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Old 08-03-2008, 07:50 AM   #1
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Default pros and cons of watercolor crayons/watercolor pencils/matercolor markers

Hi coloring experts
I would like your advantages and disadvantages of the following items so that I can make up my mind on which direction to go. I have $80.00 that I am willing to put towards "colors" and was debating on which group to select from. What are your thoughts on each of the following items?
I am looking for a set to work with knowing that I will NOT being using them everyday - mainly for seasonal and occasion cards.

Watercolor crayons/pencils - SU - are they vivid enough?

Prisma Pencils etc. - Are there enough hues in the sets to get good shading?

Watercolor Markers - Should I just invest in 5 color families and pick 3 shades of each?

Thanks for your thoughts
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:01 AM   #2
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Quote:

Watercolor crayons - SU - are they vivid enough?
These expensive, but, high quality crayons will probably last you to the grave. Great for watercoloring on Cryogen White, as well as watercolor type papers. Excellent for applying color directly to solid style rubber stamps, misting, and then stamping.

The watercolor pencils are also good quality, and an excellent investment if you only intend to watercolor occasionally, considering the expense of the crayons? Not intended to apply directly to rubber, however, but for watercoloring detailed images.

Quote:

Prisma Pencils etc. - Are there enough hues in the sets to get good shading?
I've never worked with these, but, many love them. I use Koh-I-Noor, and blend as needed to achieve the effects and color tones I want. But, some of the most talented colored pencil artists I know, swear by Prisma pencils . . .

Quote:

Watercolor Markers - Should I just invest in 5 color families and pick 3 shades of each?
Well, I don't know what brand of watercolor markers you are considering, so I can't offer an opinion. If you mean water-based, I think investing in the entire SU! collection of markers is a worthy one, considering the quality and range of colors, however, it sounds like the whole shebang would be a little outside the price range you wanted to stay within?

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:07 AM   #3
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If you are looking for bright and vivid... Prisma color or Koh-I-Noor pencils (to be used with mineral spirits or Gamsol for blending) are probably your best bet. They have a number of colors and you can get wonderful shading and blending with them.

I love my watercolor crayons and pencils... but they give a softer look...and are not as vibrant.

I have never heard of watercolor markers... I am thinking that you mean water-based markers... like SU or Tombow... and while these are very vivid and colorful, it takes a lot of practice to get good shading and blending with them.

So my suggestion... if you want bright and vivid... for not a lot of money... head for the Prismacolor Pencils or Koh-I-Noor pencils... they are both good quality.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:26 AM   #4
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Something to consider also is that Gamsol and Copics are to be used in a well ventilated area. Gamsol is supposed to be 'odorless' mineral spirits, but just because it doesn't smell bad does not mean it is harmless.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:23 AM   #5
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Something also to consider - SU does not make ANY watercolor crayons. They are made by another company. I have watercolor crayons made by Lyra - and I LOVE them
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:39 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. Does SU not sell their Watercolor Wonder Crayons anymore? I am looking at them in a 06-07 catalog. Sorry if I am not using the right terminology to describe these color sets, know that it's because I am just now learning about them.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cathy HView Post
Something also to consider - SU does not make ANY watercolor crayons. They are made by another company. I have watercolor crayons made by Lyra - and I LOVE them
That's true--I think SU! does have their Watercolor Wonder Crayons outsourced. Possibly even by Lyra?

At any rate, they seemed pretty comparable, if not Lyra, according to what a friend told me, after she'd compared the two. I don't own any Lyra to compare myself, but, considering the extensive research and testing she tends to do on such things, I figured I could take her word for it.

Anyway, I love my SU! Watercolor Wonder Crayons, but, tend to prefer working more with watercolor pencils. I've had SU! brand and Derwent brand, and I like both.

And, I hear some swear by Staedtler, and Prismacolor brand Watercolor pencils, too. So, just a a few more to toss into the decision pool! LOL!
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by denhamView Post
Thanks everyone. Does SU not sell their Watercolor Wonder Crayons anymore? I am looking at them in a 06-07 catalog. Sorry if I am not using the right terminology to describe these color sets, know that it's because I am just now learning about them.
Until the next catalog comes out, I'm fairly certain if they're in the current catalog, they do still carry/sell 'em!

HTH,
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:35 PM   #9
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Well, I've used all of the above, except the Lyra brand w/c crayons, I have the Caran d'ache brand. They are VERY vibrant, and highly pigmented. Since I prefer softer colors, I don't use them often. I like the look of colored pencils with OMS, but I don't use them that often either, because I prefer a more watercolor look. But they are easy to use, and easy to blend. My coloring preference would have to be Tombow or SU! markers. I even use some LePlume markers. I wouldn't recommend CTMH markers for watercoloring, because some of the colors tend to 'seperate' when wet with water. Also good for water coloring are dye reinkers. I use Adirondack and the SU! ones quite often. I would recommend buying a good set of markers for coloring.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:49 PM   #10
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My opinions are:

as for vivid, all the watercolor mediums I use can be made a "vivid" by using less water.

Watercolor crayons/pencils: I don't use my crayons and pencils as often as other watercolor mediums. When using I color on a piece of scrap watercolor paper and then pick up the color with a wet brush. I imagine the crayons will last forever. Pencils may need to be replaced occassionally.

Prisma WATERCOLOR: The more the merrier, but you can always blend to make colors. I have several brands and like them all about the same. Lyra makes the best skin tone pencils (creamy smooth, great shades, and the they are fatter/thicker than other pencils). Note that prisma watercolor pencils are not the same as the wax prismas that you can use with Gamsol.

Watercolor Markers: Love the Marvy Brush Markers as they blend better than SU! Also a fan of Tombow but still Marvy's are my 2nd fav.

All time fav are Peerless watercolor papers. Extreme saturation of color and a set will last for a lifetime. If you want soft shades then add more water.

HTH
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:59 PM   #11
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Out of the options you gave I would go with Prismacolor pencils. You can get a set of 120 colors for $83.99 from dickblick: http://www.dickblick.com/zz205/08b/

You can use baby oil to blend with and then you don't have to worry about odors.

I personally did not like the SU watercolor crayons, it's true they last forever but with only 54 colors it limits your shading. I had mine for over a year and ended up selling them because I didn't like the consistency or shading.
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:25 PM   #12
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Quote:

Originally Posted by denhamView Post
Thanks everyone. Does SU not sell their Watercolor Wonder Crayons anymore? I am looking at them in a 06-07 catalog. Sorry if I am not using the right terminology to describe these color sets, know that it's because I am just now learning about them.
Yes SU does still carry and will continue to carry the Watercolor Crayons. I LOVE and use mine all the time. Do you have a store or demo nearby that will let you try the different products. With such a big purchase it's nice to be able to get your hands on them first. Good luck in your decision.
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:36 PM   #13
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If you are talking about SU products, I would definitely recommend the SU Watercolor Crayons over the pencils. The Crayons are true to the SU 78 Colors, the Pencils are not. I love using the Watercolor Crayons for my watercoloring. HTH! LM
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:48 PM   #14
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My favorites are:

Watercolor pencils: Derwent
Water-based markers: Marvy LePlumeII
Alcohol markers: Prismacolor
Colored pencils: Prismacolor
Watercolors: Twinkling H2Os
Watercolor crayons: Staedtler

The decision really comes down to whether you would rather color- markers and pencils- or paint. I really, REALLY like painting, so my favorites are my twinks and my WC crayons. For coloring, I think the pencils and the Marvy markers are the easiest to learn to use. Alcohol markers (Prismacolor and Copic) have a much longer and harder learning curve. Oh, and another thing about the WC crayons is that you can use any piece of acrylic or plastic for a pallet and mix many colors from a few. My Staedtler set is only 12 colors but I reach for that all the time even though I have another set with 30 colors- the 12 give me many options are are small and easily transported. But, don't get me wrong I love my 30 set as well.

Check out dickblick.com for WC crayons. They currently have the 30 set from Lowe-Cornell on sale for $9.99. That would leave a lot left over for pencils or whatever. And, check Staples before you buy Prismacolor pencils- they are often a lot cheaper there.

If I had $80 and knew what I know now but didn't already have what I have now, I'd go for a good sized set of Prismacolor pencils and a small set of WC crayons.

HTH
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:51 PM   #15
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wow what an education...... i realize how much our stamping companies mark-up their products i will be going with prisma or staedtler watercolor pencils and staedtler watercolor crayons . I can get these all for way under 80.00.
Thank for all of your thoughts and suggestions.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:38 PM   #16
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I don't care for SU water color crayons i have all the sets. I like Peerless Watercolors the best for watercolor they are strips of paper with coloring on. You can do a search for them they are great.

I love my prisma's and gamsol but you don't need the huge packs i just buy the colors i like. I had the huge pack and used select colors now i just replace those colors as needed.

I like my water based markers for watercoloring also they work great.
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:51 AM   #17
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Hi tchk, I went ahead and bought the Lowe-Cornell on sale for $9.99. Thanks for the tips and info. on where to find a good deal. At 17.00 for a set of 30, I am bound to find use for this set. I will keep my eye out for Prisma Watercolor pencils
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:30 AM   #18
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I love to watercolor and am going to suggest that if you have not used watercolors, why not pick up a set of 16 Prang wc paints....you can get very vibrant colors with these for a very low price...especially with back to school prices.
With that said, watercoloring is not the easiest medium to control....you might be happier with colored pencils. We are talking apples and oranges here as the technique for coloring with these different mediums can not be compared equally.
I love wc crayons....SU crayons are made by Lyra....Faber Castell is my favorite brand. Someone mentioned there weren't enough colors....that is where mixing colors comes into the picture. I also like to use them directly on the rubber.
For vibrant coloring, I am now using Copic Markers and have been very happy with those, but you won't get far on $80 with those. They are a lifetime investment are they are totally replaceable (ink, nibs, etc,).
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:21 AM   #19
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I like the Prisma and Lyra brands. I love using them with a blender especially on small detailed stamps such as Thomas Kinkade's. I prefer the use of a dove blener, which is refillable and nibs can be replaced. Sometimes I put the pencil to the paper and blend. I also put the blender to the pencil itself and then to the paper. I usally only use one color and blend it out rather than trying do a lot of shading. Once in awhile I will go over the darkest area with a darker color. If you use a dove refill you could do a wash using a brush.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:32 AM   #20
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Quote:

Originally Posted by tchkView Post
My favorites are:

Watercolor pencils: Derwent
Water-based markers: Marvy LePlumeII
Alcohol markers: Prismacolor
Colored pencils: Prismacolor
Watercolors: Twinkling H2Os
Watercolor crayons: Staedtler

The decision really comes down to whether you would rather color- markers and pencils- or paint. I really, REALLY like painting, so my favorites are my twinks and my WC crayons.

HTH
Where do you buy Twinking H20s? Is that something you can get at Michael's or do you have to hit an art store?
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:52 AM   #21
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Thanks ladies for the excellent information! This *rookie* uses SU inks with the aquapainter, or I color part of the image with SU markers and pull the color with the aquapainter. Haven't had much luck with watercolor crayons.... think I need to practice more. Will definitely save up for some of these other supplies mentioned!
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:39 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jaine ParrView Post
Something to consider also is that Gamsol and Copics are to be used in a well ventilated area. Gamsol is supposed to be 'odorless' mineral spirits, but just because it doesn't smell bad does not mean it is harmless.
I did read here a little while ago that Goo Gone works great and is fairly inexpensive. Also, many use baby oil and have no problem with odor.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:15 AM   #23
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I just bought a whole mess of the Twinkling H2O's and they are really awesome! There colors are really vivid blend easily.

Other than that, I've been using the DeWitt color pencils and they work great as well.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:24 AM   #24
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hiyas i use Caran D'ache water colour wax crayons they are really lovely to work with i know loads of brits use them.They cost about 8 pounds for a set of ten thats about 16 dollars i think not too bad.If you can get hold of them give them a try they are greattttttttt xxx jo xx
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:24 PM   #25
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Where do you buy Twinking H20s? Is that something you can get at Michael's or do you have to hit an art store?
Twinkling H20's are found in some stamping/scrapbooking stores and can be found online. Usually found in sets of 6, they come in little pots with screw-on lids. They are gorgeous! I prepare mine for use by opening the colors I want, then placing a few drops of water into the pots with an eyedropper.

I also love my Tombow markers - there are a couple of secrets I've learned using these: one is to work quickly when shading (their blending pens are terrific for this); the second is that I can use these on any paper without pilling by spraying my paper (after I stamp my image/s) with a very light coat of matte sealer. The sealer allows you to blend more easily also.

I couldn't do without my Prismacolors - and I use a Goo Gone Mess Free pen to blend. Before I discovered this pen, I hardly used these pencils, as I cannot stand blending stumps - can't stand the feel of them in my hand. I bought a large set, and don't use nearly all of the colors. I would buy a smaller set and then add the colors you like/use often. That's another thing I like about Prisma's - they're sold individually.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:48 PM   #26
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:23 PM   #27
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There are a lot of Twinkling H20's on Ebay and I have also purchased them online from Marcos Paper in Ohio. My local rubber stamp carries them, but charges more than MSRP and I like a bargain!
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:22 PM   #28
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I was a painter before a stamper so I have fantastic Caran D'Ache watercolor crayons that I got on sale at aswexpress.com. They were $60 for a set of 84 colors 8 years ago but they are awesome and will last a lifetime. You can dip them in water and color on the stamp with them for a image people will swear was painted (you can get 3 good impressions with one coloring) or you can color a stamped image and use a wet brush to paint or simply scribble crayons on a dish to make a palette then mix colors with water and paint like traditional watercolors. They are so versitile. SU crayons are probably good too. Caran D'ache are artists quality. The only drawback is that they are more opaque (not transparent) than traditional watercolors. That may be a plus though. I love M Ghramm or Windsor & Newton artist watercolors as far as paint goes. If you prefer more control go for the pencils, they are less expensive and easy to find. If you have a buddy who has any of these ask if you can try them first so you don't end up spending $80 on something you hate. Or you can buy a pack of markers (Inque Boutique has a set of 36 dual tip brush markers for $40 but AC Moore has them and with a coupon you can get them for $20 While you are at AC Moore you can get a set of Reeves watercolors (A student line by Windsor & Newton, good quality, I used to teach art class and I reccomended that set for my beginners and its just $10) and a small pack of wc pencils. See what you like the best and add to it as money allows. I love options! If you have any questions feel free to PM me. Good luck! PS I love paint best! Oh PSS Elmers makes a set of watercolor paint filled brush markers and they are brilliant! A set of 15 was $10 at Sam's Club (at craft shops too) and they are amazing, so, so very vivid. Have I confused you yet? Sorry.
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:24 PM   #29
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Out of the options you gave I would go with Prismacolor pencils. You can get a set of 120 colors for $83.99 from dickblick: http://www.dickblick.com/zz205/08b/

You can use baby oil to blend with and then you don't have to worry about odors.

I personally did not like the SU watercolor crayons, it's true they last forever but with only 54 colors it limits your shading. I had mine for over a year and ended up selling them because I didn't like the consistency or shading.
Baby oil huh, Thanks for the tip! The Prismacolor colorless blender marker work well too but kinda stinky!
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:26 PM   #30
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I just bought a whole mess of the Twinkling H2O's and they are really awesome! There colors are really vivid blend easily.

Other than that, I've been using the DeWitt color pencils and they work great as well.
The metallic ones? I figured out how to make metallic watercolor (for a couple of bucks) and I have a tutorial on my blog if anyone is interested. Shameless plug...sorry.
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Old 08-06-2008, 05:41 PM   #31
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Wow - excellent advice and tips from everyone. Glad I saw this thread!

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:03 PM   #32
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I love my water color crayons (Caran D'ache Neocolor II)! I use them the most often for water coloring as I find it super simple to manipulate the color with my SU blender pen. They are vibrant, but easily toned down if you want a subtle look. Sometimes I apply them around the edges of the image and work the color inward. Or, I scribble them on a piece of acetate, or plastic, to mix and blend colors and pick the color up with a paintbrush or blender pen to apply.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:50 PM   #33
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My favorite of the above--hands down are the Prismacolor pencils...but I am sure you will get a lot of different answers depending on the responder.

Prismacolors are very vivid--you can get very nice results pretty easily (if I can do it--anyone can!) and they come in TONS of colors but you can get fine results just buying the smaller packs too.

**I love using them with Odorless Mineral Spirits and blending stumps. I also keep a sanding block nearby to sand off remaining color and to keep a sharp point. It is helpful to have a different stump for each color (meaning--use one for all greens, one for all blues, etc)

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:37 AM   #34
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I've been discovering lately that sometimes the paper makes as much difference as the medium. I have all of the close to my heart markers and while they can bleed on regular cardstocks they are dreamy for faux watercolour on gesso cardstock. (Just cardstock painted with gesso.) Here's one i made on gesso c.s

The faux watercolour technique with SU markers gives great vivid colours too (using watercolour paper.) Here's a sample of faux watercolour with SU makers

I love painting with reinkers too. You can mix craft & classic reinkers for different opacity and get some funky looks using them to do the wet into wet technique.

Happy watercolouring everybody; thanks for sharing your pointers! :0)
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:43 PM   #35
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I LOVE THE SU CRAYONS, BUT I HAVE GIVEN UP ON THE MARKERS FOR SHADING, ETC. I ALSO PAINT AND TOLL PAINT AND THE CHALK, AND CRAYONS ARE MY FAVORITE ON PAPER.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:43 PM   #36
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wow, thanks for the info. My niece just got a set of watercolor pencils for her birthday and we spent all night yesterday making cards.
Totally fun.

Now I need some!

Anne
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:58 PM   #37
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I haven't invested in Prismacolors yet, but am seriously thinking about it. I am curious as to the use of using Baby Oil to blend with. Since it is oil, doesn't it leave oily marks on the paper? LM

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Originally Posted by paulssandyView Post
I did read here a little while ago that Goo Gone works great and is fairly inexpensive. Also, many use baby oil and have no problem with odor.
Sandy O
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:08 PM   #38
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Watercolor PASTELS by Portfolio are totally totally gorgeous! Ultra smooth, a huge array of colors. AND - not very expensive. In fact, they are cheap enough that you could order a set just to try out. Prismacolors are way too expensive if you ask me. I have found at a local craft store the set of 24 Kimberly (by General) pencils and they blend so easily and just POP when you add water to them after you have colored. They are fairly cheap also. The set of 24 was under $20. And worth 3 times that in vibrancy. But I couldn't live without my watercolor pastels either.

Just wanted to add - The Portfolio are Watercolor OIL pastels. If you try them, you will love them. I also have the watercolor crayons by Staedtler - Karat Aquarell. Don't like them. They are much harder to blend than the watercolor oil pastels. I try to use them once in a while, but each time I like them less and less

Last edited by sewnmachine; 08-07-2008 at 03:11 PM.. Reason: added information
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:40 AM   #39
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I am still curious about this? LM

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Originally Posted by LMstampsView Post
I haven't invested in Prismacolors yet, but am seriously thinking about it. I am curious as to the use of using Baby Oil to blend with. Since it is oil, doesn't it leave oily marks on the paper? LM
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:15 PM   #40
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LMstampsView Post
I haven't invested in Prismacolors yet, but am seriously thinking about it. I am curious as to the use of using Baby Oil to blend with. Since it is oil, doesn't it leave oily marks on the paper? LM
I use baby oil with Prismacolor pencils and see no difference between it and Mona Lisa paint thinner/mineral spirits which is considered equal to Gamsol.

Nope...it doesn't leave oil spots on the paper and it has no dangerous fumes!
Even though the others may be orderless it doesn't mean there are no fumes...you just don't smell them.
Natural gas doesn't have fumes either and we know it's deadly. They have to add the smell for our protection.
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