for the video ... so very helpful ... I always struggle with shading and this explained everything perfectly.
Now I need to find gamsol .... does Michaels carry it ?? I cannot find it in Canada...
Terrie,
Gamsol is merely odorless mineral spirits (OMS). The only difference between the two is the name. Micheal's carries OMS (not sure of the brand, maybe Mona Lisa?) you can also get it at any home improvement store or just about anywhere you can buy paint.
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